Genealogy Trees and Use of Software: Where is the Output Function?

Currently I’ve been consulting a client with their Family Tree Maker (FTM) databases. I find the product to be very good if used with proper awareness of the functions and learning of it’s output capability with the selection of Publish.

One of the keys I have found in using FTM is to plan what your intended use is once you put information into the program. Remember a database is a tool to help organize your data and give you capability for output or reporting. In FTM they list that Capability under name Publish.

Personally I think the name confuses many users and could be better served by the heading of Reports or something similar. Many of my clients have indicated avoiding that area of FTM because they are not going to Publish a book. However, once I inform them that under that heading you can get output for making trees and reports on listing of individuals in their database, they are so glad to know the various items besides Publish as a booklet. So it can be confusing for some people.

FTM like other tree making products is a database that allows or encourages users to input names, dates and other facts while building links among other people to create families over generations.

Proper use is usually to connect all people in one family (both parents) from know to the unknown (grandparents), building with evidence to produce genealogical proof; with high validity that the source information is correct or justifiable with source documents.

Building various different single trees in FTM can be confusing and make your efforts be less effective. Especially if you build single trees based on only one side of your line, i.e., maternal. If the links are missing among all sides the output you get or expect is less helpful. My recommendation is to build a tree with all sides for one family. If other separate (non-linked) families exist for your research purpose, build those under a different tree name. The Publish or Reports is where you can get output on the single sides or person you are interested in showing from one “linked” Family.

Genealogy Trees and Use of Software: Where is the Output Function?

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