Tuesday's Tips provide brief how-to's to help you learn to use the Legacy Family Tree software with new tricks and techniques.
Ancestor Colors? (Beginner)
One thing that y'all* should know by now is that I love color and I use all of the different color options that Legacy offers. I will also tell you that I am a bit of a dinosaur because when I started researching my family I didn't own a computer. Everything I did was on paper and I had my file folders color coded to match what the Family History Library recommended. This color coding system is still a great organizational tool and you can now tie your Legacy family file to your paper filing system using these colors. One of our webinar speakers, Mary Hill, AG, was the person who designed this color system which the Family History Library adopted and published in one of the Research Guides back in the mid 1990's. You can learn more about this filing system by watching Mary's webinar, Get Organized Using the FamilyRoots Organizer Color-Coding System and by visiting her FamilyRoots Organizer Color-Coding System website.
*y'all - the correct way to say "you all"
Nutshell version: Your paternal grandfather's line is blue, your paternal grandmother's line is green, your maternal grandfather's line is red, and your maternal grandmother's line is yellow. You can see at a glance which line a person belongs to based on their color. Legacy allows you to color code your ancestors in this very same way.
The first thing you need to do is go to Options > Customize > View > Option 8.3. I want to see these colors on every view so I have all of the boxes check marked. Notice that this option has an (ff) behind it which means it is Family File specific. If you have more than one family file you will need to set this option on each one.
Also notice in the above screenshot that you can Apply the Ancestor Colors and you can Change Colors right from this screen but I am going to show you another way. You can also go to Tools > Set Ancestor Colors
And here is what you will see:
The default is to set the standard 4 color Ancestor Colors to yourself (you will need to put yourself in the box) but Legacy has added some nifty enhancements to this. You can track your 4 grandparent lines OR you can track your 8 great-grandparents lines AND you can apply colors to TWO different anchor people (usually yourself and your spouse) AND you can also change the colors if you would prefer colors other than the standards (Edit Colors button). I love it! If you chose to go with the default colors, the Group 1 colors will be pastel and the Group 2 colors (for your second anchor person) will be bold so that you can tell them apart.
Here is the Edit Colors dialog box and what you are seeing are the default colors for both Group 1 and Group 2 as well as for 4 colors vs. 8 colors. If you want to go wild and change the colors all you have to do is click on each color box to make the change.
I have mine set using the standard colors for 4 lines. The Group 1 colors are mine and the Group 2 colors are for my husband. Make sure that when you switch over from Group 1 to Group 2 that you change the name of the anchor person in the box. Here is what it looks like in the Pedigree View. I used my husband because the bold colors look better on a screenshot.
If I navigate to a different person in his line you will see that the colors reflect where I am. Everyone is yellow so these people belong to his maternal grandmother's line.
I have saved the best for last. I have set the Ancestor Colors to my dad (Group 1) and to my stepmother (Group 2) because they happen to share a common ancestor. That common ancestor gets TWO colors! Blue to show this is my dad's paternal grandfather's line and yellow to show it is my stepmother's maternal grandmother's line. How cool is that!
You can also color code in Legacy Charting but it is limited to one anchor person since there is only one anchor on a chart. It is also is limited to the 4 colors for the 4 grandparent lines. In Charting, open any Ancestor type chart. Go to Appearance > Color, In the Drop down box select 4 Color. You will see Mary Hill System - Light and Mary Hill System (original bold colors) and then click Apply Color Theme to Chart. You can also change the colors at the bottom of this dialog box.
Even if you don't use the color-coded, paper filing system this is still a great way to see where someone fits in at a glance. I hope you enjoy working with color as much as I do.
Find tech tips every day in the Facebook Legacy User Group. The group is free and is available to anyone with a Facebook account.
For video tech tips check out the Legacy Quick Tips page. These short videos will make it easy for you to learn all sort of fun and interesting ways to look at your genealogy research.
Michele Simmons Lewis, CG® is part of the Legacy Family Tree team at MyHeritage. She handles the enhancement suggestions that come in from our users as well as writing for Legacy News. You can usually find her hanging out on the Legacy User Group Facebook page answering questions and posting tips.