A blueprint is description used to customize the display of an entity in certain views of Ancestris.

Views using blueprints

Only the following views use blueprints. For each of them, an example shows what the blueprints could look like.

Dynamic tree

The Dynamic Tree uses blueprints for individuals and families. Blueprints are the areas displayed inside the coloured frames.


Entity card

The Entity Card uses blueprints for all categories of entities.

Blueprints can be reused for several views. Here, the blueprint used for individuals in the dynamic tree is used inside the Entity card.


Extended navigator

The Extended Navigator uses blueprints for both individuals and families.

Below are blueprints used for the individuals of the selected couple. You may notice that they are not the same. The spouse blueprint does not display the Sosa number and displays the entity number above the name.


And this is a blueprint for each child of the selected family.


Gedcom editor

The Gedcom Editor uses blueprints in its lower part for all entity categories.

As for the entity card, the Gedcom Editor uses blueprints for individuals or families, but also for other entities.

For example here is a simple blueprint of a Repository entity.


Or a simple blueprint of a Multimedia entity.


Now that you have seen what blueprints look like and where they are used, let us see how they work.

General principles

A blueprint is a template defining what to display of an entity, and how to display it.

A blueprint is assigned to a given entity category (individual, family, source, etc.) for a given view (Dynamic tree, Entity file, etc.).

You can define your own blueprints rather than using the ones already provided within Ancestris.

Several blueprints exist within Ancestris and are already selected by default for each of the entity categories, and in each view where blueprints apply.

Blueprints constitute a way to customize Ancestris. You are free to keep blueprints as they are or modify them to your needs.

You can define your own blueprints, i.e. both the information to display for an individual or a family (name, address, etc.) and how to display this information (colour, font, alignment, layout, etc.).

If you want to make some changes to the available blueprints, you will need to learn a little more about them. This is the subject of the following sections in this page.

Technically, a blueprint is a piece of HTML code written into a file located on your disk. Refer to the paragraph Directory containing blueprints files for more information.


Managing blueprints

Managing blueprints consists in performing two types of activities.

  • assign blueprints to entities and views
  • build your own blueprints or delete them

This is done using the Blueprint window.

The Blueprint window manages the blueprints for one category of entity at a time.

The window is the same regardless of the category of entity, but it only contains blueprints attached to the given category of entity.

To access the Blueprint window for a given entity category, you must use the Ancestris context menu from an entity of the corresponding entity.

  • Right-click on an individual in the Entity card view, then select "Change display of individuals" to open the Blueprint window for individual.
  • Right-click on a family in the Entity card view, then select "Change display of families" to open the Blueprint window for families.
  • Ditto for Notes, Sources, Multimedia, Repositories, etc. This can be done from the Entity card or the Gedcom Editor for the corresponding entities.

Here is how to access the Blueprint window for individuals, from the Entity card, Contextual menu by right-clicking, then choose "Change display of individuals".


The Blueprint window for Individuals appears.


Whatever the category of entity, the operations in this window are the same. We will use the example of the Blueprint window for individuals in the description that follows.


The Blueprint window contains the following areas.

  • The list of blueprints on the left shows the blueprints currently available for the previously selected entity category. To work on a blueprint, select it from the list.
  • The preview area at the top right shows a preview of the blueprint selected in the list.
  • The HTML editor at the bottom right displays the HTML code of the blueprint selected in the list on the left, and where you can edit the code. The horizontal separator bar under the preview area must be dragged up with the mouse to see the code below.
  • Meaning of the buttons:
    • The New button adds a copy of the currently selected blueprint to the list, and asks you to input another name. This will become the newly selected blueprint and you will be able to modify it.
    • The Delete button removes the selected blueprint from the list
    • The Insert Property... button appears when you edit HTML code. Use it to inserts a TAG in the HTML code. It will insert it at the cursor position.
    • The OK button validates the changes and exits the window.
    • The Cancel button closes the window without validating the changes.

The Blueprint window size can be changed by pulling the lower right corner.

The preview area and the Text Editor area can be adjusted by moving the separator of these two areas with the mouse or by clicking on the arrows of the separator on the left:



The Blueprint window covers the following needs:

  • Discover the available blueprints. To discover the available blueprints without activating them (therefore, without closing the panel), click successively on each of them in the left-hand side list, and check the result in the preview area.
  • Choose a different blueprint. To assign another blueprint to the currently selected entity category in one of the views, click a blueprint in the list, then validate by pressing the OK button.
  • Modify a blueprint. For security reasons, the blueprints already available cannot be modified. To modify an existing blueprint, you must first make a copy of it. Select it in the list, click New and give it a new name. Then use the HTML editor panel to make your changes.
  • Create a blueprint. To create a new blueprint, it is recommended to copy an existing one. See above.

  • Delete a blueprint. To delete a blueprint, select it in the list and click the Delete button. You are then asked to confirm the deletion which will be final. Note: for security reasons, blueprints provided with Ancestris cannot be deleted.


Case study

Suppose we have a simple blueprint without a photo for the individuals in the dynamic tree, and we want to insert a photo. The steps to do this would be the following:

  1. Identify where the photo data item is inside the data of the individual. Use the Gedcom editor for that.
  2. Open the Blueprint window for individuals
  3. Create a new blueprint by copying 'simple blueprint' without image. Rename it 'MyBlueprint-Indi-Tree'
  4. Modify the blueprint to insert the photo property identified above, and adjust its size in the frame using the preview
  5. Save the blueprint and check the result

Each of these steps is detailed below.

    Identify where the photo data item is

    The Gedcom editor will show you where the photo items are located for all individuals. We see below that the photo is located in the FILE tag, attached to the OBJE tag, which itself is attached to the INDI tag. All together, you will need to remember that photo files are at the address 'INDI:OBJE:FILE'. That is what we wanted to know.


    Open the Blueprint window for individuals

    As we want to change the blueprint for Individuals in the Dynamic view, we need to first select an individual in the Dynamic view.

    Then we right-click on the individual. In the context menu that appears, we choose "Change display of individuals".