1380Re: [AQ_NFS] Review of Ancestral Quest - not happy
- Jul 21, 2013My thoughts -- to each, their own.
I used MS Word for years and many people said that Word Perfect was
much, much better. I tried it and found it awkward to use, if not
impossible. Nothing was remotely the same between the two programs and
it was like trying to learn a new language. The reverse was true of
people who used Word Perfect for years and tried to use MS Word.
Today's MS Word is nothing like the versions that I used and liked. MS
kept tweaking it and moving things between major releases until I gave
up and went with Open Office. It was most like the MS Word that I used
in the past and I still use it today.
The same is true of Genealogy Software. There are, essentially four
major players in the market and a sub-player.
Family Tree Maker
The subplayer is Family Insight, which provided a good interface
between PAF and nFS (and now FT).
Each of the major packages has their fans. They each have their own
unique "feel", but they all do essentially the same thing. They allow
you to put together an off-line family history file for families. Of
the four mentioned, only the first three are ideally suited for LDS
use because of the developing interface with FamilyTree (FT).
And, like MS Word and Word Perfect, they have very similar features
and capabilities. None of them are what I consider fully intuitive --
that is, a person can quickly and easily figure out everything they
can do with the program. The AQ manual is _huge_, but if one is moving
from one of the programs to AQ, they need to really read the manual to
find out all the hidden power of the program and how to make the most
I've purchased and "played with" all four programs, including Family
My conclusions is that each has weaknesses and for me, Roots Magic was
horrid at printing out charts starting with me. It has a field for
nicknames and I had several growing up. I dutifully entered those
nicknames in the field, loaded up a limited version of my family
(largely just my ancesters), and printed out a Pedigree Chart. The
heading _wrapped_ and over wrote the next line. Why? Those pesky
nicknames. I looked for a while but could find no means to turn off
printing the nickname with my name. For that one reason, I stopped
using Roots Magic.
My thoughts of what it did? Ugh-Lee.
I haven't played with Legacy, but what I saw was nice. I don't know if
it has any real drawbacks, but I suppose it does.
As a long-time PAF user, I found AQ to be the most "like" what I was
used to. Sure, the screen was more crowded, but it was still
relatively clean. I use a larger high-resolution monitor (17"
diagonal) so on it, the screens are not cluttered and I don't have to
scroll to see anything, but I would not want to try using it on a
"netbook" computer with its tiny screen.
Family Tree Maker has been and continues to be more hype than anything
"special" especially since it has no means to link with nFS or FT. Now
that Ancestry has purchased it, there are some advantages in
connection with Ancestry, but I find Ancestry's on-line trees suitable
for my purposes. There is no need for Family Tree Maker if one of the
LDS-linked packages works just as well.
Now Family Insight -- <sigh>. Well, they are aware of the problems
I've experienced and have given their programmers something to do to
resolve the problem. If you us AQ to download Confirmation and
Initiatory data, Family Insight will do a very good job corrupting
your file when you go to save -- It does not properly rebuild the AQ
I mention Family Insight because of two features, which either are not
in AQ or are not as "connected": 1 - The ability to see additional
unrelated pedigrees _and_ delete them, and 2 - A connection to
Standard Finder (in labs.familysearch.org) and the ability to globally
examine each place that in not in the Standard Finder and correct the
entries in the AQ datafile. Name correcting in AQ is not easy and
there is no easy way to examine names and pinpoint those that need
correcting. Furthermore, whenever you add a name and data from FT to
AQ, you run the very real risk of adding a bad or badly-formed name to
Once the FamilyInsight programmers solve the problem with rewriting
the AQ file, then I'll be a very happy camper with respect to those
rogue pedigrees (I have only a handful and they are all small) and be
able to correct the place names in a way that I find very useful.
Anyway, the whole point of this is that each person will like one or
more features of one program or another and, essentially, hate the
others. It gets back to the serving two masters concept of the gospel.
It can't be done easily, which is why I stick with AQ as my personal
favorite -- it does everything I need it to and produces the kinds of
reports I want. As Gaylon continues to work with the Church on the
AQ/FT interface, it just keeps getting better and better -- for me.
(50 years doing family research this fall!).
On Sun, 21 Jul 2013 15:56:17 -0500, you wrote:
>I just upgraded Ancestral Quest, since it is supposedly very similar to PAF and interacts with Family Search.
>I dont like it. First of all the screen view is ugly, and you cant change it to anything not ugly. You have a very small choice of color schemes. I tried every option, and theyre ALL ugly. I have to sit there and look at it hour after hour; why would I want to use anything with ugly colors? PAF let you change the colors individually, to anything you wanted to.
>If the interface is ugly, I wont use it, no matter what else it does. At the moment Im using Roots Magic.
>[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- << Previous post in topic Next post in topic >>