Feature Request-- UNDO BUTTON

My request is simple and should NOT BE IMPOSSIBLE to do–when you import people from a gedcom or drag and drop individuals from one database to another, I want a button to UNDO it if something goes wrong-- of course, the undo option would only be available until you closed the file.

I have multiple files-- hubbies, mine and some for surnames that I researched for one reason or another to name just a few–when I started in RM8, I only imported a couple that I am currently using-- 2 different times over the past year, I thought I was importing an old gedcom into a new database and ended up importing them into an existing file and the 2 files have nothing in common—so now I have over 4000 people in one file that I don’t want there— the only thing I can do is create a new gedcom for the originally file and hand select who I want in the file by eliminating the names for over 4000 people --do you know how many surnames there are for 4000 people-- I have already spent 2 hours just copying the names from the gedcom, so I get most everybody BUT keep the ones I need
Come on guys-- time to get our act together-- Family Tree maker had an UNDO BUTTON a long time ago and I really feel that RootsMagic is as good or even better than FTM


Actually what you are asking for is NOT simple. I am not sure what a long time ago is to you, but the ability to undo is fairly recent in FTM. I can’t recall if 2017 or 2019 (I am thinking 2019).

The conventional wisdom is to backup your file BEFORE making changes like imports. After importing, you need to check to make sure all is right before moving on.

Last I checked, FTM allowed you to roll back up to 1000 actions. Can RM also do this? Probably! Will they do it soon? I suspect a lot of people would prefer that they finish RM8 in regards to the pieces still missing such as spell check, personal media gallery and so forth. Until then, the onus is on you to either a) not make silly mistakes or b) used the tools you have to recover from them if you do.


FTM 2019 has a 1000 change log rollback feature but you lose any changes after the rollback point so it is a two-edged sword…

Standard safe computing approach is to back up your computer regularly and back up or duplicate a RM7/8 database before major changes like merges. FTM has a prompt for backup before compacting a file. Just use your backup and start over.

RM8 has lots of crucial fixes needed and will not be adding new features any time soon

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The FTM feature to “rollback” up to last 1000 changes is too much. That history log file can balloon your backup. It can be used when there are sync failure you would not otherwise be able recover from. However, it also has potential to cause new problems depending how used. I would not want RM to keep a log of than many changes. Not sure what a perfect Goldilocks # would be…maybe 10? definitely no more than 100. I guess the other question would be what changes would be logged and what if you restore a change that it can only partially “restore”. I am cautious so rarely make mistakes that cause any issues. That said I can see situations were one might have accidentally merged the wrong 2 people. As other people have said – I would like some kind of undo feature in the future but for now I would prefer fixing other things and finishing some feature updates.


FTM rollback does not seem to increase file size but is far more than prudent needs. External and internal backups before significant events and automatically is all you need.

It doesn’t balloon the actual FTM data file, but it does create a log file which does get large fast as I recall.

I wasn’t talking abt the rollback feature that FTM added in 2019-- I am talking abt an UNDO COMMAND that may NOT have been in FTM 98 BUT was in all of the other ones and in other genealogy programs that I tried since leaving FTM in 2016— I’m sure that while you never make a mistake, others MIGHT find it helpful

Thanks-- I backup my files every time I use them-- so I understand what you are saying-- and I wasn’t expecting any new feature request to be answered anytime soon as they have too many other things that need done 1st-- but like everybody else, I thought it was okay to at least mention it
Thanks again for your help

Oh, I make mistakes, however I am smart enough to be prepared when that happens. Having a backup means that you could have fixed it quickly. In your problem, and undo button would have been massively unwieldy. If you had to roll back 4000 changes (minimally), this would likely have choked the program, especially if you had done anything like merging or editing.

As for UNDO, I know for certain that there was no such thing until the version just before they went to naming with a year which was about 2006, if I recall, and I don’t recall seeing it in FTM2012 or 2014 either.

To accomplish what the OP asked for would be simple-
have RM do an automatic backup when it is launched, before work is done.
Then on exit, ask the user to “commit” the work done or revert to the backup that was created at the start of the session.

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Why do an auto backup? I think SQLite supports transactions now (it didn’t used to when I used it most) so instead of automatically saving anything, it can just roll them all up for the entire session, the let the user commit at the end. That should only only cause a whole new world of problems for users that don’t know what they are doing to start with. Maybe that will actually give the checkmark/save button some real work to do.

Renee has commented on having an “undo” feature before. The answer was something along the lines that entries aren’t stored in RAM and therefore no “undo”. Don’t quote me on that reason. I backup prior to doing any edits.

It seems to me that of the biggest benefits of having a change log detailed enough to undo the changes we have made is to document for the devs the exact steps we did that resulted in a AV (or other) error.

I can imagine creating a detailed change log is probably not trivial with (at least on Mac) all the asynchronous processes running. Some of which must be able to update something, otherwise, what is the point of using all that CPU.

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