New to RM9 - Family View functionality, RM7 versus RM9

In RM7, in Family View, if there were multiple spouses you could easily see it in the spousal count shown above the mother and father, and you could easily select the other spouse and see that other family - in other words, the list of children would change. Is there an equivalent to this in RM9?

Sorry, I asked too quickly. I just discovered the ability to change the spouse over to the left. I guess I should play around more before I ask questions. I really miss RM7…

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Not to worry. You are not the only former RM7 user who finds RM9’s Family View functionality to be lacking. The upper part of the left side panel is very awkward to use. Clicking on the spouse count in RM7 and switching spouses was quick and easy. Rearranging children in RM7’s Family View was quick and easy as compared to using the upper part of the left side panel. RM9’s Family View only lists about half as many children as RM7’s Family View, causing a lot more scrolling. RM7’s Family View showed complete birth dates and birth places and death dates and death places.RM9’s Family View only shows birth and death years, and they can be hard to see. And the info panel at the top of RM7’s Family View showed much more information that was immediately useful than the top of the RM9’s left side panel.

In return for all those problems, RM9 does show you up to one spouse for each child. In my view, it’s not a good trade-off.

Some (maybe many?) RM users do seem to prefer the RM9 layout of Family View. But I have asked many times for the return of the RM7 style Family View as an easily selectable option, like a check box at the top of the page, not something where you have to dig deeply into to some sort of Preferences dialog.If it were an option, then RM users who prefer the RM9 layout could still use it. If the option for the RM7 layout were available, I would always use it and I would never use the RM9 layout. If I want to see spouses of the children, then they are much easier to see in Descendant View set to 2 generations and you can see all the spouses at the same time, not just one.


I too would always choose the RM7 family view over that in RM9. The main advantages are

  • Being able to see many more children without scrolling down because much less space is wasted

  • Being able to see where the children were born and died, which gives an at-a-glance view of where the family lived over many years

  • Seeing and switching between multiple spouses more easily

  • Having a much more immediate way to sort children in age order.

All that RM9 offers to make up for these disadvantages is a view of the name of one spouse for each of the few children who appear on the page. Even this is clumsy and confusing; the spouse is shown to the right, but if you want to see details of the family, you need to click to the left.

If the designers wanted to give the option to view spouses, I would optionally show them underneath the children, with a collapsible/expandible structure like in the descendants view. In my view, returning to the RM7 view with this option added in would be better in every respect.


To be fair I used RM7 for less than a month. I see some advantages to be on the side (left or right depending on setting) However, I am not fond of the way the children are displayed. Maybe collapse/expand vs “slide in”. I can see how new users would be confused by the RM9 design. (especially after coming form RM7)

Example 2 spouse with each different set of children

then you need to click to "slide in " (or whatever they offically call it)


First screen allows to re-arrange spouse then next allows to re-arrange children of that family couple.


There are two separate issues here. The RM9 Family View looks like this.

The RM9 info panel looks like this.

I think that both of them have major weaknesses as compared to RM7.

In the case of RM9’s info panel, it has many, many weaknesses. But I think the one that drives me the most crazy is that if I switch to the Parents tab or to the Spouses tab, it wants to revert back to the Details tab at the least provocation. It won’t just leave it where I put it. I find that it’s so hard to use that I just don’t use it at all, except that I do like that it has the relationship available. The relationship is in a much better place in RM9 than it was in RM7. And obviously I occasionally do have to use RM9’s info panel to to rearrange children or to rearrange spouses because there is no other way.

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Below the Info box with the Details, Parents and Spouses tab, there is another section with tabs. The Family tab will show you all the spouses and children together, along with parents and siblings.

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Yes, I set the bottom half of the left side panel to use the Family tab at least 99% of the time. The Family Tab in the left side panel from RM7 was missing in RM8. Adding the it back into the left side panel was a big improvement in RM9, and I am very thankful for its return. It’s a great feature. But it doesn’t have Rearrange Spouses or Rearrange Children capability which gets me back into the top half of the left side panel and those things were ever so much easier in RM7.

The bigger picture is just that it seems to me that the top half of the left side panel is a very weak feature of RM9. I’m going to include the same info panel from RM7 for comparison purposes. It included an easy way to change the spouse that’s the current spouse and to rearrange the spouses. Not every view had it but RM7’s main Family View had a much easier way to rearrange children. RM9 has a much harder to use and clickier way to accomplish the same things in the info panel.

In addition, the RM7 info panel included the full birth date and birth place, marriage date and marriage place, and death date and death place for the highlighted person. This is information that’s very difficult to get at in the main RM9 screen. I often have to resort to opening the person’s Edit Person screen to be able to see that information.

The RM7 info panel that I’m presently so fond of was not trouble free itself. It’s biggest problem was that it did not include the relationship information. In RM7, the relationship information was in lower left hand corner of the RM7 screen. RM7 could have benefitted greatly by moving this information into the open space at the right end of the info panel at the top of the screen.

Finally, remember that there are other tabs than the Family tab in the lower half of the left side panel. The use of any of those other tabs temporarily displaces the Family tab and then the Family tab has to be restored. The other tab in the left side panel that affects me the most because I use it the most is the Groups tab. And the Groups dialog doesn’t even run in the left side bar. It runs in a pop-up window. So why do I have to disturb the left side bar just to open up the Groups pop-up? For me as a sample size of one, the left side bar is a very clicky and user unfriendly distraction. I’m sure that many users rather like it. But I’m not one of those users.


@rzamor1 – I did not use RM7 long enough to “fee” the difference. I do get the logic of the design. It feels like the RM9 version is lacking but for me at the same time I was always able to get by. Something closer to this might work for some not sure (for the side view)