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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Review: MacFamilyTree 8 Demo Version

I tried a demo version of MacFamilyTree family tree software. It looks pretty, but fails to save.

DATA ENTRY
Data entry is fairly easy. You have to make sure that you choose the correct sex of the person you are entering, otherwise children get the wrong surname. This can be fixed later though.

CHARTS
If you've ever wondered how you are related to someone in your family, the relationships chart with help you figure it out:



It makes pretty looking Fan Charts:



The charts are a very nice feature of this program.

GENEALOGICAL DATA
It works with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints's free FamilySearch to allow research into genealogical data. You can then download info into your family tree, and upload info you have found that isn't there.

There is no integrated connection to Ancestry.com. GEDCOM import/export is available.

DEMO VERSION
But, if you enjoy using the demo copy and want to purchase the full version, you can't transfer anything you've entered into the demo version into the full version.

You lose everything.



Seriously! What a failure in software design. I have never seen this in a demo software program. Usually you buy the program and then unlock all the features, allowing you to save the data you have created with the demo. It would have been nice to have been given a warning about this when first opening the demo version. You only get a warning when you try to save or print.

Let's make this clearer.

You get a warning that you can not save or print, but you do not get told that you will NEVER be able to save or print the data you have entered into the demo version.

From their FAQ:

I want to try MacFamilyTree before buying, what do I do?
Please download the demo version here. You cannot save or export your entries using the demo version. Additionally, iCloud is not supported in the demo version. Please note that entries created with the Demo Version can not be transfered to the full featured version from the Mac App Store!

CONCLUSION
They almost had me with their Mac user interface, but after entering in so much data, and now facing the task of having to enter it in again, I might as well pause and take a look at other options including Mac software, REUNION, and the popular online and iOS solution Ancestry.com.

If the developers of MacFamilyTree want to be more helpful, they should either alert demo software users that they will never be able to save their work, or update the demo version to be able to be unlocked when paid for and then allow saving and printing of the data.

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