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    Legacy Family Tree 8.0

    After trying a few different programs, I started using Legacy Family Tree after test driving version 5 back in 2005.  At that time, it was a 17MB download and for my purposes, after using PAF for a couple of months, the deluxe version was everything I could hope for.  The 8.0 download is now over 65MB — that’s a lot of code and a lot of work that’s gone into this program.

    After my first experience with version 5, I upgraded to the deluxe version of each subsequent release and was always happy with the results — until now.

    I bought the deluxe edition of version 8 a year ago not long after it was released, but didn’t have a chance to actually use it until recently.  When I started having problems with it right away, I was really surprised.  I was sure I was doing something wrong, and kept plugging away, trying to figure out what I was missing.  My experience with each new version had been that, while new features were added, the old functionality was unchanged.  In the case of version 8, though, the first thing I found was that my “go to” report, the Family Group Sheet, wasn’t formatting the way I wanted it.

    I prefer to figure things out for myself, through trial and error and Google — it’s rare that you come up with a unique problem.  Generally, someone else has already asked about it and a solution is readily available if you just take the time to look for it.  Especially since I do my best work in the middle of the night, it’s a lot quicker and easier to just find the answer online or in the help documents rather than waiting for customer service.

    Fortunately, Legacy’s customer support is top-notch, so after three days of trying to figure out what I was doing wrong, I went ahead and contacted them.  Bottom line — the rendering of the reports was changed to accommodate the new “roles” feature that users have been clamoring for for years.

    I was kind of surprised to learn this.  I know I’ve got a little OCD thing going on sometimes — okay, lots of times — but I hadn’t seen mention of report problems in any of my searches for answers on the mailing list, etc.  I know it’s just not possible that I’m the only Legacy user who is particular about how the events in my Family Group Sheet are rendered.  😀

    There are a lot of improvements I’d like to see in Legacy Family Tree.  I’d like to be able to be able to create web pages that rely on style sheets rather than the hard coded and poorly conceived HTML that is currently generated.  It would be nice if I could use Legacy Family Tree as my research log, but there have been no improvements in that respect since I started using the program.  Photos attached to the basic events — birth, death, burial — still cannot be printed in reports.  When photos are printed in reports, there’s no way to get rid of the bottom border line if you want to print the caption as well — even though there’s a box to check to stop it.

    What I didn’t need was “roles.”  I understand why so many users are wanting this feature, and I did play with it a bit.  But in several years of using the program, I had already come up with my own version of “roles” that seemed to work much better for my purposes, and didn’t mess up my reports.

    I still have Legacy Family Tree 8.0 installed on my computer, and I’ll keep checking for updates and see what they’re doing with it.  But for now, I’m sticking with 7, even though there are bugs in that version that apparently will never be fixed, since it has been announced that the last update for that version was, indeed, the last update.

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