Top critical review
13 people found this helpful
on 18 May 2014
Having built up an on-line tree I decided it was time to get some software so I could start 'fleshing out' the details of each individual a bit more than the basic "born, married, had children, died".
As an existing subscriber this seemed the obvious solution (the free months just add on to your current expiry date), and whilst FTM does allow you to record additional notes against either the person or the Events relating to that individual, overall I'm somewhat underwhelmed.
To begin with, it took me three hours two phone calls and a lot of having to mess around with my settings to successfully install the program. There is a known bug with the synch facility and the 'patch' has to be installed before you can use FTM, but this kept failing meaning I had to repeatedly uninstall & reinstall the program, including having to do a 'clean boot' and deleting things from the registry - not for the feint-hearted!. However, once installed it was then very easy to download & synch my existing tree, and didn't take long at all.
Having worked with it for a few days now though I find it actually easier to do most of my work outside of FTM, which kind of defeats the point! Once I've added a record or whatever to my online tree, I then synch to FTM and add any additional information I want to keep. In fairness, this could simply be because I'm just more used to doing it that way and need to force myself to stop, but so far Ive found it far easier this way.
A big negative for me is that FTM doesn't seem to recognise half siblings, so when I look at a person who I know has 6 or 7 half brothers & sisters, unless I remember or have noted separately that these people exist, that person looks like an only child.
One thing I do like though is the ability to include family events in a persons timeline - so whereas I was previously having to add Custom Events for things like "husband George died", this automatically shows within FTM if the appropriate setting is selected. What it doesn't show though is any notes added against that event - so if Id added a note to Georges Death event that (say) he'd died onboard the Titanic, that information doesn't pull through.
There are some good charts, reports & 'story' facilities, navigation is simple enough, and it does allow you to do a bit more than you can with the basic online tree, but in all honesty it really is only "a bit". Maybe I was just expecting too much......