Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Genealogy Software User Forums

Do you have a genealogy software problem that you are frustrated by, or don't know how to address? Have you tried the Help! button on the software menu? Usually, you can search a table of contents there, or put keywords into a search box.

Did you know that there are message boards for each of the major genealogy software programs? One of my colleagues asked me today about a problem with FamilyTreeMaker on her Macintosh, so I used the FTM message board to see if others have had the problem. Yes, they have, but I didn't see a solution!

I have used the FamilyTreeMaker forums occasionally, but I have not looked carefully at the message boards for the other programs because I have and use FTM.

There are message boards at both www.Genealogy.com and www.Ancestry.com.

The http://www.genealogy.com/ Genforum message boards include:

1) Family Tree Maker has several message boards:

* Family Tree Maker: Installation FTM Installation Questions and Problems
* Family Tree Maker: Usage and How-To Questions Get the Most Out of Your FTM Software!
* Family Tree Maker: Printing and Formatting Trees, Charts, and Reports
* Family Tree Maker: Searching Family Archive CDs, Family Finder Report, and the World Family Tree CDs
* Family Tree Maker: Error Messages and Display Problems

2) Ancestral Quest

3) Brother's Keeper

4) Personal Ancestral File

5) Reunion Software

6) The Master Genealogist

7) Family Origins

8) Family Tree Creator

9) Generations Family Tree

10) Ultimate Family Tree

There are Ancestry/Rootsweb Message Boards also:

1) Family Tree Maker

2) Legacy Family Tree

3) RootsMagic

4) The Master Genealogist

5) Ancestry Family Tree

6) Personal Ancestral File

7) Family Tree Legends

8) Brothers Keeper

9) Reunion

10) General software

All currently available genealogy software companies have their own web sites, and most have technical support web pages that list known problems and fixes. For instance, the Legacy Family Tree support page is here and the RootsMagic support page is here.

I was surprised that Legacy Family Tree and RootsMagic don't have a Message Board on the Genforum boards. I wonder why? Competition to FTM? Or are they too new (but they are several years old!)?

If your software isn't listed here, and they have a message board or user forum somewhere on the web, please let me know and I will add them to the list above.
On both the Rootsweb/Ancestry and Genforum message boards, you can search for specific problems by using the Search box provided. Put your keywords into the search box and the search will provide the posts that include your search terms.

UPDATED 10:15 PM - added the RootsMagic support link - thanks to Bruce in comments.

2 comments:

Bruce said...

Randy,

RootsMagic also has its own help message board at:

http://www.rootsmagic.com/forums

- Bruce

Lee said...

I'm actually surprised to see boards for either Legacy or Rootsmagic. Both have [over]active mailing lists and, as Bruce pointed out, RM has its own board as well. I think when we spread users too thin, somebody is missing out.

And, sometimes having TOO many resources from which to choose creates more problems than it solves. A topic for another day? :-)