I’ve spent quite a bit of time with my new FTM 2010 software and as I work through my database, I’ve been thinking about things I love about the software and things I’d like to see improved.

I love that I can download my tree from Ancestry and all of the photos I’ve uploaded come along with it.
     I wish that the images of the census records were downloaded as well.  I don’t understand the reasoning behind allowing me to manually download them, but not do it automatically. 

I love that the source citations are automatically downloaded with the tree.
     I hate that I have to click every single census source to tell it not to include the citation text in the footnote.  Not only that, but there were no spaces put in the template when they created the citations, so I have to put those in manually.  (For example: Name:  Susan RumboBirth:  abt 1831KentuckyResidence:  1880White Oak, Adair, Kentucky, United States) For EVERY single census source!  I’m talking hundreds and hundreds of source citations!  I could probably tolerate the lack of spaces if only I could find the option that would allow me to unclick all of the “Include in Ref. Note” boxes at the same time, but if I’m going to be looking at every source to unclick the box, I might as well add the spaces so that when the tree moves into the next upgrade, they’ll be correct.

I love that the Sources screen shows me who the source is linked to.  I’ve found several sources that are linked to no one.  Makes me wonder how they got there in the first place, but they are easy to delete!

I wish there were an easy way to download any changes I’ve made on my Ancestry tree into my FTM software.  Unless I’m missing something, I’ll either have to manually enter the information (and I can’t seem to make my manually entered sources match the way the look coming directly from Ancestry) or I’d have to export a new GEDCOM and then merge it with my current FTM file.  Holding off on this because I’m sure there’s any easier way to do this!

I love the map feature with the Places menu!  In my ultimate dream, these maps would also have historic options so that I could see a map of current day places and then click a button to compare the same area at different time periods.  THAT would be heaven!  Even something simple like a combination of the current map with an overlay of the county boundary changes over time like the ones you can find on familyhistory101.com would be incredible.I’d also love to have a notes panel next to the map so that I could add historical information about the area and also the ability to add links to keep track of web sites about the area or other maps that I’ve found online.

I can’t imagine doing my genealogy research without Family Tree Maker and and I look forward to seeing what the future holds – I just hope that I can learn all of the new features with 2010 before another update comes out!

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