My ﬁrst project is a history of one branch of my family tree that coversonly three generations. I’m building it as a stand-alone project, but Iwant to create a document design that can become a template forfuture projects. In this way, I can build my family history at my ownpace but later pull each individual project into one comprehensivepublication if I so choose. I also want to create an electronicpublication that’s easy to read on-screen yet can be printed if thereader prefers.Before we even begin writing, there are some design decisions to be made. Theseinclude:•I’m choosing a landscape layout based on letter-sized paper. Using this format,each page can be displayed on the screen in its entirety. This makes on-screenreading easier. And, because I’m sizing my layout to a paper standard, it can beprinted without losing any formatting elements.•Today’s word processing software includes both a word processing mode and alayout mode. The layout mode is used to create specialty documents likebrochures, newsletters and ﬂyers. Only word processing mode supports thefeatures needed for a family history, such as table of contents, footnotes andbibliographies.•While a landscape layout will display the entire page on the screen, trying tostretch a line of text all the way across that expanse will make it almostimpossible to read. Options include setting up multiple columns on each page orto format a short column and use the extra white space for photos and graphics.•Readability is a factor when choosing fonts too. All caps are hard to read - andall the more so when reading on-screen. San-serif fonts like Arial make on-screenreading easier while serif fonts like Times New Roman are better for printedpages. A font like Optima serves as a good compromise.
The Hybrid Family History - A Family Matters GuideA Moultrie Creek Publication 3