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Customizing Fact Sentences for Reports in FTM 2017 for Windows

When you create an Ahnentafel report, descendant report, or Smart Story, Family Tree Maker generates descriptive sentences for each fact or event. You can change the wording of these sentences and also choose what data is included in the sentence.

For example, the default sentence for the Burial fact looks like this:

John Doe was buried on 1 Sept 1888 in Attleborough, England.

If you record cemetery names in the Description field, you could add this text to the sentence so it will look like this instead:

John Doe was buried in the All Saint’s Cemetery in Attleborough, England, on 1 Sept 1888.

How to Customize Fact Sentences

  1. Click on the Edit menu.


  2. Select Manage Facts. The Manage Facts window will open.


  3. To create a new custom fact, click New… This opens the Add Custom Fact window.
    • Fact label – enter the full name of the fact you’re creating here. Family Tree Maker will automatically fill out the short label and abbreviation based on the full label, but you can modify these as you wish. This is what will appear in your report when you have selected the option to include fact labels (accessed through Items to Include>Fact Options>Include Fact Label).
    • Fact type – select whether the new fact will be individual or shared with a spouse.
  4. To customize an existing fact, select it from the list and click Properties. The Fact Properties window will open. From here, you have many customization options.


    • Fact Elements – three preset options for portions of fact data that will be displayed in fact sentences.
    • Insert Fact Data – a list of the different types of data you can display in your sentence. To reset the sentence to default, select the last option in this menu, Reset Fact Sentence.
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    • Fact Sentence – shows the combination of predefined fact variables and the words between them. You can modify the text that appears between bits of fact data by typing in this field. If you wish to remove fact data elements, you can delete them from this field.
    • Example – a field where you can preview how your customized fact sentence will appear in your reports. If you are curious how the sentence will appear in cases where a fact is missing data elements that you have elected to include (for example, if some of your birth facts have a date but not a place), deselect the appropriate checkboxes above the Example field to preview how those fact sentences will appear.
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