Thursday, March 5, 2009

RootsMagic 4 Beta Preview is available

I feel so behind the times! RootsMagic, Inc. sent out the email yesterday that RootsMagic 4 beta is available now for free at http://www.rootsmagic.com/preview. Am I the last to download it? It's available for FREE until 31 March 2009.

I had only an hour today to download, register, and try it today. I haven't worked much in RootsMagic before today. It took about two minutes to install on my computer - the big piece seems to be the 68 mb Place Name catalog. I loaded my 23K person FTM 16 database into it, and that took about two minutes (I didn't time it) and it seemed to put all of the information in the right places.

I tried all of the bells and whistles I recognized...the one thing that didn't seem to work was the "Reports" menu tab - everything I tried produced a blank page - Family Group Sheet, Pedigree Chart, Narrative Report, etc. Then I found that those things are under the "Printer" icon too, and they worked. Looked good.

I could not find how to set a Root Person - mine is the Unknown female who was the third wife of Robert Seaver (1608-1683). Aha - found it under Tools>Database Options. Now I'm the Root Person.

I will try to have some screen shots tomorrow. I'm going to dream in light blue tonight, I think! It's very easy on the eyes, I like it! Why would they make the RM4 logo and desktop icon light green and then make the screen background light blue? Inquiring minds want to know!

4 comments:

Earline Hines Bradt said...

I have been using Rootsmagic 3 for a couple of years now, you can change the colour scheme by right-clicking anywhere on the page. I imagine it's the same with 4, I haven't tried it yet.

Eileen said...

I tried RM3 last year and found it fif not meet my needs. Yesterday I took advantage of the free beta and I must say I am impressed. It was almost intuitive to use. I ried most of the features except the reports. I ddi web searches and accessed my Gensmarts from within RM4. Very good work. My only complaint is that it does not import FTM 2009 so my media does not come accross. I have a ton of media files--photos and documents tied to people and sources so this would be a major drawback for me to switch.

Mark said...

Remember that the software is in beta and that one of the primary seasons for the preview is to give the developers the opportunity to receive feedback from those playing around with the new product. An email address to do so is provided to users upon registering for the beta.

Besides all the various new features, the program underwent a major rewrite to position it for the future. As a result, there is an increased potential for issues to be found as compared to a typical program upgrade. RootsMagic users were able to sign up for a community preview beta, which took place before this public beta, and were able to also report any suggestions and issues that they encountered during that time.

I'd expect that any problems reported during this beta phase would be addressed before the official release. A variety of wish-list enhancements would then subsequently be released via the free periodic patches, as is the company's tradition. (Will direct import of FTM 2009 databases be one of those features?)

Please submit anything that you might find in order to help make the product as good as it can be upon release. It's the most wide-ranging upgrade that Family Origins/RootsMagic has undertaken, and expectations are high.

Mark said...

If you right-click on that blue area and then on the Display icon, a number of display options are available to you. The other way to get there is through Tools > Program Options.

Other types of program options can be found under the General and Folder icons, with database options under Tools > Database Options.