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Color-code your ancestry with Legacy Family Tree

If you are looking to add a little sparkle to your pedigree, or if your paper files need an organizational face-lift, then Legacy Family Tree's color-coding is just what you need.

Colorpedigree How to turn on the colors
Before you can view and print your pedigrees in full color, the color-coding needs to be turned on. Follow these simple steps:

  1. In the Pedigree View, navigate to yourself. (You don't have to be in the Pedigree View, but it makes it easier to see the effect of the color-coding.
  2. Click on Tools > Apply Ancestor Colors
  3. Click on the Apply Color Coding button.


  • You and your father's father's ancestors are now blue.
  • Your father's mother's ancestors are now green.
  • Your mother's father's ancestors are now red.
  • Your mother's mother's ancestors are now yellow.

Choose the colors you want
The default colors are blue, green, red, and yellow. However, you can choose your own colors. Follow these steps:

  1. Click on Options > Customize > View tab.
  2. In the Ancestor Color Coding section, click on the Change button.
  3. Select your desired colors, and click Save.


Print charts in color
Many of Legacy's charts/reports can be printed in color. For example, to print a color-coded pedigree chart, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Reports icon in the main toolbar. Click on the Pedigree tab.
  2. Click on the Color Text and Boxes button.
  3. Click on the 4th option of 4 Line Colors. Click Save.
  4. Preview or Print.

Organization by color-coding
You've probably learned that unless your paper files are in order, further genealogy research can be frustrating. You've also probably tried dozens of different organizational systems. Not every system works for everyone, which is why we have been publishing different methods via Legacy News.

Mary Hill developed a color-coding system for organization which has become very popular, and it works directly with Legacy's color-coding system. Her system is explained here.

Purchase Legacy Deluxe
To take advantage of Legacy's color-coding, you must be using the Deluxe Edition. To learn more about the Deluxe Edition click here. To purchase/upgrade to Legacy Deluxe, click here.


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Wow! Another feature that made my viewed and printed reports more interesting. The filing system article is also worthy reading.

However, having customized the screen to colours more appealing to my viewing, I wished to return to these colours while working.

If you follow the "Choose the colours you want" guidelinea above, but rather than pressing the "Change" icon, remove the checkmark in the "Display custom generation line colours on screen". Colours should revert to those you originally selected for your display. Nothing prevents you from going back and re-checking the box, or choosing your own colours, and saving your changes.

Great feature!

Hello, I do recall some 'older' family trees that list siblings together
Father Mother
l l
l l l
son daughter son

Do you know how this was done, short of doing by hand? I would like to do this for my son and daughter and my grandchildren.
Thank you.

I follow the instructions to a tee, yet the printed pedigree is black/white, not color. How come?

Wes, it's likely that when your printer dialog opens, you need to modify its settings to print in color.

This may be potentially helpful, but this feature doesn't seem to extend to the names list (index of individuals). That is what I would find to be even more helpful. When looking at a very large list of people some may be in different branches of my family tree but may still have the same surname (and possibly also the same given name). It would then be very easy to tell which people belong to each branch if the color coding were extended to the names index.

I'm using the binder system with numbered tabs and currently it's working for me as all research documents are fitting there. Is this color system an alternative or would it supplement the binder system.

Drew mine by hand. But the Tree Draw Legacy Edition produces this chart format. See the Tree Draw under Legacy Store. The Legacy Charting Companion does not appear to produce the chart you seek.
Best regards,

My filing system was simple; a binder for each family group adding another binder when a child married, etc.
Direct or preferred line has 15 generations and the other three have slightly less. Too easy.

I would not operate two filing system at the same time. Colour coding your tabs may have some benefits. However, it should be treated as a separate system. My point of view may not be shared by the author.

If your system works for you remember the adage: If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

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