Family Tree Maker Software - Is it Worth the Expense?
- Family tree maker software can be of enormous help in your quest to unravel the family past and share your findings with others. Different versions vary in price and features and one of the first decisions any family tree researcher will have to face is whether to invest in the latest and greatest paid software or go with one of the cheaper or even free options. Here are some pros and cons of choosing to take the plunge and invest in one of those programs.
One of the best known such programs is the eponymous Family Tree Maker. Its latest version comes with many features, well suited to both the beginners and the professionals. Do you need all of them? Maybe not, but they will make your life much easier and your project much more fun. Can it all be done without the expense? Of course it can, you just need to be willing to make the effort to learn how!
Having said that, here are some things to consider about this program in its latest version:
Family Tree Maker software is truly user friendly. This is important because there are just so many features around that you can easily get lost! The interface makes it easy to find whatever you are looking for, and it is easy to switch between tools.
It lets you add supporting documents. The program makes it very easy to add photos and media files to a chart. Using this feature, you can include all your memories of relatives as well as memorabilia, letters, and photos. Other media files like videos taken during family reunions or audio files containing interview recordings can be easily added as well.
You can choose between various designs of family trees. The family tree maker software provides powerful outlines of family trees, but the best thing is, you can choose the design that best suits your needs. That way, you get access to a variety of ways or organizing the data: the type of chart and other supporting design and documentation can be easily personalized to suit your needs.
You get access to search tools. This helps you find a lot of people online, which is a great aid in your research. The amount of information on the internet cannot be underestimated and you can get access to ancestry.com to find out a huge number of details about a host of people. (More about this feature later.)
You'll be able to merge the branches of your family trees. You can take existing family trees either directly from their databases or through other family members and merge those into your existing tree. The family tree maker software takes care to remove all the repetitions and position the incoming branch accordingly.
It helps you validate your research: You can keep track of all the research material you used to get the information about your family. What's more, you can even rate your citations to make your research credible.
You'll be able to use maps. This is especially useful to track the movement and residence of your ancestors through space and time.
The software comes with a timeline feature. This feature in the family tree maker software allows you to note historically important events in the evolution of your family. This will especially serve well if you had relatives involved directly in wars or other major events.
Great design capabilities! Whether or not you are good at design, family tree maker software will help you come up with a gorgeous family tree design. These features are great to have, if you want to print out a display-worthy version of your family tree.
It makes it easy to share your results with others. You'll be able to publish your family tree online, making it accessible to other family members.
The one drawback many find is that there could have been better online research tools. Data today is widely scattered, and the family tree maker software searches only its database in ancestory.com. This limits the depth of research.
So there you have it: lots of powerful features that make the task of building a family tree much easier and much more fun. Is Family Tree Maker software worth the price? Only you can answer that. There are certainly free online options that can take care of some of the more basic tasks. And don't forget, it can all be done manually as well, if you arm yourself with the right knowledge, and stay focused and well organized.
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