This site is dedicated to the memory of my parents and to our ancestors. If you are related to those listed, I hope this gives you a better understanding of their lives. Feel free to comment on anything posted, especially if you have additional or different information. The posts on this page chronicle my
research journey and provide resources and links. Genealogy is divided by parental lineage into Lowe and Bader. You can access these by
category from the menu and side links. Please be aware that this is an on-going project. Information will be updated as it becomes available.

My First Family History Book: Design Elements

Since I work on a range of documents through my job, I have high-level layout skills and knew I could do the layout of my family history book myself, including tricky designs. At work I use Windows machines but at home I use a Mac. I wasn’t as familiar with design on the Mac as I was using Microsoft Office, so I experimented in MS Word and Publisher after work at the office. 

But the weekend came and I was anxious to continue so I began playing around with Mac Pages. I found the Mac to be missing a few features from Word that I wanted, but discovered other features that I really liked. There was a steep learning curve, but I already had a strong foundation and lots of knowledge. In the end I was glad I did it on the Mac because the finished design is really beautiful — even with several work-arounds because of missing features. 

One of the design elements in my books that appears tricky but is actually quite simple is placement of photographs. Many of the photographs overlap each other or are angled on the page. This is done by ‘floating’ the images. In MS Word, double-clicking on the image will bring up a dialog box that provides a huge range of settings. The default is ‘In Line with Text,” but that can be changed to place the image in front of text, behind text, etc. In Mac Pages, these setting are available through the Inspector. The ‘Object Placement’ option lets you set the image to Inline, Floating, and In Background. The ‘Object causes wrap’ options let me set how the image affected the text around it. Experimenting with these provided the positioning and effects I wanted.

The Mac also had a default border option that appeared to be old style photo corners — which was exactly what I wanted for my images. Had I chosen to complete the book in MS Word, I’d have had to figure out a way to get the same effect with clip art over or under-lays. I used other design elements as well, including shadows on images that created a three-dimension look to give the impression that they were in a photo album.


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