I started using Family Tree Maker when it came on a 5 1/4 inch floppy. Each version has been a great improvement. The latest version 6.0 for Windows is a super application.
This application is a tool to enter, edit, store and publish anything about ones family. The publishing can be done on paper, web and “GEDCOM” file exchange. The publishing of the data is unlimited with the use of pictures, sounds, scanned documents and etc. The limits are all related to your hardware.
The current version has some very good new tools, i.e., back and forward buttons to scroll from screen to screen as if you were browsing the web and some new tree formats.
As with all programs there are problems, the only one that I have had, is an OLE2NLS.DLL error. With all my searching of the book and the web for support, I could not find a reference to this error. Then some good soul replied that OLENLS.DLL fix listed in the Version 5.0 book would clear the error, which it has and not been seen since.
I have and will continue to recommend Family Tree Maker to any, from novice to professional.
When I started this review I was using version 6.0. As I was ready to submit this review I ordered Version 7.0, and waited until I had received and installed it. The installing of version 7.0 over version 6.0 went as it planned to, without any stalls, system hang-ups and etc. The loading of the application and data files seems to be faster.
On about the third usage of Family Tree Maker I got the OLE2NLS.DLL error, the standard fix as listed in the book, which is the same for Version 5.0 and 6.0 worked and has not returned.
The burial information I had stored within the More About area of version 6, pop up in the new buried date and in fields of version 7.
All city, state, county, and county locations should be spelled out. Do not use abbreviations, although the Family Tree Maker book says just be consistent. The different reports generated by Family Tree Maker will use the abbreviations where it necessary to fit in the reports.
NOTE: In to day’s world where things are in such a state of change, it has been stated more than once that one should NOT use abbreviations. One prime example is the use of “CA”, as is this Ontario, California or Ontario, Canada.
The recording of one’s sources of information is a bit awkward. The mouse or keyboard method of Menu Source or Ctrl+S after placing the cursor in the field is good, but, a Auto respond on new entries or a button near each Location field would be better.
Each person and marriage has a More About and a Scrapbook button. These open additional dialog screen for more information to be entered.
In the More About area one may define facts by entering a title, date, and comments. The comment/location field is limited to 256 characters. The address dialog screen is used to enter the current address and phone; no email field, this needs to be added. The spouse and children will inherit the address and phone if one is not entered for them. The medical page has height, weight cause of death fields. The medical information field is used to enter detail information, not listing of limit in size. The lineage dialog page for adding and controlling the use of titles, i.e. Dr., Rev., and etc and nick names (aka). Field selection as to the married names format is to be printed. The relationship fields to allow the selection of adopted, foster, step and etc. Last of the more pages is the Notes dialog box. This is a small basic word processor. This is the area of great usage, where all of the stories are told. This information can NOT be printed in the trees, but, came be printed as separate pages to be included in
The scrapbook is an extension of the More About area. The scrapbook can contain 16,000 items per individual, that is a lot of ghosts in ones closet. In addition each marriage may have a scrapbook, which can contain 16,000 items. These items can be any electronic data such as, photos, scanned images, video, sound, and other OLE objects.
As I am in the collection stage of this project, I am limiting it to this area. As I get more into the output stage, i.e., trees, journals, books, maps and etc, I will provide review of these items.
The upgrade to Version 7 is well worth the money spent, even from only Version 6. I can see that it will definitely be a smart move to upgrade from Version 5 and earlier.
Submitted by: David C Abernathy