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Desktop Publishing Your Family History Book

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Design, Layout, Printing for a Family History Book
Open book
Steven Errico/Digital Vision/Getty Images
Family histories are a frequent candidate for desktop publishing. While appearances are generally less important than the memories and genealogical data preserved in these books, there's no reason they can't look good as well.

No matter how small or how it is printed, there are several easy ways to make your family history book attractive and readable.

  • Software
    You can use genealogy software, desktop publishing software, or even word processing software depending on your needs and the complexity of your book.

  • Family Stories
    Narratives bring the family history to life. Creative formatting will make these stories more attractive.

  • Charts
    Ancestor and descendant charts provide an easy way to show family relationships.

  • Family Photos
    Family photos of both ancestors long gone and living family members can greatly enhance your family history book. Edit them and arrange them to best effect.

  • Maps and Documents
    Maps from where the family lived, photocopies of letters, and other documents add interest beyond the stories and charts.

  • Table of Contents and Index
    Help family members find the stories and charts that interest them most with a table of contents and a comprehensive index.

  • Printing / Finishing
    Print a few, print many. However you get it printed or copied, you'll want it to look good.

  • Your Finished Book
    Share your book with family and other history buffs.

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