Family Tree Maker - Current Version

by Ancestry.com
The current version of Family Tree Maker is followed by its release year, e.g. 2012. It was completely rewritten in 2008 and is very different than its previous incarnation. There is also a Mac version. They have a Family Tree Maker category in their blog. Use this entry to review the current version, and use the FTM Up To Version 16 entry to review the versions prior to the rewrite.

Purchase • Windows • Full Featured • Builds Website
http://www.familytreemaker.com/
Overall3131.5 out of 51.5 out of 51.5 out of 51.5 out of 51.5 out of 5 1.50
20141331.34 out of 51.34 out of 51.34 out of 51.34 out of 51.34 out of 5 1.34
2013481.97 out of 51.97 out of 51.97 out of 51.97 out of 51.97 out of 5 1.97
Earlier1322.26 out of 52.26 out of 52.26 out of 52.26 out of 52.26 out of 5 2.26

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313 Reviews of Family Tree Maker - Current Version     RSS 2.0 RSS     Showing 1 - 20                   Add Your Review

Family Tree Maker - Current Version Review by Roger Dunn,  5 days ago

Not Rated

I have used FTM2011, 2012 and then upgraded to 2014. No real reason to update other than I was expecting some improvements. I had previously run the program on XP and Vista, now on Windows 7. Yes, occasionally any of the programs crash, and for some reason we consumers put up with that kind of thing - almost expect it, but FTM 2014 actually has fewer features than FTM 2012, some of which don’t work at all. Trying to sort out source citations simply doesn’t work with FTM 2014. The program canot tell you how many names are associated with any source linked to more than about 500 names, and if you try to detach a source from a person you know that without fail the program will crash and give you an error message which implies it was all your fault and you should have run the ‘Compact File’ routine more often - I was running this around every 30 minute just to be sure. I have wasted many hours writing messages to the message boards asking when the fault in the software will be fixed and have been expecting the fix to be downloaded at any moment. Well about 12 months in and absolutely nothing done, so I have now had to convert my file back to work with FTM 2012; this will take some considerable time on my part to get everything back up and running and I hate to have to waste my time doing this but FTM2014 simply doesn’t do what is promised and clearly Avanquest are not bothered enough to make their software work, so to anyone looking out for Family tree software, look at Family Tree Maker, then move on! Very angry with this product and the lack of customer care on the part of the makers.

Biggest Pro: Looks pretty
Biggest Con: The biggest con was paying money for this software!!!

Family Tree Maker - Current Version Review by Alexander MacLellan,  5 days ago

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

I have been a subscriber to both Ancestry .com and FTM for many years, and I have regularly updated my version of FTM. I maintain a number of FT’s mostly under 1000 names but my main tree features 43,000 names which I hold on an ageing XL PC. About 4 months ago I purchased 3 individual discs of FTM 2014 directly from Ancestry.com for the purpose of : (1) to provide the latest update for my files held on my Windows XP PC, (2) to provide the latest FTM product to be installed on my new 2TB 16GB RAM PC, and lastly to gift a FTM disc to a friend who was a newcomer to family research. NOW, I can only say at this point in time my experience with FTM 2014 has been a disaster. Running FTM 2014 on my old XP PC has resulted in the program ‘closing’ with the now common message ‘……encountered a problem and must close down’ ! Consequently, I could not access the files to run a compacting routine, forcing me to reset my database almost a month previous. Even more frustrating, the system automatically indicated that updates were available, HOWEVER ACTIVATING THESE UPDATES IMMEDIATELY RECREATED THE SAME PROBLEM AND CLOSED DOWN THE PROGRAM. Moving on to my brand new PC…….FTM was the first program to be installed, but before completion ‘an essential update’ had to be processed which immediately caused the program to close down with the usual reason ‘ encountered a problem …….’ Or, quite strangely the error message ‘the previous FTM program was not closed properly…. Try compacting your files….’ BUT THERE WERE NO FILES!! IT WAS A COMPLETELY NEW PC WITH ABSOLUTELY NO DATA THERON!! I have tried ‘Uninstall’, ‘Reinstall’, ‘Unistall’, ‘Reinstall’, ‘Unistall’, ‘Reinstall’, etc., etc., ad nauseum but I could not rectify the problem which appears to lie with the mandatory updates. I only recently utilised these FTM 2014 discs and discovered these major problems which renders the software un-useable. I have not had time to refer the problems back to FTM but I am not encouraged by previous comments on this topic.

Biggest Pro: Great FT framework which previously worked so-so
Biggest Con: Extremely disappointed with FTM 2014 , for me it’s an unworkable product in its present state.

Family Tree Maker - Current Version Review by Dennis Blankenmeyer,  Nov 16, 2014

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

I have used Ancestry since it came out and never had a problem like I have with the 2014 version. It will not install. I keep getting a notice telling me I am missing a .dll file in my 2012 version. After a few call to a customer rep were of no help and then reading these reviews, I am going to attempt to obtain a refund.

Biggest Pro: None
Biggest Con: Worthless program

Family Tree Maker - Current Version Review by Dale Brose,  Nov 15, 2014

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

Software freezes when entering information in SOURCE.

Biggest Pro: None
Biggest Con: Software is unusable

Family Tree Maker - Current Version Review by Joan Kelly,  Nov 15, 2014

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

I’ve had FTM ever since it first came out and have upgraded with almost every release. Every new release brought new disappointments. The charts were very negatively affected. I was able to print out nice charts with early versions, but not now. The current version is the worst. It is hard to navigate; it does not work seamlessly with Ancestry.com. You cannot add source notes easily from Ancestry.com. The sync crashed when I added new data yesterday. My tree is not exceptionally large; I have parsed it down to about 1,800 persons in my direct lines. I keep the other lines separately. If the program cannot support my little tree, I suspect many people will be very unhappy with how it does not support their larger trees. Can anyone recommend a different program? After decades of loyalty to this program, I fear my only option is to go elsewhere.

Biggest Pro: none left with this version
Biggest Con: so many, especially the charts

Family Tree Maker - Current Version Review by Wilson. Brown,  Nov 9, 2014

2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

I feel betrayed by the new version 2014. Entry of new information, or the modification of existing information is not explained and is far more difficult to do. E.g. in a new entry 2014 in most programs, one enters personal information as a chart, but 2014 lists only the birth, there is no place for the death. This is like Windows 8, which was so user-unfriendly that Microsoft, with its engineer’s arrogance, was forced to retreat. How the company could make such a marketing mistake beats me. It has severely hampered my research. As with earlier FTMs, a “source” may be a piece of junk. In earlier FTMS, “the source” was not something from a FT taken from another posted FT, riddled with errors.

I like it because it does come up with a list of clues, at least.

Biggest Pro: Quick identification of sources
Biggest Con: Maddening ways of entering new data

Family Tree Maker - Current Version Review by terry christensen,  Nov 4, 2014

2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

it crashes quite often without saving my latest entries. much harder to navigate around

Biggest Con: it crashes quite often without saving my latest entries

Family Tree Maker - Current Version Review by Nancy,  Oct 30, 2014

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

I do not have FTM. I am looking to purchase …. I found this site ….. And have decided that FTM is probably more trouble than it is worth.

Biggest Pro: I have not purchased yet
Biggest Con: Seen

Family Tree Maker - Current Version Review by Jack Peregoy,  Oct 27, 2014

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

FTM 14 goes completely through the install process on windows 8.1 and log on desktop will not start program; this is from disk from ancesytry.com. same resulty with downloading on line. Have spent hours with their techs and independent software support companys and no one can get the program to start. My computer is up to date with all microso0ft updates and has no hardware problems. The program as supplied simply will not work..

Biggest Pro: none
Biggest Con: wont start

Family Tree Maker - Current Version Review by Joel S. Pratt,  Oct 26, 2014

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

DO NOT UPGRADE TO FTM 2014!!! Initial install went OK and I converted one of my 6 tree files, then FTM 2014 crashed. Reloading FTM 2014 stopped with error message saying a .DLL program was missing and aborted the install. A local PC engineer got me past that hurdle but next attempt to load aborted saying a different .DLL program was missing!

I emailed the customer support but have received no answer.

I have used FTM for 15 years. My files contain 7,000 names. I have invested hundreds of hours in building my files. FTM 2014 is deeply flawed. I am angry and bitterly disappointed. If you do try to install 2014 make sure you have backup copies of your files before risking loss of your data.

Biggest Pro: NONE!!!!
Biggest Con: THE PRODUCT IS UNUSABLE

Family Tree Maker - Current Version Review by John Riley Dowell,  Oct 26, 2014

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

Family Tree Maker 2014 has great features with charts, reports, media,, maps, and books. The features were just not up to par. I entered data into the FTM program for about 3 months. Then came the problems with the reports. I tried a few suggestions, but no help. Next I made sure my internet service was okay. Next I made sure my computer protection was working okay. Finally I worked with FTM only to try different fixes to correct the problems. The help was very small steps at a time to fix the problems. Each small step help solution would remove a lot of good data and media. The program will not find some mistakes with the individuals. The program would stop working because of who knows why. One solution given was to try to find relationship errors. Next I had to check each individual for relationship problems. More help suggestions took about three months to finally make the program work at about 80%. My data was entered from my research pages. It was like a step forward and then two steps back because of having to reenter the data and media. This is my second FTM program to buy. The older version and the features worked fine, but contained only about a third of the features. I added no information from the older program. The older program was on a different hard drive. This latest and greatest FTM program seems to have been more trouble than it is worth. Time and cost is a lot to create one family tree. I will find a different program to use on my next tree. New program to create a new tree. That’s why I gave the 1 rating. The more I typed here the more I lowered the rating from a 3 to a 1.

Biggest Pro: Great Media
Biggest Con: Detecting errors in relationships

Family Tree Maker - Current Version Review by Nance,  Oct 25, 2014

3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

Haven’t made up my mind about FTM2014 yet as I just downloaded it because 2012, which I had used with no issues until it just stopped loading died on me, so I had to get the new version. I was perfectly happy with 2012, but a couple days ago it just would not load no matter what I did. I called ancestry and they had me do all sorts of things from reconfiguring, removing files, removing the program and reinstalling several times, updating with no results, etc. I was so frustrated and just gave up. I purchased the new FTM 14 and have just now downloaded it onto the comptuer. Little did I know that I had to unlike the file on ancestry before I could download it onto the new program. That caused major annoyance. After 3 days of phone calls. numerous instruction links sent to me and tried, I now have my tree back and I hope it stays! If not, well, I hope it stays!

Biggest Pro: I had sync in FTM 2012, so I don’t know if there is any other great pro.
Biggest Con: Having a program stop working and ancestry could not help me get it running, so I had to spend more money on the new program which I really did not want.

Family Tree Maker - Current Version Review by Wendy,  Oct 23, 2014

4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

Granted, the various versions of FTM can be a bit finicky at times for sure, but I’ve been using them for years with little problem. These are BIG programs that handle a lot of data and they need to be handled with care. For starters, I always export a copy of the GEDcom and FTM or other file extensions AND make a full backup prior to upgrading to any new version. Also having a background in programming, I know better than to fiddle around with registries and prefer not to uninstall and reinstall so as not to make a finicky program even more so. Also, I did not uninstall my 2012 version prior to installing 2014.

I too had a problem with version 2014 telling me that I needed to apply a required update. At first, the program refused to do it, and I got around that by hitting cancel and it launched the program anyway, albeit with a warning that the update was required. Since I just yesterday signed up for my 14 day trial for Ancestry.com (I’ve had FTM since around 2008 or so, so I’ve been working on my tree for awhile), I was anxious to see what I would find and quickly got busy chasing “hints” all night. I woke up this morning after very little sleep (because I worked all night like a crazy person), grabbed a cup of coffee and went about finding a solution online.

My eyes still felt like they were bleeding from the night before so after looking around online for about a half hour, I decided I should just make a phone call. After all, I downloaded the file back in February and just yesterday got around to installing it. Pretty sure it’s a bit outdated and maybe I need a new file.

My phone call took all of about 5 minutes and I got the right answer right away. Here it is:
Call 1-800-262-3787 (for US) to have someone walk you through the process. There are regional numbers too, but if you cannot find them on Ancestry.com, you need more help than I can provide. ;)

If you don’t want to call, here are the manual instructions:
1) You’ll want to close your FTM program.
2) You’ll need to login to Ancestry.com. Then go here: http://help.ancestry.com/app/answers/list/kw/5588/search/1 (If you wind up with just an empty search, search for “5588″)
3) Click on the link for “Manual Installation” to jump to the instructions.
4) Determine if you have a 32 bit or 64 bit system. There is no longer support for Windows XP, but this link should detect your version automatically for you: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/827218
5) Download the appropriate .exe file for your system and save it to your desktop or note where it goes (usually in the downloads folder).
6) Find the file, right-click on the file and choose “Run as Administrator.”

With a little patience, that should put you back in business. My file was not lost and I did not need to import it or restore a backup. Your mileage may vary, especially if you fiddled with stuff you shouldn’t have. ;)

One last word. I made a huge dent in my family tree in just one night of my 14 day free trial. If I can exhaust my US search, I think I can move on to World records and cancel my US subscription, saving myself some $$. While I reaaaaly don’t like that there are monthly subscriptions for every aspect of Ancestry.com, without it, I would not be able to work on my tree because the cost in both time and travel (traveling to distant lands and looking at microfiche, etc.) would be too prohibitive for me. I for one, am grateful to have the resource.

Biggest Pro: The ability to Sync with Ancestry.com
Biggest Con: Cost for all the Ancestry.com levels can be expensive (US, World, Military, Newspaper) records. Everything is a monthly fee!

Family Tree Maker - Current Version Review by Jake,  Oct 22, 2014

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

No one should be surprised that the latest FTM product is really bad, especially their 2014 products. Ancestry.com is owned and operated by the Latter-day Saints, i.e. Mormon Church. The #1 goal of their software products is to convince you to upload/share your ancestry data with them so they can resell it to others. When you make tens of millions of dollars selling data that keeps flowing in year after year why would you worry about spending money on customer service or fixing software problems?

Biggest Pro: Mormon Church Gets Rich
Biggest Con: Customers get the shaft

Family Tree Maker - Current Version Review by Glen Waring,  Oct 21, 2014

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

A month after loading New Treemaker 2014 and the problems experienced with this program and 2012 update in causing crashing of my computer no resolution has been reached following numerous calls and emails to Ancestry.com with a pledge to return with a better outcome within three days, come a fortnight later have not to date received a call! Emails have been received advertising and promoting various products and even the odd survey but nothing in the way of a proactive response proffering a solution. I guess the best solutuon is to vote with the feet and advise or even STRESS NOT BUY this product! In event this company provides a remotely satisfactory resolution I will endeavour to post the results accordingly! Am running a 64 bit machine also and have asked about this but no-one seems to be able to provide an answer! Should I not receive a response within the next two days i will be contacting consumer affairs both in the UK and here in Australia.

Biggest Pro: Profit for the companies in selling a product without accountability!.
Biggest Con: right on re a con!! Lack of service as pledged via their product advertising, feedback and surveys!!

Family Tree Maker - Current Version Review by K Curtis,  Oct 20, 2014

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

I was seduced into buying 2014 after having used FTM 2008 since it’s inception. What a terrible mistake - ‘not responding’ at every action, adding existing media is a nightmare as it takes an age to reveal. It’s hard on the eye, missing media etc etc etc. I spent 3 days on it and I didn’t even get as far as syncing with Ancestry as it was so unresponsive and I just didn’t trust what it might do! I’ve uninstalled it and reverted back to my simple 2008 version. If you are happy with your old system then stick with it, don’t waste your money on this pile of poo! ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’

Biggest Pro: Can’t think of one…
Biggest Con: Yes, it is a big con! Don’t fall for it, it’s a pup!

Family Tree Maker - Current Version Review by Mark Murphy,  Oct 16, 2014

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

I had been using Family Tree Maker for years and years. It had always been very intuitive with beautiful and simple screens, easy to create trees and reports, and flawless operation. It had everything a genealogist needed and would need into the future. There was no reason to make any changes to it unless you thought, like Microsoft, that the way to greater profits was to rewrite the software so that users would have to “upgrade” to something that was obscure and dysfunctional. If you have been a longtime victim of Microsoft and have watched what has happened for example with Excel, you know what I am talking about. I bought a new laptop, a 64 bit machine with Windows 7 and quickly discovered that my FTM would not run on a 64 bit machine. I had to upgrade to FTM 2014. What a mess! The screen is so complicated and so covered with little type and little sub-windows that you have no idea what you are looking at. I tried it out for several weeks and decided this is a piece of junk. I also owned Legacy and it comes close to being what FTM was when it was a quality program. I switched to Legacy and I have abandoned FTM, and unless some miracle happened I won’t be using it again. Just read the reviews here and you will see what must be the lowest rated software product ever seen.

Biggest Pro: None
Biggest Con: Design is a mess, very unintuitive, not trustworthy. DON’T BUY FTM.

Family Tree Maker - Current Version Review by Frank Hale,  Oct 14, 2014

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

I was using FTM 16 and found it satisfactory until I purchased a new computer with Windows 8.1, another mistake. The FTM 16 did not function properly with 8.1. When I contacted Ancestry their only solution was FTM 2014 which I purchased and installed. When I try to open some of the books I had I get the message.

” This book was imported from an older Family Tree Maker file. There may be reports and charts that are missing. Because of differences between the old and new formats, book items may not include the same formatting or in some cases, the same data. The book import is intended to give you a template from which to recreate your pre-existing book.

This text item was added during import and should be deleted because it was not part of the book.”

Why would anyone want to re-create what they already had? Not only are photos missing, but the format of the screen is not as intuitive as previous version and more steps are required to enter data. Some of the photos that were included in the FTM 16 files did not transfer, only the name or description. I now have to go back into my personal files to find them and re-install them in the update. I cannot go back to 16 as the search feature is no longer supported. Would not buy again. Sometimes less is really more.

Biggest Pro: Easy search for hints and similar family trees
Biggest Con: Loss of data, difficult and more complicated to use. Requires more steps in data entry

Family Tree Maker - Current Version Review by Monie,  Oct 14, 2014

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

I hate it.

I really loved the older versions of FTM. It has long been the best genealogy software. FTM 14 is not user friendly at all, and crashes about 10 times every day using Windows 8.1 even with all the updates and fixes installed. Hate it hate it hate it.

Biggest Pro: Auto sync to tree online and error checking
Biggest Con: Everything else, especially the crowded screen layouts and tiny font (even the option to enlarge the font is still small compared to older versions)

Family Tree Maker - Current Version Review by Sandy Kat,  Oct 10, 2014

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

I have been using Family Tree Maker for years, latest version was the 2011. Then I purchased the 2014. DON’T BUY IT!! It says it doesn’t overwrite your former version. True. What it does is change all your former saved FTM files into the 2014 version, deletes any photos you had on your former version and does not carry them over to the 2014 version. My sources listed on the 2011 FTM were mixed up AND I AM VERY UNHAPPY!!! If you purchase the 2014 FTM you’re in for headaches and an extended time of recovery and replacement. A true waste of money.

Biggest Pro: There are none.
Biggest Con: Everything about it.

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