* Advice Needed from TMG Users Who Switched to FH

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beetle3247
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Advice Needed from TMG Users Who Switched to FH

Post by beetle3247 » 07 Feb 2019 19:23

I am still evaluating FH and would like to understand why other TMG users switched to FH. To me it wouldn't be for the reporting capabilities because TMG is a lot better. Was it because of the data input capabilities? Was it because of some Add-ins that could be done? Was there something else that caught your eye that any other software couldn't do?

I know that TMG is four years out of support, but the thing still works. And TMG does output a fairly decent report. It even allows sources to be listed on the page where they are cited.

Please leave any comments you wish to. Thanks.

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Re: Advice Needed from TMG Users Who Switched to FH

Post by dewilkinson » 08 Feb 2019 17:46

I switch from TMG nearly two years ago. Regarding your specific point about citations (and other reports options) FH is very flexible and I place my citations at the end of each person. It might be that in the trial version all the options possible are not present.

I think overall FH is better than TMG but you do have to get used to some different ways of working e.g.
  • Places/Addresses in TMG in TMG are structured, in FH they are a text string but a delimiter such as a comma can be used to keep a structure
    FH is not a relational database so queries are not SQL based, you just have to get used to the way FH works and a lot of downloadable queries are available
    FH has much more than TMG, diagrams are certainly better
    There are many plugins in FH which give you much greater power
I am glad I made the switch. The import from TMG is very good, the only issue might be with non-GEDCOM compliant bespoke facts, but there is a plugin available that helps you sort them out very quickly.

This forum is also very helpful for 'newbies'.

Best of luck.
David Wilkinson researching Bowtle, Butcher, Edwards, Gillingham, Overett, Ransome, Simpson, and Wilkinson in East Anglia

Deterioration is contagious, and places are destroyed or renovated by the spirit of the people who go to them

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Re: Advice Needed from TMG Users Who Switched to FH

Post by tatewise » 08 Feb 2019 18:06

Just to clarify, there are absolutely no differences between 30-day Trial version and a Licensed version, EXCEPT that Plugins are not supported.

See his earlier posting Can Citations be Listed on the Page Where Cited in a Report (16560) that explains about preferring Source Citations to be listed in a Footnote at the bottom of each Page rather than at the end of each record or end of the report. Apparently TMG supports such Citation Footnotes.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: Advice Needed from TMG Users Who Switched to FH

Post by NigelBrown » 08 Feb 2019 18:12

Hello Beetle,

I used TMG for 15 years and now FH for about 3 (is it that long?). I trialled and compared RootsMagic, Legacy and FH, and for me FH was the clear front runner. The transition from one product to the other was relatively straightforward with some help from the excellent User Group Forum (and FH itself); the plugins that users have produced to extend capabilities are very good (think of John Cardinal's Utilities plus a lot more); data input including sources and citations is a breeze; the interface is clear; diagrams are very good although I for one don't use them much other than for sending on as images to fellow researchers and other "cousins". Of course, there are some idiosyncrasies and I understand the company behind the product is of similar size to TMG; also I have not seen a lot of responsiveness to user requests in my 3 years (transfer across from TMG was a welcome exception), but fortunately there are many able and willing users who are at least as good as those around TMG. All in all, I am well pleased with my choice.
Nigel Brown - http://www.nigelbrown.me.uk
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Re: Advice Needed from TMG Users Who Switched to FH

Post by tatewise » 08 Feb 2019 18:29

To get some idea of what FH features have been added in the last few years see:

Knowledge Base > Family Historian > Version History and checkout the latest versions new features.

Wish List tick Show Completed and < < GO > > button. The ADDED VERSION column shows when the feature was added.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: Advice Needed from TMG Users Who Switched to FH

Post by Coolgarra » 09 Feb 2019 07:08

My journey from TMG sounds remarkably similar to Nigel Brown and I agree with everything he has said.

I really loved TMG and continued to use it for quite a while, but the number of crashes and issues made me scared that one day something would happen and I would be stuck, so I ran both side by side for a number of months until I finally made 'the jump'. Even then, for a long time I kept a list of people I had changed or added in Family Historian, just in case I decided to go back. That hasn't happened!

I really like:
:star Being able to add new people on the diagram charts directly;
:star Being able to 'Tag' people in a group photo so I can have the headshots visible but the whole photo is still there and I only need 1 copy of it;
:star Auto sourcing;
:star Being able to print charts which have icons (i.e. a ship or a dna icon) based on a certain fact being present;
:star Plugins and being able to modify them to suit my own needs;
:star How easy it is to add other language characters

There were a few little features of TMG that I missed at first, but now I can't even really remember what they were.
Chris

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Re: Advice Needed from TMG Users Who Switched to FH

Post by E Wilcock » 09 Feb 2019 10:29

I wrote a reply to this last night and saved it as a Draft. I spend much time this morning completing it and when I clicked to post it, I got the sign in screen and both my draft and the entry have vanished.

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Re: Advice Needed from TMG Users Who Switched to FH

Post by tatewise » 09 Feb 2019 11:26

Unfortunately, if you spend too long just typing in the Reply Box, an inactivity timeout will sign you out.
(Just typing in the reply box does not get detected as activity.)
So occasionally use the Preview button to register some activity.
If on Submit you do get the Login popup, then login and use the browser Back button a few times until you get back to the Reply Box, and then Submit again.

To retrieve your Draft, click on your username E Wilcock top right and open the User Control Panel.
In Overview tab select Manage drafts and click Load draft on the right.
Bingo!
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: Advice Needed from TMG Users Who Switched to FH

Post by E Wilcock » 09 Feb 2019 11:37

I agree with Nigel and Coolgarra.
My observations are as follows:
Transferring one's genealogy data and learning a new programme take time and effort. So one has to be sure there are good reasons for changing. You ask for advice but begin by attacking fh as inferior to TMG. If you have no reason to move, then dont.
I was starting a new large project and didnt want to enter data in software that was no longer on the market. I too bought Roots Magic as well and read the reviews. fh was top choice for one name and place studies.
The fact that so many TMG users went to Roots Magic was discouraging but RM seemed similar to Generations, the program I used before TMG whereas I knew fh was aiming at something difference.

I owned fh for many year before using it as my main program. My father taught me genealogy from hand drawn descendants trees and when fh came out, I gave Version 2 to a small grand daughter so she could click with the mouse and look at all her trees.

In spite of the differences, one can use fh in much the same manner as TMG. Mike even designed a pane that pops up showing the relationships on the main screen of TMG. Mike has also written a plug in to preserve TMG sort dates and to enable the use of sort dates in fh.
I used TMG in a quite basic way and I dont regard myself as having lost anything. I miss the full biographical display which I believe can be replicated in Legacy. I miss the layout choices in TMG. In fh the Events selected to appear on the quick entry drop down list are applied to all one's projects. This means the quick entry screen for a historical project - with emigration, imprisonment, etc shows up on my personal genealogy projects where one might prefer Baptism and Burial.

The program one uses will influence the way one works.

What I gained was rapid data entry of people and sources. One can cut and paste a name in a single field. And the source pane sitting along side the data entry pane means that every single event has a source. The automatic repeat source speeds up transcripts from databases.
The searching and cutting and pasting in fh are all familiar from other Windows software.
Because data entry is easier, I add more people in fh than I used to in TMG. Using TMG to study an artillery brigade in World War 1, I entered only about 1000 names, and the full Brigade list remained in an Access database. I have entered more than 9,000 names in fh and my instinct is to enter any list of people whom I might want to investigate further.

The presence of a note screen below the individual on the Property box meant that I began to jot there any notes of things I wanted to investigate, or even add whole passages of text, like an entry from Wikipedia. fh has become my general research notebook in a way that was not feasible on TMG.

Entering so much data in fh meant that I lost the habit of TMG and gradually moved all my personal genealogy Projects into fh. Again I had good reason to move. My mother's tree was unstable in data entry in TMG and the tech at Wholly Genes could not put it right.

I have never mastered Access as a relational database and for me it was a relief to move to a text based program.
With Mike's help I have been able to query my research data in ways I personally could not have managed in TMG.

Where personal family history is concerned using fh (as hoped) solved my problems with digital images of both people and source documents. I too fretted initially about the fh reports, largely because the descendants report is narrative and I was corresponding with people whose first language was not English. However now my family history is in fh, I have simply used the default. Saving a default report in word, together with a pdf default diagram has proved ideal for sending family information to people, including those who dont have genealogy software of their own.

I am always busy and also lazy. That is what computers are for. Report output from databases was always a problem. I use fh defaults and bingo the job is done.

I began to use fh understanding that it was the brain child of one man and that its long term future might be fragile. But the same was true of my two previous programs. Nothing lasts long term in IT and the fh use of GEDCOM files and Mikes plug in tailoring its GEDCOM output suggests it is as future secure as anything in genealogy software.

If you are used to a conventional genealogy program the layout and vocabulary of fh is quite likely to confuse you at first. What is a Focus screen and a Property box? What is a window and what is a pane? But surveys show that fh (for a new user) is one of the easiest programs to learn. One often reads TMG users lamenting that they are too old to move programs. I was over 75 when I moved to fh. No one is too old.

It doesnt really matter what software one uses for genealogy. Any software will store your data. It is how one uses one's software that matters and what one uses it for. Whether it is stress free and whether one enjoys it. I have always enjoyed my genealogy programmes (Pedigree, Generations and TMG). But I enjoy fh more.
Last edited by E Wilcock on 09 Feb 2019 11:52, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Advice Needed from TMG Users Who Switched to FH

Post by E Wilcock » 09 Feb 2019 11:45

Thanks for the advice Mike - I looked for the draft but it had vanished from my list - and the rest of the recovery advice came too late but will be useful in future. I recovered what I wrote yesterday from the software Clipmate which I use. And re wrote the rest. But didnt dare preview to make corrections so apologies for the typos in what I posted.

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Re: Advice Needed from TMG Users Who Switched to FH

Post by DonF » 10 Feb 2019 02:09

I think by asking other TMG users why they switched to fh you are only asking half the question. And to me the real question is 'why should I switch from TMG'? When you have a complete understanding of the answer to that question, only then should you consider 'which program should I switch to?' (if that question is still relevant).
In my case I considered all the main contenders and came to the conclusion that although fh was probably the best option at the time, none offered me any advantages so there was no reason to waste several months of my time converting, to then live with an inferior outcome.
TMG, although no longer being developed, is still supported by an active community and for me is still the most powerfully featured program out there. The nay-sayers keep claiming it will eventually not work, but they ignore several facts - it runs on a greater range of Windows releases than any other program (from XP to Win 10), so clearly is not as embedded in Windows as those other programs which have needed restrictions as to which Windows versions they run on. And given Microsoft have stated many times that Win 10 is the last Windows release, TMG appears safe into the future. If and only if I'm ever wrong in that analysis will I consider moving, but until then I'm staying with TMG.

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Re: Advice Needed from TMG Users Who Switched to FH

Post by E Wilcock » 10 Feb 2019 12:25

Could you please be more precise about the phrase "still the most powerfully featured program out there"

My existing First World war Artillery Brigade Project is still in TMG. What exactly are the advantages of leaving it there?

My plan was to resume the study when the 1921 census was made public and also then perhaps to add any army pension records. The mass addition of census entries is easier in fh thanks to Ancestral Sources than using the spread sheet in TMG.

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Re: Advice Needed from TMG Users Who Switched to FH

Post by DonF » 11 Feb 2019 00:25

What I actually said was "for me is still the most powerfully featured program out there."
I'm not a super-advanced user of TMG features - probably in the middle of the road feature-wise (of course, if you only use basic features, as many do, then it doesn't matter much what program you use).
But to address your question, I want a program that can be extended by the addition of any tag (fact) definition I come up with, I want the ability to craft my own sentence structures, I want extensive tailorable reporting capability, I want good charting functions and I want to be able to export data to a decent web-building package for website creation (which for TMG means Second Site). Now that GEDSITE is available there is an alternative option, of course, but that's another conversion effort.
I won't bother going through any sort of feature-by-feature comparison, as that's already available on the TMG Refugees website, but for me TMG still wins hands down across the features I want and use.

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Re: Advice Needed from TMG Users Who Switched to FH

Post by E Wilcock » 11 Feb 2019 07:33

"I want a program that can be extended by the addition of any tag (fact) definition I come up with, I want the ability to craft my own sentence structures, I want extensive tailorable reporting capability, I want good charting functions "

You wish list is all there in fh.

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Re: Advice Needed from TMG Users Who Switched to FH

Post by dewilkinson » 11 Feb 2019 07:36

Don,

We are all free to choose what software we prefer. I used to think that nothing was better than TMG, which was the market leader in its day. FH isn't perfect, but no package is.

I think a few statements in your last post are incorrect:-
  • in FH you can create what ever Fact tags you require
    you have full control over sentence structure
    reporting is very flexible
    I think diagrams are much better than TMG
    I haven't tried exporting to a web sitesite generator as I use FH 's own web site creator.
I am glad I switched. I have kept TMG as an archive but I haven't had to refer to it for a long time now.
David Wilkinson researching Bowtle, Butcher, Edwards, Gillingham, Overett, Ransome, Simpson, and Wilkinson in East Anglia

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Re: Advice Needed from TMG Users Who Switched to FH

Post by AdrianBruce » 11 Feb 2019 17:04

As a firm believer in FH (and no experience of TMG), I am aware that reporting in FH is not as successful as some other areas. There are issues like - where do you want the end-note references to appear? and what about a bibliography? If you want to follow a specific report format dictated by an American genealogical society (I don't), you may be out of luck, while customising the content of non-narrative reports is hard-work if you want to step outside the choices present.

In the end, I produce reports so seldom that I'm happy to run with what FH gives me. Even the lack of a bibliography doesn't worry me too much, especially as it's probably best summarised as "Item 1 Ancestry, Item 2 FindMyPast. The end" (not quite, of course, ;) )
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Re: Advice Needed from TMG Users Who Switched to FH

Post by DonF » 11 Feb 2019 23:33

E Wilcock wrote:"I want a program that can be extended by the addition of any tag (fact) definition I come up with, I want the ability to craft my own sentence structures, I want extensive tailorable reporting capability, I want good charting functions "

You wish list is all there in fh.
Sorry, it's not. At least not for me.
I want any tag definition I come up with - in fh it has to be something it can save in some sort of GEDCOM format. TMG doesn't care and neither do I [TMG wins]
I want my own sentence structures. Sure I can tailor them in fh (and that's where I would spend weeks of conversion time)., but I have many sentence structures in TMG (especially in the census area) that are impossible to do in fh [TMG wins]
I want tailorable reporting. TMG's extensive report construction filtering methods beat fh, even without resorting to TMG's QBE methods [TMG wins]
I want good charting functions. I can tailor what appears in a chart box at a level not possible in fh, just as one small example [TMG wins]

And then there's all the other deficiencies of fh, but as I said, I'm not going to waste time on comparisons that are all laid out on the TMG Refugees website.

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Re: Advice Needed from TMG Users Who Switched to FH

Post by Jane » 12 Feb 2019 08:24

I think it's time to close this and agree everyone has their own opinions on the best program.

The best program for any given person is the one they like to use the most.
Jane
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