Posted by on January 23, 2013 in Ancestry.com Site, Content, Site Features

Last year, we launched the Interactive Image Viewer as an interactive tool to help you view and interpret information from many of the Census records available online. We’re excited to announce that the Interactive Image Viewer will now be available for several more collections in the coming weeks. Finding and understanding historical records is one of the most exciting and important parts of family history, so we’ve been working hard to make an intuitive and enjoyable experience that will work for different Web browsers and devices. Although we still have work to do, here are a few changes you’ll find:

 

A more consistent viewing experience

Over the years, the website has had several different ways to view images. Now we’d like to make your experience as consistent as possible. For example, our current image viewer requires Flash. Unfortunately, some members use devices that can’t use Flash so we’ve made the new Interactive Image Viewer so it works without Flash.

 

Faster image viewing

We want to make sure that images you’re interested in appear as quickly as possible so you can spend more time exploring them and less time waiting them to load. The new Interactive Image Viewer is more than twice as fast as our current Flash-powered viewer.

 

More viewing space and easy access to tools

The Interactive Image Viewer has been designed to give you the best view of the content while providing easy access to image tools and features. Want to see a transcription of the record? Simply click on the Index tab at the bottom of the page. (You can make the index bigger or smaller by clicking and dragging the tab)

 
Help finding your family

If you’ve used the Interactive Image Viewer with the 1930 or 1940 U.S. censuses or the 1911 UK Census, you’ll recognize the highlights, which identify the person and family you’re looking for. We’ll be adding highlights to more censuses and additional collections as soon as they’re available. 

 

More understanding of what you’re seeing

Have you been trying to memorize what each field on all 16 censuses means to avoid looking back and forth between the information and the column headings? With the Interactive Image Viewer, you don’t have to! Labels will display on the top and left side of the viewer so you’ll know exactly what information you’re looking at—no matter which part of the record you’re viewing. And to see what a field says, just hover your mouse over it.

 

Tips and Tricks

Keyboard controls: Use the arrow keys to pan and + and – to zoom. Press the Home or End keys to move to the far left or right of the image, and Page Up and Page Down keys to move to the top and bottom.

Do you like printing the transcription of a record? The new viewer allows you to easily print all or part of an image along with the index and source information. If you’d like to print the whole index for an image, you can now select and copy the text right out of the index panel.

 

Interested? Check out the new Interactive Image Viewer anytime. We really appreciate the feedback we’re received (more than 20,000 of you have responded to date!) so please keep sending us your thoughts.

151 Comments

Amazonite 

Anybody else notice that the highlighted name most likely includes a transcription error?? ‘Anstin’ for ‘Austin’

January 24, 2013 at 8:51 am
Kathy 

I’ve only been a member of Ancestry for four years, but I have never seen a more poorly transcribed collection than the 1940 US Census. One example: “Lwndc” for “Linda.” No vowels. Many, MANY errors like that. (Reminds me of the immigrant census-takers of the late 1800s who couldn’t spell the names of other ethnicities). It does make searching the 1940 Census much more challenging.

January 26, 2013 at 2:58 am
Sharon 

We will always have the option of using the “Standard Viewer”, or will this eventually disappear? The Standard Viewer allows me to right-click on a document image and copy it to my desktop as a jpg file, or email it to another person. The new viewer doesn’t right-click copy. If there is another provision to do this on the new viewer, please let me know.

January 28, 2013 at 6:38 pm
Donna Goodwin 

# 3 Sharon. Great guestion. It better. Hmmmm. Also, yes census’ are poorly done, but Family search is really looking for indexers, So give it a shot. Make it better.

January 28, 2013 at 6:56 pm
Donna Goodwin 

Just went to the interactive site and on the top right hand there is a MORE and arrow, click on it and you can save to tree or to computer.

January 28, 2013 at 6:59 pm
Andy Hatchett 

@#5- Donna

What browser are you using? When I click more I get the options:
View Index
View Source
Help and Tips
Report problems
Social Media links

If I right click the actual image I get:
View Image
Save Image as…
Bookmark this page
Select all
etc.

I’ using latest FoxFire.

January 29, 2013 at 7:45 am
Rhea 

I just wish Ancestry would go back to allowing us to use the mouse wheel to move up and down the page. To me, it takes incredibly longer the way it is now. I also wish Ancestry would start ALL search pages at the top of the page instead of the middle of the page. As always, it is more work. I would rather start at the top and work my way down to the bottom rather than start in the middle, go to the top and then work my way back to the bottom half. Right now, using the mouse wheel makes the page larger or smaller. I don’t like that at all. Sometimes the old way is better. I do very much like the names being highlighted.

Also, there was a point where I could see the names of all the columns the top of the 1940 census but I no longer see them. It is very rare to open a 1940 census and ever be able to read the headings. It was nice having those column names listed. Interestingly, I clicked on the interactive image viewer. It is one of the very few times I have ever been able to read the column headings. But even so, if I am at the bottom of the page, I have to move the screen all the way back to the top to see what column heading I am looking at and then move back to the bottom. Please add typed column headings back in so wherever we are on the page, we can see the column headings. I would also suggest adding dates (for example when they ask for income as of 12/31/1939). Interestingly, when I clicked on that little “Index” at the middle bottom of the page to see what it was. I then saw the column headings at the top. I hope the column headings are there regardless of whether you click on the Index button at the bottom of the page. I went back and looked at a 1940 census on one of my profile pages and the column headings did not appear until after I enlarged the page so they a are still there. But when I went back to that 1940 census on a profile page on my Tree, the column headings were not there the 2nd time and even when I clicked on that Index button at the bottom, the column headings did not appear. So, I would just like to be sure before this comes out permanently that we can always see the column headings. It would also be nice to have the typed column headings on all of the census reports, not just 1940.

Thanks very much.

February 3, 2013 at 5:37 pm
Pam 

When I use it, I get all kinds of error messages. One in particular says it can’t find the person. It used to work, but doesn’t anymore. And I agree with most. Until it is refined a bit I would want options to use the usual way.

February 23, 2013 at 10:26 am
Ann 

I miss the right column that suggested additional records and indicated the other trees to which the record had been saved. Checking the other trees often helps to make sure that this is not a record for another person of the same name.

February 25, 2013 at 9:19 am
Kate 

I agree with #3 and #9 comments, Please move the right side bar back and allow me to save as a jpg. Also, please move the navigational tools back to a toolbar, rather than hidden in a small drop down menu on the top right. Buttons tucked into drop-down menus is more work-intensive, when viewing hundreds of records, to have to move over to that each time, doesn’t sound like a lot- but it adds up. I really don’t like this new viewer, I like the one we have now, which Was an improvement from the one before it. Unfortunately, this new one leaves a lot of helpful tools and information out, or hidden. The right-column on the current viewer is absolutely crucial to me.

March 7, 2013 at 2:37 am
Ken Hinds 

PLEASE don’t take away the standard viewer! I really
don’t like the new viewer at all. I find it incredibly
cumbersome to use. The two biggest problems are that
you can’t scroll with the mouse wheel, and that the
viewer hijacks the keyboard.

I can’t understand why someone made the decision to
use the mouse wheel for zooming. Think about it: which
action are you more likely to do over and over while
viewing an image: scrolling or zooming? I set the zoom
level the first time I view an image in a collection.
After that I almost never zoom in or out. Instead, I
move up and down the image looking for the person I’m
interested in. The natural way to do that is the mouse
wheel.

And I really hate that it takes away the browser
keyboard shortcuts. When you’re using the new viewer,
it’s impossible to control-page-down to move to a
different tab in the browser. It’s also impossible to
alt-back-arrow to go back to the search page. It’s
poor programming practice to swallow up keystrokes
you don’t process. Instead, you pass them up to the
calling routine.

I also can’t understand why you say it’s faster. The
time I used it, it took significantly longer to load the
image than the standard viewer does. I suspect that’s
because it always downloads the highest possible
resolution instead of the 100% view that I always use.

I repeat, PLEASE let us continue using the standard
viewer!

March 7, 2013 at 4:30 am
Nancy Bond 

it is impossible to use this viewer for the chicago tribune obituaries (which are so helpful in my research) this new viewer seems to have some sort of limit set on viewing a long image. you can not go up to the top or down to the bottom of a long list of a particular day’s obituaries. even if you rotate it on its side you still can not see the extremes. it is also such a pain not to be able to use the mouse scroller on these obits.

March 7, 2013 at 6:55 am
robert uzupes 

PLEASE remove notice of May 31 st, it takes up 10% of my screen. I have to delete the notice for every page !

March 7, 2013 at 7:01 am
Andrea 

I agree totally with #11 comments.

This yet another way that Ancestry AND its new owners are not listening to their audience. There is no good reason not to have the standard and the new viewing options together. If someone wants the bells and whistles, let them have the option of using them. If there is someone, like me, who does not want them, let us have the standard viewer.

There are a goodly number of people who are who do not need nor do they want all of this hoopla.

But, I do know that I am a voice crying in the desert on this, as Ancestry has already decided that its subscribers will be forced into this.

Regretfully, I do not know if my computer will be able to handle this nor do I see what advantage it will be for me to use the enhanced viewing option.

Do not forget the old Army acronym, KISS.

March 7, 2013 at 7:41 am
Ceegup1 

PLEASE don’t take away the old viewer! I like how on the right side it shows others that have tagged a person for their tree. I use this a lot. Sometimes it helps confirm that I have found the right person. It gives me other trees to look at that may have made more progress than I have with a particular person. Your new viewer doesn’t even have this feature

March 7, 2013 at 8:04 am
Linda McNitt 

I agree with comment #9! Keep the suggested records and member connect section. Those “suggestions” are what make Ancestry valuable to me. Yes, some “newbies” have really cluttered the landscape with bad connections, but it still can lead you to clues.

March 7, 2013 at 8:10 am
Rod 

I’ll strongly echo the above comments on the lack of the member connect and suggestions bar. Taking that away (or refusing access to the old viewer) just destroys the way I research in many ways. On census records, I like to look at how families living close to each other in small towns were related. When I see that the mother in a family is saved to someone’s tree with a maiden name that is the same name as a family two households down, it gives me an avenue for further research. While you always have to go further and find the documentation, situations like that have made this a game-changer in many ways.

The interface overhaul itself means little to me if the amazing ability to see what research and comments that others have left is just removed. Were all of those comments that I added to census records for others to see to disappear now as well?

Adding questionable functionality is one thing. Removing an amazing networking tool just so everyone is on the flashy new interface is an absolute travesty.

March 7, 2013 at 9:08 am
Craig 

The other day I switched from the new viewer to the old because the new one was giving me so many problems while researching the 1940 US Census. It’s slower, less responsive, and more error-prone when loading and clicking. Considering the number of corrections I’ve had to put in for this census, it just makes it very frustrating to deal with.

While I am not very fond of the older, Flash-based viewer, it remains far more stable and less troublesome overall.

So, I’m concerned that this new version is going to become the standard when its flaws are not getting fixed.

March 7, 2013 at 9:22 am
Brian 

Rod wrote and I agree……I’ll strongly echo the above comments on the lack of the member connect and suggestions bar. Taking that away (or refusing access to the old viewer) just destroys the way I research in many ways. On census records, I like to look at how families living close to each other in small towns were related. When I see that the mother in a family is saved to someone’s tree with a maiden name that is the same name as a family two households down, it gives me an avenue for further research. While you always have to go further and find the documentation, situations like that have made this a game-changer in many ways.

The interface overhaul itself means little to me if the amazing ability to see what research and comments that others have left is just removed. Were all of those comments that I added to census records for others to see to disappear now as well?

Adding questionable functionality is one thing. Removing an amazing networking tool just so everyone is on the flashy new interface is an absolute travesty.

March 7, 2013 at 11:10 am
Janie 

The new interface is absolutley the worst non-improvement made to this website. As so many others have accurately described the problems I won’t reiterate them here.

No matter the explantain, this seems to be just another case of playing with the technology just because you can. The change is absolutely not an improvement and has only made this site more difficult to use.

March 7, 2013 at 11:24 am
Alice Burns 

I hate all this changes Go back like it was I goy to where I hardly Check Cences anymore Cant Do it May even Consider Leaving Can find a lot of my family tree other places Should never been messed with in first place Everone is not a computer whize like these programers

March 17, 2013 at 3:23 pm
Larry 

All comments should be analyzed and looked into. I find it very difficult to navigate the new viewer. When I used the old search method, all I had to do was type in the name and a list of sites where the name appears is displayed (census, BMD,SSDI, military,etc) The new viewer is not only harder to find records, but longer. If you could either go back to the “old Search” feature or send out pacific instruction on how to use the new one, it might help us old timers. I’d hate to leave Ancestry after many years of good service, but if it becomes too difficult, I and other might look elsewhere.

March 24, 2013 at 8:33 am
Crista Cowan 

Larry – I think you are referring to the way that search results are displayed. To see your search results by category instead of ranked by relevance, look for the “VIEW” option at the top right-hand side of your search results and change it to “Summarized by Category.” That should format the results the way you are familiar with them, first by category, then by specific database.

March 25, 2013 at 5:29 pm
Linda Jackson 

I agree with almost everyone. New is not always better. The scroll vs moving the mouse all over the desk was something you should have left alone. Logical. Unless we go full screen, the census record display is in a small section in the middle of the screen and then we have to move it up or down (or even move a page forward or backward) to find the person for which we actually searched. This was a really bad idea.
Also, I strongly agree with #2 (Kathy) who remarked on the extremely poor quality of the 1940′s census. As a transcriber, as well as a researcher, I find myself wondering if that Census was a 2nd grade school project! Unbelievable. Many of the errors are just lazy transcribing, too. When looking at the records, I find myself wondering how the transcriber came up with some of the names. It would help if there was a keying verification process prior to being posted on Ancestry.com. I would be happy to volunteer just for the sake of those of us who are daily searching for our ancestors.

April 17, 2013 at 11:34 pm
John S. Kirk 

What version of Mac and Windows are going to be required for this new stuff? I’m using Mac OS X 10.4.11 and Firefox 3.6.28 (which I think is the most current version of Firefox that I can use).
Second comment: It seems that Ancestry is only interested in randomly helping the novice at the expense of experienced, long-time users. All these bells and whistles are just an annoyance. I still use “old search” because “new search” has proven itself worthless.
Third comment: I couldn’t enter this on my Mac. When I tried to submit, it just gave me text of the name of the image file for which I was apparently to transcribe. Entering the file name just gave me an insulting comment. (You really do need more mature and intelligent programmers.)

April 18, 2013 at 1:48 am
Elizabeth 

I don’t like this new viewer – it is impossible to pan on an IPad.

April 19, 2013 at 6:44 am
Gale McCoy 

The interactive viewer is much faster now since the flash has been eliminated. I would rather see it open with the index open and the option to close it, instead of having to open it on each screen. However, the right side bar information present in the older viewer is a critical asset that is not incorporated in the interactive viewer. The hints to additional records and other family trees the individual record is saved to on the right side bar is essential to research. In fact, if it is not present, there is no easy access to other family trees. I don’t want to sound rude, but if you want to support only one viewer, you should ditch the interactive viewer instead. It has never been user friendly, and in reading the blogs, not a hit with many serious researchers. The elimination of the right sidebar, coupled with the horrible aspects of the new system of matching records being added are problematic for the user. New folks might not know the difference, but those of us that have used Ancestry for a number of years will be trying to work in a nightmare! Realizing Ancestry has grown by leaps and bounds since I became a member, and also realizing how much storage space and maintenance must be involved, I understand the need to revamp the system. However, with the changes recently made, and the change about to be made, it appears the site is in control of programmers that DO NOT do research of their own! If they did, they would realize they are eliminating the featuures that have made Ancestry so popular! The problems with the matching records changes and the elimination of the right sidebar will only create more hits on the system because everyone will be searching constantly for records and affiliations that will not be easily found. Just thinking about it makes me need a tranquilizer! The new viewer was primarily designed for the huge amount of information in the 1940 census, and was never easy to use. The other records don’t have that requirement, so changing everything else to match that programming will just create grief for the user. I have adjusted to numerous changes in the past, but I’m working in a much older era now, and need the hints to confirm family connections. I don’t know if I can progress without them. I also use the records hints to find people in years the search doesn’t find them. The recent changes and now this one, which is almost unbelievable to anyone using the site, are by far the worst changes I have had to adjust to………….and I’m not a beginner to Ancestry or computer programs.

April 19, 2013 at 11:54 am
ej 

Obviously the new changes are being made for those who simply copy records; anyone doing serious research is SOL.
1. The new changes aren’t being integrated with the old – there’s too much inconsistency.
2. The ‘new’ / current programmers aren’t researchers; they’re showing off their ‘cool’ skills. Let’s be honest, the new viewer is intended for those who copy records – not for researchers who review the actual records.
3. During the past several months, we’ve been little more than Alpha / Beta testers – without a voice in the user experience. I’m not paying to be an Alpha / Beta tester.

ancestry.com needs to temper their introduction of ‘new’ anything. I for one want to enter the website and do the research not cope with a multitude of changes that haven’t been tested.

April 19, 2013 at 3:41 pm
Deborah Glassman 

I have no problems with the new viewer. My concern is that you have not used it in the same way to note what other researchers have looked at this record, commented on the record, or posted the record to a public or private website. Many times I will follow a record chain from the record, to a tree and back out again to a record that I might not have seen otherwise. I suspect that this may be the easiest shortcoming for Ancestry to fix with the new viewer. It is not a software issue, it is simply a matter of continuing to provide the service or your choosing not to.

April 19, 2013 at 3:48 pm
Sandra Miller 

I do not like the new view. I hate using it on the 1940 web site. I like the ability on the old view to use the Customized print in the Project Editor. I know a lot of the people in the Genealogical Society I belong to like the customized print. The back grounds, phrases, etc. are great for enhancing records you print and want to keep.

I DO NOT LIKE THE NEW ONE

April 19, 2013 at 4:18 pm
benandken (Mary) 

I see you are taking away the STANDARD VIEWER on May 31. Well, you will lose me as a subscriber because with this supposedly NEW BETTER VIEWER I get NO VIEW AT ALL except a BLACK SCREEN most of the time. I keep updating my FlashPlayer and it will work for maybe a couple of days and then it is back to BLACK SCREEN. The moving around with the CLUTCH HAND (when I get an image) is very tiring and causes me to have hand cramps. Moving around with the arrow keys is SO MUCH SLOWER than scrolling with 2 fingers on a track pad. I have to keep clicking again and again on the page if I have another window open at the same time. GET MODERN. Many of us don’t use a mouse anymore; clutching and arrow keys are OLD. WHY CAN’T YOU LEAVE WELL ENOUGH ALONE AND LET ME DECIDE WHICH VIEWER WORKS BEST WITH MY COMPUTER. THE NEW ONE STINKS on my Macintosh!! By the way I’ve been here nearly 10 years as a paying subscriber.
You also do a GREAT disservice by eliminating the right column in an image view. That holds many hints to use that now will not be available without more searching on a different page. I like to see what other trees are citing this information but with new viewer I can’t without selecting TREES in a general search. More back and forth and it wears me out.
PLEASE DO NOT ELIMINATE USE OF THE STANDARD VIEWER.

April 20, 2013 at 12:09 am
Kim 

At different times I have logged on and have been forced to try the new viewer, and promptly switched to the standard viewer, The new one is to complicated and aggravating. I CAN’T STAND THE NEW VIEWER AT ALL.

April 20, 2013 at 2:28 am
Linda 

I’ve been a World subscriber for many years & have learned that Ancestry doesn’t often listen to it’s subscribers.

I’ve hated the “New Search” since day one. I find it cumbersome with the results listed over pages & pages rather than all clear & concise on one page as with the Old Search and the results pages themselves unnecessarily cluttered.

I do & will continue to use only the Old Search.

AND now along comes another unpopular change in the form of the new image viewer which we will all be forced into using.

About the only feature I like on the new viewer is the highlighting of the searched for individual & associated individuals.

My concern is that between the 3 trees I have in my Family Tree Maker program, I have several thousand individuals, many, many of whom have various images such as censuses attached to them.

And I’m certain that close to 100% of Ancestry’s subscribers also find themselves in this situation.

Those attached images in my trees have within their sourcing information link addys to the images at Ancestry.

I can’t possibly pull-up all those images & convert the image addy links to the links for the new viewer between now & 31 May when those links to the old viewer will no longer be active.

So my questions are ….

WILL ANCESTRY AUTOMATICALLY REDIRECT USERS TO AN IMAGE IF THE ONLY ADDY A PERSON CAN INPUT FOR THE DESIRED IMAGE IS THE LINK TO THE OLD VIEWER ??

OR, WILL EVERYONE, IN ORDER TO UPDATE SOURCING INFORMATION IN THEIR TREES, HAVE TO GO BACK AND RUN A SEARCH FOR EACH AND EVERY IMAGE IN THEIR TREE AFFECTED BY THIS VIEWER CHANGE IN ORDER TO GET THE NEW LINK TO THE NEW IMAGE VIEWER ??

April 20, 2013 at 6:40 am
Sandra Miller 

I agree with the others that the list of others who have looked for the same people you are is so helpful. It lets you connect with possible family members.

I also like the old way best.

I have been a World member since 2002. I will greatly re-think my subscription to Ancestry if they keep making “up-grades” with out listening to the people who actually use it and not just program and play with it!!!!!!!

April 20, 2013 at 10:46 am
Bonnie Miller 

I agree with ALL of the comments posted here! I have been a member of Ancestry for years however, if this new viewer is forced upon us (the old viewer becomes unavailable) I see no option except to cancel my subscription. I’ve tried using the new viewer, it’s dreadful; takes all the enjoyment out of searching. Does anyone read this thread? Why can’t Ancestry continue to offer BOTH options!?!?

April 20, 2013 at 4:29 pm
Jackie 

I HATE the new viewer – hate it. Why can’t we keep the old one? You people NEVER listen to what your PAYING CUSTOMERS want.

For those saying how poorly the 1940 census was done, the rules were that you were NOT ALLOWED to correct it, even if you KNEW what it was supposed to be! In other words, if you had your own mother on it and you knew how to spell it right, you had to spell it just as it appeared, or they counted it against you as a mistake! I kid you not. They wanted just what you saw on it, and nothing more. How dumb is that? I could have corrected hundreds of them, but they would have counted me as having hundreds of errors. So, it’s not the fault of the transcribers. Some might be, but most were simply because those were the rules. About as smart as the dumb things they do at Ancestry, like removing the standard viewer when most of their PAYING CUSTOMERS want to keep it.

April 20, 2013 at 7:36 pm
Virginia Mitchell 

I really must say that I am extremely disappointed in the services that Ancestry has been changing over the course of the past several years.

The interactive viewer is a pain in the rear to use. I do not want nor do I need moving images. This also makes it impossible to print documents without the URL on them. I have no need for the URL on the documents that I use.

To those complaining about the mistakes on transcriptions, blame Family Search Indexing. I trascribed the 1940 census records and the rules they make us follow are insane. We cannot alter what it looks like the image says no matter if the item makes sense or not. I ended up with a County that I have done genealogy work in for years. I know the families and the people there, some families, personally. However, when the census taker wrote down Barlow for the last name, I had to put that on the sheet even though I KNEW their last name was Harlow. Please, before you blame those of us who transcribed it, take a look at the rules we had to follow.

I also despise the entering of family information into the user created trees without sources. I cannot tell you how many times I have had to correct information about people I knew personally, like my grandparents, or how many arguements that I have gotten into with other users who refuse to accept scanned death certificates as real. Please, I beg you, get rid of the “add this to my tree” feature and make people do the research to get to add it if you are determined to keep the user created trees. There is no reason for misinformation to get out there with the amount of documents you store and provide except for pure laziness.

Sincerely,
Virginia Mitchell

April 21, 2013 at 9:32 pm
Pamela Pierce 

I absolutely hate the new viewer, for all of the reasons already listed, but most of all because I cannot scroll, which is much faster than grabbing and “pulling” the image down. I wish you would leave us the option of the old viewer. New is not always better.

April 22, 2013 at 6:07 am
Betty H. Minnick 

I’m dreading the end of May when I will be forced
to make the decision whether to stay with Ancestry.com or not. Please, leave the standard option left in place for us. Kindest regards

April 22, 2013 at 12:13 pm
Bonnie Miller 

I called ancestry today Monday, April 22nd,
1:21 p.m. (PST) to inquire about the “Standard Viewer” disappearing May 31st (as per that pesky pop-up).

The young woman that took my call said; “I checked and am told that you will still have the option of using the old viewer.” Twice I read the pop-up message to her … and she continued to reassure me that the option will still be available.

I have been a member since Dec 2000 (my membership comes up for renewal on April 28th) I do not want to waste my $$$,and will cancel ASAP if we are left with NO Option. For me, this will take ALL the fun out of searching.

Can ALL/SOME of you call: 1-800-262-3787, inquire and see what they tell you? I’m sure everyone here would be very interested in hearing the results (since ancestry is not responding to this thread?

April 22, 2013 at 5:19 pm
Sheri 

I called customer service just a few moments ago and they have not been informed that it is going away. I told her that I can only use the new viewer on 1880 and 1940 Census…any other screens it takes me back to their home page. I have tried on 3 different browsers and have the same issue on all of them. I also said that I would hate to cancel my subscription because of this.

April 22, 2013 at 5:44 pm
Ian J Trewhella 

I see a number of people that actually agree with me!!
This ‘interactive viewer’ is one of the worst and most intrusive innovations I have ever seen. All it serves to do is to ANNOY the heck out of me and I have to mess around all the time to get rid of the darned thing!!!

But as at least one other person has said ‘YOU DON’T LISTEN TO THOSE WHO PAY THE MONEY’!!!!!!

And don’t get me going on the transcription errors ………………………………….!!!!!!!

I spend half my time trying to find what I want and then the other half submitting corrections to what I have (eventually!!!!) found!!!!

April 23, 2013 at 4:01 am
Martha Hasch 

I hate the new viewer, I want the old original viewer. Why are the new owners so dead set on going against what their customers want? I am paying for a service that I used to enjoy using, now it is a pain in the a**.

April 23, 2013 at 10:41 am
William McMahan 

Translation is incredibly(?) bad. If it’s not fixed soon, future users will have no idea what the real names were!

April 23, 2013 at 12:04 pm
Patricia Carlson 

PLEASE keep both options! I am happy with the old census records the way they are! I have much more difficulty looking at your 1940 census, & I HATE that interactive viewer feature!! Thank you!

April 23, 2013 at 2:05 pm
G. M. Jordan 

Greetings…
Reading all the comments “WOW, I now understand ‘I am not the problem’…
It has become a name and info grabber; look at me-look at me vs. a true researcher, seeking/searching for newly found records etc. …
The past few months has been a fiasco; I wish my health was in a better place…I would be back out there in the real world; court house record rooms – ceceteries – archives and perso to person interviews…and now I know “I am not lost” or confused; wake up OWNERS and stop the crazy game to please the OWNER of this Tree and that Tree…No person has a right to claim they “OWN your Family”; you may have a kinship, we are all in the God Family and only He has the divine
ownership…ask yourself “who is running your life”…
Best wishes for a positive out come with all things NEW; as for me, I plan to pray for continued guideance from the Holy Spirit.

Love One Another, Love in Christ,
Sis. G. M. Jordan and Family

April 23, 2013 at 5:16 pm
WhoWalkedBeforeUs 

I am happy to see the comment made by Crista Cowan (just after Larry, #22) as it tells me Ancestry is at least reading these comments. I think it’s fair to say that there are always going to be people who like the old way and people who like the new way. Solution? Why not keep both and let us choose what works best for us? Right now there is still an option to Return to the Standard Viewer. Leave us that option and everyone will be happy. Thanks for allowing us to provide feedback.

April 23, 2013 at 6:31 pm
WhoWalkedBeforeUs 

P.S. And while the new viewer is many things, it is not faster. It takes 2 to 3 times longer to load :(

April 23, 2013 at 6:33 pm
Alana 

It would be wise to offer researchers the option of using either the old viewer or the new one. The new one is rather cumbersome and not as user-friendly as the old one.

As far as transcriptions go, there are many, many errors in the records I’ve used and I have been at this for a very long time. I don’t know if ancestry.com has anyone who reviews the transcriptions for errors, but if not, they certainly need people to do that.

April 25, 2013 at 5:34 am
mmauney 

I agree with commenter #9 completely. Losing the Member Connect feature is disasterous for anyone trying to seriously collaborate on research. I understand Ancestry wants to put a glossy finish on things and to broaden it’s user base, but please do not alienate the folks on here trying to do serious research. The Member Connect feature has saved me many times on getting the most accurate information possible in the records I’m seeking. Please, please keep this feature.

April 26, 2013 at 12:28 pm
lmurray 

I think ancestry.com needs to listen to its subscribers. Most of the comments were negative toward the new viewer. I, like the majority, would like to be able to choose which viewer I want to use. Are you listening ancestry ????

April 27, 2013 at 1:14 pm
Carolyn 

I agree with Gale #27, Virginia #37, Linda #33 and may just not renew my subscription if the old view is cancelled. I HATE the new viewer and I have been a member a long time. It seems when Ancestry gets a good thing going, someone feels the need to change it. I have always wondered why. Please don’t make us use the new view if we choose not to.

April 27, 2013 at 5:32 pm
Denise 

I agree with 17, 19, 21,40, 51 and almost everyone on here. I am no pro, but I am a serious researcher. I have used Ancestry for 2-3 hrs daily for over 5 years. That’s a lot of money, prob like most of you on here. However, if my only option is the new viewer, I am not sure I will continue to use this site. I enjoy searching all docs I can and I also spend a lot of time correcting misspelled words, adding nicknames or maiden names on censuses. When the 1940 census came out, I tried it and liked it for the info it had, however my Mac does not scroll easily and I ended up continuing w/the old method. I have 1 main tree with 13k people on it and I have access to 4 other member trees who I found in the directory. We have a very unusual name and we all spell it differently. Nice to be able to compare notes with people. We got to stay several days and they took us all over the area. May have never met them if not for Ancestry. I hope that Ancestry makes the right choice. Let’s keep it simple!!!

April 28, 2013 at 12:54 am
Dianne 

I agree with #11 and #14 and anyone else that does not like the new viewer. I do research for a living and this new viewer slows me down and is the Worse thing ancestry has ever done. It does not print clear readable images plus a boat load of other issues about printing. BUT if I switch back to the old viewer it prints just great and clear and readable.
I spent an hour and half on the phone with ancestry this afternoon and did everything they said to do to fix the print issue in the new viewer, I made ancestry a trusted cite, empty cookies, up date print driver, checked image in internet explorer and firefox and get the same worthless prints in the new viewer, BUT STILL GET GREAT PRINTED IMAGES IN THE BASIC VIEWER.
Please listen to your subscribers, we are the ones that pay you to have the service, so you kind of work for us We would like for you to keep both viewers-PLEASE. You have both now and everyone can choose which to use. We are happy and you get to keep us as returning customers. Win Win for both of us.
And if you have IE10 or Win8, I have to download and image to my computer under this new viewer version and then print the image I want. What a long time-consuming process, when it is an easy fix by keeping both viewers. Are the people who come up with these new things for ancestry even using ancestry as for research and see the problems or issues that we paying people have?

April 28, 2013 at 5:41 pm
Long time user 

MEET THE NEW VIEWER, SAME AS THE OLD “NEW” VIEWER OF A YEAR AGO!

If this “new viewer” looks like the illustration at the beginning of this blog, it will be terrible. The highlighted yellow, orange and green make it hard to read the census. If this will be the same as about a year ago it will not be fun to use, to say nothing of harder to read.

What part of “Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke,” doesn’t Ancestry understand?

Please keep the old/standard/basic viewers for those of us who do not have the newest hardware and software, due to the expense. It was an absolute nightmare for me to say nothing of the printing problems I had. My browser made the job easier and much better that the program.

Every time Ancestry rolls out an IMPROVEMENT, I have new problems! I’m getting sick of looking for fixes all the time. Sometimes there are no fixes and I’m stuck with taking extra time to accomplish what once was very easily done.

GIVE US OPTIONS AND CHOICES!!!

April 29, 2013 at 12:45 am
Diane Peterson 

I only get a black screen/ no info

April 30, 2013 at 7:54 am
Jon Murphy 

I really dislike the new viewer. I do not install Flash on any of my computers because it really slows down my browser and my computer. I understand your site does not tax my computer with Flash but many other sites overuse Flash. For that reason it is not installed AND will not be installed on any of my family’s computers.

Being forced to use the Flash technology (a declining technology) as of May 31, 2013 is just bad customer service.

Leave the viewing as-is and allow us to make our own choice!

May 3, 2013 at 5:10 pm
Eldona Rury 

I agree with everyone the new viewer Sucks. It is to hard to navigate and takes forever to load. I also like the comments section and other trees the census has been added to. Please do not take away the old viewer. I might not continue to use Ancestry since it is becoming harder to use. Also, there is the concern that the attached census records already attached could be compromised.

May 6, 2013 at 5:57 am
gdavies 

#25 – We aren’t interested in helping the novice at the expense of the experienced, long-time users. We strongly believe that simplifying the product without removing necessary functionality will help everyone.

As to your question about requirements to use the viewer, are you able to use it now? Although 10.4.11 is no longer officially supported by Apple or us it seems to be working well.

#26 – This should be working on your iPad. Email me if you’re still having trouble and I’d be happy to try to help you out – gdavies@ancestry.com.

#27 – Thanks for the feedback Gale, we plan to add the suggested records and others who have saved the record very soon here, and before retiring the old viewer. We’re also eager to explore ways to help all users make better decisions rather than accepting anything we push towards them, we have a lot of ideas here and some interesting things in the works.

#29 – We plan to add much of the member connect functionality as soon as we can, but there actually is some work we need to do on the backend to make this work in the new viewer since it was built on an architecture that was very modern several years ago.

#30 – Sandra, just to clarify – are you referring to MyCanvas integration for printing?

#31 – Mary, I’m so sorry to hear that you’re having trouble with the new image viewer. Please email me at gdavies@ancestry.com, I’d love to see if I can help.

#33 – Linda, sorry if this wasn’t clear but you don’t need to do any work at all to maintain attached records. You’ll be directed to the new image viewer any time you open up any of these records.

#38 – Pamela, the scrolling issue is a really interesting one. There are strong arguments for both scrolling and zooming, so we’re trying to gather more information from users about what you prefer. The old viewer scrolled to zoom (unless you were in the smaller group of people that used it in basic mode), so we’ve opted to keep that behavior in the viewer for now. The current feedback survey in the new viewer has a question about scrolling preferences, we’d love it if you and anyone else who has an opinion would head to the viewer and share your thoughts via the blue “Feedback” link in the top left.

#40 – Bonnie, I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been getting conflicting information. We are planning on retiring the old viewer on May 31st, but only plan to do so if the majority of people are already using the new viewer and member connect functionality has been added.

#47 – This is a great question. For now we plan to keep the two viewers, but unfortunately that isn’t a tenable long-term situation. Keeping the old image viewer is expensive because it’s built on a much older architecture that requires a lot of maintenance. We hope to get the new image viewer up to the quality that all of you expect as soon as possible so we can focus on other larger issues.

#51 – Yes we are! It’s really useful for us to hear feedback like this, but the blog and message boards aren’t necessarily a representative sample of all users. The survey feedback indicates that the majority of people are actually quite satisfied with the new image viewer, but we want to resolve the issues you all are bringing up here and make as many of you as happy as possible.

#54 – So sorry to hear that you’re having trouble printing. Could you please email me at gdavies@ancestry.com?

#56 – Sorry to hear this Diane, do you mind emailing me so I can help figure out what’s going on? gdavies@ancestry.com.

#57 – The new viewer doesn’t use flash, but the old one does. We agree that it’s time to move on to a more modern technology which is part of the reason we’re rolling out the new image viewer.

#58 – We’re working on adding functionality from the member connect panel, so stay tuned! We don’t plan on removing the old viewer until suggested records and others who have saved the record are in the new viewer.

May 6, 2013 at 10:23 am
laura 

The new viewer is terrible. Most of the time, I just get a black screen. I’ve emailed ancestry.com several times and have not heard back. I pay $35 a month to use this site and I can’t even view half of the documents! I’ve started transitioning everything to https://www.familysearch.org, which is free and is much easier to use.

May 7, 2013 at 8:28 am
shellyjag619 

One thing no one has mentioned is that when you are on the image page and try to copy the census source location at the top (eg New Hampshire > Carroll > Wolfeboro > District 30 > 3) you can NOT do this with the new viewer. Those boxes around each part prevents you from copying and pasting that information (as I just did with the old viewer). When you try to copy, each part turns into a separate box and can NOT be copied as a line.

If you INSIST on using the new viewer, at least keep the source format from the old viewer. I really don’t like having to click on MORE, then VIEW SOURCE and/or typing in an S to get the full source. I like the “abbreviated” source, plus its shorter and just one line compared to the 2 lines of the full source.

May 7, 2013 at 10:49 pm
Carmen 

You don’t know how relieved I am to hear that you will be adding the member connect/suggested records feature to the new viewer. Just the thought of losing this has seriously been stressing me out! I’ve been DREADING May 31st because that feature is such an important research tool for me!

And like others, I prefer being able to scroll through an image rather than grab & drag. I have Carpel Tunnel Syndrome (mainly from the hours & hours I spend on Ancestry) and the grab & drag really aggravates it.

I do understand the need for transcribers to write EXACTLY what is on the document and not change things even if they feel they know what it “should” be. However, there are a lot of mistakes where the transcription is so far from what is actually written it’s hard to understand how someone could have interpreted it that way. Unless of course, they had been eating psychedelic mushrooms.

Other suggestions I would like to make not related to the viewer:

In addition to the “List of All People” in a persons tree, it would be really nice to also be able to see a representative list of surnames so that you could see all the surnames in a particular tree without having to scroll through pages and pages of the same name.

I think being able to sort the list of all people by the state they were born in, and even lived in, etc. would also be SO helpful.

Also, when viewing the overview page of a person in someone else’s tree it would be great if there was a button to search for records for that person, like there is in your own tree. It would save having to put in all the dates and relationship info that’s already attached.

May 10, 2013 at 2:06 am
Joy Miller 

As usual, the Geeks, have messed up. The old way of viewing census records was fine. The same with Family Maker 12, that gives me a pain where a pill won’t reach as my Aunt Tressie used to say. go back to the old way, give us oldsters a break. Joy Miller

May 11, 2013 at 10:48 am
Sally Young 

Please continue to give us the option of which viewer we want to use. I am a fan of the old standard viewer and if you can’t give us a choice, then please keep the old standard one and bag the new one.

May 11, 2013 at 11:51 am
FHC Librarian 

I get Dick Eastman’s newsletter, and from his last one I went to the short video by Christa on the “new” stuff Ancestry is going to dump on us come May 31st. As you can tell from my first sentence, I don’t like it. I find nothing of any value to me. In fact the “new” viewer will cause me problems in many ways.

First, the census pages take much more time to load. I don’t want colored highlights because they make it too hard to read the handwriting and they are a hindrance and a distraction since they move around with the cursor. You already have so many errors in the transcriptions, I don’t need a side panel to pop up with the existing errors and take up precious space. I don’t want to trust other people’s sloppy erroneous transcriptions of names etc, to say nothing about the errors the census taker put there. We also need to look at neighbors as many people lived close to relatives. That is the whole point of looking at the actual record.

It is true the headings on the newer censuses are hard to read. They all are hard to read! Newbies should have a handy blank print of these to help them. I have years of experience with the censuses and know where I am and what I am seeing at any given time. The zoom tool should be on the left and should be text only as it is in the current image viewer. The new “zoom in-zoom out” thing (whatever it is called) should be left to sites such as Google Earth, or your map utility.

You are over zealous about your self-serving ads. I don’t get ads from outside sources, thankfully; you put in more than enough!

Please give us the choice to use the current/old image viewer to save time and hair-pulling frustration and eyestrain. This “new” viewer looks like the one you dumped on us about a year or so ago but you did keep the option to use the older viewer. Please do the same. Give us choices and options.

May 11, 2013 at 10:36 pm
Ellen Georgieff 

The Standard Viewer allows me to right-click on a document image and copy it to my desktop as a jpeg file. The new viewer doesn’t right-click to copy. If there is another provision to do this on the new viewer, PLEASE let me know. I use this feature often to copy and paste documents so I can view them as a photo. Also? Does this effect the old search mode?

May 13, 2013 at 7:36 pm
Gentry Davies 

#61 Thanks for the feedback, we’re thinking about how to make accessing source information easier. Look for changes soon!

#62 Great feedback, thanks Carmen. We’re still exploring scroll vs zoom, are the arrow keys any easier for you than grab and pan?

#65 Sorry you aren’t in love with the new image viewer, we’d love to get it to the point that you’re as excited about it as we are. You can turn off the highlights under the “Image tools” menu, and we’ve tried to give more room to the image in the new viewer. It should also be loading faster on any modern operating system and browser (the old viewer uses Flash and that takes a few seconds longer to load), what browser and OS are you on? Feel free to email me if you want to chat more. gdavies@ancestry.com

#65 You can click “Save” and then “Save to my computer” to save a local copy.

May 14, 2013 at 1:56 pm
gdavies 

#61 Thanks for the feedback, we’re thinking about how to make accessing source information easier. Look for changes soon!

#62 Great feedback, thanks Carmen. We’re still exploring scroll vs zoom, are the arrow keys any easier for you than grab and pan?

#65 Sorry you aren’t in love with the new image viewer, we’d love to get it to the point that you’re as excited about it as we are. You can turn off the highlights under the “Image tools” menu, and we’ve tried to give more room to the image in the new viewer. It should also be loading faster on any modern operating system and browser (the old viewer uses Flash and that takes a few seconds longer to load), what browser and OS are you on? Feel free to email me if you want to chat more. gdavies@ancestry.com

#65 You can click “Save” and then “Save to my computer” to save a local copy.

May 14, 2013 at 1:58 pm
karen 

I agree with much of the above statements. I find the new viewer clumsy, slow and very time consuming. Hoping that someone from Ancestry will reply as to whether the old viewer will still be an option after the switch. Thanks

May 14, 2013 at 3:24 pm
Kristina 

The member connect section is very important and I am glad to hear that ancestry is working to implement that into the new viewer and will not discontinue the old viewer until they figure out how to implement that.

Granted most of the members on the member connect are name collectors with erroneous information and NOT genealogist, but every once in a while we are able to connect and collaborate with a serious researcher and that one in a 100 is worth it.

I do like the look of the new viewer BUT it is essential to have the member connect.
I am also not sure about the scroll up/down VS zoom in and out. That is taking some getting use to.
I use Mac with Safari, so things tend to get updated and fixed last with Safari on ancestry.

I can see how the new viewer maybe slow if you have dial up or dsl but it works fine with my internet.

Please fix the member connect!

thank you gdavies for clarifying and responded to each persons complaints and comments.

May 15, 2013 at 12:01 am
FHC Librarian 

I went to bed early this morning at 1:00 am and had the basic viewer and everthing was fine. I turned on my computer at 2:00 pm today for the first time later in the day and what do I get when I look at a census? The NEW IMAGE VIEWER! What happened to the May 31st roll out and why do I get this horible viewer sooner. I learned how to go back to the basic viewer but I have to do it everytime I look at an original census image unless I don’t go out of Ancestry. I usually don’t do a formal log-out anyway. This is intolerable! The new image viewer is gray for the paper part and the writing is gray.

I use XP and IE8. Firefox will NOT work on my computer. I tried. Opera does but it is slow and I have not tried using it with ancestry because I don’t like it. Not enought toos and options. XP and IE9 are incompatible, anyone will tell you that. I have a dedicated cable for my internet service provide that does NOT use telephone lines.

How many other people are so LUCKY as to be stuck with the new image viewer ahead of time? Am I the only one? That and the other problems I had today with Ancestry (although not the site itsself) have made this a day I never should have gotten out of bed!

I will take up gdavis@ancestry.com‘s offer to contact him/her personally. I am never going to like this image viewer as it is.

May 15, 2013 at 1:01 am
Suzanne B. Sommerville 

I just read through the comments, having been greeted by the “new” viewer for the first time today. I hate the new viewer. Please tell the geeks who made this that they have no idea what works for real researchers.

What’s next down the line? Switching to touch-screen rather than keyboard access? Progress is not always progress. I am not a happy subscriber.

May 15, 2013 at 2:08 am
gdavies 

FHC Librarian, I look forward to hearing from you. If you’re going back to the new viewer after you’ve switched to the old viewer without logging out it probably means your browser is killing cookies when it shouldn’t. Happy to look at that with you or member services would be able to help too.

May 15, 2013 at 9:20 am
CarolynMMP 

I have emailed and emailed ancestry!! I can NOT even see ANY records AT ALL when I try to use this new thing! All I get is a black screen where the record should be. And I have updated EVERYTHING so it’s not ME who needs to fix things. I have told them and told them but NO ANSWER!! I pay too much for this for this to happen! I use the actual records themselves for a LOT of my research and if i can’t see them it will throw a HUGE monkey wrench into what I try to do!! Maybe somebody will read this and I’ll FINALLY get SOME response!!

May 17, 2013 at 5:37 pm
Wendy Jubb 

I use my iPad for doing my family tree research but I have found that with the new interactive viewer I am not able to scroll down the menu at the bottom of the record so I am unable to hightlight and save any other person on that page to my tree. The old viewer worked great on my iPad even though it does not support flash player. Also the side panel on the old viewer gave you hints to other tree members who had saved this record to their tree and other records that might help your research, a valuable tool. I agree with other comments that we as customers should be given the choice to choose which viewer suits us best. I do not call this progress for many people must now want to use iPads or other tablets for this purpose, so PLEASE ancestry don’t switch off the old viewer on 31st May.

May 18, 2013 at 7:32 am
Rosemary Bittle 

Thank you Laura for your #60 comment!!! I want to move all my Ancestry info to Family Search.org, too. I so dread to try and open Census, City Directory pages in Ancestry.com. The pages are always blurred, clear up in patches occasionally, but never where I need to look. I have to use the Print Option every time to read the info. And then the “silver blocks” start to appear blocking any viewing. So infuriating and frustrating!! Calling Ancestry is such a waste of time, such a group of “over-employed” individuals! A clueless bunch!! Ancestry HAS so much GREAT information, but trying to view where it came from is crazy-making. I sympathize with CarolynMMP #73, I hear you, not seeing where the records come from is AWFUL, it is not your computer, or any update of anything, IT IS ANCESTRY.COM!! Maybe all this torture is so we update ANCESTRY.COM.

May 18, 2013 at 9:09 am
Scott 

The lack of the Member Connect bar and the other data fields 0 Comments, People Who Saved, Related Message, etc is a MAJOR loss!

May 18, 2013 at 12:04 pm
k 

I think that the idea to no longer have the option of the “static” view feature available when accessing records is taking us back years. I use, by preference, that form of viewing records all of the time. Since I suffer from visual migraines, the movement of the viewer brings on unwanted visual disturbances which can be debilitating. No thanks. I prefer to be able to see the records (mostly census) on a line by line basis. This is critical to what my searches are for – so much info buried in those records! My forest is huge, one tree is over 25,000. Please don’t make this change permanent. I like looking at records as if I am looking at the original document. I DO NOT LIKE YOUR NEW FORMAT FOR VIEWING RECORDS AND THINK THAT FORMAT SHOULD BE ABOLISHED. Please leave those of us who are serious about records a way to search in a “static” format.

Kathy

May 18, 2013 at 8:45 pm
Delbert Kulbeth 

Most upsetting of all is that in a few days (May 31, 2013) you are about to FORCE us to use your new INTERACTIVE RECORDS VIEWER (and will no longer offer the STANDARD VIEWER). From this new viewer, you have completely removed what is perhaps the most valuable tool that your service offers – the MEMBER CONNECT panel – which has such features as: a) RELATED RECORDS, b) SEE WHAT HAS BEEN ADDED, c) OTHER RESEARCHERS, and d) OTHER TREES TO WHICH THIS RECORD HAS BEEN ADDED. This is a MAJOR issue!! Removal of this one feature alone is enough to cause me ( and others) to find a different service provider.

In addition, this new viewer does NOT offer the ability to SAVE IMAGE to your computer as does the STANDARD VIEWER – which is also a MAJOR ISSUE!!!

Furthermore, the INTERACTIVE VIEWER still has bugs and should therefore not even be considered as the only viewer offered. For example, try it on an iphone. The image keeps resizing itself to the smallest size possible every time someone tries to navigate in the image or the index – so that navigation is virtually impossible. Similar problems occur on both my Windows 8 laptop and Windows 8 tablet.

May 19, 2013 at 10:50 am
Christine 

I really hope you put back the tab on the right, where when you open it it shows you other people who have linked to that person, and also other record suggestions. I don’t know how many people use that side tab, it is almost invisible.

I have made extensive use of that tab and I am very unhappy that it will be going away. Please bring it back!

May 19, 2013 at 3:29 pm
patsella 

I have been a subscriber for 10+ years. I cannot use the new viewer. It shows a black screen and only when I click feedback does the image appear. But, I cannot zoom in, out, or use bar on bottom to scroll across page.
If I cannot view documents I will not renew my subscription as it will be useless.
Please give us the option of using the standard viewer. I have no issues with it at all. It’s easy to use and best of all it works!
Thank you.

May 22, 2013 at 10:27 am
Anita Hicks 

I’ve had to rely on newspaper articles to document a history of our church. I’ve so much enjoyed the old browser that I pray Ancestry keeps it. Please allow access to the old and the new. That way you can accommodate all of us. I hate having to waste time working out the bugs that should have been beta tested better before making the paying public waste their time.

May 24, 2013 at 12:47 pm
Brian 

You don’t know how relieved I am to hear that you will be adding the member connect/suggested records feature to the new viewer. Just the thought of losing this has seriously been stressing me out! I’ve been DREADING May 31st because that feature is such an important research tool for me! ……..

if this is true then I am happy.

May 26, 2013 at 12:49 pm
Robert Schroeder 

There is supposedly an old saying to this effect: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”
And yet Ancestry insists on “fixing” a viewer that most CUSTOMERS are happy with. Who is in charge here?
We are paying for the service, and in effect paying their salaries, to do something that we do not want done. I don’t get it.

May 31, 2013 at 8:52 am
Jackie 

gdavies … none of you will have a job if all of your paying customers go to free familysearch because you are too dumb to listen to the people who pay your salaries. Nobody wants the ‘new and improved’ viewer. They want the one we have now. What part of that don’t you understand. What you need is a healthy dose of competition. The prices you charge are outrageous, and you NEVER listen to your customers. That is a lie about how it’s more cost effective for you to take away something most of us want … you get paid far more than enough to at least have a choice of the two viewers. I hope people start exiting in droves and then maybe you’ll start listening.

May 31, 2013 at 7:13 pm
Teri 

Yes, I agree with the others. Keep the standard view for those who prefer it and the new one for those whose machines will open that black screen of death. No, even after going through all the steps the new viewer will not work for me.

June 3, 2013 at 5:51 pm
Penny 

I see I am not alone at not being able to see any original images. After 2 days and about 5 hours of working with 2 very helpful ancestry customer support people, even they could not find a “work around”. I still get the black page.
I have to use the original records to for my lineage society, my own genealogy, and that of others.

I feel there was no consideration on Ancesty’s part for those who cannot further upgrade their operating systems or afford to buy a new computer.
Please bring back the Standard Viewer.

June 3, 2013 at 10:50 pm
Brian 

so where is it?…..the Member Connect…..did you work on your backend….huh……..get it together folks……hum….I was very modern several years ago.

#29 – We plan to add much of the member connect functionality as soon as we can, but there actually is some work we need to do on the backend to make this work in the new viewer since it was built on an architecture that was very modern several years ago.

June 6, 2013 at 6:10 am
Delbert 

This new Interactive Viewer is just AWFUL !

There is no MEMBER CONNECT panel.

That information is what has always made ancestry.com so valuable. If I just wanted to view a record, I can do that at other sites. But the MEMBER CONNECT feature gives us a way to collaborate and help each other by seeing other people who saved a particular record to a particular person in a particular tree. This is a very valuable tool. Why are you taking such an important feature away?

Furthermore, this new viewer is virtually useless on a small screen, like iPads and iPhones. And the smaller the screen, the worse it is.

If you turn your iPad vertically (portrait orientation), the IMAGE TOOLS and PRINT options completely disappear from the page. The same thing happens on an iPhone (or any regular-sized cell phone) when turned to ANY orientation (i.e. both portrait AND landscape).

And don’t even try to open the index on an iPhone (or any cell phone with a normal-sized screen). In portrait mode, there is no INDEX tab to click on at all. It is completely gone. And if you turn the phone to landscape orientation, the tab then reappears, BUT after the index opens, almost the entire screen is taken up by the top menu bar and the Title-Line of the index (at the bottom of the screen). So, the actual viewing area for the record image at that point is so small and narrow as to be totally unusable. In other worlds, only a tiny sliver of the image is still showing. Furthermore, only the title line of the index is then in view – meaning you cannot actually see any of the index itself AND you cannot scroll down to see it either.

After, opening the index with the phone oriented to landscape, you might think you could get smart by then turning the device back to portrait orientation. But that doesn’t help either. The index is now open (in portrait mode) BUT you STILL cannot see any of the index or scroll down to see it either.

AND, remember – on these cell phones, the IMAGE TOOLS and PRINT buttons are completely gone from the screen (in both portrait AND landscape mode). So, there is absolutely no way to call up the Standard Viewer on these cell phones anymore. And this is right NOW, not some time in the future. So, those of us who use ancestry.com via our cell phones have ALREADY LOST THE STANDARD VIEWER !!!!!!!

Ancestry.com is going downhill fast. 2013 has been full of one change after another that are either half-baked (and should still be in beta – not up on the site) or half-featured (meaning the new screen or process does not have the entire feature set that was available in the older version – it has less).

MORE 2013 FEATURES TAKEN AWAY ->

Try saving two census records that are for the same year to a person’s profile as SEPARATE EVENTS. The new SAVE RECORDS process won’t let you do that anymore. It lumps them into one event. Sometimes this process offers a NEW EVENT option – but NOT for certain kinds of records (like census records).

Also new for 2013 – We are also now limited to 64 characters in the FIRST-NAME and LOCATION fields. NOT COOL !

2013 has brought one new limitation and elimination (of features) after another. How can anyone think that will make customers happy?

Let’s be honest. All of this started the instant the new owners took over at the end of 2012. It’s like they are trying to sink their own new company on purpose !!!! Very sad. This used to be a great service. Now every day brings a new problem. I have been a member for many years – and until 2013, I NEVER wrote a complaint – There was no cause for it. Now, there is nothing but things to complain about. As I said in the first sentence – AWFUL – JUST AWFUL !!!!!

June 6, 2013 at 11:23 pm
RJ 

I am a historic researcher that uses ancestry.com at work. Ever since they started the new viewer I have not been able to view original documents. Whenever I click to look, a screen with jumbled letters appears and is constantly loading. I phoned the ancestry help technician and she said a lot of people were have similar issues and showed me a link with 5 scenarios that’s causing the problem. It turns out that Java script was the problem. in order to use the new view you have to lower the security settings in the browser. Well, since my work has a government secure network…there is no way in hell I or any of my fellow researchers will EVER be able to use ancestry at work now. We are all thinking of ending our subscriptions due to this issue.

June 14, 2013 at 10:11 pm
Al Downs 

What is with you people? You get something that everyone can understand and do with ease and then you have to screw things up with trying to make in your opinion, better.
If your going to screw things up then at least give YOUR CUSTOMERS the choise of which one to use, the old or the new. If I was you, I would keep both and this way you keep your old timers like me happy and your new customers can use either.
I know that you don’t really care what YOUR CUSTOMERS really want. You’re going to do what you want.
I for one will not pay for something that I can not work with or use.
There are to many sites out there that have the same as you and they don’t cost half as much. So make a choice, leave things the way they are or make both programs available. If you don’t then you will be losing a lot of money.
I know of at least 90 people who will leave this site andf if you can afford to lose approximately $36,000.00 dollars a year then do what you will.
Just remember the old saying, “THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT.”

June 15, 2013 at 12:34 pm
Mary Zutterman 

I for one will not continue to use your site once my subscription is up for renewal. Leave well enough alone please. You have no idea how frustrating it is to work with this, and I hate it. The old way of finding someone and their information was so much better the other way, and now, I can feel my blood pressure rise having to use the new. If I had known this was going to happen, I definitely wouldn’t have upgraded.

June 15, 2013 at 9:10 pm
Tara Maggard 

Please do not eliminate the Standard Viewer with the right sidebar! In many cases that right sidebar has made a HUGE difference in finding new data, corrections / additional info, and new family. The company would do better to leave alone what does not need “fixing”, and concentrate more on repairing all the database errors that we long-time customers have been reporting for years.

June 19, 2013 at 6:17 am
Brian Johnson 

it says Commenting is open until Wednesday, 6 February 2013……does anybody even read these comments?

June 25, 2013 at 3:00 pm
DiLombardo 

I am commenting to add my voice to all the others who have requested retention of the fantastic Member Connect feature, and to encourage programmers to position it at the right margin as shown in the Basic Viewer.

From the menu, More, just as you have a dropdown to enable or disable the Index, please provide a dropdown option to enable or disable Member Connect. Member Connect, i believe, should remain visible at the right margin as shown in the Basic Viewer. My method of using the Member Connect is when i click on one or several enumerated names i will glance to to the right Member Connect to see whether or not the person or persons are being tracked in someone’s tree.
Please do not provide Member Connect in a popup window, as you do for viewing the Source as that requires additional keystrokes.
Thank you for your time.

June 26, 2013 at 10:40 am
jdbeeson 

I really would rather keep the old viewer. I do a lot of research in Swedish records. At the start of the film an index was provided with what was on the film and page numbers that start each section. For example in the New Viewer: Jonkoping>Mansarp>Vigsel(marriages)>1721-1755 (C:2)>81 of 112 pages. In the Swedish index on the film marriages for 1721-1755 is located on pages 149-169 (image 81). Well I cannot just type in 149 to quickly get to the start of the marriages as your new viewer only goes to page 112. In the new viewer if I just type in any page number say 16 and that is where I expect to go, but no if you look at the bottom of the film it reads page 22. What your new viewer has done is made all of the indexes at the start of the Swedish films useless. To find Marriages, deaths and even births it is now a guessing game as to where they are located on the film. Some records are split and later years show up further in the film. I am using the old viewer as it still works and index in Swedish film records match with the old viewer pages. I see the pop-up notice at the top of the old viewer saying it will be removed in the future. Do you have plans to keep the old viewer? Fix the new viewer. This is just not user friendly to Swedish records when an index has already been provided with the film.

June 29, 2013 at 7:08 pm
Jackie 

The only reason you’re getting away with the lie that only a small percent of Ancestry customers use the old search and the old viewer is because this comment thing is buried so that few people realize it’s here. And, some people probably know it’s useless to try to reason with the retards running this site. We don’t know how many may have commented on the email you sent out asking for our ‘feedback’. That is an easy way to keep all the negative feedback to yourselves and continue ignoring your customers. Publish the feedback and let’s see how many people are against the ‘new and improved’ versions. I will bet that virtually no one is in favor of them.

July 6, 2013 at 12:27 pm
John Schroeter 

I am a long time, at least 8 year, member. I have been able to use the new viewer on some census records, but it takes anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes to load, and quite honestly, it is not as good as the basic viewer. However, when I try to use the new viewer for other records, it never ever loads the image, and I have waited for half an hour. I can however, get those images with the ‘basic’ viewer. Please leave the option of the basic viewer. There are many of us out here who are stuck with dial-up internet, with no access to cable who can’t afford satelite internet. If I can’t view original images I will have to drop Ancetry. I don’t want to.

July 13, 2013 at 10:46 am
Kilby 

Please keep the old viewer. It works great for the researcher. In this case newer is definitely not better. How can you take away all of the great features of the old viewer and say that’s an improvement? Maybe for you, but not for me!

July 13, 2013 at 11:06 am
Dick Boggs 

It seams you have a lot of unsatified customers, of which I am one of long standing. Why do you folks not just spend your time INDEXING the FC’s. This would do more for us, your CUSTOMERS than all the other fooling around you are doing! Believe me if there were another way to look @ the FC’s we would all dump you!

July 14, 2013 at 8:37 am
Erica 

I really dislike the new viewer, mainly because it is missing the Member Connect feature. It is such a pity that you are doing away with that. I have been a member for many years, and I think that you are doing a horrible disservice to members that are newer to genealogy. It has been a wonderful tool and has helped me make many connections that I would not have otherwise. I would suggest that you add that feature n option to the new viewer.

July 17, 2013 at 7:16 am
Jeanne 

Please keep the older viewer as an option. For some databases with multiple images for a person (SAR Applications), the new viewer has no way to move to the next image. Even the customer support at Ancestry, working for almost two hours, couldn’t find a way! Major problem for me in my research! The new viewer allows only the first image, the one actually attached to the record, to be displayed.

An additional problem I have with the interactive is the inability to know which zoom level is “Full Size” zoom. With the “Basic” viewer, I can select Full Size and know, when I save the image, that the image will be scalable – anything other than Full Size does not result in a scalable jpg. With the “Interactive” viewer, what level is “Full Size?” I can only guess, save the image, open the image to test. Usually I find that the resulting image is not scalable.

Have a problem with saving – opened a record in the Dictionary of National Biographies (wrong person). Moved to the correct person by moving forward several pages. Even when I make sure the index is pointing to my person, the “Save” only allows saving to my computer – I can’t connect the record to the correct person in my tree as a source. This is not a problem with the “Basic” viewer, only the “Interactive” viewer.

With these problems, I would choose to use the “Basic” rather than the “Interactive” for everything!

Seems like the comments I have read here indicate that more advanced researchers don’t like the interactive viewer. I repeat their request – PLEASE keep the old (previously “Advanced” viewer, now “Basic” viewer according to the “Interactive”) available at the option of the user.

As #94 asked, will these comments be ignored since it is after Wednesday, 6 February 2013? Just in case, I will send an email to gdavies@ancestry.com to see if I can get a response. Calling Customer Service doesn’t seem to get any problems resolved anymore.

I have numerous other problems with the way Ancestry handles some issues, but

July 23, 2013 at 1:39 pm
Jeanne 

Please keep the older viewer as an option. For some databases with multiple images for a person (SAR Applications), the new viewer has no way to move to the next image. Even the customer support at Ancestry, working for almost two hours, couldn’t find a way! Major problem for me in my research! The new viewer allows only the first image, the one actually attached to the record, to be displayed.

An additional problem I have with the interactive is the inability to know which zoom level is “Full Size” zoom. With the “Basic” viewer, I can select Full Size and know, when I save the image, that the image will be scalable – anything other than Full Size does not result in a scalable jpg. With the “Interactive” viewer, what level is “Full Size?” I can only guess, save the image, open the image to test. Usually I find that the resulting image is not scalable.

Have a problem with saving – opened a record in the Dictionary of National Biographies (wrong person). Moved to the correct person by moving forward several pages. Even when I make sure the index is pointing to my person, the “Save” only allows saving to my computer – I can’t connect the record to the correct person in my tree as a source. This is not a problem with the “Basic” viewer, only the “Interactive” viewer.

With these problems, I would choose to use the “Basic” rather than the “Interactive” for everything!

Seems like the comments I have read here indicate that more advanced researchers don’t like the interactive viewer. I repeat their request – PLEASE keep the old (previously “Advanced” viewer, now “Basic” viewer according to the “Interactive”) available at the option of the user.

As #94 asked, will these comments be ignored since it is after Wednesday, 6 February 2013? Just in case, I will send an email to gdavies@ancestry.com to see if I can get a response. Calling Customer Service doesn’t seem to get any problems resolved anymore.

I have numerous other problems with the way Ancestry handles some issues, but since they are not with the Interactive viewer, I’ll try to get them resolved some other way.

July 23, 2013 at 1:40 pm
Robin Bittner 

I realize the time for commenting has expired, but I hope that someone somewhere sees this…. the new viewer IS NOT AN IMPROVEMENT, NO WAY, NOW HOW. I am spending far more time waiting for an image to become clear, the old screen, it was instant. Now I wait and wait and wait …. don’t like the movement around the screen. Nothing about it is good.

July 27, 2013 at 9:44 am
Robin Duhs 

When looking at Sons of American Revolution applications, I can only see the first page with the interactive viewer. How does one see the rest of the application since it is always several pages? I suspect this problem exists with other documents of more than one page.

I use the older viewer because it allows me to skip along to other pages. If the older viewer is going away, what good will the new one be if we can’t see “the rest of the story”?

July 28, 2013 at 6:01 pm
Robert Wallace 

The new viewer does not function at all on my older computer. I’m left to use a work machine and wonder why I am paying for this service.

August 1, 2013 at 7:33 am
Jeff Seeley 

Major issue with the new viewer. It works well on my computer but…I recently found that whether or not you have the “Enhanced Images” option checked, when you save a copy of the image, it is in the “Enhance Image” format. Now I am confronted with searching through hundreds , if not thousands of images saved over the past year as proof of my transcripts in my work, for those saved in the enhanced format. They look like a poor photocopy, something that was the norm in the 1970s but is unacceptable today. The old viewer always saved the image in the format being viewed. I am looking at hundreds of hours of time lost, I am not happy at all. I will no longer subscribe to Ancestry if this problem is not fixed before the old viewer is discontinued..

August 2, 2013 at 4:14 pm
June Hedge 

I do not like the new viewer, it looks ok on the screen, but I am only getting a part of the screen when I print. DO NOT LIKE.

August 3, 2013 at 2:38 pm
Terry Strick 

To remove the Basic Viewer option is to remove any opportunity for me to save any documents to my hard drive. The “enhanced” viewer allows saving my documents to the Ancestry timeline page, however, I have to switch to the now Basic viewer to save anything to my computer. I have been through many discussions with Ancestry and all the e-mails Ancestry has sent me and nothing solves the problem. Unless I can use the older viewer, I will not be able to save any documents to my hard drive. I have been a member of Ancestry for many years at great expense, and this is the WORST viewer I have ever tried to use. And the mechanisms for moving around in the document are nowhere as handy as the now Basic. Please, either fix the bugs in this so-called new and improved system or leave Basic as an alternative to those of us who cannot utilize your “improvements.”

August 4, 2013 at 10:28 pm
Texanita Cole Royal 

I DO NOT like your new version of viewing census records and other documents. I like to have a paper copy of all that I put on my family trees on ancestry. That way I can put all the documents/facts I find on a person in their file and often refer back to these lined up on my desk noting changes, etc. Now with the ‘new enhanced viewer’ I can’t print!
My take on this whole NEW VIEW is so you can make more money by requiring us to order a copy. I don’t like that at all. Please DO NOT take the option of printing or copying and saving on my computer away. This has been one of the most valuable features of Ancestry.com
Thank you

August 8, 2013 at 8:40 pm
John 

We have several workstations that cannot view any record within the new viewer. Where are the instructions for tweaking the browser??? Where are the requirements? Is there a plugin?? No where in this this blog can I find help.

August 18, 2013 at 2:23 pm
Michel Bryson 

I cannot save to my Shoebox in the new viewer? Or is it somewhere else now? I can only save to people in my tree – what if I’m not sure the record belongs to them?

August 24, 2013 at 8:11 pm
mesgen 

The new viewer is NOT an improvement over the older viewer. It takes longer to work and the prints can and do crash my browser and Family Tree Maker. Having the hand function only is not an acceptable substitute for either viewer. Both need a scroll bar. There are times we need to rapidly look at the actual page not just the index version. Try finding a sincle family in hundreds of pages. The hand requires considerably more actions than pulling a scroll bar. Old wrists need help. The Print button on the new viewer is hard to see. Poor vision needs bigger icons and print. Organizing the icons at the top of the viewer is needed. Moving the page information to the bottom means more movement. Young hands and wrisits can do it easily, old ones can’t. PLEASE don’t throw away the old viewer. The new one is NOT an adequate substitute!!! At least keep it like it currently is. Where we can CHOOSE the reader we want.

August 29, 2013 at 2:08 am
Barbara Cook 

Will we be able to choose a page number once we’re on any page of a census series or other documents? Or will we have to click backwards sometimes hundreds of pages to get to any pages near the beginning? The way things are now really doesn’t work for me.

September 2, 2013 at 4:51 pm
Joe B 

Fairly new to Ancestry, and I really like the ability to have the text of some documents transcribed to allow easier viewing. The highlighting of records makes searching these documents much easier. My one feature that would immensely help would be a search feature within the image viewer. When tracking families, I often find that daughters “disappear” due to most probably marriages without the ability to find their new name and address. As an example, I’m trying to find an Esther Cutchin who last appeared in the Baltimore City index in 1921, living at the same address as her parents, working as a music teacher. Now, if I assume she’s married, I could check the same address throughout the same city directory (3936 Norfolk). If she moved out of her parents’ place, I’d like to search the whole directory for “music teacher” and “Esther”. Since the entire document is transcribed, having the ability to search within that document would be incredible. As it is, I can only “search” one page at a time.

September 9, 2013 at 11:54 am
Lauri Gartner 

I always print out the documents I find & I’ve been having trouble printing, especially censuses, for quite awhile now. I find myself getting angry & frustrated because I never used to have trouble making a census the size I wanted. I couldn’t figure out what happened to all the convenient buttons I used to use. I don’t use ancestry daily & didn’t realize until today that the basic viewer was still there.
I clicked on it and voila, there were all the easy to use tools like “fit to height, fit to width, full size, zoom, and Print”! I was so excited until I saw a notice that said this basic viewer will be eliminated.
I started reading all the comments & agree with them. I don’t like the new interactive viewer, it hurts my wrist not being able to scroll & takes a lot more work to move around.
I also find it very annoying to use when I’m trying to enlarge the 1940 census for printing. When I move it all the way to the left edge of where the name starts in order to fit in what I want to print, then up pops the index of names on the left side, blocking what I’m trying to print. I have to move the page back to the right so the index disappears & start over.
Yesterday I was printing & it kept wasting a second page which printed an ad for ancestry subscription….I already subscribe, why are you doing this?
But my main gripe is that printing censuses used to be so easy, and it filled the page, not leaving many inches of white space all around.
Now it’s difficult to get it to fill the whole page, & sometimes things are printed along the bottom.
I resent having color ads or logos printed, using up my ink and cluttering my documents. It is unacceptable when I’m paying $300. a year for my subscription.
Thank you for listening.

September 14, 2013 at 10:49 pm
Rosemary Bittle 

To find relatives in the Cleveland OH City Directories I need to search around the Directory pages of each year under the first initial of their last name. So badly transcribed, names in Index aren’t at all correct, bizarre spelling of names and addresses! Search can’t be used to find them. I have to look at the actual Directory pages. With old viewer I can put in an image number to move from A-Z. The new viewer does not offer that. Only able to go to next page. My searching in Directories will be a horror, some Directories have hundreds of pages, and each page takes so long to load so it can be read, it will be hours and hours of time per name! Are plans to correctly transcribe Cleveland City Directories ever going to happen?? If not, please let the option to use old viewer continue!!!!

September 19, 2013 at 9:21 pm
Gord Burt 

If you are going to keep the new one LEASE don’t take away the standard viewer! I really don’t like the new viewer at all. I find it incredibly cumbersome to use.

Listen to your subscribers!!

October 14, 2013 at 9:21 pm
Barbara s. Green 

I think you should listen to your customers….this is a case of “new” not being better. Please return to the “old way”, it was fast and comprehensive…

October 22, 2013 at 9:09 am
Marjorie Gardiner 

I hate, hate the new format. For some reason when I have tried to
print a Death Certificate it is not coping all information on my paper.. All I get is the Header. I find it very difficult to navigate the new viewer. When I used the old search method, all I had to do was type in the name and a list of sites where the name appears is displayed (census, BMD,SSDI, military,etc) Therefore when I hit print I get nice copies with the older format.
The new viewer is not only harder to find records, but longer.

October 26, 2013 at 9:21 pm
Genevieve Bullock 

I’ve just read through some of the comments here. Those I read all seem to STRONGLY SAY – LEAVE THE OLD VIEWER ALONE – IT WORKS FINE – THE INTERACTIVE ONE DOESN’T – IT JUST WASTES MY TIME.

I’m repeating here what Gale McCoy said on April 19, 2013 as it pretty much sums up my feelings.

The interactive viewer is much faster now since the flash has been eliminated. I would rather see it open with the index open and the option to close it, instead of having to open it on each screen. However, the right side bar information present in the older viewer is a critical asset that is not incorporated in the interactive viewer. The hints to additional records and other family trees the individual record is saved to on the right side bar is essential to research. In fact, if it is not present, there is no easy access to other family trees. I don’t want to sound rude, but if you want to support only one viewer, you should ditch the interactive viewer instead. It has never been user friendly, and in reading the blogs, not a hit with many serious researchers. The elimination of the right sidebar, coupled with the horrible aspects of the new system of matching records being added are problematic for the user. New folks might not know the difference, but those of us that have used Ancestry for a number of years will be trying to work in a nightmare! Realizing Ancestry has grown by leaps and bounds since I became a member, and also realizing how much storage space and maintenance must be involved, I understand the need to revamp the system. However, with the changes recently made, and the change about to be made, it appears the site is in control of programmers that DO NOT do research of their own! If they did, they would realize they are eliminating the featuures that have made Ancestry so popular! The problems with the matching records changes and the elimination of the right sidebar will only create more hits on the system because everyone will be searching constantly for records and affiliations that will not be easily found. Just thinking about it makes me need a tranquilizer! The new viewer was primarily designed for the huge amount of information in the 1940 census, and was never easy to use. The other records don’t have that requirement, so changing everything else to match that programming will just create grief for the user. I have adjusted to numerous changes in the past, but I’m working in a much older era now, and need the hints to confirm family connections. I don’t know if I can progress without them. I also use the records hints to find people in years the search doesn’t find them. The recent changes and now this one, which is almost unbelievable to anyone using the site, are by far the worst changes I have had to adjust to………….and I’m not a beginner to Ancestry or computer programs.

I’ve put in some feedback from time to time essentially saying the same thing. Have indicated I am willing to get an email on this – but nothing has happened on that score.

NOW I would appreciate a contact on your end – please do NOT ALLOW THE ONLY VIEWER THAT WORKS TO GET TAKEN AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

November 15, 2013 at 9:04 pm
Carol 

Please, please, please keep the option of using the old viewer. The interactive viewer does not work with my computer. Please keep it for those of us who can’t use the interactive viewer.

November 17, 2013 at 12:04 am
John Schroeter 

95% of the time when I try to use the ‘NEW IMPROVED EASIER HAPPIER’ viewer I get the message Oops! better try the basic viewer. When I can get it, it’s not worth it. If you completely get rid of the old viewer you will undoubtedly lose customers.

November 17, 2013 at 10:08 am
Janet Wise 

Please don’t force me to use the new viewer. I hate having the controls on top my image. I hate the image number input on the new viewer, i.e., must type whole number rather than select just one digit; which may not seem a big deal to non-user designers and programmers but is a big time waster for me, plus not good for cognitive disability of have to remember whole number. You show only how it improves looking at the census; it does not keep the headers for any other type of document other than the census. The new zoom control does not have good fine motor control; zooming with mouse wheel is much more convenient. If the new image viewer were better I would jump on it, but it is not.

November 17, 2013 at 4:41 pm
Joan Moon 

PLEASE DO NOT CHANGE THE VIEWER! Why can’t we always have the choice of which one suits our needs?
For EVERY item I attach to my tree, I go to MyCanvas and make a detailed graphic of each image. I have not figured out how to do this with the new interactive image viewer. Will MyCanvas still be available with the new interactive image viewer?

November 18, 2013 at 11:57 am
Sherry Bloodsdworth 

You say you want our feedback, but yet, you do not listen to it. What’s up with that? LEAVE us the option to choose and use what we want, the new viewer or old viewer, how hard is that? Reading the above comments, it’s clear to me that the older viewer is set up the best and the most appreciated. If it ain’t broke, why fix it. I’m telling you now, if you don’t please your customers, your gonna loose them which equals loosing money. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot Ancestry!

November 18, 2013 at 9:51 pm
22Rusty03 

PLEASE keep both options! I use the STANDARD View. I am happy with the old census records the way they are! I like the ability to right-click print to the desktop in .jpg with the large view, clean up, crop off the scanning trash, attempt to enhance the clarity of dim pages.
I do like the feature that finds the family line; but I could do with out this feature if I can have option to use the STANDARD viewer.

November 19, 2013 at 1:46 pm
Annie 

About a year and a half to two years or so, ago you tried to dump this same interactive image viewer on us. It was terrible then and it is terrible now. I always remember the bad stuff you do.

This is an ugly, inefficient layout. Stuff spread out all over the place. Stuff on the top, on the upper right, lower left, lower center. Dark brown backgrounds with light gray text is terrible to read. There is no sense to just moving things around. It is not more efficient. It really stinks. And it loads much slower.

Bottom line: Give us the option to use the current/old viewer. Choices! Options! That’s what we need. We all don’t have fast new computers. And we all don’t use other devices than a PC. I need a full keyboard and a screen I can see.

You are wasting money paying people to move things around, change colors, and generally do busy work that does not help me do my research faster. It really slows my research down.

I’m weary of complaining because you just go ahead and change things. It would be more useful and cost effective to have your programers fix databases, but that would probably bore them. Get them to add a way to sort the shoebox. That will keep them busy for a short time.

If you keep the old reliable/faster/streamlined/efficient viewer as a choice, then I’ll be happy. Those who want the interactive viewer can have it and they will be happy. I have never asked for any changes you have made to the system, except for correcting databases and a way to sort the shoebox. It seemed to work just fine for me as it was.

WHAT PART OF “KEEP THE CURRENT VIEWER AS AN OPTION” DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND?!

November 19, 2013 at 4:43 pm
Shawna Landers 

CUSTOMER SERVICE-Please pay attention! Do not take away our option of using a viewer that works well for us. I cannot print in the new viewer. If I cannot print, I cannot use Ancestry.

November 21, 2013 at 11:00 am
Bette 

I ADD MY VOICE AGAIN TO KEEP THE CURRENT VIEWER. It allows corrections on ERRORS re names, ability to contact other people with relatives in common, and ease of connecting family members through various census. Based on the comments here and the blogs it is obvious that a great majority of people WANT TO HAVE THIS OPTION CONTINUED!!!!!!!!!!

November 22, 2013 at 1:22 am
Sandra Hart 

PLEASE don’t get rid of the “old” image viewer. I prefer it because I can click on any person on a census page (using the index at the bottom) and see other sources and people who have added this census to their trees on the right so I can go immediately to them.
Since many people are connected to multiple families on a census page, this is a wonderful way to discover a lot of information about a lot of people relatively easily. You can’t do the same thing with the new (and not improved) viewer so I rarely use it, even tho’ the quality of the images is a little better.

November 22, 2013 at 3:51 pm
Joe Owen 

For awhile the new viewer worked on my MAC/Firefox. Now all I get is a junked up screen that says I cannot save the record to my tree because it is not indexed. I asked to view it NOT save it. I am still working with support to try to figure out what is wrong. I assume it is something on my machine since it also fails in Safari. I works on my wife’s machine in Safari. My wife and I seem to have the same plugins and versions. Hopefully I can resolve it next week. If not, I will have to cancel my subscription before it renews. This is a shame since I have had it a long time. Also, some images on FamilySearch use Ancestry to display images and I get the same error there.

November 24, 2013 at 6:08 pm
Texanita Cole Royal 

I add my voice to the 131 others who are begging you to not do away with the old image viewer. I have had all the problems that others have expressed with another problem that I can’t seem to solve. When i try to print any image with the new viewer the page comes out with the print elongated to the point that it is completely unreadable. I make copies of all my records so I have a paper copy to find for each family/individual. This is very important to me and my research. I have literally tried everything I know to do to get a page to print correctly. Nothing has worked. I also like to copy and paste to a folder in Word. I can’t do that with the new viewer.
I truly believe that if you are interested in customer service you WILL KEEP BOTH VIEWERS AND LET THE INDIVIDUAL RESEARCHER DECIDE WHICH ONE SHE/HE WANTS TO USE ACCORDING TO WHAT SERVES THEIR PURPOSES BEST. I also am so tired of trying to use the new viewer and only having a blank, black page show up. I’ve got Flash, Java, use Mozella Firefox and never have problems with the old viewer. I will be extremely disappointed and unhappy with Ancestry.com if we are all forced to use only the new viewer. LISTEN TO YOUR CUSTOMERS, ANCESTRY.COM! We’re the ones who are paying your bills!

November 24, 2013 at 9:26 pm
Anonymous 

Shades of Obamacare and the healthcare.gov! Take away what we like and are happy with, and make us use something that doesn’t suit us that we don’t want.

November 25, 2013 at 1:05 am
Anne Montague 

My renewal date is coming up, and I’m going to have to cancel. The new viewer doesn’t work for me (2006 iMac, OS 10.6.8, Firefox 21.0), and you’re getting rid of the old one.

November 25, 2013 at 5:51 am
Wedmorean 

I see that there are many people who are like me. When I try to use the “new and improved” viewer, I keep getting the “Oops” message. And then it tells me to use the basic viewer. I cannot find what I am looking for with this “new” viewer. As people have said, let your members decide which viewer they want to use. Not everyone wants all the bells and whistles you are forcing on us. It is apparent that the new owners are trying to force us into something that we do not want. And, even worse, the new owners of Ancestry do not know who their audience is. Big mistake, Ancestry. Go back to your roots and keep the people happy.

November 26, 2013 at 6:38 am
Ancestry_Daig 

Simply put, you’re going to lose customers by eliminating the “old” viewer. I’ve tried out both for some time now and always use the “old” version. The side bar is MUCH too valuable to eliminate. I see it says now the “old” viewer will be eliminated in two weeks. Does no one see all the feedback above? I’ve been on the site since early 2000 and seen many many changes that did work but the last few are terrible business decisions. This one tops even the last one. I personally prefer having a choice.

November 27, 2013 at 12:02 am
Louis Roth 

another change that will only reduce the useability of your site.
why? so the programmers have something to do?

focus on acquiring more records and stop trying to help us.

November 30, 2013 at 8:14 pm
Lynne Sitkiewicz 

When trying to print newspaper articles, your new viewer is now not pulling up the view when I select the print button. It would also be nice to highlight, or put lines around a particular article that needs to be printed and print only the article wanted, not the whole or part of a page.

December 3, 2013 at 12:35 am
Mike Daigle 

Just want to say the OLD viewer was created in the first place to REPLACE what didn’t work. It works fine just it is. I still use only this one all the time, as no one has made improvements to the NEW viewer that wete suggested about one year ago. My opinion is that Census errors being corrected is what is needed the most.

December 4, 2013 at 1:02 am
Mario 

I like the custom print option of the old viewer. Will that option be made a part of the new “interactive” viewer? If not it would be a huge capability loss.

December 4, 2013 at 10:30 pm
Alicia 

I really liked the option of customized printing with MyCanvas. I dislike having to print everything out without being able to make it look exactly how I want it to be. Plus it takes more paper (2 pieces of paper compared to putting everything on one piece of paper with MyCanvas printing option).

December 5, 2013 at 12:06 pm
Linda 

I like the old viewer because;
1) I can SAVE to my COMPUTER
2) I can move to PREVIOUS or NEXT page, or from chapter to chapter, access indexes. I am able to search census records for the whole town.
3) I able to access names for the whole page.

I use the old viewer most of the time.
Please consider keeping the old viewer (or upgrade the new one)

December 11, 2013 at 1:48 pm
Annie 

WHERE THE H— IS THE BASIC VIEWER!!! THE “SWITCH” DOESN’T SWITCH!!!

December 13, 2013 at 5:28 pm
Jenny 

What happened to the basic viewer? I was using it a few days ago and then yesterday and today it doesn’t work. What happened? I can’t use the so called new viewer, it has never worked for me, perhaps because I’m on an older computer. Please bring back the basic viewer.

December 15, 2013 at 12:12 pm
Jenny 

So I posted my comment above then started scrolling backwards, up the page, reading other people’s comments. The basic viewer is gone? This isn’t just a glitch that it isn’t working? What is the point of having a subscription to Ancestry if I can’t even view pages? The new viewer doesn’t work at all on my computer, never has. I just checked with three other people I know and we are all having the same issue. So is Ancestry willing to lose (at least) four paying subscribers because we are paying for something we can’t even use?

December 15, 2013 at 12:22 pm
Charlie 

Guess not enough people complained about the new interactive viewer, or they couldn’t find this blog to use. People don’t get changes or keep what is good unless they make enough noise. I tired several times. I begged and pleaded to keep the old/basic/current at the time/ viewer. I can’t believe they got 20,000 responses of any kind.

So we can’t keep the old viewer. Sound familiar? It just doesn’t work with IE8. If you have XP don’t load IE9. They are not compatible. Use a different browser or upgrade your Windows. Man, I’m in sympathy with everyone who liked and wanted to keep the old viewer.

December 17, 2013 at 2:28 pm
Ruth A. 

I’ve tried and tried, but this new viewer is a nightmare. It will not download an image — either to my photo program or to my PDF viewer. If I simply use the print function, a census image is too small to read easily, and retains the heavy black border. And if an image is too poor to read, I guess it’s just too bad — I have no way now to enhance it. I’ve been a member of Ancestry.com for at least a decade, and all I can say is thank goodness I have access to HeritageQuest. I got an 1880 census image there the other day — that was too poor to read on Ancestry.com. The old image viewer worked just fine and I never had a bit of trouble with it. This is really discouraging.

December 20, 2013 at 2:53 pm
Linda Wiggins 

You changed something a few months ago, and I can no longer view images of census records (or other images). I get a black screen with a message “Oops we’ve hit a snag”.
Being a procrastinator, I’ve not cancelled my subscription, and hoped all the other complaints would cause you to solve this problem (I guess by giving an option to use an “old viewer”?).
I have a Mac (c. 2006), running 10.4.1, with Safari 3.1.2 .
My Mac cannot be upgraded to a newer operating system, and there is a limit as to how recent a browser I can download in hopes of solving this problem on my end.
I sent messsages to you (and also spoke with a clueless person at your company), trying to find out:
—for a Mac person, which are the oldest browsers (incl specific version numbers) that will work with your current site and images. I’ve gotten no answer for several months.
I supposed the only step I can take is to spend $500 or more to get a newer (though used) Mac, which will support a newer browser. But I feel skittish about that, since I still am unsure which browser versions will defiitely work with your site.
Please give me that info.

December 30, 2013 at 3:11 am
Janet Wise 

Does anybody at ancestry read and pay attention to user feedback? Ancestry acquired findagrave.com. Findagrave spouted how ancestry has good usability and is looking forward to ancestry “helping” findagrave’s usability. I gasp! I knew things were heading south when the UX group was moved to San Francisco. Now we can have the same designers who have brought features to our cell phones like but dialing everyone in contacts, dialing last call vs number on screen, features / settings / functions scattered under different menus, etc.

February 9, 2014 at 8:34 am
Kristie Wells 

Janet, I can assure you that we do listen to user feedback. If you would like to send us more comments or suggestions, there are several ways you can do that listed here: http://ancstry.me/16514US

February 10, 2014 at 4:14 pm