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Desktop Publishing Your Family History Book

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Software for Your Family History Book
Popular Desktop Publishing and Graphics Software

Desktop publishing and graphics software can help you publish a great family history book.

Box shots provided by Serif, Broderbund, Nova Development, Microsoft, Quark, Adobe, and Corel.
Some software specifically for genealogy and tracing your family tree comes with pre-designed layouts for printing up family histories, including narratives, charts, and sometimes photos. These may be adequate for your needs. However, if your genealogy software doesn't offer the flexibility you desire, consider using desktop publishing software.
  • Family Tree Software - Genealogy software often includes a multitude of options for publishing books complete with charts and photos. About.com Genealogy Guide Kimberly Powell has advice and reviews on the best genealogy software.

  • Desktop Publishing - Producing your family history book with desktop publishing software offers endless layout options. Adobe InDesign might be out of your budget, but there are less expensive options. Digital scrapbooking software could also produce nice photo-rich family history books.

  • Word Processing - If your genealogy program cannot export data in plain text or common word processing formats, you may have to input all the information yourself into a word processor for import to the desktop publishing software of your choice. Using word processing software to create and publish the entire family history book is also a viable option. See How to Do Desktop Publishing With Microsoft Word for tips and tricks.

  • Print / Copy - Another alternative is to print charts or other portions of your family history from your genealogy software to a laser printer to use as camera-ready copy to be incorporated with other layouts from your desktop publishing software.

  • Graphics Software - To get the best photos for your family history book, you'll need to include photo-editing software in your publishing arsenal. See the Family Photos section for advice.

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