Main Screen Appearance Options RM8

I like the clean cut appearance using the boxes in the Family view in RM8. This new view actually provides more information in the view than does RM7 such as spousal information for each child. Adapting to change is difficult but more I work with RM8 the better it gets.


Interesting points Ole Seminole –

I think you’re right about change being difficult – using it leads to familiarity but even though I’ve been using RM8 since it came out I am not finding it easier to use – You point out the one feature I like

I’m still finding it frustrating to use. I’ve spent the last 20 minutes trying to move a child from the fathers 2nd spouse to the 1st spouse without any luck. At least now he’s associated with just the wrong spouse rather than both of them.

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Hi Robert,

I just read your post about moving a child. This may help.
Go to “Family View.”
Right click on the child you want to move and a menu will pop up.
Click on “Unlink” and then click on “Unlink Parents” or “Unlink from Spouse.”
Them you can “re-attach” the child to the correct spouse.
I hope this works for you!

Leonard Groff

I too am less than enthusiastic about the appearance of the main screen. I don’t care for the boxes around children’s names in family view-- not because they clutter the screen, but because if a family has more than four children, one has to do a lot of scrolling. Except in the case of a very large family, the table format in RM7 displayed the entire family at a glance-- no scrolling required. Another problem with the new family view is the display of children’s spouses, which really does clutter the screen. (I find it especially frustrating when a child is, in fact, divorced!) Further, the format of the index also feels like a step backward. In RM7, we had the option to included the birth year, or not, as we chose. Now, both birth and death years are shown, with no option to hide either, so that the index takes up more of the screen. As others on this thread have remarked, I appreciate many of the new capabilities in RM8, but I’d love to return to the classic family view.


Perhaps those who are unhappy with RM8 main screens have not tried other genealogy programs. Most are much busier with 2 side and a bottom box around the tree view. None except FTM have the excellent person display in RM.

I like the overall clean readabilitly and text size. My problem is with those repeated access violation errors…crashes and the lack of the standard top menu bar row and failure to conform to mac command and design standards observed by virtually all other mac programs. This includes all other genealogy programs I have tried (heredis…FTM…macfamilytree…reunion).

Are you using a very small screen? I get 10 children in family view

Thanks for the response. I’m using a full screen. If I change the display settings in my OS, I can see more children, but that change throws off the display in other programs. I can see as many as six children if I reduce the font size in RM8, although the font size then becomes inconsistent in family view, with the father’s name in a tiny font, the mother’s name in a slightly larger font, and the children’s names in a still larger font. I don’t see a way to modify settings in RM8 to shrink or enlarge the whole display. Maybe the problem lies in my system somehow, but it’s a problem I never had (and still don’t have) with RM7.

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I’m nearly ready to return to RM7 due to the poor design of the UI; especially the Family View and the inability to fix these problems in RM8. I have attached screen captures of the same family to demonstrate my specific reasons. Note that the screen captures are from windows that are essentially the exact same size and were taken from a desktop computer monitor.

The primary function of a genealogy database should be the collection and analysis of family history data; these functions should always take precedence. Just because the data looks “pretty” (which RM8 seems to emphasize) should not distract from examining the data. However, that is exactly what the Family View does in RM8. With that in mind, here are the some of issues that I believe are extremely distracting and were introduced in RM8:

  1. As noted by others, the boxes are not only distracting but unnecessary - they not only present significantly less data than RM7 but contain a large amount of wasted screen real estate and place data for each individual on more than one line. For example, the names of children are listed on one line, then their birthdates are listed on another. Thus, when attempting to scan information for such things as the order in which children are born (often extremely useful information), the eye tracks the data as follows:

Box line (which is rather bold and prominent)
date(s) - which are abbreviated in RM8
Box line

Repeat and eventually scroll to see all of the children. (If a family consists of many children, such as the one I’ve provided on the screen captures, one must scroll down in RM8 to see all of them.)

  1. In RM7, the data for each child are listed on just one line, considerably more data are presented, and the single line that separates each individual is unobtrusive. This makes the scanning of the significantly larger amount of data available considerably easier and requires minimal effort. Additionally, there is no need to scroll down to see the data for all of the children as they appear on the same screen.

  2. Photos pertaining to each child may “look pretty” in Family View on RM8 but are they really needed here? No.

  3. One issue that I find really obnoxious in RM8 is that data about each child are no longer presented but that the need to present their spouses in Family View is of almost no utility here. Displaying spouses is secondary information and, in the vast majority of instances, these spouses are almost always not related (other than through marriage) to anyone else on the page. The data that were presented in RM7 - full birth and death dates, as well as their respective locations - are far more valuable than the names of spouses. I also strongly suspect that the vast majority of users probably also stop researching the ancestral lines of these spouses as these generally no longer relevant to the specific family tree. Of course, there are other places where this information is useful but not in Family View.

  4. As noted in the attached image, the data for the (unrelated) spouses also takes up an enormous amount of real estate on the screen.

If nothing else, I wish that RM8 would give us an option to easily view and scan the significantly larger amount of data that were viewable in RM7. I’m getting very close to returning to RM7 as a result of this situation.


Unfortunately they didn’t even succeed in “pretty”, in my not so humble opinion!

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This makes sense. Why show the spouse when you are only interested in family. If you want to review the spouse just click on the arrow to bring you to that family view.