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Beginners downloadable Book version for FamilySearch Family Tree;Content page for all, with hyperlink access for Get Help information,

Good Morning! I am a Family Search Family Tree Missionary. I love it. I have an idea that I think would make Family Tree much more user friendly especially for non-members. When people join up it would be nice to have a Family Tree manual written at the level of a 12 year old, and based on the articles in Get Help and in a downloaded version. Even with all the articles and tips out there something else is needed. So many seem afraid to move forward and many struggle to know how.
We need a table of contents available to all patrons with subcategories showing what areas they are applicable too. such as "I have duplicates what do I do now?" A question or other heading and then the articles or videos contained in Get Help that the patron can then find.
This could come with links attached and when a change is made as happens often, adjustments can be made and kept as current as possible. A downloadable book version can be specific to the non member who opens an LDS Account and for the LDS member with an Account a downloadable book version all based on the articles with contents of Get Help, and yes, periodic updates to keep current with the new in FamilySearch.
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  • How about using The Family History Guide. I have used it several times in training new users.
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  • The Family History Guide works quite well for training, but "a downloadable book version all based on the articles with contents of Get Help, and yes, periodic updates to keep current with the new in FamilySearch." would ALSO be a valuable asset.

    FSTree is too dynamically changeable, that a comprehensive manual is nearly impossible. This forum often seems to provide more current info than Get Help (eg FS manager Robert Kehrer recent posts on hints and sources) as do the various FS blogs. But somehow, somewhere all of this diverse info does need to be more readily available, in both and elementary format as well as more in depth.

    **********************

    It would also be very helpful if the articles in Get Help would have A DATE, to determine how "current" the information might be.

    While the FS Wiki does a reasonable job of dating the info and changes, the only dates showing on FS Help articles are found at the bottom of each page: "FamilySearch Rights and Use Information (Updated 2/3/2015) | Privacy Policy (Updated 3/18/2014) © 2017 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. "
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  • Yes there is the Family History Guide but how many new to FSFT know how to get to it and how to use it is the question. And Sister Corry and I are well trained missionaries. However we are trained to help the patron and not to do the work for them. Still the guide is great for beginners for this very complex FSFT program.
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    Because FamilySearch is part of the Family History department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, any printed publication must go through a rigorous and long review process, passing through many hands.

    Once it was realized that FamilySearch FamilyTree was going to be a rapidly changing system during its ongoing development, all thoughts on releasing any kind of published instructions was dropped. It may take the system maturing with only a few bugs to be worked out, before another attempt to be made in publishing a manual of instruction (for beginners or otherwise).

    Unfortunately, there used to be a very comprehensive Learning Center in the Help Center, but that was dropped in favor of the absolutely useless "guess as keyword(s) or a question that will result in what you want" field. Sure, there is a Learning Center link in the Get Help menu, but it opens the Help Center with the "Lessons" tab active.

    There are some enterprising people who have put together guides, but I do not have any information about them. Even Cyndi's List, the ultimate "Go To" for links about anything regarding genealogy (https://www.cyndislist.com/) had to update their learning area where FamilySearch.org was concerned.

    The Wiki, for beginners, is probably the best place to look for beginning lessons. They can be easily updated when errors are discovered, since the pages are also open-edit.

    A number of us have asked for a "Table of Contents" that would contain a well-organized set of links to finding pertinent (Knowledge) Articles and lessons about almost any topic surrounding the massive tree.

    As far as I know, nothing has come of that.

    For my own classes, I've gone through a number of iterations in putting together a quick guide of FamilySearch for Church members, but emphasized research techniques and how to find and document sources (if not found on FamilySearch where the source linker can be used).
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  • The "Get Help" menu starts out with a search box.
    For example, just type "duplicates" per the attached snapshot.

    This will give you links to Articles, Lessons, and Wiki sections about finding & merging duplicates.
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  • As strange as it may seem, Joe Thomas has a good point. Yet most patrons need to go to feedback when they hit that brick wall when they find they can't solve the problem.
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