A Brief Review On Family Tree Maker 2017
As we all know, Family Tree Maker 2019 and 2017 are the most current versions of the family trees maker program. Family Tree Maker 2017 (FTM 2017) was released on July 16, 2017. The last 19 years from the time Ancestry.com revealed that Family Tree Maker’s end of service in December 2015 had been an uphill battle for the well-known genealogy software.
On January 1, 2017, the support for FTM and its connection with Ancestry was to end. This article will give FTM 2017 family tree reviews to help you gain the complete picture.
However, The Mac software’s developer, Software MacKiev, stated in February of 2016 that they had bought FTM through Ancestry and would continue to develop both Mac and Windows versions. In the meantime, they offer free updates.
Customers using Family Tree Maker 2 and 3 for Mac as well as FTM 2012 as well as 2014 on Windows will be denied accessibility to Ancestry.
They’d need to pay the cost to update Family Tree Maker 2017 if they desired such connectivity. Pay-per-upgrades for software are the norm within the field. Therefore, they’re expected, but they usually contain actual improvements and new features. FamilySync is a replacement for TreeSync, which was a primary function, and it could be a significant enhancement. FTM has three brand new parts.
However, some of its functions seem to be a bit dated, and the interface for users hasn’t been updated for several years.
Oppositions regarding the balance between upgrades and downgrades might differ, but this article provides my thoughts. I’ve already analyzed how well FTM manages GEDCOM, So I’ll discuss changes from that point on.
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New Features Of Family Tree Maker 2017
FTM’s core functions haven’t changed, and its user interface design (UI) hasn’t been altered significantly between versions 1 and 2010 concerning Mac and Windows. In a certain way, this can be a good thing as there’s nothing new to master; however, there are some negatives (more down). MacKiev has four significant improvements that I’ll discuss in order:
- Integration with FamilySearch
- Colour code using
- Photographic Darkroom
The integration of FamilySearch, one of the most well-known genealogical record services, would be advantageous when it functions as it is integrated into conjunction with Ancestry. Using the clipping tool on the web in earlier versions of FTM, you can combine information from FamilySearch and other sites, but merging and searching using FamilySearch is similar. However, it is not the same Ancestry.
The Source Citations of FamilySearch contain a few issues: The source citation is highly extended.
- The actual citation differs, and while it’s not too long, it’s not the most commonly used format.
- Instead of one citation for each FamilySearch record, several references are added to FamilySearch and one for every source on FamilySearch.
The citation must only be one formatted source to create a FamilySearch entry. Below is an example was taken in Elizabeth Shown Mills’ Evidence explained:
The citations from FamilySearch shouldn’t be added, or the whole URL should be entered into the Web Address box, not in the Citation Detail.
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I’ve not seen any convincing argument about why Ancestry decided to take over with TreeSync. RootsMagic is announcing that their Ancestry Connection will become available in April 2017 as a no-cost upgrade for their VersionVersion of the software, RootsMagic 7 (launched in June).
This is a new feature for RootsMagic, unlike FTM, which provided an upgrade fee for the replacement function. RootsMagic is, just like FTM, had to wait when it came to releasing the update; however, it came out two months behind instead of two and two and a half.
Many versions of FTM can be synced to one Ancestry tree via FamilySync. In contrast, TreeSync could only sync one FTM tree to an Ancestry tree. FamilySync seems to be faster than TreeSync, according to my experience. FamilySync performs the initial steps of the sync while in the background before closing the sync window and then completes the sync while in the environment to continue working.
Another possibility is the brand new Sync Weather Report. It could prove beneficial if it’s kept current. Otherwise, going through it each time a user syncs their tree could be inconvenient.
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FTM Vs RootsMagic
FamilySync is a TreeSync replacement with some minor improvements. It’s interesting to see how it compares FamilySync with RootsMagic’s Ancestry API implementation. RootsMagic has posted a video showing how their Ancestry integration appears and functions. You can test it out with the current VersionVersion of their software, which includes the no-cost RootsMagic Essentials edition.
While the FTM’s FamilySync and the RootsMagic TreeShare operate similarly, TreeShare provides more precise control over the changes. In the first place, instead of a simple changelog with only text, RootsMagic offers a lovely colored visual representation of the modifications. Additionally, users can accept or deny individual changes instead of getting the changes within the batch. In RootsMagic, such a case, users can modify the date of birth and erase an event of death; however, instead of accepting or denying both, they can receive the birth modification and then reject the death date change while assessing the changes.
But, I think that FTM is a bit better in terms of Ancestry Hints, which are new in the RootsMagic Web Hints feature because RootsMagic doesn’t have an inbuilt web browser that allows you to check the actual records; however, FTM has. In FTM, you can look up the clue and the image, should there be one present within the Web Search workspace; however, in RootsMagic, you have to click the hint within your browser to view it.
Colour Coding is a brand new feature of The Family Tree Maker 2017, which lets you provide a person and their ancestors with four distinct colors. A list of filters can also be built by using this feature. The colors are displayed in both Tree or Index views. For quite a while, other programs have also had similar functions. Reunion, for instance, allows you to mark individuals to be included in your search results. The Colour-code is identical to Legacy Family Tree 9 (they didn’t trademark the word “Color Coding”). Colour coding is beneficial, especially for filtering listings.
When I visited FTM, I could not use one of Reunion’s features, marking. Though the two features can be used in conjunction, the ability to save the filtered lists available within family Tree Maker 2017 may be more beneficial than Color Coding. For example, suppose I would like to create a filtered list of everyone within my family tree that died between New York between 1659 and 1999 to allow me to look them up on Ancestry and other genealogy websites. In that case, I can save the list that I have filtered to avoid building it all over again when I next open the program—family Tree Maker 2017. I didn’t have any issues with the color code because it was an excellent experience.
Photo Darkroom Darkroom is a brand new tool available in Family Tree Maker 2017 that allows you to darken faded photos in black and white. A new button within the media workspace is devoted to this function. Light, moderate, and intensive repair options are accessible according to your original image’s faded. Before saving the changes, you can check the before and after pictures.
Saturation, Brightness and Contrast, and Sharpness each have their settings in Advanced Settings. When I took a faded photo, I could see that the tool had a noticeable but still noticeable impact.
My only complaint would be that it is hard to locate the Help feature of the tool. There weren’t any results when I tried searching for “photo darkroom” and “faded photo.” However, I did find both of these search terms within the Companion Guide, and once I knew where to look, I was able to find them in the Help file.
It’s like MacKiev altered their mind regarding how to name the program. Since it’s called”Photo Darkroom” and “Photo Darkroom” and “Faded Photo Repair Tool,” however they’re both doing the same function.
Family Tree Maker 2017 Other Improvements
Beyond that, developers make a few more modifications to FTM. The most significant change is that both the Mac and Windows versions are now using the identical codebase. The functionality of both versions is similar, and if a programmer has to modify their code that is not required, they only have to make it only once, rather than twice. The only difference between these two platforms, so it is known to me, is that the Windows version can support publishing and charting plugins; in contrast, the Mac version doesn’t.
FTM’s approach to GEDCOM has also seen significant changes. MacKiev, the president Jack Minsky previously stated that FTM would have to be GEDCOM 5.5.1 as possible. These are the changes made in Family Tree Maker 2017 which are headed towards this goal:
- By default, the UTF-8 encoder is used. Incorrect characters are eliminated.
- Lat/long Coordinates import and export
- Concatenation tags are successfully exported
- Tag importation “RESN privacy” as private information
- The ANSEL character is correctly set
- Importing and shipping child orders according to the appropriate
Concerning GEDCOM 5.5.1 conformity, FTM 2017 isn’t perfect, but it’s still a work in progress; however, it’s making progress. A majority of other developers don’t try to improve their compliance.
A last-minute update that the developer has added an option to FTM 2017. It’s the “FTM Co-Pilot Program, and it was born out of the firm’s Test Drive program. According to the announcement email by Jack Minsky, this feature is set to follow up with the user within two weeks of use. The feature will “run an optional diagnostic test to validate that everything has gone as planned.” In addition, it is believed that those who test first will get priority access to MacKiev’s 24 hours a day Live Chat.
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Areas for Improvement
The advancements made in the FTM of 2017 will be the infamous “two leaps forward,” however, in certain areas, it stagnated or even regressed, starting with the UI that hasn’t changed significantly since the versions of 2010. It’s beginning to look aged and worn. I’m not advocating change to improve the user experience, but the app’s usability and accessibility can be improved for users with disabilities and power users. Since I’m not an expert in this area, I can develop two ways that could be improved.
- Make it more apparent that UI elements differ to make them easier to differentiate. For instance, the Filter buttons, as an instance, are virtually unnoticeable in their surroundings.
- Use your Web Search workspace as if it were a Web browser. I’ve never tried a web browser that doesn’t include the basic keyboard shortcuts for navigation:
While they’re at it, MacKiev could make FTM a desperately needed overhaul.
Many of the UI modifications created by MacKiev are irritating to me. One of them replaces simple icons that indicate material associated with sources with thumbnails, which is not much improvement.
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It can detract from the UI’s sleek and tidy appearance. In addition, the thumbnails leave out specific text sources I consider to be more critical than the thumbnails. But, it’s only an individual’s view.
FTM 2017.’s failure to read and translate FTM files older than 2008 on Windows. It should be capable of opening and configuring ALL more aged versions of FTM but not just those from 2008 until today. FTM should be capable of importing versions 1 to 2014 if RootsMagic can.
It’s ridiculous that users with the previous version of Family Tree Maker must first convert their files with Family Tree Maker 2005 Starter Edition. Family Tree Maker 2005 Starter Edition (as explained in this article). FTM can automate the process to ensure that the user is not aware of the process.
Another aspect I’d like you to know (there might be more) I’d like to point out is that people have to upload their Ancestry trees now to get green leaf tips, and I see it as a negative change. When I used Family Tree Maker 2017, I built my first tree and only had indications from FamilySearch. Ancestry, in my opinion, was the trigger for this change.
What better way to allow Ancestry to increase its free content than to force hundreds of FTM users to be compelled to share their tree? Users of RootsMagic are also required to upload their desktop trees to gain Ancestry WebHints. It’s interesting. If you don’t want others to access your tree, they can be kept private and excluded from Ancestry’s index.
Who Family Tree Maker Is For
FTM is still a viable alternative for customers who have Ancestry accounts despite RootsMagic breaking FTM’s monopoly of Ancestry connections, particularly for current FTM users who aren’t looking to change, despite some problems with FamilySync.
GEDCOM 5.5.1 conformance: FTM continues to progress on this front, and more updates are planned shortly.
Regarding performance and features, GEDCOM compliant Web integration, and GEDCOM compliance, FTM is the most suitable choice for Mac users. While other applications provide more appealing interfaces, FTM’s GEDCOM compliance is particularly weak.
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People using FTM versions older than three years or earlier are likely to benefit from an upgrade since there have been significant bug and performance improvements.
- It has several new features and improvements. I’d need to be very thoughtful about spending the entire $79.95, but I’m convinced that the upgrade price at $39.95 is well worth it.