family tree maker by sofarsogood

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									       Software Review
by Bill Mumford, Turner Valley Canada
Family Tree Maker Version 10

       hose who are currently
       Family Tree Maker
       users, but who don’t
bother to upgrade with every
new version, might want to take
a look at version 10. For those
who have been considering
purchasing Family Tree Maker,
the new features in this latest
version might be just what they
have been looking for.
Recommended             system
requirements call for Windows
98, Me or XP, 166 Mhz Pentium
(or better), 32 MB RAM, 2 X CD
–ROM, 125 MB hard drive
space, VGA monitor with 256
colors, and an Internet
connection with a minimum                                          figure 1
28.8 Kbps connection speed.

Data Entry
   Version 10 retains the same
data entry system with which
FTM users have become famil-
iar. For the first time user, a data
entry wizard simplifies the con-
struction of a basic family
group. The family page view
records the dates of the basic
birth, death, burial, marriage
events, and all their locations
[see figure 1]. It also displays
any children with their birth
date and sex. A lowercase s ad-
jacent to a field indicates the
presence of a source. The More                                     figure 2
button provides access to five         added [see figure 2]. The         tive text may be recorded or
more areas where additional            Scrapbook icon opens the scrap-   linked. Two other icons, la-
facts, notes, addresses, lineage,      book entry page where sounds,     beled Spouses, allow the addi-
and medical information can be         images, videos, and descrip-      tion of multiple spouses.
   On the Facts page any num-
ber of additional facts or events
may be added including alter-
nate names. Fields are avail-
able for event name, dates, and
a comment or location. When
a conflicting event is entered, a
check box is used to indicate
the preferred listing. The Ad-
dress fields record the basic ad-
dress information plus a
phone number.

   The individual’s height,
weight, and cause of death, is
recorded in the Medical fields
with a free form text field avail-
able for other medical informa-
tion. The Lineage screen pro-
                                                            figure 3
vides fields for title, an aka
name, reference number, and
for defining the child status.
All Notes are confined to a 32 K
free form text field.

   A master source list is main-
tained permitting one source to
be linked to multiple entries.
When recording a source,
fields are provided for title,
author, publication data, me-
dia, call number, repository,
comments, and source quality
[see figure 3]. Citations are
added when entering an event
or fact. The citation screen has
fields for source title, citation
page and a free form text field
for notations [see figure 4].                               figure 4
There is no quality field for ci-
                               sible to print a blank pedigree    timeline, and a fan chart. The
tations. The citation can be in-
                               chart. Another new feature is a    fan chart wraps the conven-
cluded in the footnotes and is series of ten predesigned tem-     tional ancestor or descendant
displayed, as it will appear inplates that can provide a cus-     chart into a circular form. The
print, at the bottom of the    tom look to all charts [see the    All in One Tree, a frequently re-
screen.                        flag design in figure 5]. Avail-   quested chart, displays every-
                               able charts include, pedigree      one in the database or a se-
Charts and Reports                                                lected group. Chart options
                               charts, descendant charts [see
   Version 10 has added to the figure 6], an indented descen-     include a drag and drop feature
already extensive number of dant chart, a combination ances-      allowing users to move indi-
chart options. It is now pos- tor/descendant        chart,   a    viduals or groups to a more
26                                       NATIONAL GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY—MARCH/APRIL            2003
                                                                  custom report in which they
                                                                  can specify content and report
                                                                  format. The family group sheet
                                                                  has a number of options includ-
                                                                  ing the ability to select the con-
                                                                  tent from all the information
                                                                  available for each person in the
                                                                  group. The reports may now
                                                                  be exported in .pdf, .rtf or .txt
                                                                  formats. This is good news for
                                                                  those creating books and who
                                                                  would like to edit the com-
                                                                  puter-generated text.
                                                                     The Family Book can be ac-
                                                                  cessed from menu choices
                                                                  made in the Publishing Center as
                                                                  well as the View menu. Users
                                                                  can start with a table of contents
                             figure 5
                                                                  and complete it with an index
                                                                  while adding whatever addi-
                                                                  tional reports and charts they
                                                                  desire. Placeholders can also
                                                                  be inserted for imported items.
                                                                  The Scrapbook, which will ac-
                                                                  cept images, video, sound, and
                                                                  text objects, has not changed
                                                                  from version 7 when scanner
                                                                  support was added.            Still
                                                                  present are the Calendar, the
                                                                  Map and Timeline printouts,
                                                                  and the Label maker.

                                                                  Other Features
                                                                      New in version 10 is a date
                                                                   calculator that becomes avail-
                                                                   able with a right mouse click
                             figure 6
                                                                   when the cursor is in a date
desirable position. Background       The available reports in- field. This little gem will calcu-
images can be applied, pictures clude three versions of a Reg- late the third item, given two of
inserted, and text blocks added. ister Report, standard, Modi- the following three bits of data,
The user can also select the in- fied Register Report, and an birth date, event date, and in-
formation to be included and Ahnentafel or ancestor version. terval.
specify the format of the chart, Other reports include a rela-
                                                                      The photo editor has added
the boxes, colors, and fonts. It tionship report, bibliography,
is also possible to edit an alternate facts, addresses, red eye reduction and a color
individual’s data while view- medical facts, marriages, par- saturation control to the previ-
ing a report or chart. New in entage, birthdays of living ous basic editing features.
version 10 is the option to ex- people       and    documented        The Find and Replace feature
port charts in .pdf format.        events. Users can also create a allows the user to specify the

case, whether a whole or partial      Makers .ini file. This latter item   the Genforum message boards.
word is to be located, and the        allows knowledgeable users to        The Family Finder Search is initi-
replacement text. The location        “tweak” the program.                 ated from this menu and can
is indicated as each item is                                               run either an on-line search or
found. Merge will locate, using       Internet                             a CD based search. The online
developer preset conditions,                                               search searches the World Fam-
duplicate individuals, and               The Publishing Center consoli-    ily Tree, various databases
complete a merge. False dupli-        dates all the publishing fea-        held by, and
cates can be marked so they           tures under one menu item.           genealogical Web sites on the
will not reoccur in subsequent        The book option is available         Internet. Results are placed in
searches. Database “errors,”          here as well as from the View        the To-Do list. These results are
such as improbable dates, may         menu item. A Create-a-Home-          grouped according to their re-
also be found using developer         Page wizard guides the user          liability as determined by the
preset conditions.                    through the creation of a home       search engine. Other Internet
                                      page. In the first stage, the wiz-   options selectable from the
   The Research Journal records       ard requires the user select         menu bar include, access to
any To-Do task with options to        those individuals to be in-          your Home Page, a visit to the
date, categorize, and prioritize      cluded, indicate if pictures are     Virtual Cemetery, a collection
the item. A check box indicates       to be included and if living data    of tombstone images, genea-
when the task is completed.           is to be hidden. The wizard          logical articles, the biography
The customizable toolbar              will then log on to the Family       assistant, and research services.
makes it possible for the user to     Tree Maker site and switches         The Family Finder Center also
place most menu items on it,          the display to the user’s            has a number on research aids
including the forward and back        browser. After supplying a title     titled Tips, Tools, and Refer-
arrows, which allow a quick re-       for the home page and intro-         ences.
turn to previously viewed             ductory text, the user enters
pages. Pop-up cue cards iden-         their name, address, phone           Import/Export
tify each icon. The index icon        number, and e-mail address. A
displays everyone in the data-                                               Family Tree Maker provides
                                      choice of a number of possible
base and provides a search fea-                                            the user with several output
                                      background styles is available
ture for locating a specific indi-                                         options when exporting data.
                                      and can be previewed prior to
vidual. Sorting may be done by                                             Care must be taken to use the
                                      selection. It takes about fifteen
aka’s, and women can be sorted                                             PAF selection if exporting to
                                      minutes after the genealogical
by both birth and married                                                  another program. It also uses
                                      data is uploaded to the Web
names.                                                                     extended tags, which, while le-
                                      site before it becomes available
                                                                           gal, are unlikely to be under-
   A spell checker, Soundex cal-      for viewing. During this period
                                                                           stood by the importing pro-
culator, and relationship calcu-      a mailing list form is presented
lator are also available. Family      in which the user can enter the
File Statistics is another new fea-   names and e-mail addresses of           When importing data FTM
ture in version 10. It provides       those to be notified when the        will display a list of GEDCOM
an instant overview of the data-      page is updated. An additional       tags for which it has no fields.
base including such items as          wizard assists in editing an ex-     The user may then choose to
average lifespan, number of           isting page and yet another          create a field or define where
generations etc.                      wizard takes the user through        the information is to be placed.
                                      the process of adding a Tree or      After importing the data, the
   Another interesting little
                                      Report.                              exception list will indicate any
item is System Information. It
provides access to the Windows   The Family Finder Center pro-             problems encountered. The
configuration screens, a DOS   vides links to the Online Data              principal problems I encoun-
shell, Windows Explorer, the Library,, and                   tered related to FTM’s failure to
Control Panel, and Family Tree
28                                              NATIONAL GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY—MARCH/APRIL               2003
recognize the From/To conven-           The ver-
tion when transferring date          sions are available in four con-
                                                                             Report Card
ranges and a loss of data when       figurations and as an upgrade.     The complete Report Cards is
the data exceeded the size of the    The upgrade is $19.99. The ba- available        at       http://
field for it in FTM. A detailed      sic program only is $29.99. The
summary of the GEDCOM                Ultimate Data Kit containing a
function can be found at http://     3-month subscription to the Platform                Win under Test-          Genealogy Library, Interna-                         98/ME/
book Project.                        tional and Passenger Records,                       XP
                                     World Family Tree, and the Date of                  October
Summary                              1900 census is $89.99. The Report                   2002
                                     Researcher’s Kit, with the Scorecard #                  10
   Family Tree Maker, with its       World Family Tree and a 3-
simplicity of use and quality        month subscription to the Ge- Planning tools            4.2
charts is ideal for the novice re-   nealogy Library is $59.99. The
searcher. The data entry is in-      Data Sampler with the 3-month Data Recording            5.5
tuitive and the charts and re-       subscription to the Genealogy
ports will more than meet their      Library is $39.99. The program Analytical tools         5.2
expectations. Getting the fam-       may also be purchased directly
ily online is a cinch. Another       from at the Source                        3.5
plus for the novice is the abun-     Family Tree Maker Web site, documentation
dance of advice and help in be- Reports                 5.9
ginning genealogical research        Phone orders 800-548-1806.
available both in the program                                         Charts                 7.8
and on the Family Tree Maker            Support is available from
Home Page.                           the Web site, Publishing                  5.0
                                     which is also accessible from
Availability and                     the menu bar in the program. Multimedia                 7.6
   Family Tree Maker is widely                                           Internet                 7.1
                                     Bill Mumford is currently a
distributed and can generally        member of the NGS/GENTECH
be found anywhere software is        Division Advisory Council and a     Portability              5.2
                                     former GENTECH Director. He
sold as well as on the Web. The      is also a former Vice Chair of
Broderbund package is avail-                                             Additional               6.0
                                     theAlberta Family Histories
able in three editions, the          Society and a former Chair of the
Collector’s Edition, which in-       AFHS Computer Group. He is          Convenience              5.6
cludes 20 data CDs and is            the developer of the Genealogical   Items
                                     Software Report Card, which         X level **                I
priced at $99.99, the Deluxe Edi-    may be viewed online at http://
tion with 10 data CD’s at $69.99, Bill
and the regular package with 5       can      be       reached      at   TOTAL                   57.13
CD’s retailing for $49.99. All                  Percentage
come with online access to the                                           Code, B beginner
World Family Tree, two                                                        , I intermediate
months with the Collector’s                                                   , A advanced
Edition and one month with the
other two. The online address is

             Mac Review

by Bill Mumford, Turner Valley Canada
Enlightenment…… at last
First Impressions of Genealogical Software for the Mac

      or a number of years now,      Mary for the old machine, gal-      project I had been planning for
      the few Mac users in our       lantly suggesting that I could      several years, that of checking
      local genealogical com-        relieve her of the necessity of     out the genealogical software
puter group have had to cope         her having to carry it home. For    available to Mac users. A
with the taunts and jibes, all       some reason she indignantly         couple of years ago I reviewed
good natured of course, from         rejected my offer of a sandwich     Reunion 6 using my grandson’s
the PC using majority. Two of        and coffee in exchange for it and   old PowerBook running OS 7.1
the former, a Tom C. and a Mary      demanded a steak dinner at          but it could not be upgraded
A., have defended their choice       least. Then, stricken by con-       and died a peaceful death six
of computer well, suggesting,        science, she confessed the OS       months ago. The Performa,
again all in fun, that the rest of   was creating a few problems         while a little long in the tooth,
us were, (a) relatives of Bill       and that the machine was            will run Reunion 8 and all but
Gates, (b) owned shares in IBM       “freezing” periodically. I raised   one of the Mac genealogy pro-
and/or Microsoft, (c) simply         my offer to a large pizza with      grams in which I am interested.
ignorant, or (d) just plain          two toppings. She accepted.
stupid. Since categories a and                                              After a reasonably extensive
b did not apply in my case and         I now know what it is like to     search of the Internet, I found
I hope d does not, I suggested to    own a Mac. As I was taking the      that, as has been the case with
Mary A. that when she                Mac to my car after the show,       PC software, many of the listed
acquired a new machine she           my former friends (?) were          programs are no longer avail-
consider selling me her old one      making comments such as,            able. I did find a few however.
in the faint hope I might learn      “Why do you need another            In addition to Reunion and
the benefits available to the Mac    doorstop?” and other, even          GEDitCOM, the two programs
user.                                more uncomplimentary, re-           of greatest interest to me, I also
                                     marks.                              downloaded          copies      of
   Mary bought a new eMac a                                              MacFamilyTree, Bygones, Gene
few months ago. However, at             Arriving home, I set the ma-     4.3.4, Gedpage, and Genscribe.
our recent seminar she chose to      chine up and began the learn-
bring the old machine, a six-        ing process. A couple of hours         Following is a brief descrip-
year-old Performa 5410 run-          later I called Mary A. to ask       tion of my first impressions of
ning OS 8.6, to demonstrate          where the “On” switch was.          these program. Please bear in
Reunion 8. Tom C. would use          The next day, with the machine      mind that these are all demo
his new iMac in order that they      booted up, and a newly pur-         versions and in some instances
might present a “then and now”       chased copy of The Macintosh        are crippled to varying degrees
type of show thus demonstrat-        Bible at hand, I started looking    preventing a complete evalua-
ing that even an older Mac           for the “freezing” problem.         tion of their features.
could run the latest version of
Reunion. During the setup pe-          Some hours later, with the
riod the night before the show,      machine      now        perking
I made a most generous offer to      smoothly, I was able start on the

 30                                           NATIONAL GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY—MARCH/APRIL               2003
Reunion 8
   This program, developed by
Leister Productions, is certainly
the most full featured of the
genealogical software available
for the Mac, and will hold its
own with the better PC pro-
grams. Family information is
presented        in    a      user
configurable family card for-
mat [see figure 1]. Reunion sup-
ports unlimited events, has all
the required fields for source
documentation, records multi-
media items, and allows the
user to record copious notes.
The wide selection of charts pro-                        figure 1: Reunion Family Card
vides numerous options in-
cluding such items as setting
the origin, adding images,
specification of colors, and
many others, some of which are
new in version 8. It offers all the
popular reports, many of which
may be output to a word proces-
sor for final editing. A number
of these reports can also be out-
put in HTML format for inclu-
sion on a Web page. In addition
to the reports, the Web page can
also support multimedia and
may include a family card ver-
sion of the information. Further
details can be found at http:// Watch for a
full review of this program in a
future NewsMagazine.                                    figure 2: GEDitCOM Data Screen

GEDitCOM 3.11                         another GEDCOM utility pro-         GEDCOM 5.5 specifications and
                                      gram, but the developer’s Web  second, that the user should
  I became interested in this         site seemed to indicate it was have full control over all as-
program when I was working            something more than that. It   pects of data recording and re-
on     the   NGS    GENTECH                                          porting. The first goal is real-
                                      was the first program I installed
GEDCOM Testbook Project.              on the Performa [see figure 2].ized by the use of GEDCOM as
When the developer offered to                                        the internal standard. The user
test the Testbook control file, I       The author of the program simply identifies the GEDCOM
assumed GEDitCOM was just             has two primary goals. First, file to be loaded and the pro-
                                      the program should support the gram loads it into memory for
interpretation. Any informa-
tion that is not coded to the
GEDCOM specification is dis-
played in the note field of the
person concerned.

   The second goal is achieved
by giving the user the tools to
literally design a personal in-
terface. This is accomplished
with the use of templates. The
program is supplied with a
number of these templates pro-
viding most of the features the
average user will want. These
include several types of trees,
various reports including a
book type, linkages to exhibits,
and access to online resources.                        figure 3: Gene 4.3.4 Person Card
If the user is prepared to learn
                                     sections; the data fields for the   ents of an individual. Trees can
a little programming, it is pos-
                                     card, a links field for related     be output as PICT or JPEG
sible, using the built in
                                     cards, and a text pane for notes    files, in HP plotter format or
GENerel language, to construct
                                     and other information for which     sent to a printer. They may also
a personal interface, report gen-
                                     no card has been created. This      be saved as picture cards
erator, and even modify
                                     latter field, when a GEDCOM         within the program.
GEDitCOM to handle new ver-
                                     file has been imported, will dis-
sions of GEDCOM or those
                                     play any of the GEDCOM text           The program produces nine
pesky user-defined tags fa-
                                     that could not be interpreted by    different reports. All may be
vored by some developers.
                                     the program. This information       output in RTF format for a word
   Even if you are satisfied with    may then be edited and entered      processor, in HTML for Web
your current program, if you         as required. The Picture card       usage, viewed on the screen, or
are exchanging or download-          will store images either inter-     printed out. Ancestor Families
ing a number of GEDCOM               nally or externally and will ac-    and Descendant Families re-
files, this program is a must.       cept either a PICT or JPEG file.    ports are very similar, both re-
GEDitCOM 3.11 is available at        The user can also places “but-      sembling a register report but in              tons” on an image that will link    opposite directions. The Ances-
                                     other cards, e.g. each person in    tors report is basically an
Gene 4.3.4                           a group picture can be linked       Ahnentafel, while the Descen-
                                     to their respective person card.    dants report is an indented de-
   This program is a shareware                                           scendant list. Other reports in-
program developed by Diana              The tree charts are, by today’s  clude a Family Group Sheet, an
and David Eppstein. It uses a        standards, rather plain with few    Individual report, and a File
series of linked cards in 12 cat-    options other than the number       Summary that lists the cards in
egories. They are Person, Name       of generations, font type, and      the database. A Whole Database
Change, Adoption, Event,             size, and some content control.     report lists all cards with their
Death, Marriage, Divorce, Fam-       However, the program can pro-       contents.
ily Event, Document, Citation,       duce pedigree charts, descen-
Picture, and Place [see figure 3].   dant charts, relationship charts,  This is an easy program to
Each card is composed of three       and a “bow tie” chart that dis- use and provides the basic re-
                                     plays the families of both par- quirements for genealogical re-
32                                            NATIONAL GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY—MARCH/APRIL              2003
search. With a registration fee
of only $15, this program is an
excellent value. Check it out at

   This German developed pro-
gram is available in eight lan-
guages and uses GEDCOM as
its native file format. It uses a
family card to enter the male
and female partners with their
birth, death, and baptism dates
and locations [see figure 4]. The
type of relationship between
the partners with date and loca-
tion as well as a note can also
                                                 figure 4: MacFamily Tree Family Card
be added. Children appear with
their gender and birth dates in     This program is obviously in     program the user can create re-
another box. An icon provides    the early stages of develop-        search “to do” lists, record the
access to a large note field and ment. There are no provisions       actual research data (including
a second icon indicates if a pic-for adding events and their         US census using supplied
ture is linked. A second screen  sources nor are there any re-       forms), and manage genealogy
provides fields for some at-     ports. The GEDCOM import            projects. By having easy access
tributes as well as an address   works well for the basic infor-     to this information it becomes
for both persons. A list of all  mation contained on the main        much easier to review the infor-
persons in the database is pro-  card but does not recognize any     mation for incorporation into a
vided for navigational pur-      of the information that could be    lineage–linked database, ana-
poses.                           imported to the Info card. See      lyze the data to determine va-
                        for more     lidity, and to plan future re-
   Images, video clips and information.                              search. Other options included
scanned documents can be                                             in Genscribe are the ability to
added. The Heritage Chart is a Genscribe                             track research expenses, track
basic pedigree chart that can                                        correspondence, track un-
also be used for navigation.        One of the features lacking in   indexed references, and the
The Descendant Chart is actu- many genealogical programs is          ability to assign file numbers to
ally a series of columns show- the facility to adequately plan       assist in the location of a locally
ing the descendants with each and document your research.            filed hard copy. Genscribe is a
generation having its own col- Many programs provide a “to-          shareware program. Registra-
umn. The program produces a do” list that addresses a part of        tion is $12. Full details are lo-
genogram that can display the problem but which are next             cated at
medical conditions. The statis- to useless for detailed planning.    psherman/genscribe.html.
tics chart shows the age spread Source documentation is also
for both female and male mem- generally less than adequate             The programs described on
bers of the database. The last providing only for recording          the next page are available for
item is a regular timeline. All the       basic      information.    both Mac and Windows.
charts and cards can be saved in Genscribe is designed to rem-
HTML format.                     edy this situation. Using the

Programs Available for
 Mac and Windows or
   Other Platforms
   This freeware program is de-
signed to meet the same needs
as Genscribe. It is available for
both MAC 8.1 or better and
Windows. Like Genscribe it is
designed to replace paper note
keeping and store the informa-
tion in a searchable, and there-
fore more usable, form. To do
this it uses a series of databases,
each having a specific function.
The program does require the
user have a filing system for re-                     figure 5: Gedpage Family Group Sheet
search documents in place but         Geneweb
the choice of the system is left                                           minuscule hard drive, it can
to the user. For more                    This multilingual program         still do useful work. In our
information, visit the Bygones        from France is available in          office, we have, among a
Web        site     located     at:   Linux, Windows, and Mac OS           number of PCs, a Pentium       X formats. It is accessed using      133. This machine is compa-
                                      your Web browser. Like many          rable to the Performa 5400 not
Gedpage                               of the newer programs it re-         only in age, but also in RAM,
                                      quires considerably more de-         hard drive size, and speed. It
   This is a GEDCOM to HTML           velopment before it could be         is loaded with Windows 95
converter that is available in        considered competitive Check         and MSOffice 2000. While it
both Mac and PC versions. The         it out at   seems to take forever to boot
output takes the form of Family       ~ddr/GeneWeb/                        up it still performs its pri-
Group sheets [see figure 5].                                               mary functions very well.
Options are available to in-          Last Words                           The same might be said of the
clude photos, a simple pedi-                                               Mac I now have on my desk.
gree chart with links, notes, and       I can almost hear the com-         The programs I have de-
sources. The user can also se-        ment now, “A Performa! That          scribed above run very nicely
lect the various colors used, add     thing has been obsolete for          on OS 8.6, as does MS Word
links to a personal home page,        years.” That’s very true but it      98. Only the 10T NIC is obvi-
and modify the headers and            wasn’t all that many years ago       ously slower than what I’m
footers. A GENDEX file is cre-        that the above-mentioned Tom         used to but it is still much
ated allowing the information         C. and I were discussing the lat-    faster than a 56K modem. For
to be accessed from Stark’s           est Mac PowerPC and compar-          many genealogists the cost of
GENDEX site. Registration is          ing it with the latest Wintel of-    new equipment and software
$10. Visit the Gedpage Web            fering. As Tom described its         is prohibitive. These older
site at   capabilities, I turned green with    machines and shareware or
~rjacob/gedpage.htm for more in-      envy. He was describing his          free software could be the an-
formation.                            new Performa. Although this          swer to allowing them to ben-
                                      machine is now over six years        efit from the use of a com-
                                      old, short on RAM and with a         puter in their research.

34                                             NATIONAL GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY—MARCH/APRIL             2003

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