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Web Publishing

by Jan McClintock

Updated 2/17/2000 by Leister Productions.

Many computer-genealogists want to publish their family history on the World-wide Web. Creating a home page with genealogical information is somewhat like publishing a book; it allows many people to see the results of your years of hard work on the family history. Another great advantage is the cost: almost nothing, provided you already have the computer and a connection to the Net. However, keep in mind that web pages will only be viewed by those people who also have a computer and are connected. That's not the entire country... yet.

Almost any report that Reunion creates can be published on the Web, but the Web Family Cards are especially useful. The data in your family file is automatically translated into HTML, the language used by web browser applications to view pages. When these pages are viewed in a browser, the links between people in your family are intact, so anyone can jump from link to link and person to person, just like in Reunion. In fact, the Web Family Cards are very similar to Reunion's family cards, and allow others to see basic data about people and relationships as if they were using Reunion to do so.

Before you begin, decide whose cards will be included. Unless you wish to include everyone in your family file, first Mark only those people for whom you wish to create the family cards. When you choose Create -> Web Family Cards, your first option is Who? Your choices are Families with a Marked Spouse (meaning any family where at least a Husband or a Wife is marked) or All Families (which shows the total number of families in your family file). Remember that Reunion considers people with no spouse or children entered to be a "family" unto themselves.

Create Web Family Cards

You also have the option to create Person Sheets for each person on a Web Family Card. Person Sheets include more detailed information on individuals, but they also add more files and increase the size of your web folder.

The Layout of your Web family cards is flexible -- use the pop-up menu to choose an alternate layout or to create a new one. This is where you choose which fields will be included on all of the Web Family Cards. The Web Style option is where you pick the background, text styles, and dividing lines for your web pages. (Reunion includes some nice choices, but you can change these settings later by opening the web cards in a separate web-page editing program, like Claris Home Page or Adobe PageMill.)

Define Web Style

You can also include sources and pictures in the Web Family Cards and/or Person Sheets. Like all other reports, the sources are only those that apply to the specific cards. The pictures are those that are already linked to a person's family card and designated as their "Preferred" picture in Reunion.

Enter a title -- the more specific the better -- like "Rosengrant Family in New Jersey," or "Descendants of Jacob Quick and Rachel Wood." The Destination can be either your Web browser software (or editing software -- whichever software you indicated in Options -> Reports), where you can view the pages immediately, or a Web Folder, where all the files are stored together on your hard drive.

Lastly, use the Cover Page button to customize the page that usually is shown first -- the "home" page or the "index" page. Be creative, but be sure your page is legible and easy to follow. After all, you're publishing this data for others to enjoy, and you don't want it to be too much work!

Cover Page window

For some examples of published Web Family Cards, please see our User Links Page.

For more information on Web publishing, refer to your Reunion electronic manual. [Help -> Contents -> Using Advanced Features -> Web Publishing]