Build a family tree with Powerpoint?

  1936 19:57 08 May 2008

I have been searching much of the available Family Tree Software to see if the family trees they create showing details in text and small individual photographs can be transferred to slide show software keeping their focus and finding that they can't.
I have never used Powerpoint and don't want to buy it unless it can be of use to me so my question is:
Is it possible to create a family tree showing details in text and small individual photographs using Powerpoint and if so will the image keep its focus when transferred to slide show software?

  Woolwell 20:16 08 May 2008

PowerPoint is really a slide show. You build up a series of slides for presentation purposes. It is difficult to envisage using this for a family tree but not impossible.
How do you wish to view your slideshow? On a PC or laptop monitor (possibly projected) or on a TV?
What you could consider is having a website with links to text, photos, etc. Family Historian will build a website for you.
A large tree can be quite difficult to view on a single screen/slide.

  VoG II 20:24 08 May 2008

I can imagine using an Organization Chart in PP to do this.

However, like Woolwell, I suspect that you wouldn't be able to display a largish tree on a single slide without it being unreadable.

  1936 20:29 08 May 2008

I have been building small family slide shows using Pinnacle for a little time capturering them on DVDs so they could be viewed on a TV.
When my late Father-in-Law died we found a large number of old family photographs which I scanned with the intention of building a slide show that identified the old folk. I did this because I guess that when I pop my clogs the old photographs will be dumped with all the hitory that they carry.
I would like to place a short family tree as the start of this slide show but none of the Family Tree Software that I tried was capable of transfering the family tree image to the slide show keeping it in focus.
Then someone sugested that I could use Powerpoint.

  VoG II 20:34 08 May 2008

You could try Impress click here which is the FREE Open Office equivalent of PP. That way you can see if what you want is feasible without shelling out lots of $s.

  Woolwell 20:44 08 May 2008

I have been researching my family history for some years and have a large pile of old photos. I have been slowly scanning these in and some attaching to my family history software. My tree is quite large but can be reduced by limiting the number of generations displayed at any one time. My software allows me to save the tree created as a picture in most of the recognised formats. This could then be treated like any other photo.

  skeletal 21:38 08 May 2008

I recently developed a training package in PowerPoint and part of it showed a complex flow diagram; so complex in fact that it had to be split over many slides. The problem was how to try to keep the overall picture in the minds of the trainees, whilst delving down all the different routes.

I’ll try to explain the solution, which I think would be could work for a family tree.

Start with the top level (Adam and Eve??!!). Add in a few more generations, all on the first slide. You’ll need to experiment to get a good compromise between number of levels and ease of viewing. As a guide, if you want to view this on a screen, don’t use a font size smaller than 18pt (but you’ll need to judge this for yourself). You may wish to put names into boxes (and photos), you could also colour the boxes to show, for example, everyone on “Adam’s” side differently from “Eve’s”.

Now you will have a few boxes/names on the bottom of the slide, and the normal way of doing things would now be to start new slides with each of these boxes at the top, and continue down each line. But of course, this can quickly get confusing as all the levels get mixed up as the slides will follow a linear path.

The trick is to do the next slide but to cut and paste the diagram back on to the first slide, but to move it to the side; i.e. “off the paper”. In PowerPoint, you can make an object (in this case your pasted diagram from the second slide) appear, disappear and move. So, you arrange it so clicking on the box at the bottom, makes your cut/pasted next level diagram appear to grow out of the box until it fills the screen. Clicking on this diagram can make it shrink and disappear.

An alternative is to hyperlink all the slides appropriately.

But I like the “growing out of the box” as it is very effective. I added ten objects to one such slide and it ended up looking very complex in the design mode, but very simple in display mode because you only saw a tiny bit at any one time.

I don’t know if you can achieve this in the free alternatives to PowerPoint. I also don’t know how much stuff you can add to one slide; the technique I describe is not a normal way of using PowerPoint.

I hope you’ve understood this, it’s harder to describe than do, and it is not helped by the fact you may be unfamiliar with PowerPoint.


  1936 21:46 08 May 2008

I hoped that I could that i could print the family tree that I had built with the family tree package and print it. Although it will not transfer as a screen grab and keep focus it does keep focus as a straight print out.
I then hoped that I could build the boxes in Powerpoint imitating the boxes shown in the family tree package.

  Woolwell 22:19 08 May 2008

See if your family tree package will allow you to export or save the tree as a jpg. This should then be viewable just like any photo without too much loss of detail.

  1936 23:23 08 May 2008

I saved the results of the family tree that I built using, "MyHeritage" as a JPEG yet when I capturered it to "Pinnacle", the slide show software that I use it was out of focuss.
The strange thing is that when I printed the same JPEG it was in focuss. I then scanned the printout and saved that as a JPEG but that also was out of focus in the slide show.
"MyHeritage" are so lacking in good manners that they do not reply to my questions and "Pinnacle" say its not their fault.
I am amazed that there is not one piece of family tree software that I tried that offers the facility of transfering an image such as a family tree from their software to a slide show sofware.

  Woolwell 00:10 09 May 2008

But if you have captured it as a jpeg and it appears ok on the screen before putting it into the slideshow then the family history software doesn't seem to be at fault. I can do the same with Family Historian. It could be a resolution problem especially if you are enlarging the image captured but I would also look at your slide show software.

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