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DELUXE Edition

Review by Deurene Oates Morgan / Alamo PC

Family Tree Maker Deluxe CD ROM new version 3.0 proves to be a choice genealogy program that performs well under Windows 95. This CD-Rom works with both Windows 3.1 or Windows 95. Previous CD releases were for Windows 3.1. Family Tree Maker 3 of Broderbund's Banner Blue Division, 39500 Stevenson Place, Suite 204; Freemont, CA 94539-3103. Phone (510) 794-6850 is priced at $69.99 making it a strong contender in the top of the line genealogical database software programs on the market. FTM 3 requires an IBM PC or compatible, at least 386 CPU, although 486 or higher is recommended. A hard drive with at least 9 megabytes free space and a physical Ram of 8 megabytes highly recommended. 9MB of program files will be copied to your hard drive; the rest of the data will remain on the CD-Rom to be accessed during program use. A VGA monitor running in at least 16 color and a Microsoft mouse are required. Of necessity, the more information or large database, the more hard disk and available Ram is needed. If photos, sounds, and videos are added in the FTM Scrapbook, additional hard drive space is required. Additionally, a scanner, Kodak Photo CD, sound card, and video card are optional. Without any problems the installation was very easy and quick even permitting one to make preferences.

 I have used four genealogy software programs and I find FTM the most friendly user interface with flexible printing. An example: when one enters a place name, as soon as the first letter is entered, if one has previously entered this, the place appears. That is also true of names, thus redundant data entry is eliminated. The large tool bar icons have balloon identification under them allowing one quick movement within the program. Users can use longer names instead of the limited eight characters plus the three letter extensions. In addition it will support up to two million entries. From its variable field names, most every- thing is configurable.

FTM permits one to enter the basic names, dates, occupation, military records, physical characteristics, medical records, etc. The capability to write stories, descriptions, and social situations add "meat and bones" for each individual entered. Documentation for FTM is excellent.

 In the on screen Help tools from the preference menu, place check in Show Cue Cards and Show Bubble Help so that anywhere in FTM, one is assured of on screen help. The Tutorial permits one to enter data furnished for Abraham Lincoln as one works through it. The Handbook is the most comprehensive reference manual with pictures. The script is straight forward, non-technical, but in terms that one uses in other programs-no switching of terminology as found in some programs on the market. FTM will import and export all the GEDCom fields or inform the fields it could not report.

FTM delivers the most attractive and versatile printouts suitable for framing as small as one page or literally miles. Ancestor and Descendant trees now print up to 99 generations. Optional screens permits one to create automatically tree versions in horizontal or vertical, multiple number of generations on a page, calendars, mailing lists and name tags for an entire family from a single entry. One can change from ancestor trees, direct descendant trees, outline trees of either with perfect spacing. The choice "To Fit to Page" ancestor trees or a custom ancestor page tree may be printed. The printed trees can contain any data FTM holds including photos. If electronic photography is unavailable, one may have boxes for mounting photos. Well-organized charts of various descriptions may be printed. FTM reads PAF files directly and now prints standard LDS reports. In fact, FTM manages the files easily with more options for sharing, saving, combining, editing, and backing up family trees.

This CD ROM 3 edition is loaded with FamilyFinder which states where to find information about your ancestors. More than 115 million names in FamilyFinder tells one exactly where to search. These Family Archives are CDs containing many records, such as census records, marriage records, Social Security death benefits and linked pedigrees.

Therefore, FAMILY TREE MAKER is by far the superior program for families because of its ease to use, its ability to produce the most attractive charts, multimedia shows, and many formats to present your family. This program allows one to assign reference numbers that you create for your own filing system. Your numbers may appear in front of an individual's name or on their own separate line in the Descendant trees. Also, data from most word processing programs may be imported into the Family Tree Maker.