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Help Topics

Main Help Page

Ancestor Tree

Descendant Tree

Descendant Cascade Tree

Index of Individuals

Search Tips

Help — Descendant Tree

The descendant tree displays the primary individual at the top and his or her descendants below. Spouses are connected with a horizontal double line.

To view the descendant tree, click the View menu and select Descendant Tree or just click the icon in the toolbar.

The descendant tree is available only for Netscape and Internet Explorer browsers version 5 and higher. Other browsers should use the descendant cascade tree instead.

Getting Around the Descendant Tree

Click a box to edit an individual.

To add more individuals:

  1. Click a person in the tree to bring up the Edit window
  2. Use the popdown lists at the bottom of the Edit window to add parents, spouses, siblings, or children:

More Descendant Tree Questions and Answers

Why do boxes sometimes change color?
also: What does the little triangle mean?
The darker box indicates the currently selected individual (on some browsers, this is shown with a little triangle). You can select an individual by holding your mouse over his or her name. If you run a search or change trees, the selected person becomes the primary individual in the search or the view.

What is a Primary Individual?
The "Primary Individual" is the first person displayed in a tree. The rest of the tree is drawn in relation to this individual.

In a descendant tree, this means that the primary individual displays at the top with his or her direct descendants below.

How can I show the tree with a different primary individual?
Click the icon in the toolbar to switch to the Index of Individuals, select the new primary individual, then click the icon to switch back to this tree.

How can I switch to a different tree?
Click the View menu and select another tree, or click the Ancestor Tree icon or Descendant Cascade Tree icon in the toolbar.

How can I get my tree to show more people?
First, you need to make sure that your primary individual is someone with a lot of descendants. Click the icon in the toolbar to switch to the Index of Individuals, select an ancestor far back in your tree, then click the to switch back to this tree with that person as the primary individual.

You can also set the maximum number of generations to display in trees by clicking the Format menu and selecting "Number of Generations in Tree." This setting applies to all trees: descendant, ancestor, and descendant cascade trees.

How many people can I add to my family?
Currently, the limit for Family Tree Maker Web Edition is 200 people. You can also download your file to a desktop copy of Family Tree Maker, which can handle up to about 10,000 people! (Click the File menu and choose "Download to my PC.")
Note that not everyone in your file will display in a single tree!

How can I see everyone in my file?
Click the View menu and select Index of Individuals, or click its icon in the toolbar.

How can I save my file?
Click the File menu and choose Save. Your tree will be saved to your private "My Genealogy" page at Genealogy.com (if you don't have a "My Genealogy" page, one will be created for you).

You can also share your tree with others by publishing it to a free personal home page – just click the Share menu and choose "Publish to my Home Page."

Why do I keep getting a message that "A script on this page is causing Internet explorer to run slowly"?
Internet Explorer displays this message whenever a program tries to run a lot of code in your browser. This may occur when your tree gets quite large. It is harmless (though annoying). You should click "No" when the message asks if you wish to abort the script.

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