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Creating Wall Charts with Ancestral Quest.

There’s nothing like walking into a room and seeing your ancestors, descendants, and their vital information displayed right on your wall. Throw away your conventional wallpaper, and plaster your history across your home for all to see! :-)

The Ancestry and Descendency charts in AQ, have an amazing ability that allows you to create wall charts using most size paper and almost any printer. Here are three of the most common paper sizes and how to use them. The last and largest paper size is printed by a plotter and you could use it as wallpaper in the ‘Genealogy Room’ of your house.

1. The 8.5" x 11" size is of course the most common size of paper that a person would use. All single page feed printers handle this size and usually do a great job with them. When choosing the wall chart option, Ancestral Quest will default to the windows printer you have chosen to be your default printer. You can print the wall chart on these pages, then tape the backs together to get the large chart. This is a bit time consuming, and if your printer can handle it I’d suggest the next page size.

2. The Legal page size, is the second most common we would use. The 8.5 x 14" gives us a larger surface and if turned on its side, landscape, we can get even more printed on the page, (in your printer's setup, you can specify landscape or portrait).

3. A Plotter provides huge single page sizes. And it may be more possible to use than you think!

A plotter is basically a huge printer, and most people will not have one in there homes. The most common places to find a plotter, is at your local print shop, most will have one. Other places that are not so common would be an engineering firm, any office that may produce blue prints of houses or buildings, and possibly even college engineering departments. Look around and don’t be afraid to ask, most people will be happy to let you use their equipment, (for a small price, usually for the huge sheets of paper you will be using).

After you have secured a plotter, you need to find out a few details. Ask these questions:

A. What type of plotter is it?
B. What size of paper do you have and what sizes will it accept?
C. Where can I get a Windows (either 3.x or 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP depending on your version of Windows) driver for this plotter?, do they have one?
D. How much will it cost?

After answering these questions, you will need to get and load the driver in Windows. I will give you a brief lesson, but consult your manual or Windows help for detailed instructions on loading a printer driver. Instructions on Loading the Driver.


1. Printing to your local printer on standard paper

You will want to start with a small wall chart -- maybe 4 or 5 generations. Experiment with the options, and use PREVIEW liberally to see how things are turning out. If you leave enough margin, each page will have crop marks for you to use in lining the pages up, along with tile numbers. Use the tile numbers to help you arrange the sheets into proper order. You can then use a paper cutter (or scissors) to trim off unneeded excess paper from each page, and paste the papers onto a larger board, or tape them together.

2. Printing with a PLOTTER

Now, some of you are wondering how in the world were going to print from your house to that plotter at the print shop. Well, were going to print to a file, put the file on a disk (or two) and then at the print shop, were going to copy that file to the plotter, (refer to the Print to File section of your AQ User’s Guide for more information).

First of all, though, you should follow the instructions in #1 above, using your own printer to get a good feel for what all of your options are.

Next, from within the Ancestral Quest Reports screen, select the Ancestry chart option, and make sure "Wall Chart" is selected. Then, choose the person you’d like to print a wall chart for. Incidentally, I’m going to be referring to the Ancestry chart through this, the Decendency chart will work the same way. After you have chosen your option on the Ancestry reports screen, go to printer setup. Remember the questions I asked you to have an answer for? Here’s where question B comes in. Select the correct printer, in the printers box and then the correct paper size, Click OK.

You should be in the habit of previewing your reports with the Preview option. This is especially important now, because you are going to go to a lot of effort to take this report to a remote printer – you want to know that the report is roughly OK first! And remember: the Preview option always shows 1 page at a time, even if it is a 36" x 108" sheet of plotter paper!

You can then click Print, and at the print screen click on the PRINT TO FILE box. When the computer goes to print the file, it will ask you for a name. You can name it anything you want, and even choose the drive your disk is in. I would suggest saving it to your hard drive to minimize the chances of running out of space halfway through, make sure you write down the drive and directory you put the file in. After the report has been printed to file, we need to move it to a disk.

Try copying the file to a disk first, using File Manager or Windows Explorer. If those give you an insufficient memory error, you’ll need to use a compression utility like MSBackup or WINZIP. You’ll want to make sure that whatever you choose, the print shop has a copy of that compression utility so you can decompress it when you get there.

Take your disk(s) to the print shop, and you can copy the file to the printer. Take your Ancestral Quest User’s Manual with you, and refer to the ‘Print to File’ section. Let me give an example of the basic procedure.

Your disk is in the A:\ drive
The File name is ANCESTRY.PCL
Type this at a DOS prompt
Press enter, this will copy the file to the printer.

Your User’s Manual also give great advice for printing and creating wall charts for your home. Refer to the sections on Ancestry and Descendancy charts.

As with anything you do, please feel free to call Software Support at 1-801-280-4434.

Installing a Printer Driver


1. Click on the Start menu and then click Settings, choose Printers.
2. Double click the ADD PRINTER icon.
3. Click NEXT - choose Local Printer - click NEXT
(At this time, your system may need to build a driver information database. This is normal.)
4. At the next screen, click on the HAVE DISK button. Place the printer driver disk into your disk drive and choose the appropriate drive letter on the screen. Click OK.
5. The Select Printer screen will come up, please click on the Plotter you are going to be using, click NEXT.
6. At the next screen, you’ll see that it default to LPT1, just click NEXT.
7. Answer No at the next screen, and click NEXT.
8. Answer No at the next screen, and click FINISH.

Your Driver is now installed


1. Open the MAIN group in Program Manager. Then open Control Panel, you will have a printers icon in Control Panel, double click it.
2. Click on ADD.
3. Click on Unlisted Printer and then click Install.
4. At the next screen, place the printer driver disk into your disk drive and choose the appropriate drive letter on the screen. Click OK.
5. The Select Printer screen will come up, please click on the Plotter you are going to be using, click OK.

Your Driver is now installed