I have mapped some of my family's history. So far I have it all in a plain textfile, well ordered for a human reader (I use FM FMF FMFF and so on, and some common abbreviations). But there are some irregularities and the data is not yet in a "machine readable" database format.
I want to go from there to a nice family tree image in Microsoft Visio.
Each person should have his/her own box with some recurring details (name, year born/deceased, age, a miniphoto if available, and some other details). The boxes should be linked by lines that mark parent/child relations. The most recent generation should be at the bottom and each preceding generation should be "stacked" on top so to say. In general, I want the standard family tree looks and contents.
I have two alternative ways to reach that goal:
1. Make the tree manually in Visio: make some basic, standard shapes for the boxes, copy a lot of them onto the drawing board and then copy and paste in data from my notes to each shape and draw relation lines.
2. Convert the data into some database (simple like an excel or calc sheet or perhaps some complex application). And then, somehow, autogenerate the visio family tree from it. The manual work in Visio would only/mostly consist in polishing the looks (more around boxes to make the tree fit better and look better, add some special, one of a kind relations, add colors, and so on)
The tree will all in all include 50-100 individuals. Maybe less if needed to make it more manageable and printable.
My question: does anyone think I should go for alternative 2? If so, do you already have positive experience from working through that automation process (for a family tree or something sufficiently similar) with Visio? Or do you have advice on how to go about doing it? What database format is best to use? I would prefer to just use an excel/calc sheet as database, if that is possible in this case. But is it?
Ok, lot's of sub-questions. But feel to also just let me know your hunch on the main question (do 1 or 2?) without going into details. Any feedback is appreciated
My hunch at the moment is that 1 would take less objective time. But I resent doing this type of thing manually if I have a feeling that it could've been automated so I'm still undecided which is the best alternative all things considered. I have not yet done much searching on Visio guides but will do so later on. But there are so many choices, and possible complications, whenever it comes to databases so I'm thinking that it might be a good thing to throw out some questions early on.