Avanquest – Who Do You Think You Are? v3 Deluxe Edition review

well patched genealogy software
Photo of Avanquest – Who Do You Think You Are? v3 Deluxe Edition
£9.78 (basic), £39.13 inc VAT (Deluxe)

When you install Version 3 of the Who Do You Think You Are? (WDYTYA) software it announces itself, and takes up residence, as Family Tree Maker 2008. Fortunately, it’s not the original issue with severely-challenged functionality but the later ‘v2008 New’.

This was heavily patched to restore some of the omitted features in a series of service pack downloads. If you didn’t do that, this one will upgrade your Family Tree Maker v2008 for you by adding the patches now. Or you can install it from scratch.

Although many of the omitted reports and charts have been restored – including the unique, paginated, cross-referenced (but no longer indexed) ‘Book’ drop-line descendant charts, useful for supplementing reports – they still don’t match its predecessor, the 2006 version. What you don’t get back either is FTM’s self-published ‘Book’, an ordered collection of your choice of reports optionally incorporating your own text or scanned items: at least you can’t print it yourself anymore.

Instead you have to upload each one to Ancestry Press. Other charts and reports notable by their omission are the fan trees and the all-in-one tree. There are changes to all reports to improve facts and notes, and updates to the exporting of reports to RTF and HTML.

Resolved issues are said to include memory management (although it still freezes occasionally, becoming unresponsive to Windows Task Manager), import fixes, updating display of data and stopping crashes due to Firefox being the default browser.

Other improvements claimed are performance enhancements in import, export and upload, enhancements to web merge and web clipping, wider range of supported image types, a find-and-replace tool, the ability to rename media files within the program and automatic simple backup at shutdown.

You also get the new Family Tree Maker interface that puts lots of useful information on the same screen (in separate panes) all relating to the selected person. From here you can navigate to other screens including events, sources and timelines.

The new Places view lists all the places in your database and can call up a (sometimes) relevant map, showing either a conventional road map, an aerial view or a useful hybrid of both, all zooming in to show street names. There’s a 3D option for some locations.

You still get space on Ancestry’s server to upload your charts and reports, and must still forego compensation if Ancestry decides to ‘distribute’ your files.

WDYTYA v3 Deluxe Edition, as reviewed, costs £39.13 with a free 3-month ‘Essentials’ membership of ancestry.co.uk, an on-disc hints and tips video presentation, a printed Getting Started Guide, video clips and PDF family trees of the celebrities featured in the first four BBC TV series, plus a PDF ‘taster’ of the book Who Do You Think You Are? Encyclopaedia of Genealogy, with an offer of 25 percent off the book’s RRP.

The cut-down, bargain, single disc edition costs £9.78 with a 30-day subscription to ancestry.co.uk, plus the aforementioned celebrity family trees and video clips. In both cases the core program is the same. It’s now published under licence by Avanquest.

Company: Avanquest

If you've used Who Do You Think You Are? before you'll notice the missing functionality but be pleased with the new convenient interface and friendly facilities, which will make research and analysis easier. The single-disc edition is cheaper than the current Family Tree Maker, but even so, look around first; there are other better buys available.