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1380Re: [AQ_NFS] Review of Ancestral Quest - not happy

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  • thomas_nevin_huber
    Jul 21, 2013
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      My 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.

      Roots Magic
      Ancestral Quest
      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
      of it.

      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
      the file.

      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 don’t like it. First of all the screen view is ugly, and you can’t change it to anything not ugly. You have a very small choice of color schemes. I tried every option, and they’re 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 won’t use it, no matter what else it does. At the moment I’m using Roots Magic.
      >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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