This is just a general comment — I have spent a significant amount of time here on RootsFinder, and I thought I would “get it” by now, but the interface is not very user friendly. I didn’t have any problems understanding how to add information to or set up my family tree over at Ancestry or MyHeritage. I feel like there should be more text labels instead of arrows icons with no explanation of what they do. I don’t understand the integration with FamilySearch. I downloaded the web clipper but I don’t understand how to use it. I don’t know what, if anything, the difference is between the column on the left and the column on the right when I am viewing someone’s profile. This reminds me too much of a wikitree, which I gave up on for the very same reasons: it’s too confusing!
Gosh, Rootsfinder seems like a breath of fresh air compared to the two sites you mentioned. Both of those sites, though very powerful and helpful, seem overburdened with features. For me, at least, Rootsfinder has a clean, lean interface.
I agree that the video documentation comes up a bit short in explaining all of Rootsfinder’s features. It would be good to have written documentation. The product is being updated every day, so perhaps there hasn’t been time to do all that.
The Web Clipper is great because it allows one to enter data for many people all at once from the same source. Nothing else I’ve tried allows you to do that. MyHeritage comes pretty close, but it complicates the issue with too many bells and whistles.
Granted, we could use more user instructions about how to use Rootsfinder. The arrows in the middle of the two-pane view simply indicate the direction of sharing with FamilySearch. The arrows have nothing to do with the column of data in the right-hand pane. A right-pointing arrow means data in your person’s profile can be uploaded to FamilySearch. A left-pointing arrow means there is data at FamilySearch that can be downloaded to your person’s profile. A bidirectional arrow means (I think) that data can be synchronized with Family Search.
Two other features of Rootsfinder that I really like are the ability to generate an Evidence Report and the integration with GenSmarts. While Rootsfinder doesn’t generate citations in Evidence Explained format, the citations are easily accessible and can be customized, if desired.
A feature that is missing the FamilySearch ID at the top of each profile. That’s only visible now after clicking the FamilySearch icon and then selecting “Compare with FamilySearch.”
For me, the best feature of Rootsfinder is the ability to extract data from the different online sources without being married to any particular one.
I have the same problem you are talking about I just keep leaving the site. I am a show me person and no where that I go in the program show me enough to explain how to be successful in any actions I am trying to do. I really want to use this program why can’t there be written explanation for how to use it.sjc
I think the disconnect occurs because the people who work for RootsFinder know how to use the site and all of the features, and sometimes it’s hard to explain something that you already know so well. It’s like a brilliant mathematician being a horrible math teacher. This site could be so great, and lots of us are looking for genealogy alternatives. Ancestry is too expensive. MyHeritage is good but isn’t always accurate. WikiTree and WeRelate are too time consuming. Step up to the plate, RootsFinder! If I ever figure out how to use this site, I’ll write the manual for you!
Have you seen the Rootsfinder videos on YouTube? Here’s a link to the Hints & Tips video, which is very good:
Thanks for the feedback. We would love help with the help documents!!!
We just completed a few new introductory videos. Here is a list of all of our videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7YnLJ24U_e8cJgzi4g2bBQ/videos
And we are in the process of revising the help pages. Seriously, any help with the help pages would be appreciated. Like you say, we know the site too well. It’s difficult for us to know what needs to be covered / explained better. This would be a great time for feedback.