How do I do this...

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How do I do this...

Postby cdotty » Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:08 pm

Hello good folks,

Long time lurker but first time poster here.

I'm wondering if I could get a few leads on a wonderful family project which at this time just leaves me scratching my head... Here goes:

A few years back, a relative who's since passed away did a wonderful 11X17 "family history/genealogy" poster in an older version of Photoshop.

I was given the file, and the mission of not just updating it but of creating a "sister poster" with the same info but in a graphical fashion, like a timeline so that the younger ones in the family get a real sense of their history. Here is what I mean: the first poster simply has names and dates in chronological order, such as :

Great-grandpa Harry: 1898-1971
Great-Grandma Emily: 1905-1965
Grandpa Thomas: 1925-1994

Poster #2 should have the same info but with each relative's name/dates either on, or just above a colorful "ribbon" that correctly represents the timeline, like so many of the "business charts" that are out nowadays.
Something like this:

1750 1800 1850 1900 1950 2000
relative #1 (oldest ancestor)
relative #2 (second oldest ancestor)

Ideally each "ribbon" (line) would have a different color or hue.

I reckon I need to create some type of database/chart file with the dates to create a colorful timeline, and THEN import that into Photoshop... but the problem is:
HOW to I go about it?
What software does one use for this kind of chart?

Here are the graphics progs I own (I'm reasonably OK with graphics, well, I think!) :

Photoshop 7
Pagemaker 6.5
Tons of plugins, including some of Harald's wonderful products.
XVview (great viewer and converter)

"Business" progs (rarely used):

QuattroPro 12
Calc (latest OpenOffice)

I have NO idea where to start... Any thoughts from the creative experts here?
Best regards,


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Postby HaraldHeim » Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:44 pm

Very interesting project that you are working on. You could create the timeline in Photoshop itself, but if you can find a program that creates such a timeline, it would certainly be less work. If that program does not let you export the timeline as an image file, you can also try to do screenshots of it and open the screenshots in Photoshop.

I am sure there are some genealogy programs available on the net. As I never looked for such a program, I cannot give you a recommendation.

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family tree software

Postby Careful » Mon Apr 20, 2009 6:11 am

this is free for standard and there are other free charting and media software on the site.

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Postby dfsmetsfan » Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:16 am

I use Family Tree Maker from It's inexpensive and quite a powerful program. It's made for genealogy, so once the data is entered, you can create just about any kind of chart. This might be an easier project if you were using software designed specifically for genealogy.

Just my 2¢


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Postby plugsnpixels » Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:34 am

Issue #12 of my free ezine focuses on genealogy software tools, including those specifically designed for managing images.

Take special note of Timeline and Timeline 3D (which can export the project as movies).
Free digital imaging ezine (and discounted plug-ins!)

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