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A few ideas for improvement

A few ideas for improvement

Posted: 28 Nov 2013 7:23AM GMT
Classification: Query
I have written hundreds of online stories on Ancestry.com which do not sync into my FTM. The only way to access these stories while in FTM is to be online and click on filename and location at the bottom of the right hand panel of the Media Section of FTM. A new tab then opens in my browser and there is my story. This is very inconvenient if I cannot be online. It was suggested by Ancestry to make a word document instead and upload to Ancestry.com. This is ok as it opens up on my computer and I don’t have to be online, but it still is not integrated in FTM. In other words I would like to click on someone in FTM and see all the info about them in front of me without having to look elsewhere. I also like the idea that others can see the story immediately on Ancestry without downloading a document. I could put the story under “notes” and it will show in FTM but then this is not shared with others on Ancestry as notes are private. Notes also do not show in Smart Story on FTM, so if I want to include the story in a Smart Story I have to go in and out of Smart Story to copy and paste.
Also I have uploaded hundreds of headstone photos to Ancestry and diligently clicked on “headstone details” and typed in required info. This also does not show in FTM. In future I will be entering cemetery details under “description” only which will then show in FTM.
Ancestry say that the headstone description and stories are for online users only. That is ok but they should say this before someone enters the info. If someone has FTM they would then not waste their time with it.
Last but not least, I upload hundreds of photos of newspaper clippings. Some of these I will transcribe through Ancestry. After uploading the photo I click on “Document or Certificate” and enter the transcription (some are very lengthy!). Again, this transcription does not show in FTM and you have to be online to see it. Ancestry suggested to upload the photo and also a word doc. of the transcription. 2 separate items. Need I say this produces the same problem as above with stories.
When I use a software programme I like to use ALL of it. I spent a lot of my working life collaborating with software developers to make their software “user friendly” for use in our office (and others) with wonderful achievements on both sides. I hope Ancestry read this message and take a few ideas on board for future (urgent) development. :)

Re: A few ideas for improvement

Posted: 28 Nov 2013 5:01PM GMT
Classification: Query
Hi Holly,

This is probably something you've thought about and rejected, but here goes.

Why not develop the stories, photos, newspapers, etc in Family Tree Maker, rather than Ancestry, and have that as your primary source?

I have a lot of newspaper clippings in my FTM file. The image of the article and the transcription are all in the citation and can be viewed both in FTM and Ancestry. I don't have to be online to see it.

Just a thought.

Rosemary

Re: A few ideas for improvement

Posted: 28 Nov 2013 10:42PM GMT
Classification: Query
Hi Rosemary
Thank you for that advice. I haven't used citations much so didn't even think to look there. It is still not the most user friendly way of going about it, but it works. :) I would still like to see an improvement though.
I initially used FTM to enter info but had a problem with it and lost a lot of work and I know of others who have had this happen to them. I thought if I used Ancestry at least I would overcome that and it has worked well for me so far in that respect. It's easy to download a tree again to FTM if anything happens but very difficult to regain if something happens to FTM or the PC.

Re: A few ideas for improvement

Posted: 29 Nov 2013 1:06AM GMT
Classification: Query
Hi Holly,

In fact, the reverse is true. It is far easier to recover your Family Tree Maker files assuming you have a backup procedure in place than it ever would be to replace your Ancestry tree if Ancestry had a major service failure.

I use an online service to back up all my PC data. This is done automatically - there are a number of them that are good.

If you find you have to give up your subscription to Ancestry you will lose the images from their databases that are linked into your tree. You will still have your tree, and still have access, but you will no longer be able to look at all the images, just the free ones.

This is another reason for downloading the images to local storage, either within FTM or outside it. Come the day you have to drop your subscription you will still have the images stored locally.

Additionally, FTM has more features than Ancestry and probably always will (at least for the foreseeable future).

So, start thinking of FTM as your primary means of storing your data. Set up a good backup plan for your data (all of it). When you are finished with FTM for the day, Compact the file (found under tools) and create a full backup making sure that you include the sync controls in the backup file. Compacting your file before syncing is always the best way to go. NEVER let Sync occur automatically, set it to manual where you have control of the process and always, always review the log of changes before letting it continue.

With these little things in place doing a restore from an old version is relatively trouble free.

Rosemary
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