How To: Customize Your Tree Display

Posted April 8, 2011 by Geni | 9 Comments

Geni offers the best family tree experience anywhere. Part of what makes it so great is it’s customizability. Here’s a simple walkthrough on how to make your tree display the way that works for you:

By default, Geni displays your tree in a vertical view that allows complex relationships like aunts, uncles, and cousins to be displayed. By pressing the button illustrated above, you can switch the display to show a simplified five generation horizontal representation of the tree.

Here is an example of a horizontal display.

Back in the default view, you can customize the display farther by going into the Preferences tab.

Under the "Generations to Display" column, you can change the number of generations up and down to display. Also, you can toggle on and off displaying only direct ancestors. Under "Tree Layout," you can alter how the nodes display on the tree. "Layout Options" allows you to toggle on many options like "Mark deceased" and "Center Single Parents."


  • Bergsmit

    okay this is half the way, only for ancestors; Geni should also give the possibility to show the descendants this way !

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for your input.

  • Bergsmit

    If you want to see an example how this works in 2 ways, 1 to ancestors and 1 to descendants look then at a profile at and you see an excellent example

  • Shirley York Anderson

    Is there a way to keep Geni from changing date formats from the way I entered them.u00a0 The generally accepted format is DD MMM YYYY with month abbreviated as in 6 Jun 2012.u00a0 I entered my dates that way but Geni changed them to MM/DD/YYYY (all numberical) which is unacceptable since Europeans would readu00a0 that format as DD/MM/YYYY.u00a0 And I can’t trust the accuracy of dates for any day less than 13.

    • Anonymous

      It is dynamic. You decide how it is displayed. nn

  • Yechezkel Berlin

    Finding a lot less time than I had in the past to work on my family tree, I thought that getting a smartphone and a tablet would allow me to work on my family tree away from home or the office. However, I was most disappointed that these items do not support flash player and I find the Non-flash Family tree very complicated to work with And my browser keeps crashing.
    Why not add a button to the profile under view family tree and Contact Profile manager which would say add relative and pressing on it would lead you to choose sibling, child, partner, or parents etc.? This way the tree can be built without actually having to view it with Or without a flash player.

    • geniblog

      Hi, you can add relatives from a person’s profile page. First go to your relative’s profile page and in the Immediate Family module, you will see a link that says “Add Family.” You can enter siblings, child, partner, parents etc. here without needing to view the tree.

      • Yechezkel Berlin

        Just tried it and it’s great. Thanks alot, my family tree building will now be much easier.