92 of 97 people found the following review helpful
Huge improvement over early versions,
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This review is from: Family Tree Maker 2011 Deluxe [Old Version] (Software)I used a very early version of this software (the Broderbund release) and enjoyed using it to build family trees. At the time, though, the artificial intelligence aspects of the software (and associated website, ancestry.com) were not well developed, and I found the interface a little clunky (and unattractive). It's been at least 10 years since those early experiences with genealogy software, and I'm very happy to see how much things have progressed since then. The new software appears a little complicated at first glance, which I consider a good thing. In order to capture and correctly correlate reams of data, the application needs to be robust. I've found the new software (and the constantly improving ancestry.com) a joy to use. You can keep things as simple as you like, or dig (and substantiate) as deeply as you like.
I bought the Deluxe version, which I consider a huge bargain. For about $50 you get a very well-designed program (Family Tree Maker), a DVD full of reference books, and a 3-month subscription to ancestry.com.
I'm using the software on a system running Windows XP 64-bit. No problems.
I still like the software, but after using it for a few weeks, I have a few complaints. First, and most significantly for users who want to employ both Family Tree Maker and Ancestry.com, the ability to move records back and forth between the local software and the website is poorly conceived and developed. It would be nice to have a button on the Person page that would let you synch the record between the two applications. Second, I've found the support for the product lacking. I've posted a few questions to the support staff, and have received no answers. Similarly, the issue of using the two applications together is not well explained either in the software package or on ancestry.com. I've downgraded my recommendation to 3 stars (from 5). Family Tree Maker is getting better, in my opinion, but still has lots of room for improvement (and subscriptions to ancestry.com need to be more affordable...they'd make more money in the long run).
Final update (4/25):
If I could, I'd downgrade my review to 2 1/2 stars. The software is very useful, and I think the interface is well-designed. The database seems solid, and there are some nice tools. My complaints persist, however. The product support is bad to mediocre, although you wouldn't know that from the "we're here to help" message on the website. After 2 or 3 weeks, I finally received a response to my e-mail question regarding the use of Family Tree Maker with Ancestry.com, and the answer was pretty much what I expected. The two applications (the desktop software and the website) don't really talk to each other. That's very unfortunate, since users of the software will need the on-line account to explore the available data on the web, but unless you're planning to maintain a lifelong account (relatively expensive), that data will never be available locally (on your PC). That may be the plan, which seems like bad marketing, in my opinion. I think the company would sell a lot more of both products if they produced desktop software that accessed the internet seamlessly, synched the local data with the web data, and offered the on-line subscription for a more reasonable fee.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 31, 2011 10:47:53 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 31, 2011 10:50:03 PM PDT
E. L. Baker says:
There are other really great sites for genealogy's frankly the cost of the ancestry.com has me not even starting my six months until I have completed all other websites I can find. Ellisisland.org and familysearch.org are my favorites. After you have all the names you think you can find google their names with quotes, for example "their name" and don't forget to add and subtract letters or us versions of the name, for example instead of "their name" type "there name" or "theire name" adding dates sometimes helps.
Hope this helps
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 27, 2011 9:19:17 AM PDT
Linda A. Seay says:
I've used older versions and just bought the new version. I think it's great. I had no problems with finding the data on ancestry.com and getting it on my PC. On ancestry.com I clicked the merge button. It compared the data on ancestry to the data on my pc and I accepted only what I needed. The citations and documents associated with what I found on ancestry.com were imported into the family tree maker software very easily. I also emailed tech support and got a response the same day.
Posted on Jul 1, 2011 11:34:45 AM PDT
Book Lover says:
Posted on Apr 1, 2012 3:10:35 PM PDT
L. Hickey says:
Were you able to upload the older version (Broderbund) data into this product? Or did you have to start from new? Please advise. Thank you!
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