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The Hotten family tree - Excel Spreadsheet

Basic version - 3MB

The HTML chart has become too big for Internet Explorer to load reliably on older PCs leading to complaints from more than one would-be viewer and an alternative has been sought for some while. A solution has been proposed by Paul Lamont, a contemporary ex-pupil of my old school, Farnborough Grammar. He has developed his idea into two Excel files which provide several advantages over the original HTML and unlike the pdf version they will not get out of date. They are larger than the HTML version (3MB & 6MB) but provide the optional advantage of downloading only once and viewing when required. The files are optimized for Excel 2000 and forego some of the facilities available in later versions. Paul gives an explanation of how they work…

“Why use an Excel file? It may seem strange to see a family tree in the columns and rows of a Spreadsheet usually associated with financial statistics but this allows further enhancements and analysis of the tree, without forgetting the people. The ‘columns’ become generations and the ‘rows’ well if you could take a group photo they would be in rows! All names remain clickable and link directly to the same information on the web site. It has been feasible within Excel to format as similar a view to the HTML as technically possible. Web Browsers have a ‘Find’ function (Ctrl+F) but they just go from the first instance to the next sequentially. Excel also has a similar basic ‘Find’ function (Ctrl+F) again going from the first instance to the next. Excel 2007 and 2010 are enhanced having ‘Find All’ with cell location. The Hotten family PDF files are over 300 pages and the PDF search facility is superior to the browsers’, however the amount of scrolling required is extensive.

Basic version - 3MB
This is just the chart of the tree run as a web query from http://www.hotten.net/open/pages_large/families/hotten/tree/chart.htm. Links have been added back to relevant pages in the HTML including this page. The addition of light green “Return Rails to the top of the tree” can be found either side of the chart. To find a name in the tree; the Excel facility of Find (Ctrl+F) has to be used.

Enhanced name location version - 6MB
As Basic version using Conditional Formatting to allow adjacent indication of the name in the tree, e.g. all Hottens can be all indicated at once and seen by reduced Zoom and/or scrolling up/down, left/right. Enhanced name location is further achieved with a ‘condensed tree’ (bonsai?) allowing an overall view within a computer screen without scrolling and just a click or two to the required part of the tree. The Excel facility of Find (Ctrl+F) can also still be used if preferred. A ‘Notepad’ has been added for users’ convenience. For “Excelpert” another copy could allow their own tree information additions; e.g. if only part of the tree is required, the required selection of the tree would maintain the links and updateability.

Depending on the Excel version, when the Spreadsheet is opened it may ask if you want to Enable or Disable Automatic Refresh. Disabling it will display the previously downloaded Spreadsheet while Enabling it will ensure an up to date chart. (Tested only on Excel 2003). Remember to Save your updated copy on exit. It is possible to monitor significant changes to the chart by looking at the number at the top of the Contributors page although number changes may not reflect all rearrangements. The Spreadsheet automatically monitors the number of links within it and compares with the number of links within the HTML. If there is a discrepancy a red warning square appears. The number on the Contributors page takes precedence until the red square disappears.

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