Posted by on December 21, 2007 in Family Tree Maker

Before the week ended I wanted to take some time to post on the Family Tree Maker blog a list of the available shortcut keys in Family Tree Maker 2008.

The following shortcut keys are available in Family Tree Maker 2008.  The table below shows each shortcut key combination with its availability in version 16 and any comments about where or how it is available.

A downloadable PDF version is also available here.

no = The feature was in v16 but there was no shortcut for it
na = “Not applicable” because the feature the shortcut refers to was not in v16 


Descriptionv16Availability Comments
F1Context Helpsame 
F2People Index dialogsameAvailable in “People”, “Publish”, and “Web Search” workspaces
Alt + F4Exitsame 
Ctrl + OOpensame 
Ctrl + XCutsameAvailable with focus in a text field
Ctrl + CCopysameAvailable with focus in a text field
Ctrl + VPastesameAvailable with focus in a text field
Ctrl + Shift +
DeletesameAvailable with focus in a text field
Ctrl + ASelect All TextnoAvailable with focus in a text field
Alt + Left ArrowNavigate backsame 
Alt + RightNavigate forwardsame 
Ctrl + BAdd bookmarksame 
Ctrl + SAdd new sourcesameAvailable with focus in a fact field or when a fact is selected in the “Person” tab.
Ctrl + Shift + SLink to existing sourcenaAvailable with focus in a fact field or when a fact is selected in the “Person” tab.
Ctrl + MAdd new media itemnoAvailable from within a media context
Ctrl + Shift + MLink to existing media itemnaAvailable from within a media context
Ctrl + TAdd new tasksameAvailable from within the task context
Ctrl + ZUndono 
Ctrl + YRedono 
Ctrl + Shift + F10Context menulimitedDisplays the context menu for the selected item
Ctrl + 1Plan workspacena 
Ctrl + 2People workspacena 
Ctrl + 3Places workspacena 
Ctrl + 4Media workspacena 
Ctrl + 5Sources workspacena 
Ctrl + 6Publish workspacena 
Ctrl + 7Web Search workspacena 
Ctrl + Pg DnNext tabnaSwitches to the next workspace tab
Ctrl + Pg UpPrevious tabnaSwitches to the previous workspace tab
Ctrl + Shift + Pg DnNext sub-panel tabnaAvailable when focus is in a sub-panel (notes, media, tasks, sources, links)
Ctrl + Shift + Pg UpPrevious sub-panel tabnaAvailable when focus is in a sub-panel (notes, media, tasks, sources, links)

Other keyboard functions

  • With focus in the pedigree or family panel, the left, right, up, and down arrow keys move the selection accordingly
  • With focus in the pedigree or family panel, pressing the Tab key will move focus to the right edit panel for entering information about the selected person
  • With a child selected and focus in the family panel, pressing Enter moves the child to the parent position and shows him/her in the pedigree
  • As a general rule Ctrl + Tab will move focus clockwise from left panel to center-top panel to right panel, to center bottom panel.
  • Family Tree Maker 2008 has also expanded Alt key mnemonic access to a much greater extent than v16 did.  Every workspace in 2008 has a number of mnemonic access keys.  Pressing the Alt key causes an underscore to appear below the mnemonic character in the label for the control to which it provides access.  Some mnemonic access keys are available in every workspace.  These are listed in the table below.


DescriptionIn v16Availability & Comments
Alt + AAddnoAdd a person, media item, or source depending on context
Alt + DDeletenoDeletes a person, place, media item or source depending on context
Alt + PPrintCtrl + PPrint options are context sensitive
Alt + SSharenoShare options are context sensitive
Alt + FFile menusame 
Alt + EEdit menusame 
Alt + VView menusame 
Alt + RPerson menuAlt + PAvailable in “People” workspace
Alt + CPlace menunaAvailable in “Places” workspace
Alt + MMedia menunaAvailable in “Media” workspace
Alt + USource menunaAvailable in “Sources” workspace
Alt + TTools menusame 
Alt + HHelp menusame 

Each workspace in Family Tree Maker 2008 has additional access keys specific to that view.  For example, in the People workspace, pressing Alt + N moves focus to the “Name” field in the right panel; pressing Alt + C displays the “Customize View” dialog; Alt + I moves focus to the “Find” field above the index, and so on.  Previous versions of Family Tree Maker did not provide this kind of keyboard access to the main interface.

I hope this is helpful information for everyone.

– Ben

PDF download


Hugh Watkins 

Thank you – I had made a quick comparison myself

I often use the alt series of short cuts in FTM 16 when doing heavy data entry

One census page with a lot of children may have as many as 70 facts
OR another example – I have just been sent by email 900 new LAPHAM vital records with more to come

Alt P + U

gives a new family view for an unconnected family or vital record.

But as time goes by connections emerge and I carefully merge individuals to join up the links

Alt P H sorts the children into date order

just standard windows menu practice for people avoiding the mouse for any reason.

One feature I would like to see is the Excel spread sheet like ability to drag the contents of a place field – if it is selected – to children in the same list born in the same place.

Today in FTM 16 I select the birth or death location and use the keys

Ctrl A
Ctrl C
down arrow
Ctrl V
down arrow
Ctrl V
as many times as necessary

BTW when entering children
I look at the images to check the spelling

type forename (surname is auto entered from father)
right arrow
F or M for gender

down arrow
to repeat for the next child

when done I add the dates
c1850 becmes abt.1850 automatically
at the same time checking for my own typos

The date of a census in the spring means that years are often either 9 months or 3 months out
so always “about” . .

the old 1881 data has a different rounding to the other newer indexes on ancestry.

Anyway some women or men age 8 or 9 years for each census isntead of ten :-)
so those dates are always “about” until you get a birth record

lastly I enter the birthplaces using copy paste as above as much as possible

Happy Christmas to all of you :-)

Hugh W

December 22, 2007 at 8:28 am
kolynkhan » Family Tree Maker Keyboard Shortcuts 

[…] Check it out! While looking through the blogosphere we stumbled on an interesting post today.Here’s a quick excerptThe following shortcut keys are available in Family Tree Maker 2008. The table below shows each shortcut key combination with its availability in version 16 and any comments about where or how it is available. … […]

December 22, 2007 at 5:25 pm
Joyce Bailey 

How can I display the married name of women in the person index?

December 22, 2007 at 7:30 pm
Paul Baranik 

Will v08 contain an All-In-One Tree?
Is v08 backward compliant?

Please respond to my Email address.


December 22, 2007 at 9:28 pm
Kathy Marie 


First: The very left hand pane cannot be expanded to the right. Sometimes the Locations are fairly lengthy and can’t be read until they are actually clicked on. How about giving the capability to expand this pane to the right

Second: The magnification Slider Bar resets it self when clicking on each place. It appears to have some knowledge about the size of the upcoming picture and resets itself based on that knowledge. (A good feature by the way.) How about an option that would allow the user to set the slider bar to a desired magnification and have the system leave it their until the user changes it. Note: My suggestion is to implement this as an OPTION because every user would not want this as a hardwired feature. To me it is desirable in some cases, e.g., when I am looking ,say, at a map scaled back to see the entire United States I can click on the next location and gain some general knowledge about where it lies in relation to the last place I clicked on

December 23, 2007 at 5:42 am
Kathy Marie 

See my First suggestion in item 5

The statement “Sometimes the Locations — can’t be read until they are actually clicked on.” is not true. You can see them by just hovering the mouse over them. However, I would still like the left hand pane to be able to be stretched to the right, so I won’t have to hover over each place to see the entire place name. And I will be able to scroll down the list and see the details of each one and more quickly find the one I am looking for (Don’t forget there are a lot of places where the town is the same and the county/state is different and the way it is set up now you can’t tell that without hovering or clicking on a place) Bottom line is that the suggestion will save time

December 23, 2007 at 6:26 am
Lisa Giddings 

WordPress database error: [Can’t create/write to file ‘/tmp/#sql_c87_0.MYI’ (Errcode: 30)]
SELECT SQL_CALC_FOUND_ROWS wp__ancestry_posts.* FROM wp__ancestry_posts LEFT JOIN wp__ancestry_post2cat ON (wp__ancestry_posts.ID = wp__ancestry_post2cat.post_id) LEFT JOIN wp__ancestry_categories ON (wp__ancestry_post2cat.category_id = wp__ancestry_categories.cat_ID) WHERE 1=1 AND category_id IN (8) AND (post_type = ‘post’ AND (post_status = ‘publish’)) GROUP BY wp__ancestry_posts.ID ORDER BY post_date DESC LIMIT 0, 10

Please could you look at this. I went to look at your blog this morning and this is what is on the main page of your blg, with an entry saying that nothing has been submitted. Kind regards

December 30, 2007 at 5:55 am
Herb Carter 

Where would one post commenets about all the little bugs in FTM 2008. I’m really hoping they will be fixed but don’t see anywhere to let programmers know of an issue they may have missed. Also any word on when the next FTM patch will be out. I have moved back to FTM V16 until next patch/ upgrade.

January 3, 2008 at 9:10 am
Benjamin Nettesheim 

The best place to report bugs in Family Tree Maker is on the Family Tree Maker feedback form.

I’ve requested that a separate category be set up labeled as “Bug Report.” Please include your email address, as the development team may need to contact you directly if they are unable to recreate the bug.

January 4, 2008 at 4:43 pm
Larry Chesebro' 

I am echoing Herb Carter’s question:

“Also any word on when the next FTM patch will be out”

January 6, 2008 at 8:42 am
Roseanne Fowler 

Using Version 16 of FTM…. why is there a 2,000 individual limit for uploading to my website (listed above). Is there a technical way around this?
Or is FTM 2008 the solution? How many individuals are set as a limit in FTM2008???? I would like to keep all the people together that are currently in my database. As expected, families grow and more data is collected. I have been juggling to eliminate individuals for years because of this limitation.
I have been emailing every ‘contact us’ address on websites and never get a satisfactory respose ever.

January 10, 2008 at 5:11 am
Martha L Hollenbeck 

My ftm 2006 says its up to date but when i come to to look at my tree I cant do register or any other thing but pedigree which is no help at all. Is there an update for 2006 that i can get. I hate looking at family trees on ancestry cause all I can look at are pedigree.

January 11, 2008 at 3:53 pm
J M 

Copy/Paste function has become Copy/Crash. Can’t C/P in Media from name to description without crashing.

February 14, 2008 at 9:00 pm

My Sisther and she is now and she side i sand you the o’hanlon/Lewis family tree bout i do’nt gat it beout and i tall her and she side i can’nt gat it sand out to my family at all becayes it will not work for me so i do’nt now want to do

March 18, 2008 at 6:33 pm

The old Family Tree Maker – I’ve had this since very early used to have a tool called Fix relationship mistakes – Is it still avilable?


June 5, 2008 at 5:11 pm

I recently installed ftm 2008. Much to my dismay when a gen report is created it garbles up all the census, etc within the individuals beginning information. How can this be resolved? Do I trash 2008 and go back to my 2004 – it worked great!

July 1, 2008 at 3:39 pm

I am looking for information on Gordon 1800 Towle 1800 Woosley 1800
Harper 1800 Ebling 1772 if you know anything about these people let me know.

November 25, 2008 at 7:03 pm
Howard James Lewis 

Type your comment here.

December 18, 2008 at 7:36 am