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Family Tree Maker 2013 Wishlist

Replies: 37

Re: Family Tree Maker 2013 Wishlist

Posted: 13 Oct 2011 8:31AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 27 Oct 2011 8:53AM GMT
Hi, I'd like to add my own thoughts here as well. I'm glad to see as I fully understand the value of customer input. It's both a valuable resource for selling into the existing customer base, but also moving people from competitor's software. Please keep in mind, my requests come from the casual user and not professional genealogist, so what "we" might be looking might not be the "standard". For example, I like to use the tool visually. I know many people like to use it to create their stories or documents. I like to use it to navigate and use the tool / website as my "document".

1. It's been said, but a 64bit version. I personally haven't hit a memory limitation yet, but I am well aware of the issues that can occur running 32bit application in a 64bit OS. Also there are several memory leaks after working with the tool over prolonged sessions where specifically Fact, Media and Citation Entry become slow or "lagging". I must completely restart the application to regain the performance. Looks like handlers / objects not being released to me.

2. Ancestry.com website syle Family View and similar to the Extended Family Output. The Family View in FTM 2012 lacks the visual capabilities of the website's Family View which is invaluable for understanding the often complex relationships of people through the generations. I find today that I sometimes have to go between FTM and the website to understand these. Not being able to easily see decendants is very frustrating. I actually assumed that the FTM 2012 would have had this, and influenced my purchase. This is the single biggest let down for me.

3. See #2. On top of this, enable an infinite view of the people in the tree. On the website there are "dead" ends where you have to show someone else's family tree, and then all of the people from another ancestor are hidden. I would think a simple expand / collapse node would be great. Let me see how much I want to see on my tree. I'm fine with having to pan and zoom to see all of the people, so long as I have control over how much to show / hide. I'm quite interested in seeing as much as possible. I'd like even more, being able to drag the nodes / people where I want, and have the connection lines between people sort themselved out. This should then be usable in a print format, so that I can print what I want, where I want. Similar to the Extended Family Output, but in the UI graphically.

4. Citation explanation. For new genealogist understanding source citation has been the most complicated aspect of documenting my family tree. Everyone is told to buy Evidence Explained. Why not offer in the premium version or another version of the software documentation on the source citation templates from this book. Offer explinations of the fields and examples of all of the different QuickView templates. You could work out a royalty with the author of the book for each "Premium" version. I'd be willing to pay for it, to have more explination of the template type.

5. Google Maps instead of Bing, or a choice of map tool. I personally have never been a fan of Bing, and I have had nothing but issues getting it to resolve exact locations. I end up always having to re-position the push pin anyway, as it always gets addresses wrong. I've posted before issues of the push pin being anywhere from a couple of blocks off, to the otherside of a state. Google, also offers significant advantages to the curious with street view, users can zoom in and actually see the location from the street. It also offers the "What is here" option. A feature I have been using to get exact addresses of locations that I know where they are, but don't know the street address. This has been pretty valuable for finding the address of a cemetery and adding that to the burial information.

6. More defined fields for Fact information. Today it's pretty vague what actually goes into each field, and how to format it. I understand that a lot of this is driven by the GedCOM format, but for someone unfamiliar with this standard and not a professional genealogist, it's something that gets in my way, and leaves me questioning what exactly is needed. For location for instance, if I don't generalize my information to City, County, State, Country, the tool doesn't resolve the location. It might be usefull to have seperate fields for street address, city, county, city, zip, country, etc. Let the users enter the information like they would on any form on the internet, then solve the gedcom information behind the scenes for us. I understand that it's standard practice to document the city, county, state, country. But I would also like to reccord known address in the same fact, not two seperate facts. And know, Description is not an intuitive place to put this, to me descrption should be information such as Home, Apartment, Cemeterty, etc. Again, this is more for ametures like myself who find confusion in what these fields are based on GedCom. Don't make us learn GedCOM, let us enter the information in a logical fashion.

6. Place Items. I would like to create a "Place" and be able to assign media to it, just as I would a Fact for a person. Then be able to link to this "Place Item" from Facts as Residences, Addresses, Employment, etc. Entering the same information over and over and over and over for the same address gets beyond repetitive. This should work in the Places Workspace as well, hence be able to view facts and people associated with the Place. Currently each Place in the Places Workspace does this, but doesn't allow me to assign media to it. I also cannot generate a fact based on a place, but have to create a fact and then reference the place. Something similar could be shared facts for an entire family. For instance an entire family immigrates to a country or moves to a new residence location. You have to document the immigration for each member of the family one at a time. This might be easier with item #2 for easier navigation, but the current navigation methods are painfully awkward.

7. A search tool for specific fact criteria, specifically I want to be able to search for all facts missing citations or all facts of a specific type, or all facts using a similar description.


8. A way to document the order in which events happened not based on year. Some facts don't have a year as the inforamtion may not be known, but order in which the events took place might be known based on other documents, books, etc. I enter this information, FTM sorts facts without years alphabetically. You should be able to drag and drop the order of the events on the People Workspace / Person window to show the correct order, because without having year information, the information of the order of events can be lost. One of your bloggers suggests creating Word Documents to record this, but then why use FTM instead of just using the web service? Also, using before, after, about and between don't do a very good job of sorting either, this is my second biggest complaint of the software. This could be done with an event index, but dragging and dropping would be much easier.

9. Fact Start and End Dates. This is probably a GEDCOM issue, but I am having trouble documenting the different between something that happened from XXXX date to YYYY date, as opposed to something that happened sometime between XXXX date and YYYY date. Both default to Between. There's a difference. For example a known residency could be precise, where someone's military service in the war of 1812 could have taken place any time between 1812 and Dec 1814. I might not know their exact dates of service, but I do know that if they participated in the War of 1812 it happened sometime in this timeline. And this goes to No. 8 above, in capturing a true "timeline" of information.

10. Facts about the relationship between people. Again, most likely a lack of knowledge of professional genealogy or gedcom, but going through this exercise of citing sources, I feel that I should be documenting the link between parent and child. The link itself, how do I know someone is the child or parent of someone else. Today, I am doing this by adding the citation to the name fields, but I feel like I should be citing a fact that refers to the "link" between them.

11. Another pro gen / gedcom issue probably, but I don't know how to show on the person sheet that someone got re-married after the death of another person without looking at all of the facts of both people and comparing the dates. I feel that there should be a way when looking at one person to realize they did in fact re-marry after the death of another person. Maybe somehow show the death of a spouse in their person sheet, but "gray it out" or change it's color or tag it to the person it's related to, just so it's known. This is vital when I sit down and want to recount this information with someone else using the software, and not creating a story for each person. Again, as mentioned before, part of using this tool is using it as the "living document" itself.
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
septimus_scho... 13 Oct 2011 1:29AM GMT 
Jeremy Regner... 13 Oct 2011 2:31PM GMT 
tony_knight 13 Oct 2011 3:26PM GMT 
andyofne1 13 Oct 2011 5:46PM GMT 
KATHYMARIEANN 18 Dec 2011 3:44PM GMT 
JamesUsmar 21 Nov 2012 8:18PM GMT 
septimus_scho... 21 Nov 2012 10:41PM GMT 
Jeremy Regner... 13 Oct 2011 3:41PM GMT 
browndeerfram... 14 Dec 2011 4:34AM GMT 
silverfox3280 14 Dec 2011 5:13AM GMT 
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