Posted by on 9 February 2011 in Family Tree Maker


The Family tab on the People workspace provides a comprehensive view of your tree. This is where you enter information about individuals and families in your tree—and where you will spend most of your time in Family Tree Maker. Over the next few weeks I’ll spend some time explaining each section of the workspace in detail. You’ll find tips and tricks to help you quickly navigate in your tree and enter information more efficiently. Today we’ll focus on the pedigree view. 

The pedigree view lets you see several generations of your family at once and easily navigate to each member of your family. The individual on the far left side of the tree is the “root” individual of the pedigree view. “Root” simply means that this person is in the primary position of the pedigree view and his or her ancestors are being displayed: paternal on top and maternal underneath. 


Changing the Root Individual

If you want to change the root individual, hover your mouse over an individual in the pedigree view until an arrow appears (see fig. 1). Click the arrow and the individual moves to the root position and his or her ancestors are displayed. 

Figure 1 

Navigating within the Tree

You’ll notice that other types of arrows appear next to individual nodes on the tree. These arrows can help you navigate to other people in the tree. 

A solid right arrow (fig. 2) indicates that the individual has parents (ancestors) who are not being displayed. Click this arrow to view these additional generations. 

Figure 2 


A white arrow (fig. 3) indicates that no parents (ancestors) have been entered for the individual. If you click this button, you can add a father or mother for the individual. 

Figure 3 


A solid left arrow (fig. 4) that appears to the left of the root individual indicates that he or she has children (descendants). If you click this button Family Tree Maker moves the root person’s first child (or the child in the direct line of the home person) to the root position of the tree. 

Figure 4 


A solid down arrow (fig. 5) underneath the root individual indicates that the individual has children. Click this arrow to see and/or navigate to his or her children. Note: If the individual has more than one spouse, the drop-down list displays only children from the individual’s preferred marriage. 

Figure 5 


You can also change the number of generations that are displayed in the pedigree view–up to five generations. Simply drag the slider at the bottom of the view to the number of generations you want (see fig. 6). 

Figure 6 



All very well if it works! ever since you changed to this new application I can’t do anything. Not even edit etc….

11 February 2011 at 3:02 pm
Chris R 

“A solid down arrow (fig. 5) underneath the root individual indicates that the individual has children”

A solid downward arrow under the root individual appears regardless of whether that individual has children or not – in FTM 2010. Has this changed in FTM 2011?


13 February 2011 at 3:48 pm