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Tuesday's Tip - The Publishing Center (Intermediate)

TT - The Publishing Center

Tuesday's Tips provide brief how-to's to help you learn to use the Legacy Family Tree software with new tricks and techniques.

The Publishing Center (Intermediate)

This article is not a comprehensive tutorial for the Publishing Center but rather some tips and tricks to help you use this feature to your advantage. It is assumed that you are already familiar with the different reports in Legacy. To open the Publishing Center go to Reports > Publishing Center.

  • HELP!
    There is a Help button on every screen that will take you to the correct location in the Help File.

  • It's not just for books
    Do not look at the Publishing Center just as a book creator, though it can certainly do that. You can also use it to create multi-part reports that are still quite simple.

  • The individual parts
    Be very familiar with the individual reports that can be used in the Publishing Center. You need to know what they are and what options they have for formatting.

  • A single cohesive report with multiple "chapters"
    The Publishing Center will take multiple report components and format them into a single cohesive report. You pull individual reports in as "chapters" and then there are settings that govern the report as a whole. Some options for the individual "chapters" will now be greyed out because those options are now controlled by the main Publishing Center options. For an overview of the options that will govern the entire book/report, go to Help > Help Index and then over on the right click Tutorial Lessons > How to Print a Book > Publishing Center

  • A work in progress
    The default file name for your work in progress is CurrentBook.bkh but you can also save the book under a different name and you can have several reports/books going at one time. When you save a book it is saving your layout and options. If you make any changes in your family file, the next time you open the book you are working on those changes will be reflected and that is the beauty of the Publishing Center. It reloads the data but keeps the layout and settings you have already chosen.

  • You can go in and edit individual chapters
    For some reason a lot of people miss the Edit Settings for Current Chapter button. Highlight the chapter you want to work on before clicking the button. Just remember that some of your options will now be greyed out because they are being controlled by the overall "book" settings. On this same screenshot you will see the Set Order arrows which you can use to change the order of your chapters. This is another feature people seem to overlook.
Editing chapters
(click image to enlarge)


  • Same report, different options
    If you have 4 different Family Group Reports (4 chapters) each one can have different formatting options. You simply click the Edit Settings for Current Chapter for each one.

  • The Picture Scrapbook
    Many people use the Publishing Center just so that they can include a Picture Scrapbook in their report. The Picture Scrapbook works much better with reports if you have entered captions for your photos.

  • The Preview button is your friend
    Use the Preview button often. This is true for any report you do but even more so for the Publishing Center because each chapter has its own formatting and then there is the overall formatting for the "book."

  • Exporting
    You have several options for exporting the file so that you can work with it in other programs for advanced editing. I wanted to give you a couple of hints. If you plan to export, don't use page numbering. Your page numbers will be off if you do any major editing. Use the page numbering option in the word processing program that you are using when you are finished editing. If you are using a recent version of MS Word to do your editing, export the file as a PDF and not as an RTF. An RTF is very generic so that any word processor can read the file. You will get much better formatting if you export as a PDF. The newer versions of MS Word can open PDF files. When you are done editing, you can either save as a .docx file or you can re-save it as a .pdf.

  • Printing your book
    If you plan to send your book to a professional printer, or you plan to self-publish using a company such as Lulu, don't use the internal PDF creator. Instead, you will want to export to a virtual PDF driver. These PDF drivers format the PDF in a way that is more friendly to outside printers/publishers. The internal PDF creator also has a size limit. The instructions on how to do this are in Tuesday's Tip - PDF Trick.

  • Another printing issue
    This applies to all reports and not just the Publishing Center. If you make any changes in Page Setup you will need to make a corresponding change in Printer Setup. For example, if you tell Legacy to print Duplex then you also need to tell your printer to print Duplex. I am going to show you screenshots from my computer. Your printer options dialog box will look different. This is an example of printing Duplex but there are other formatting choices that you will have to format in both places.
Legacy settings
(click image to enlarge)


Printer settings
(click image to enlarge)


I hope these tips will help you work in the Publishing Center with confidence.


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.



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This is very helpful and gives me confidence to begin using this feature.

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