Form Design - Ancestors

Ancestors Box Settings

The Ancestors box within a pedigree or trial mating makes up most of the printed page. The settings that control its appearance are set in two quite different ways.

Firstly, as a 'box' in its own right - just as with other boxes such as the Title box or Logo box - you can control its border, background, and so on. For further information see Form Design - Box Settings.

But, separately, you can control the appearance of the individual ancestor cells within the ancestors box.

Ancestors Box Settings

The default settings for the ancestors box itself are that it has no border, no padding, and no fill color. Which means that, by default, it is made up solely by its content - the grid of ancestor cells. However it is possible to change these settings at the box level, and this can be used to achieve effects such as enclosing the grid of ancestor cells within its own border, or to give the grid a different background colour or image. To make any of these changes, right-click (Mac: use Control + Click) over the ancestors box and select Ancestors Box Settings from the popup menu.

Apart from the fill color, the settings of the ancestors box itself do not have any effect on the individual ancestor cells. Those settings are controlled quite separately - see below. The ancestors box fill color only affects the individual ancestor cells in that it usually 'shows through' because, typically, ancestor cells use a transparent fill color.

Ancestor Cell Settings

In much the same way as box settings are, by default, automatically determined using a hierarchical structure, settings for the individual ancestor cells are governed by a hierarchical arrangement.

Firstly there is a set of default settings for all ancestor cells, that can be applied to every generation of ancestry.

Next there is a group of settings for each different depth of ancestry. E.g. in a 5 generation pedigree generally there is much less space available on the page for each ancestor cell than there is with, say, a 3 generation pedigree. And so, it makes sense for groups of settings to be set separately for different depths of ancestry.

Finally there is a separate group of settings for each distinct generation within a pedigree of given ancestry depth. E.g. for the parents in a 5G pedigree you might want to use a smaller font scaling than for the parents in a 3G pedigree.

If you right-click (Mac: use Control + Click) over the ancestors box you will see these three different groups of 'Ancestor Cell Settings' you can change. E.g. if you have a 4 generation pedigree shown, and you right-click (Mac: use Control + Click) over a grandparent cell, you will see a popup menu that includes these options:
- Ancestor Cell Settings - G2/4 Specific - these are the generation-specific settings
- Ancestor Cell Settings - G4 Specific - these are the ancestry-depth-specific settings
- Ancestor Cell Settings - Default - settings common to all depths/generations.

Hierarchy Group Property Automatic Value
Ancestor Cell - Default
(common to every
generation for all
ancestry depths)
Border Color Inherits from Form Defaults
Border Style Medium rounded solid line, 0.01 inch thickness
Fill Style Inherits from Form Defaults
Fill Color Inherits from Form Defaults
Font Face Inherits from Form Defaults
Base Font Size (Pre-Scaled) Inherits from Form Defaults
Text Color Inherits from Form Defaults
Text Alignment Horizontally centered, vertically middle
Ancestor Cell - GN Specific
(common to every
generation for a specific
depth 'N' of ancestry)
Border Color Inherits from Ancestor Cell - Default
Border Style Inherits from Ancestor Cell - Default
Fill Style Inherits from Ancestor Cell - Default
Fill Color Inherits from Ancestor Cell - Default
Font Face Inherits from Ancestor Cell - Default
Base Font Size (Pre-Scaled) Inherits from Ancestor Cell - Default
Text Alignment Inherits from Ancestor Cell - Default
Text Color Inherits from Ancestor Cell - Default
Photo Position None
Box Gap Set according to ancestry depth
Ancestor Cell - GX/N Specific
(i.e. specific to
generation 'X' within
ancestry depth 'N')
Padding Set according to ancestry depth
Border Color Inherits from Ancestor Cell - Gn Specific
Border Style Inherits from Ancestor Cell - Gn Specific
Fill Style Inherits from Ancestor Cell - Gn Specific
Fill Color Inherits from Ancestor Cell - Gn Specific
Font Scaling Set according to ancestry depth and generation
Text Alignment Inherits from Ancestor Cell - Gn Specific
Text Color Inherits from Ancestor Cell - Gn Specific
Photo Position None

Setting Text Size in Ancestor Cells

The size of text - i.e. the font height - within ancestor cells is set by combining a base font height (in pts) with a scaling factor (a percentage). The base font height is set within either the 'Default' ancestor cell settings, or the ancestry-depth-specific settings. The font scaling is set within the generation-specific ancestor cell settings.

TIP: To increase or decrease the text size for all ancestor generations uniformly, change the base font height (i.e., adjust the 'Default' or 'GN Specific' settings). To increase or decrease the text size for a specific generation, change the font scaling for that generation (i.e., adjust the 'GX/N Specific' settings).

Ancestor Photos

It is possible to display the photo of an ancestor within its cell in the ancestors box.

By default these are not displayed however as it is normal for ancestor cells to display text information only - name, breed etc.

But to display photos in ancestor cells all you need do is to change the photo position settings for the relevant ancestor cells - open the appropriate Settings window and then adjust the photo positioning. In order to have both text and photo appear you need to reduce the photo size and align both the text and the photo appropriately. For further information see Form Design - Photos With Text.


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