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RM3 vs. FTM2006


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#1 iowaroots

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Posted 01 October 2005 - 07:58 PM

Many members of our local gen. society have FTM and are talking about the new 2006 version. I love RM with its ease of use and availability of this message board, and wonder what some of the differences are between the newest versions of the 2 programs? (I think they have FTM because it was easier to buy.)

Also, I am interested in GenSmarts and would like to hear from people who have used it - pros & cons.

#2 Alfred

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Posted 01 October 2005 - 08:35 PM

Nearly everyone on this board will tell you that RootsMagic 3 is the best there is.

Of course not many of us have tried the latest versions of FTM.
Why would we, mowt of us are completely satixfied with RootsMagic.

I have downloaded GenSmarts, but I have only used it once to test something for someone so I can't comment on that.
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#3 Dennis

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 07:21 AM

QUOTE(iowaroots @ Oct 1 2005, 08:58 PM)
Many members of our local gen. society have FTM and are talking about the new 2006 version.  I love RM with its ease of use and availability of this message board, and wonder what some of the differences are between the newest versions of the 2 programs?  (I think they have FTM because it was easier to buy.) 

Also, I am interested in GenSmarts and would like to hear from people who have used it - pros & cons.

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Iowa...

I bought both programs. Neither was harder to buy than the other. I use RM because of its ease of use. I use FTM because it is easier for me to generate large charts (I have access to a 36" plotter). If you have an earlier version of FTM, don't waste your money on the 2006 version. The earlier version will do the same things (for charts) that the 2006 version will do. FTM does have a new interface which, at first glance, seems to make it simpler. It is very similar to RM in the display of the pedigree tree on the screen. The main difference, that I see, is that there is also a listing on the left side of the screen that shows everyone in that family (or everyone in the database) called a Pedigree Side View Panel. Kinda handy if you want to bounce to someone else in that family or someone else in the database. Information for a person, in FTM, is displayed in at least 2 places... on the bottom of the screen in a status bar and there is also a Side View Panel that can be displayed or hidden.

All that being said, I would not buy FTM for 2006 if you have an earlier version. Additionally... I still find that RM is still a simpler program to use.

Dennis


#4 miguelk

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 08:16 AM

Please read the thread entitled "Former FTM people, I need advice", initiated by Matt G.

A summary of my comments: FTM is better if you do a lot of manual data entry - adding multiple family members in RM takes many more steps than FTM (where you can enter names with birth & death data directly into the family view). And if you like WebSearch - the ability to import families, data, sources easily - FTM is also better (RM's IGI search is fairly primitive).

RM has superior reporting capabilities.

So, when you make your choice, it should depend on what you do most, and need most.

#5 KHemmelman

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 12:41 PM

QUOTE(iowaroots @ Oct 1 2005, 08:58 PM)
Many members of our local gen. society have FTM and are talking about the new 2006 version.  I love RM with its ease of use and availability of this message board, and wonder what some of the differences are between the newest versions of the 2 programs?  (I think they have FTM because it was easier to buy.) 

Also, I am interested in GenSmarts and would like to hear from people who have used it - pros & cons.

View Post



I've used FTM for many years. I also have TMG and Legacy Deluxe. With regards to RM and FTM I find that I use RM much more often. The interface is easier for me to use is the main reason. The multimedia support in RM is also a much better design than FTM since FTM puts your photos directly into the FTM data file. The problem with this approach is getting the photos back out after the fact is a hassle, the photos are compressed when put into FTM which reduces quality, and the FTM data file can become very large in size.

One of the main reasons I feel RM is better than FTM is from a company and support standpoint. Over the many years, it is crystal clear that the owners of FTM have no interest in improving that product as far as functionality goes. So far RM hasn't gone that route. FTM's main concern is with making money. This is fine, but every new release of FTM is "always" the weakest upgrade for any product I have ever seen. I sent in many enhancement requests for a very long time and so did many other folks but nothing important in that product was ever upgraded. They only add "just" enough to get people to consider buying the upgrade. That company is all about nickle & diming you to death with their product. The 2006 version of FTM offers absolutely nothing for new features other than a few things that tie into the Ancestry.com service. Which once again, they proved they are only interested in getting people to buy the upgrade and have been making a big push to integrate FTM even more with their online "pay only" services. When you use their product, they want you to develop a need to use their pay services for obvious reasons. Even though RM v3 was a weaker upgrade than v2 was, it still contained much more 'beef' than an typical FTM upgrade does.

RM isn't the most powerful program out there. TMG has that title. But RM is a great product and is much better supported by the developer than FTM is. (Although I wished RM would get the wallchart photo problem fixed!)

I've seen a few comments about how the reports in RM are better than in FTM. This isn't exactly correct. It pretty much depends on what report you are talking about and what your preferences are. For instance, the Descendant List report in RM is far inferior to the one in FTM. And even though the Fan style reports in FTM could be better, they do at least have them, whereas RM has none. I also much prefer the Family Group Sheet report in FTM over the one offered by RM. The calendar style report in FTM looks much nicer than the one in RM.

There are reports in RM that are better than in FTM and reports that exists in RM that don't exist in FTM, but overall I'd say it's pretty even when it comes to reporting. Both programs need to offer easier capability to print 'every' report to a "single large page" for use to print on a plotter or to take to a local printing service so you could have the entire report printed on a single large page. Currently RM offers some ability to do this with the wall charts.

As has already been stated, if you have a fairly recent version of FTM there is no reason to upgrade to their 2006 version because it offers nothing of value. Generally with FTM I only upgrade to the new version about every 3rd time they release a new version simply because they are so skimpy on adding features each time.


#6 Marge

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 01:25 PM

Here's my 2 cents worth! I left FTM after version 9 because there was no way to edit the place list and trying to merge the source list was impossible. I duplicated entries in FTM and FO 10 until RM came out and I swtched to RM exclusively. I have never used the charting capability of any program, so ease of charts in FTM was NOT an incentive to me. I did like the way the narrative report was done in FTM which was one of the reasons I kept it so long; but that didn't outweigh the down side. RootsMagic is (for me) the best software for us amateurs.

#7 Guest_don_*

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 01:47 PM

QUOTE(iowaroots @ Oct 1 2005, 08:58 PM)
Many members of our local gen. society have FTM and are talking about the new 2006 version.  I love RM with its ease of use and availability of this message board, and wonder what some of the differences are between the newest versions of the 2 programs?  (I think they have FTM because it was easier to buy.) 

Also, I am interested in GenSmarts and would like to hear from people who have used it - pros & cons.

View Post


Many people use FTM because it comes "free" with any annual membership subscription to Genealogy.com's online services. Maybe this is why they feel it is easier to buy.
dry.gif

#8 Cliff

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 02:26 PM

Referring to the reply of KHemmelman 2 Oct 2005 @ 12:41 PM] regarding a personal evaluation of RM to FTM, I enjoyed reading his views. Now I am curious how you sum up Legacy 6.0 Deluxe and compare it to others. I have the new 6.0 Deluxe version, but haven't gotten around to using it yet. Thanks
Cliff


Cliff

#9 KHemmelman

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 09:04 PM

QUOTE(Cliff @ Oct 5 2005, 03:26 PM)
Referring to the reply of KHemmelman 2 Oct 2005 @ 12:41 PM] regarding a personal evaluation of RM to FTM, I enjoyed reading his views. Now I am curious how you sum up Legacy 6.0 Deluxe and compare it to others. I have the new 6.0 Deluxe version, but haven't gotten around to using it yet.  Thanks
Cliff

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Well, I haven't used Legacy Deluxe a whole lot myself, but I'll summarize some things as I see them. As with other products, it kind of depends on personal preferences as to what you want and like. Both products offer more than enough features as far as data types, custom event names, sources, etc. for my needs. I tend to put extra emphasis on other features like reporting, web creation, interface, ease of use, etc. so take what I say with a grain of salt. Since you have Leagacy, you'll be able to form your own opinion about it.

There are comparable reports but differences too. A few examples are the Calendar report in Legacy is better than the one in RM because it has many more options for formatting the calendar's colors and layout and you can even select seperate pictures for the front & back page along with a seperate photo for each month of the year. The Pedigree Chart in Legacy looks better since it contains boxes around the individuals. However in RM you have the various wall charts and these don't exist in Legacy. I wished every program could make "true" wall charts so this is a big feature in RM to me. The Ancestor and Descendant chart in RM have a better look and feel to them than the ones in Legacy. The Photo Tree is fairly comparable in both products with a slight edge to Legacy due to the fact that it can select 1-4 generations for the tree and RM is fixed at 3 generations. I prefer the interface in RM over the one in Legacy since the one in Legacy has too much of a "boxy" look and feel to it, but Legacy does offer more views than RM. The toolbar customization in both products is pretty much the same as is the backup database option. RM v3 now has a very nice shareable CD feature where Legacy has nothing comparable, so for sharing info to relatives RM gets a big edge due to this feature. Legacy has a DNA records feature, but how many folks will ever use this? Both products have the ability to generate web pages and I'd probably give Legacy a slight edge over RM in this area, but I don't use either. For my web page creation I use a program called Second Site that only reads data from The Master Genealogist. Nothing out there comes remotely close to the web site created by Second Site and I can't imagine ever using anything different. Legacy has a neat "geo database" that you can enable to help automatically verify county names for towns in the US if you don't have them already entered in. RM has the Place List too, but it doesn't seem to be as automatic as Legacy is. Legacy has a popup calendar on your main toolbar that I wished RM had, but most folks don't care about this. Both programs have 'blank forms' they can print out, but I wished you could combine the two together because each has good blank reports that the other doesn't. Legacy has a birthday/marriage reminder feature that is kind of nice and a print name tags feature that looks interesting. Both programs have the ability to publish a "book" but I've not used the feature in either so I can't say which is better, but looking at the available options, I'd say they're pretty even in functionality. Legacy has a 'home page' tab now that provides a summary of info that is nice and Legacy also has a more automated routine for updating the product across the internet.

I think I'll stop rambling on now. I normally use RM for my normal lookup of info since I like the interface in it the best. Both Legacy and RM have a lot to offer and I think you can't go wrong with either one. They do compliment each other though since there are features in one that isn't in the other. These features mostly fall into the report area though, so if you're not into reports, then most of what I said is pretty much useless info!

#10 djc

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 12:39 AM

I had always been a FTM user until I saw RootsMagic. What sold me on RM was the ability of putting notes with the facts instead of one note section per person on FTM. Great for obits, naturalization record transcriptions, wills, etc.


#11 Jim Belanger

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 06:05 AM

Wow, what a thread this is getting to be! I own FTM but have really only used it to view the World Family Tree CDs. If I know of another way to navigate these CDs, there would be no use (for me) for FTM. I started using Family Origins when other programs had a limit of 16,000 people and FO did not. As one gets used to a program, using another is cumbersome. I have had others send me GedCom files from other programs and I have tried to make a RM database out of them but the sources never import correctly. I have had no trouble with RM that have not been addressed and solved to my satisfaction. Can't say that about any other program. I think key strokes and mouse movements during data entry could be simplified and make data entry much faster and easier but I'll live with this inconvenience for the benefits I get. Yes, I have suggested changes in data entry ease - NO, not yet!
JIM.B.NH

#12 toallen

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 02:00 PM

[quote=KHemmelman,Oct 5 2005, 09:04 PM]


[QUOTE] RM v3 now has a very nice shareable CD feature where Legacy has nothing comparable, so for sharing info to relatives RM gets a big edge due to this feature.

Both products have the ability to generate web pages and I'd probably give Legacy a slight edge over RM in this area, but I don't use either. [/QUOTE]


:(This is not a qoute, but a comment on the quote)

I Agree with most of what was said. Legacy can be put on shareable CD, but it is not nearly as convenient!

My personal preference for the Web Page creater is RootsMagic. I don't care for the Legacy "look: at all!

#13 KHemmelman

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 05:58 PM

QUOTE(toallen @ Oct 6 2005, 03:00 PM)
:(This is not a qoute, but a comment on the quote)

I Agree with most of what was said. Legacy can be put on shareable CD, but it is not nearly as convenient!

My personal preference for the Web Page creater is RootsMagic. I don't care for the Legacy "look: at all!

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For me it's a tough call between Legacy and RM with the web output. The Legacy web output does have a different look to it. But neither of them hold a candle to the Second Site software using a TMG database. I used the Second Site software to build a website and then I made a 'family history photo' website using iMatch and then combined the two together and burned it all to a CD to hand out to family members. It turned out quite nice.