Posted by Ancestry Team on October 8, 2007 in Family Tree Maker

The response from the community in the Family Tree Maker blog has been significant. I thank you for the insight and comments that have been left so far. They are very helpful.

A common request we have had is the desire to receive more information about what is being worked on. Much of the Family Tree Maker team’s resources are currently being used on the forthcoming update. Although I cannot give an exact date, I can announce that you should expect that soon. An October launch is still a reasonable estimate. I also requested a list of logged bug fixes. The list was close to 300 instances long. I know the Family Tree Maker development team is working very hard to resolve these. Those fixes are scheduled for the October update.

Major bug fixes include:

  • Program crashes
    • A number of actions have been causing program crashes. Some of those include issues with the merge / export, Vista issues, installation, and more.
  • Data corruption
    • Again, caused by a number of issues some including the action of adding an unrelated person, importing V16 files, and more.
  • Corrections and additions to charts and reports
  • Import bugs and Merge fixes
  • Internet connection issues

There were also a number of “one off” bugs that did not fit into any of these groups.

The October update is a top priority for the Family Tree Maker team. Development is also working very hard on the releases for International customers. This includes releases for French Canada, UK, Australia, and Germany. They are pushing for October and November International releases.

Also, a desktop book building tool is a top priority. I’m very interested in hearing your thoughts on what you are looking for in this project. This will not be released until next year due to the development requirements and resources.

Members of the Family Tree Maker team have taken some time to list the status of many of the items that have been asked about on this forum—specifically some items that seemed to be removed from Family Tree Maker.

Message from the Family Tree Maker team
Here is the status of many of the items that have been asked about on this forum:

The following items asked about are in the shipping product

  • Index of individuals search by given name—People/Index—change the sort to Given Family Name
  • Bibliography report (Publish/Source Reports)
  • Documented events report (Publish/Source Reports)
  • Ability to change the capitalization of a name from CAPS to lower case (Tools/Convert Names)
  • Ability to not print labels for empty facts on reports (uncheck “Include blank facts” option in the “Items To Include” dialog)
  • Remembering preferred spouses after import (we could not duplicate the error of not remembering preferred spouses)

Items purposely not done or changed significantly in the new release

  • Double click on GEDCOM file to open—We don’t own the GEDCOM file format and some customers did not like us “hijacking” it for our purposes.
  • Capability to save a file back to an older version of FTM—Not implemented because the new format is so vastly different than previous formats. Going back to previous versions can usually be accomplished via GEDCOM export.
  • Automatic selection of female when entering a NEW person in the database—Many users complained about entering people as female automatically and did not like the assumption of female that created inadvertent errors.
  • Automatic backup of file on exit—A large percentage of customers did not like the automatic backup
  • Scrapbook—Replaced with a more robust media model
  • Research Journal—Replaced with more robust task feature

Items fixed in a currently available patch

  • Nicknames or AKA lost on import of file into 2008.
  • Other import errors
  • Registration fails for some people.
  • Nag screen popup window to register program.
  • Nag screen popup window auto-search on starting program asking if it is ok to search the web.
  • Changes to the pedigree report design do not hold when saved

Items addressed in the October patch

  • Basic register and ahnentafel reports
  • Ancestor tree charts—Vertical ancestor chart is in the October patch
  • Genealogy report. This was the major report used by most people—Register and Ahnentafel genealogy reports are in the October patch
  • Hourglass tree charts
  • Vastly improved merge performance

Items actively being developed

  • Books
  • Improved performance

Items among those being considered for the future

  • Option to select items to include on a FTM and GEDCOM file merge/append.
  • Index of individuals options
  • Index of names showing comma in front of name suffix.
  • Clicking on a person in a (chart) tree and go to that person. It is this way on all report I tried.
  • Reference numbers
  • Address labels
  • Medical labels
  • Spell check for facts or anything else except notes
  • Spell that moves through all the notes
  • All-in-one tree chart
  • Address report
  • Alternate facts report
  • Data error report
  • Medical report
  • More report formatting options
  • View data CD
  • Option to sort reports with data fields on the different fields
  • More than one relation to a person in the Kinship report
  • Better fast fill fields
  • Find and replace
  • Capability to copy selected items on any of the reports
  • Capability to copy selected individuals from one database to another
  • Capability to generate a tree of a family and then select to delete them from the database
  • Better Undo/Redo
  • Remove items such as dates and the word “in” in custom reports
  • Keeping selected individuals from one report to another
  • Set and save defaults in all reports
  • Ability to turn off FTM place names or change these place names or to only use your place names.
  • Fan charts

Response to items identified as “New Problems”

  • Higher hardware requirements—While this is a concern, newer technology often requires better hardware. Much of the software that is sold today wouldn’t run very well on hardware of ten years ago.
  • Performance concerns—This is an ongoing focus for the Family Tree Maker team. The larger your file is, the more challenging to make it perform well. We have made significant improvements and plan to make more.
  • Performance is also affected because the 2008 version provides a much broader and richer view of a person’s data. For extremely large files, a richer view that performs poorly is not a good trade-off. Certainly for trees containing more than 50,000 people (a small percentage of our customers), performance is too slow. The team is working hard to address this.
  • Authentication—The new authentication process allows Family Tree Maker to communicate with in a more secure way than it could before. The ability to let Family Tree Maker “remember” your user name and password makes it a no-bother process.

Some benefits and improvements in Family Tree Maker 2008

  • The concept of a home person that clearly shows the relationship of everyone in the file to the home person (typically the user)
  • The flexibility of the interface that allows the user to customize their view as they would like (adjust index, pedigree, family, and edit panels)More information in a single view. Many customers who try 2008 for the first time discover data they were not aware they had. They say things like: “I didn’t know I had notes for that person” or “I didn’t know those pictures were there or that I had a source for that fact.”
  • The ability to see a family and their family tree simultaneously. Many users had told us and showed us how frustrating it was to switch between the pedigree and family views. Family Tree Maker 2008 can give you whatever you want (a pedigree view only, a family view only, or a combined view)
  • A huge global place name authority that provides consistent spelling for places as well as complete place name elements (city, county/parish, state/province, country)
  • Place mapping that displays a map for any place in the world.
  • The ability to see all of a person’s facts (including marriage facts) in a single view.
  • The ability to view a timeline of a person’s life events (including extended family and historical facts).
  • The ability to link a single media item to many people or facts. This is a huge time and computer resource saver.
  • The ability to link a single source to many facts.
  • The ability to rate sources using a person’s own criteria or standardized criteria.
  • The ability to link tasks to a person and see a roll-up of all tasks in the tree.
  • The ability to link to any file on your computer without having it imbedded in the database. This keeps it accessible to other programs even when you’re not in Family Tree Maker.
  • Ancestry integration that takes advantage of the latest improvements of


  1. Christy Fillerup

    It looks to me like some great improvements are in the “being considered stage.” I would love to see: the reference numbers, data error report, view data CD, and something not mentioned above that I miss from my TMG days – the ages of an individual at the time of each event.

    Thanks for all of your hard work. This release has been a bumpy road, but I for one am overall pleased with the final product (and am becoming more pleased with each update.)

  2. robert

    …Also, a desktop book building tool is a top priority. I’m very interested in hearing your thoughts on what you are looking for in this project. This will not be released until next year due to the development requirements and resources…

    I was hoping for a big improvement in the way FMT formated descendent trees as book pages. The previous formating was not very logical, with page numbers jumping far away at times. One does not have the feeling of moving down through the descendents. Also sometimes there was just two individuals on a page.
    When a family has too many children to fit on one line on a page it would be better that the other children just appeared on the next line. Try to keep the next page boxes with arrows going down. If there was a way to allow movement of boxes this could help.

    When I send one hundred page descendent trees, no one could follow.

    Also allow thumbnail size pictures when I’m missing an actual photo, I substitute a state flag, country flag, or blason. In Europe many people and/or cities have blasons.

    best regards,


  3. tschlarm

    Might want to have your coders check the AKA import again. Still not working for me with patch version 440. AKA names were in the format: “Franz, Frank” (without quotes)

  4. Athena

    I appreciate being able to see this list. I would prefer that you did not mix marketing hype with discussion of known issues; it makes it hard to keep track of what is actually going on.

    I understand that the main interface was designed in response to user feedback. It does not appear though, that much attention was given to users who were in fact happy with what they had. The new interface is *unusable* on smaller screens. I would much rather have a “classic” interface option.

    The AKA issue involves more than just retaining the data in the database: FTM2008 doesn’t seem to use the data in that field even when it is populated.

    * FTM16 automatically includes the AKA as a web search term, FTM2008 does not. To search on an AKA, the user has to click around and reset the search criteria (which is also more cumbersome than in FTM16) then rerun the search.*

    * FTM16 includes the AKA in index reports but FTM2008 does not. Many users have commented on the futility of using the index when certain names are used repeated in a family.

    There are also problems with ordering spouses. The problems predate FTM2008 but seem to be even worse now. FTM does not deal well with unmarried relationships and things get really messy with simultaneous “spouses”. Instead of wasting time trying to guess how/where the software will list spouses in different places, the user should be able to just designate the order of spouses.

    If TGN is aware that the software can not be used productively with the posted “minimum requirements”, the posted specifications should be changed to be more realistic.

    Regarding associating the GEDCOM file type with FTM, why not have help content about how to do that manually? It’s a one time thing that can be easily documented for low-skilled users. Another way to handle it would be to include it as a program option somewhere — satisfy those who don’t want it by defaulting to no then include a check box somewhere to do the association.

    *NOTE: The FTM2008 search is not as efficient when it comes to women either because, unlike FTM16, it does not search on both maiden and married names simultaneously.

  5. Former Customer

    So why do you continue to sell FTM 2008 with data corruption errors? How many of your customers know about this? This blog is not easy to find. Some customers were told by TGN support that importing v16 would not corrupt the data but you list that as one of the factors…a big factor by the way. Sounds like one good reason to apologize to the customers, pull the release, issue no questions asked refunds, and dedicate the resources to developing and fully testing a good quality and complete release. Patches are meant only for obscure problems not found in testing and for updates due to change in environment such as Vista. They are not meant for correcting major errors and adding functionality from previous releases. Customers should be used for usability testing prior to a release, not for technical and usability testing after a release.

    BTW, the items listed in issues not to be included in FTM 2008 and those being considered for the future doesn’t add up to all the features from previous versions that were not included (not just SEEMED to be removed) from previous versions. Still would like to know who made that decision. I still use FTM 16 until your competitors release new versions. Each day, I recognize something that isn’t available in FTM 2008. Since the missing functionality is only being “considered” for the future and there are items missing from the list, there seems to be no guarantee that TGN will ever return to the level it once had for those of us who are not just simply researching and merging data from

    Although I am a former customer, I have taken on the task of “keeping them honest” (as CNN would say). Your customers and former customers deserve it.

  6. Candy Jens

    One feature of FTM 2008 that you’re probably very proud of is one I’ll bet is used by a tiny minority – the Place Name Authority and map feature. Since it must take up many megabytes in the program, why not make it an optional install? Those who want it can do so, and the others can save room for other goodies.

    The lack of a Genealogy report is inexcusable; losing the all-in-one tree is a deal-breaker for me. I played with the beta, but will stick with 2005 until 200? is as useful to me.

  7. Martin W Southwood

    My preference is to double click on a bow in a tree to edit the contents of the box without changing my position in the tree (Edit Individual Dialogue Box). It would be improved, when it reappears, if I could add one or more spouses, better still if it was a repeat of the Family View in v16 but again without changing my position in the tree on closing.

    Also, please don’t remove “in” from Genealogy reports without making it an option.

    Please bring back (or add the option) to backup files at frequent intervals while open (computers crash).

    If one may still open two files at a time, I trust there is a ‘Don’t show this again” checkbox on any warning of which file will be dlosed.

    Cheers Martin

  8. Ronald Chambers

    I have submitted a number of errors needing correction which I don’t see on the list.

    The PLACE index also contains RESEARCHER info, does not consider counties or the like in Canada and probably other countries. Many locations have changed counties over time but the suggestions are not time sensitive. States didn’t exist before certain dated. I’d recommend removing the do all feature for correcting locations.

    RESIDENCE is not always shown on PERSON display even when it is CUSTOMIZED to include.

    The EXPORTED GEDCOM file has none standard labels/tags, includes the first person in file whether included in individuals selected, one more I can’t remember.

    A bunch of others.

    Are these being fixed or ignored as in previous FTM versions?

    TGN hasn’t changed it’s way of dealing with these problem — IGNORE THEM.

    RON C

  9. Pat Blanchard

    Thank you for taking the time to produce this list of issues that are being addressed in FTM 2008, and including your development plans. Having some kind of timeline, and confirmation of the problems you are addressing, greatly relieves my mind. Obviously, you are all under the gun to get a massive amount of work done within a very short period of time … your efforts are greatly appreciated.

  10. Mark Miller

    I have reported to tech support an issue with sources not being attached to imported facts after about 50 or so imports. I imported a 22k+ family file and started searching and importing newly found info and noticed after about 50 imports suddenly the sources were not linked to the imported facts. Manually trying to link an existing source or add a new source causes a crash, but after restart the source has been attached.

    Since sources are one of the most important things in a tree to authenticate the facts listed this is a problem.

    I have never seen this mentioned in this blog so I just wanted to make sure you were aware and ask if anyone else has noticed or experienced this issue.

  11. I, as many other presently unhappy longtime users of FTM, appreciate this latest effort of communication regarding apparent efforts to bring FTM 2008 up to the minimum of reputable software industry standards.

    And, I do echo many of the responses herein posted questioning the real direction of the development team. And also why the list of development issues cannot be limited to just that – development issues without marketing hype.

    Your comment “some items that seemed to be removed from Family Tree Maker” was not necessary unless you want prospective buyers to continue buying FTM 2008 without the original cadre of reports for example! At least someone has seen fit to replace FTM v16 at the online offering of FTM versions.

    Your inference to users with 50,000 or more individuals being minimal should be very carefully reviewed. Many of us longtime users have accumulated the large quantity of individuals over a long period as many of the newer users will as they continue their efforts. In today’s online access to so many sources of data, it’s much easier to accumulate larger databases in a much shorter period of time.

    A recommendation for improving the initial start-up time when opening FTM 2008 would be not to include the coding effort to produce the individual’s family history. As in FTM v16, an option was available to create relationships – an option that did require an inordinate amount of time but, again, optional!

    The Place Names feature should also be not only optional AFTER opening but also at initial installation of the program. The Microsoft choice was not the best to start with. What options are there for Parish as opposed to County, e.g. in Louisiana?

    The post regarding source problems was identified in RCI and posted in my
    FTM 2008 Critical Review and, as much of the other problems identified therein, remain in current versions of FTM 2008.

    Again, your effort is welcomed but would be of much greater value if limited to a more definitive list of improvements and additions with planned as patches/updates or included in future versions with expected timelines.

    Hopefully in the near future I can again recommend FTM, specifically FTM 2008, to the many persons asking my advice.

    Larry Chesebro’

  12. Karen

    “Upgraded” databases do not include source attachments because the JP2 file format that FTM16 used to save images from web searches is not recognized by either the conversion program or FTM2008.

    Whatever the reason for using the older, less efficient format in FTM2008, the program should still be able to recognize (and convert if necessary) the images that FTM16 created. FTM16 web-merge users should not have to waste hours re-linking sources — if they are going to have to do that, they might as well switch to another product. So far though, no one at TGN has provided any kind explanation why they ignored their own internal specs or offered us an ETA for a fix.

  13. Obviously progress is being made
    but you have not yet caught up with FTM 16 let alone Custodian 3 in the database world.

    Ancestry Press is a limitation and in a capitalist society a monopoly is a bad idea.

    Print to PDF is of wider use

    2008 is still only usable by newbies with small trees

    Hugh W

  14. Bernard Huntingdon

    Generally speaking, I quite like the new input screens under People, it certtainly encourages me to put the source data in the correct place. I also like the separation of the media files.

    I have found the Places database to be very awkward to use, its insistance on Town, County, Country giving an error flag if any further information was added and refusing to allow the correct entry of county relative to the period the record applied to by insisting on the incorrect entry data of the current address (which may have changed several times since the actual address was recorded on say a GRO Certificate or Census Report). This could be solved by providing a link to the Microsoft Virtual Earth and allowing the program to search and record the co-ordinates for the current location of the historical location – in other words allowing the user to build their own place file – relevant to their tree not be cluttered with thousands of placenames they will never use.

    In previous versions the main reports I use were:

    Outline Descendant – No longer has options on what data to include, nor the format of that data. To the point it is useless to me.

    Custom Report – Was previously used to sort file data on a variety of fields – the new insistance on putting each item on a separate line makes any report so bloated, i.e. a report in v16 used 16x A4 pages now needs nearer 128 pages – how many ectra trees need to felled worldwide to cope with that change? I would prefer to have each item follow the previous one (with a separater, on a single line but if neccesary wrap-around to the next line – and to be able to export/copy that report to another program such as a plain text email, or a word processor to format, if necesasary into a suitable layout.

    Genealogy/Ahenthal – a Report I used to a lesser extent mostly to provide a paper backup for my file, and to pass complete information to other members of my extended family who are perhaps only interested in one surname or family group or lineage. Again the choice of items & people to include and the format are essential, not optional extras.

    What I hope the Development team will work on as a priority is:-

    1. Option to select items and format to include on all Reports and trees.

    2. Option to select items to include on a FTM and GEDCOM file merge/append. Also an optional ability to read the TAGS used in a gedcom file and to set which fields they will load into in FTM.

    3. Option to alternatively build a separate preferred file of Places relevant to the particular tree, which can be set to replace the one provided by FTM.

    4. Index of individuals options to allow dates so I can distinguish quickly between Anthony Armer born 1865 Died 1920 and Anthony Armer born 1865 Died 1899 and Anthony Armer born 1865 died 1920 Married 1892 – and the other 17 Anthony Armers who lived between 1847 and 1930.

    Items 1 & 4 were items I expect to find in even the most basic Family Tree Program – their exclusion form FTM 2008 means I will never again order a “new vwersion” of the program without waiting a least 12 months from its release, and until favourable reviews have confirmed it is “value for money”. It has also made me reconsider my Ancestry Subscription and what was to be an automatic renewal is now under review, since they may “upgrade” that at any time.

  15. John Sells

    I saw in an interview that there is a 3rd party API available for FTM. How can I get information on this?

  16. BKreuter

    Well it looks like I wasted $54.95 for the software and the How to Guide for FTM 2008. It appears it was really not ready to be released with all the problems and items not included. Stick with my version 16. Looks like an Edsel to me.

  17. K. Nash

    Apostrophes are sometimes imported as either a symbol (skinny oblong rectangle) or as a question mark. This is problematic for someone with Irish ancestors or whose relatives were married in churches (St. John’s, St. George’s, etc.). The failure to transfer records with apostrophes from one Family Tree Program to another is inexcusable and is further compounded by the lack of a “Find and Replace” feature in FTM 2008.

    When the system freezes and is shut down – something that should not be happening — entries up to that point are not saved. Re-opening FTM 2008, does not show the back-up file, you have to search for it. I understand that backing up large files is time-consuming but users should be given this option. In addition, there is possibly a middle ground – backing-up the family tree itself but not the media files which have been separated out of the FTM program itself.

    The much-tooted geographical feature assumes you want to change your original entry to current addresses. I prefer to keep them as originally entered but I want the capacity to modify the entry temporarily to take advantage of the mapping feature. This cannot be done.

    Further, the geographical feature is American-centric. I went to the trouble of being the UK version even though I live in North America but am still faced with suggestions for change such as “267 Hoxton Street, Hoxton Old Town, County of Middlesex” to “Middlesex, Connecticut, USA”. There is no option that permits you to modify your original entry to obtain more relevant suggestions. e.g., to add “England”. And again the lack of a “Find and Replace” feature prohibits one avenue for resolution of the problem. (One also wonders, given all the problems with the US release, why Family Tree Maker did not delay release of the UK version.)

    Even when the geographical feature gets the country right, its suggestions lose much information; e.g., suggestion replacing “419 Sherbourne Street, Toronto, Ontario” with just “Toronto, Ontario, Canada”.

    There is no way of editing out “Fact” categories that do not apply – e.g., American Social Service numbers – making the entry of new data more time-consuming. You now have to scroll down a long list rather than just enter the first digit or so of the category.

    Facts which were entered originally as “Place or Description” are treated as places despite being facts such as “occupation”. And “occupation” is a FTM predetermined fact category!. Again such sloppiness is inexcusable. Further single entries for “Place or Description” which contain a semi-colon are now considered to be two distinct entries – one for place and one for description.

    I could not find a way for searching by married name – a feature that I found quite useful.

    All this is after having to search out the original patch as I could not connect to the Internet with the original program! And I still have two large family trees with very extensive Scrapbooks that failed to import even after being compressed. I note in the original posting that FTM is working on another patch to deal with “Data Corruption” — “Again, caused by a number of issues some including the action of adding an unrelated person, importing V16 files, and more.” FTM 2008 should not have been released if “importing V16 files” was not possible! Transferring data from earlier versions of a company’s product is standard operating procedure. Again such failures and omissions are completely unacceptable.

  18. robert


    After “trying in vain” to use FTM 8–I have two pieces of advice:

    1. Never take somethng away without replacing it with something better.

    2. And always add something new and even unexpected.

    I wait patiently for your first update to FTM 8.

    And the next update, should really be called UPDATE ONE. Everything you have done up until now has just been an overture of what you had at the time of introduction. Since it is obvious that you had already sent the software to be pressed on DVD before asking for Beta inputs. If am wrong on this point I apologize. But what I view seems highly probable.




  19. Bill Lewis

    While a number of items bother me I will limit this to one item.
    The need for an acurate import parser should have been a top priority from the very beginning. How can you develop and test a complex database when the import parser does not place the data correctly or ignores it. Once the form of the database was set the next thing you need is data to develop reports and sorts. Alpha Testing should not have started until this worked correctly and since the logical assumption would be that Previous FTM customers would be the major purchasers of 2008 to ignore the fact that data was placed incorrectly or just left out during the parsing process is undefensable.


  20. Athena

    The enhancement request form is here:
    I’m not sure that TGN pays much attention to them though because, contrary to the marketing hype, there’s not much new function in FTM2008. There is much more focus on rearranging how things look rather than on making features work better for actual users.
    I’m sure there was considerable internal debate about the decision to downgrade FTM to an extension of the Ancestry web site. Unfortunately, they made the wrong decision and now the development team is struggling to correct it. I’m not comfortable though that they really grasp the problem: a rearranged interface with the same (lesser actually) function is not reason enough to upgrade; users want all the actual function that existed before plus longstanding requests for functional additions and enhancements.
    The reporting fiasco is just one example of the depth of the problem. A list of additional reports is not sufficient; all the reports should have the same options and flexibility available in their older counterparts. That means actually using the AKA and date fields to restore the usability of the lists that are there.
    Again though, simple restoration of what is already available in FTM16 won’t constitute sufficient reason to justify buying a prettier interface. For example, just restoring address labels is would not be an improvement over FTM16; what I need is some way to generate an address list based on whatever criteria I specify then export that list in a form that can be used by other software – for labels, mail-merge, or whatever I need.
    I want to know just who the beta testers for this awful design were and what TGN is doing to get a better pool of testers.

  21. Benjamin Nettesheim

    I wanted to make a quick comment to let everyone know that I am still following the post. Comments and suggestions are noted and I’m attempting to pass on specifics to the appropriate parties.

    As Family Tree Maker 2008 is a complete rewrite, many of the mentioned features have not been rewritten yet. Your continued input is critical as that list is prioritized. A survey is launching in the next couple of days that should help us distill and organize the feedback. I encourage you to participate in this survey. I will be posting a link to it in a new blog post shortly. The feedback form is also important for that prioritization. We are receiving a regular update of the comments submitted to that form. Please continue to submit them.

    Also, a few of you commented that you are still having problems importing the AKA fact. Thanks for the heads-up! I just received word that we posted incorrectly. That fix did not go out in a previous patch. It is, however, scheduled to be fixed in the October update. I apologize for posting incorrectly.

  22. Michael Schuler

    I am very glad that FTM has started the process of getting the information out, but you guys continue to talk about your problems like it is not your fault. I think you need to realize that many of us want you to succeed and called tech support and others in your company to ask for things like this blog and I am very happy to see it. The problem is that you still have not accepted that your program was released way before it should have been and that their is not one to blame but your company. I understand this is a complete rewrite, complex, full of new features, and a completily new development environment, but all that are excuses not real concerns of me the consumer. You should have spent the time required to get that to work correct. The fact that it is not the least bit friendly with vista proves you were not to concerned about the finished product. I hope you do figure it out but I am begging you to drop the pc bull and tell us like it is and we can all work to help you get the bugs out of the program.

  23. Gordon A. Berdahl

    Despite several earlier requests, FTM still cannot identify the nearest common ancestor(s) of two specific descendants of those ancestors. In my experience, this is one of the first questions asked when two related persons first make contact with one another and, although it can be done manually, it is a very tedious process. especially when the common ancestors are more than a few generations back.

  24. Judy Knight

    I have yet to buy the update although I have used FTM since its inception and probably have purchased 90% of the updates. I have also purchased several hundred dollars of your CDs and the lack of an interface between 2008 will keep me using version 15 forever unless you can write a program I can use for Windows XP. I cannot see the value of running parallel programs just to try a new database. I noticed that access to these CDs is on your potential list. I certainly hope you decide to provide either direct access through FTM 2008 or a program for operating systems above windows 95.

  25. Colin Pattrick

    There are too many things that FTM2008 does not do.

    If I wanted to be an unpaid beta tester I would have registered.

    The fact that I paid good money for a program with so many bugs, fixes that are in the pipeline is not acceptable.

    The program is of a very very porr quality.

  26. Warren

    I would like to see the availability to have FTM address the issue of multiple language fonts! FTM has always been such a worldwide program, I think this would be the step to definitely put the program there. With the fact that it is associated with which has also gone multi-national it would be the logical next step!

  27. Joe

    If you already purchased FTM2008 will you automatically be sent the updated version. I have had difficulty loading and have given up and gone back to FTM16. I am seriously considering just sending the software back. I had difficulty loading since it said my computer was missing certain data to allow for the download. Is this one of the fixes? Every other version since Version 1 had been used on my Pc and this is the first time that I have been unsuccessful.

  28. Bill Bienia

    Thank you for the list. I noticed a few items that were not included.
    – In the genealogy reports, the NGSQ format is noticibly absent. Tell me this was an oversight in the write-up rather than another incomplete feature being provided.
    – Issues with import from TMG has two major issues, 1) No place names are imported for any facts, 2) many tag notes from TMG are incorrectly converted to person notes rather than being left as fact notes.
    – Others have mentioned it, but the Places fature doesn’t support historic place names. For Ontario and Canadian places, that is a major issue since many place names have changes in the last 20 years to their current designations!
    – This is a long time FTM issue. FTM is one of the few progams in the known universe without a name prefix field to enter designations like Dr. or Sir. It is not possible to enter names like Dr. Snerg Grong, PHD, or even Sir Sean Connery.
    – In the individual source panel, you can change the source title for a source citation. If you don’t realize that you did this (or understand what you did) you can mess up your sources — there is not even a warning to the user that this catastrophe is happening.
    – Notes are a major issue not mentioned. When you paste text into a Notes field, it stays the size it was pasted at and retains the font face. If you paste information from several sources at different sizes and font families, you can have trouble seeing the text. The help desk confirmed the only work-around was to move the complete note to a text editor to standardize the font size then repaste it into the Notes field. (Very frustrating.) Please standardize text-size and font when pasting text. It should either be set to whatever is in the field, or to a default size and font set by the user.
    – Another issue related to notes. In the Media right panel, the note editor is a pop-up, resizeable window. This pop-up notes editor was available in all notes fields in FTMv16. For larger amounts of text in notes, this pop-up editor is much easier to work with. Please consider adding it back as an option for all notes.
    – the Historic timeline is very US-Centric. There is no way to suppress US events, nor is there a way to add hisotric evetns from other countries. Right now, this Historic timelines “feature” is less than useless to me.

  29. what dissapoints is there is no sign of creative improvements to the concept of the product

    new technology so what 🙁

    What is needed is a family history and local history orientated approach

    I wish to record my mother’s friends who were as important to her as her siblings

    If I recordd a census I want to include the household as a whole
    for example lodgers apprentices cooks servants gardeners too

    and then the neighbouring household(s)
    just like 1881 on Familysearch

  30. Dorothy Martin

    I am so glad I have not even installed my copy of the 2008 which I bought when it was first offered. At this point after reading this blog and other comments I do not plan to install it.

    When I purchase a ‘new’ version of any program it is because I expect added (not deleted) features which make the program easier and more enjoyable to use. I do not expect to lose useful features and have the program more difficult to use. I am not a computer geek who can work around problems like I see listed.

    I am in the market for new program from another source.

  31. Bill Bronk

    When I imported my family tree data from FTM 16 to FTM 2008, marriage information (MARRIAGE-DATE and PLACE) for many of my ancestors did not transfer over. At the request of Technical Support, I sent two of the affected files to them for their review…to see if they could determine the problem and correct it.

    As I explained to the Representative, I didn’t know how many of my ancestors were affected…and it would take hours for me to go back and compare the “before” with the “after”.

    Several emails later, we are no closer to a solution. The Technical Support representative has told me that “I was unable to reproduce the issue. When I imported the file(s) (you sent), it appeared to import the dates correctly”. I then suggested that my FTM 16 files be compared to my FTM 2008 files (after the import)…but was told that “there is no way to compare the two files, since they are completely different file structures”.

    It’s hard for me to believe that this problem is an isolated incident…affecting only my records. But I get the sense that Technical Support has washed their hands of the situation…and that a solution is not being worked on.

    After downloading FTM 2008, I have not entered any new data…and will not until the problem is corrected.

    I have been an FTM customer since Version One, but if there is no
    solution to this problem, I will have to consider using another family tree program. I didn’t cause the problem. FTM did. And they should fix it!

    Bill Bronk

  32. Jo

    Bill Bronk,

    ((It’s hard for me to believe that this problem is an isolated incident…affecting only my records))

    It is not an isolated incident. The majority of the long-time users of FTM have run into numerous problems with this “lemon” software. I have always tried to make lemonade from a lemon, but I refuse to do so when the lemon is rotten.

    Several used-to-be FTM users have already abandoned the sinking ship. Some going with TMG, some with Rootsmagic. I chose Legacy and am loving it.

    Good luck,

  33. Roger Laske

    I have returned my FTM 2008 today. It is too frustrating & confusing. After I download the “Patch”, I could not open FTM anymore. I have 16 John Wrubels and with no dates next to the names, I do not know which one to open. Facts are cumbersome to enter and moving between generations is difficult. Also, with a new computer FTM 2008 is too slow. I will wait for future changes and stay with FTM 16.

  34. Christina

    I’m more than disappointed in FTM2008.
    I have a small screen laptop which makes the FTM display overwhelming and very tiring to use. Web search results – if more than 1 or 2 – flicker for about a minute before stabilizing and again after screen changes. I am very picky about documentation for data and 99% of the time I reject one world tree data. I would like to have the leaf flag reflect that I have at least visited the “primary” sources (by greying?)
    I have been unable to access the map function at all – one of the main attractions for me. And now I’m appalled to learn of data corruption issues and loss of AKAs. Forty years of work is no small matter to copyedit. (Prudent customer service practice would have been to DIRECTLY notify all purchasers. People will forgive a lot if you keep them informed.) I’m going back to an earlier version.

  35. Mary E. Stigler

    I do not have FTM 2008, but will wait a bit.
    In creating a book, I would like to have the ability to edit the notes for line spacing, font, etc, and also to bring the “source” info. to the bottom of the notes. As of now, I have to copy/paste the notes to a word document, THEN, edit, then, copy/past into a “text sheet” in the book I am working on. In a long story, this takes a lot of time.

  36. I have given up entirely on the new version of FTM, having gone through every conceivable process for complaining and correction, including the patches and telephone and online help. The program simply does not work correctly. It is a big step back. I still cannot get online through the program to register my copy!

  37. robert


    I was just working again with FTM 8 where I have a subset of my real data. I noticed that the performance in searches and other updates seems to be bothering slow.

    So I was just wondering if I am able to import my entire file…someday…what is the performance going to be?

    Do you have a plan B? You know, everyone really likes FTM 16 and if some improvements to charting and books were made many would wait for FTM 08 or 09.

    Right now you are facing the prospect of your competition announcing their new releases and a lot of folks abandoning FTM. I still think FTM 16 is one of the best products in its class, just refresh FTM 16. Then work out the bugs (or what ever) with your new product.

    For your infomation I have FTM 16, FTM 08, Legacy 6, TMG 6, and Rootsmagic all running on two computers, and I still prefer FTM 16.

  38. George Sickofit

    Now the blog has been “fixed”. The other one was easy to use, see threads, etc. It looks like they cut down on the comments though. Way to Go!

  39. Dick B.

    When online posters inquire about their family members that lived in a geographic area, it would be nice to be able to quickly ascertain if your family line lived in that area to evaluate the possibility of a relationship. When you have thousands of individuals in your data base you cannot remember where they all lived at any point in time. Could a feature be added to the program that would enable you to call up a State or location for example and a list would appear of those in your data base that lived in that location?

  40. Vincent McCormick

    I’m thoroughly disappointed with FTM2008. It is so slow – 4+ minutes from the time I click on the icon until it is loaded [I’ve timed it several times]. Then you have to be a Philadelphia Lawyer in order to figure out how to use it which I still haven’t figured out. Going from one operation to another is very slow also.
    Bottom line – way too slow and not easy to use, too complicated. I much prefer previous versions.

  41. Theresa

    I miss:
    1. Many of the reports that were in earlier version
    2. The Find and Replace feature – I used this alot to search for certain words
    3. The feature on the web search and merge page – where you could look at ALL the existing facts entered for an individual. I used this reference frequently before merging information. Currently it just shows basic data.
    4. The book publishing from your own computer (in a good quality format). Not everyone can afford to have something published all th time.
    I think there needs to be an adjustment in the places names so that you can change a name manually. Also many of the place names that I have use townships, etc. and doesn’t show up on the map. I do not want to change the names to use this feature.

    I would also like to see a way to check off web sources found on Ancestry ( the leaf) so that you would know when something new was found or so you would know if you have looked at that individual already.

    Thanks and Good Luck!
    I have seen many new good features but also have seen many old features that were wonderful disappear.

  42. Melissa

    Obviously, fixing the problems is the priority, particularly whatever causes the crashes that then leaves the file open so you can’t access it, delete it, anything.

    Enhancements I would like to see are to be able to add birth location to the people index view, the ability to link Godparents and marriage witnesses, and a template for entering census information.

  43. Rita Boyd

    I find the new FTM very hard to use. Also, was told when I installed it it would automatically enter all my info from FTM V. 16. IT DIDN”T. Also, I lose info I enter into it. Not a good program at all. No improvement at all over FTM v. 16. I just simply can’t trust it so will not use it. Any way I can get my money back?

  44. Edward Fields

    I wish the Edit Individual dialog box had BMD checkboxes so one can readily recall if copies of these certificates are possessed.

  45. Edward Fields

    I wish there was a general ‘notes / to do’ page in FTM where one could keep track of current action items.

  46. Eileen Souza

    I want to let you know what a terrific job you have done on FTM 2008. I have been using FTM since I began tracing my family–over 12 years. I finally had decided to switch to another genealogy program because FTM had become too cumbersome.

    When I upgraded to FTM 2008, I was surprised to find all the features I was looking for in other programs were now in FTM. So I have decided to stay with FTM.

    The interface is truely awesome! And, I love the new place name feature. I was never quite sure how to enter some of the places. Now FTM finds those incorrectly entered places and allows me to automatically correct them. I love this feature. I also like the improved sources and master source features. This was one of the areas that I heartily disliked in prior versions.

    I look forward to the October update and future planned enhancements.

  47. Ken

    I bought FTM 2008 because of the supposed improvement in handling media files. I had been told that since media files were stored in a file separate from the operating program that larger files could be handled. I had not been told about all the loss in flexibility that would accompany the handling of media files.

    Under FTM 16 one uses standard cut and paste techniques to enter one image (for example., a family group photo) into several individuals’ Scrapbooks. The current process is much more cumbersome – you have to go through the much more laborious process of linking each individual to the photo.

    Under FTM 16 one could use cut and paste to arrange images for a particular individual in the order you chose. I could find no way of doing this under FTM 2008 – they appear to arrange themselves in alphabetical order.

    Program designers should not require a consultation to inform them that software improvements offer better, more flexible features for users rather than reduced performance! Since that basic principle was ignored by the developers, I hesitate to suggest an improvement to the features contained in FTM 16, but here goes…

    Add the flexibility to highlight, in the index of persons, the direct ancestors/descendants of the home person. (For example, use bold font or perhaps use uppercase for forenames as well as surnames.) Similarly there should be a way to automatically bookmark direct ancestors/descendants. Years ago I used a family tree program that did this but, I believe the company was bought out by Family Tree Maker.

  48. Jim Waddell

    I was in Info Tech for 35 years and am astonished that any company would allow a product like 2008 to come to market. In fact, if that happened in my company, heads would roll.

    FYI, I am President of a local genealogy club and we have advised that no one buy 2008. Have had other groups tell me likewise.

  49. Daniel Osiedacz

    I am also having a hard time finding the “Shared Text” and media location. I can see pictures that are linked to a couple from my previous version, but I can’t find a way to link them now.

    In the previous version of FTM, we could add notes to either individuals or couples. We could also link a picture to a couple, like their wedding picture. But now in FTM 2008, I have to choose between one of the people in the couple to link the picture or notes in. Maybe I am missing it?

  50. Connie Denihan

    I am one that has a big file (over 78,000 KB) and the new 2008 is way too slow to use. I have a computer w/2.00 GHz processor and 2.00 Ram. After correspondence with your tech dept, they recommended I continue to use Version 16 until you got the speed addressed. Do you know how that project is coming along and when it will be in an update? Should I send my 2008 program back for a refund or wait for updates????

  51. Pat Blanchard

    I have one observation I would like to report, and one “wish”:

    1) I still have FTM 2006 on my system (just in case), and I noticed that when I have FTM 2008 create a GEDCOM file for export, I get a message when it is finished asking me if I want to open the GEDCOM file to look at it. I answered “yes” one time, and the file opened in FTM 2006. I called technical support to see if this was something that could cause potential problems, and the person said he had never heard of this before. I now realize that the reason the message comes up is that the GEDCOM file that is created in FTM 2008 has an FTW extension, instead of FTM. This hasn’t caused me any problems in uploading my GEDCOM file to my tree at, but it is an odd thing, and perhaps the file extension should really be FTM instead of FTW … food for thought.

    2) For my wish … the only reason I hang on to FTM 2006 is that it can produce a customized report that lets me decide what to include in the fields. I find this extremely useful right now, as I am cleaning up errors in my FTM 2008 file by producing reports with certain “fact” criteria so I can alter or delete data for consistency. This would be a very useful report feature to incorporate in FTM 2008. Everyone has to clean up their files at one time or another, and this function keeps you from having to hunt through all the entries individually.

    Thanks for all your hard work! I know this hasn’t been easy for any of us, but the manual I purchased has really helped, and I am looking forward to the Webinar this month.

  52. Matthew Marshall

    So far I am terribly disappointed with FTM2008 having just “upgraded” from FTM2005. Your forthcoming patch should fix some of the issues, but nowhere do you mention improved speed. Even with a fast PC the program takes far too long to generate genealogy charts and even then it is limited to just 16 generations.

    If it doesn’t improve I’ll move to another product.

  53. Margaret Ann

    The index in FTM2008 is all messed up. It’s useless for me without AKAs or dates.

    Custom reports are bad too. We need more flexibility over what we had in FTM16, not less.

    Why do you force all users to work the same way? Why not have options instead of removing what some users don’t want and adding things that others consider clutter?

  54. Jon

    Three of the many many many needed features missing from 2008, that were present in previous versions:

    – Standard descendant trees and ancestor trees being views in the computer screen should not be broken up into pieces where the page breaks would be if those trees were being printed.

    – In standard descendant trees and ancestor trees I should be able to show just the birth and death YEAR without also showing the month and date (which serves no purpose but makes each box and hence the entire tree bigger)

    – Photos showing in trees should be under, instead of next to the name of each individual (or optionally either way), so they don’t make the tree unnecessarily wide.

    Like so many others, I have stopped using 2008 and gone back to my previous version. And more importantly, I no longer recommend Family Tree Maker to friends and relatives.

  55. Reinout van Brakel

    35 years ago an ancestor of mine published the first book on our family history. A job which then took a life-time to complete.

    A few months ago I reviewed a couple of software solutions and was thrilled by the possibilities of FTM 2005. Although it looked a bit old-fashioned in terms of user interface, the possibilities were wonderful. Especially the genealogy report, which actually replicated the exact form of our family book that was produced 35 years ago, with one hit on a button! It really seduced me to start with genealogy. Instead of researching one family tree, with the help of Internet and FTM, I can now research and document multiple trees and present them attractively.

    I therefore don’t understand the decision to remove certain features that were highly appreciated by customers in former editions. And I too don’t like the idea of having to go on-line for a book edition.

    But, after reading some of the very critical reviews, I would say: cherish the accomplishments. Preparing and publishing a book that will be cherished by your ancestors takes time. Waiting a couple of months more for me is not a problem.

    I do support the idea of listening to your customers and reporting on the improvements planned.

  56. Kevin Boyle

    I really like the place names feature — it will be a help when I finally import my FTM16 file (awaiting source image import).

    One problem with it, though, is that it uses modern political boundaries for the places. For instance, I have a lot of family from Carbondale, PA. Until 1878, Carbondale was in Luzerne County, not Lackawanna County. Given this, I actually will have to go to Wilkes-Barre for records prior to 1878, not Scranton. By having the place names feature want to update this, it alters information that can impact research.

    What would be *really cool* is if the place names feature produced the proper place name based upon the date to which it is related. For ambiguous references, an indication of the “cutover” with both options would be nice.

    Just a nit.

  57. Jim Allen

    Well 60 comments and I thought I was the only one NOT a happy UK Bunny!!
    in the UK – the software could only be considered under trading standard laws ‘not fit for purpose’.

    But in defence of the software many of the comments made, show typical 80% of users, use 20% of program functionality problem…. as ‘problems encountered’ simply need program training and familiarity to solve..

    The Crashing and failure to export etc are ‘unforgivable’ failures BUT the problems encountered are ‘typical’ marketing Directors deadline problems, caused by the poor old software developers being told to boil a three minute egg in 2 minutes – it simple cannot be done and it need the software manager to stand up and say as much.

    There are many niggling problems with the software – all are solvable – having just tried all the competition programs as free sample downloads over the past two weeks against FTM 2008. If it meets the list at the top of the blog will be the Bees knees.. for none will come close to my requirements

    so Less screams at the software boys and louder shouts at Marketing and finance for they are to blame for rushing a new product when caution and better timing would have produced the reverse of the customer screams and we would have all been purring like pussy cats at such a wonderful product…

    ps you would not want to see the comments I have made personally to the team……. they would make a lady blush!!

  58. Carol Stiffler

    I’ve used FTM since 1997. I haven’t been happy with it for 2 years but feel trapped. Things that I used for years are either not there or harder to use. It is not visually pleasing.

    If I could easily change to another program and keep all of the pictures and other things, I would change in a heartbeat.

  59. Gordon Walz

    Registration does not work! Cannot access free subscription as a result. Help!



  60. Richard Price

    I like many others have been deeply disappointed in the new 2008 release. I’ve found it to be not as intuitive as pervious versions. My initial import failed while attempting to convert a file with about 2500 names and a boatload of images. I was forced to uninstall the program and start over. This time it finally worked after a significantly long time. One noticeable problem or bug was that many of my images were linked to the wrong record. This immediately concerned me and I stopped using the product for fear that the data itself was not properly converted or worse yet was not updating correctly. I also found that I could not set a default picture for a record, or at least was unable to find how to reset it. Help did not help and the previous version handled it completely. I’m now using my old version 2006 awaiting to see if Ancestry is able to fix this mess. Will we get some kind of compensation or credit for a non working product??? From one users prospective, this was one of the worse software upgrade experiences I have ever had. Someone needs to be thumped for such a poor rollout. When will it be safe to use???

  61. Hope

    There are features I like in the new FTM, but I am very frustrated since I cannot get the export to gedcom to work.

    I don’t see it listed as an issue but both my husband and I have experienced the problem.

    This is critical as far as I am concerned.

  62. Jeff Jahn

    A couple of issues I have run into with FTM 2008.

    #1 – This could be a Ancestry issue but cant seem to get a responce and effects my FTM 2008. You cant merge any data from the Minnesota Birth Index. It wont highlight so wont have anything in the merge window.

    #2 – This effects FTM 2008 and ancestrypress. Certain media is being saved as a .tmp file instead of .jpg. In ancestrypress you see a small preview but when you click to open document it disappears cause of this. Some of the indexs I have seen that apply to this so far are the California Marriage Index, Minnesota Marriage index, & World war II Draft registration card.

    #3 – It seems their no way to upload notes from FTM 2008 to ancestry so they can end in a book on ancestrypress if ya wanted.

  63. Pat Hardesty

    I have read through all the problems that customers are talking about, my question is when you fix all of these problems or address them will you make the repairs to all of us that have purchased the 2008 version at no cost, and will we be notified when the repairs are ready to be downloaded to correct our program, or do I need to remove it from my computer and just work with the older versions I have that I like and work very well. Then send this 2008 version back for a refund. I am not really sure I like this situation right now. Please let us know what we are to do.


  64. Irene Saul

    I read all of the blogs that you allowed to publish and I have to agree with every one of them. It is very frustrating to buy an upgrade to a favotite program and find that it is at best only half of the previous version. What were your managers thinking? I hope that you can recover from this debacle! Please listen to all of the comments and suggestions. These people have a ton of experience in database and genealogy. It looks like you have a good software team, but nobody with a lot of genealogy experience, or if you do, they were overruled by managers/owners. Thanks for keeping me updated.

  65. Barbara de Mare

    I am concerned that “reference numbers” is something being considered for the future. Does this mean that the reference numbers we are now using will be lost in the transfer? I have given a number to most of the 12,000 names in my database based on the ahnentafel system, with necessary adjustments for other than direct ancestors. I would not like to have to re-enter all these.

  66. Clarence Hemeon

    I have just removed FTM 2008 from my PC. I have been using FTM for over 8 years and this is the first release which I feel is not worth the money I spent to purchase it. I have 20K+ people in my database and it is of great value to me. FTM 2008 seemed to be a big step backwards. I will go back to FTM 16 and what ever I had entered into FTM 2008 I will lose (not that much, but still).

    I might take a look at FTM 2008 in six months or so once 2 or 3 more service packs or updates get published.

    You should be embarrassed about releasing this software.

  67. After “upgrading” to FTM 2008 I have discovered that any individual having a first or second given name of “Della” places it into the index as a last name. Della Mary Johnson is indexed as LAST NAME Della, FIRST NAME Mary, MIDDLE NAME as Johnson. Della Smith is indexed as LAST NAME Della, FIRST NAME Smith. The only “work around” that I have been able to use is to place a . (period) between the first and last name, then it is indexed properly. I had to do this manually with over 20 names. The program seems to be treating “Della” as a title of some sort.

  68. Marian Thompson

    FTM2008 was sent to me when my was renewed automatically. I did not request the program. After reading all the comments I am afraid to install it. I am using XP and FTM16. Can I get a refund on the 2008 or will you be sending a corrected program that I can install safely?
    Thank you.

  69. Dave Milsom

    Composite Names
    Michael commented about problems with name Della. There is an explanation in the Help files under “entering Names” Put \ around surname and the program will handle it properly. This applies to names like van xxx, de la xxx, etc.

  70. Shaun Martin

    I wish I would have read this blog before I dropped $40 for a useless upgrade. I only wish I had the problems that people are complaining about here. I wasn’t able to import any of my trees except one that contained 15 people. I just get an message that says “import failed because of unknown error.” When I tried importing a gedcom file, it said “not imported because file is not in proper format.” The only good thing about FTM 2008 is that it did not automatically overwrite FTM 16, which works just fine. Shame on Ancestry. I want my money back!

  71. Jane Adams

    Well, I’ve installed this update and now I can’t get FTM to even open, it crashes every time. Very helpful!

  72. E Cobb

    I just bought Family Tree Maker 2008 and am very dissappointed. I have lost several features I used all the time. In the search option I was able to mark some search results with: merged, followup, ignore. What happened to that feature. Will it be added back?
    I also have several of the same issues I have read about on the blog so I won’t repeat them. Please let me know if this option is still available or where I can find it.
    Thank you. Mrs. Cobb

  73. E Cobb

    I just bought Family Tree Maker 2008 and am very dissappointed. I have lost several features I used all the time. In the search option I was able to mark some search results with: merged, followup, ignore. What happened to that feature. Will it be added back?
    I also have several of the same issues I have read about on the blog so I won’t repeat them. Please let me know if this option is still available or where I can find it.
    Also, in response to someone else’s problem of importing files.
    I had this problem too. “I just get an message that says “import failed because of unknown error.”
    What I did to get around this was in my FTM 2006 I saved my file as a FTM 10 file, then went into my FTM 2008 and imported the file that way. It worked. I lost several of my media files I had imported but at least most of my stuff was not lost.

    Hope you get all this fixed. I told my mother not to upgrade to 2008, it’s not worth the hassle.
    Thank you,
    Mrs. Cobb

  74. Ken Nill

    On a Vista machine, the Viewer.exe that is supplied on dvd for windows 10871-DVD v1.0 and which is necessary for viewing the Historical Maps and Photos Collection does not work.

  75. Jay

    Wow – There seems to be a lot of disgruntled users out there. I used FTM2006 for ages and think it’s brilliant so when I heard FTM2008 was being released I took up the Pre-Order special discount offer on and purchasd the software.

    Like many of you, I like the look and feel of the application but the functionality is something to be questioned. There are two things that really get me:
    1) All in one tree is not there
    2) The Book I created in FTM2006 was not imported into FTM2008

    I’ve spent months on my book and not to have this imported was a big surprise. In addition, its something (Inc. my Tree) I will NOT publish to I’d suggest shifting development resources from a web site to getting the actual application to a better state.

    I must agree with many users on this blog – I’ve reverted back to previous versions until FTM2008 is in a useable state for me.

    Benjamin – You still listening?


  76. J Crossing

    After all the hype about V2008, the actual upgrade was an anti climax.

    Whilst there are a few new useful features, the general family and person entry screens are not as easy to use as that in FTM16 (Please give us the option to use the old FTM16 interface).

    The errors in data conversion (loss of AKA etc) and the total lack of some very basic reports (such as the Genealogy Report) in the initial release, appears to indicate that the product was released to the public in a great rush and without a proper testing and quality assurance process. I also agree with a previous comment that the formatting of some reports and charts has not improved as I would have hoped.

    The recent service pack addresses some of the issues but there’s still a long way to go, especially with the poor performance which makes FTM’s use a little tedious at times.

    In general terms, the upgrade to FTM2008 provided no real benefits to me; nor was it worth the money.
    Even so, as a long term user of the product, I will stay with FTM2008 for the time being, in anticipation of some further (urgent) service packs to address ongoing problems and bring the product up to the hype level to which it was marketed.

  77. Joyce Ashley

    I would like to be able to print out my entire or chosen parts of all scrapebooks at my choosing. I would also like the ability to move the pictures from all my scrapebooks to a CD to be able to share with other family members. I can see the list of scrapebook pictures when I go into a book and add a text page and then add a picture from the scrapebook, but can’t find that list any place else. I am trying to put together a book and am very interested in your new updates and how they will help me. I generally love your product and it has made the job of compiling my family history a breeze. Thank you

  78. MichelleBW

    Why is it that the “Notes” options are grayed out on Custom Reports? Why can’t I create lots of these at once?

    I expected much better reporting and charting capabilities.

    Other posters are saying the product is okay for newbies with simple trees — well, that’s me and I strongly disagree — I find it inadequate as well, primarily due to the poor reporting and charting capabilities.

    Can I get my money back?

  79. You should be able to turn off the relationship calculation to the home person, if that is slowing down the program. It is not important to calculate the relationship to anyone in a large database of people from the same city, such as the one I maintain. It has over 57,000 people and it runs VERY slowly.

  80. When I enter a birthdate that is the same as another person in my file with the same name, I want to be asked if they are the same person. Version 2008 doesn’t ask.

  81. I want to have the Back and Forward arrows work like they used to in verison 2005. When I click on the back arrow now, it goes back to the Web Search panel, not the last person I accessed. Now I have to remember the name of the last person I accessed and type it in the index find field.

  82. margaret

    I’m about to trash my 2008 FTM. I’ve had it since August , heard bad news about it, so didn’t install it, now I have, and just get a sent error to microsoft message.Of course micro soft never sends a reply.Well it’s installed but unusable.So back to sq1.

  83. William Boswell

    No Christmas bonuses this year!

    No offense to the programmers, but whoever orchestrated the production of this release should be standing in an unemployment line or dressing up as Santa Claus for his next job.

    This program should never have been released with all of the baggage in its code. Do the programmers have any knowledge of prior version’s fields that should connect to the fields of FTM 2008. I’ve sent several error reports on this that I’m sure were ignored.

    By the way, Microsoft’s NET technology, which it appears FTM 2008 is based on, is dated 2005. There is supposed to be a new version coming out which I hope is faster. I’ve used other programs that also use MS NET and they are very slow.

    Can’t your programmers develop proprietary software without outside code especially if it’s out of date?

    This version was created with careless disregard for previous versions and users preferences for features used most.

    I think TGN owes the community a BIG apology for their rushed judgment in releasing this flawed software. They knew it was flawed when it was released and expected everyone to accept it.

    Guess what? I’m ignoring all new releases of FTM and going with a better program. This release is garbage at best!

  84. Paul Hunt

    Hi all,
    Has anyone else found that the more names in the tree the slower the program gets. I transfered about 50,000 names to the new software and found that it takes upto a minute or so for each new piece of info to be accepted making this new program almost useless.

  85. John Holcenberg

    When are you going to expand the items in outline descendants tree. 2008 is worthless to me without it.

  86. Benjamin Nettesheim

    If users are following this post, I encourage everyone to watch the main Family Tree Maker blog area for new posts.

    On the right side you can sign-up for an RSS feed to be notified when new posts are made. I have been and will continue to post new messages there.

    My latest post addresses a common question about the book building capability of Family Tree Maker. It can be found here:

  87. Terry

    I cannot register my program and use the web features. I have tried everything you suggest on your support page and I have called technical support several times. The error message I receive is “authentication with the server failed.” Technical support had me try several things and finally blamed my firewall program for the problem. I even uninstalled the firewall software and still had the same error message. Several more phone calls and emails later, I was told the error was a “known issue” and would be patched this week. I waited an entire week before reinstalling FTM 2008 only to find out the error has NOT been patched.

    I’m very disappointed with FTM 2008. I wish I had checked out this blog BEFORE I purchased the program. Now I’m just stuck with your defective product.

  88. Robert Powderly

    It seems like these patches (current and future) just permit what was already available in older Family Tree Maker versions. I am very disappointed in the Family Tree Maker 2008 product. You have opened the door for the competition to take your customers.

  89. Stephen Lee

    About the time my family file reached 2GB in size, FTM16 could no longer import pictures into Scrapbook. After much wasted email correspondence I spoke to someone at Ancestry who advised me that problems were to be expected, as there was a file size limit of 2GB, but previous technical advisors had not told me about it because the limit was not well known.

    The solution to my problem, I was told, would be to buy FTM2008, and install the patch. I did that, and guess what? The file will not even load into FTM2008!

    It is clear to me that there must be huge pressure on staff to sell the new program, irrespective of the fact that it is not fit for purpose.

  90. I just downloaded FTM sofar I’m not to happy with it because it won’t let me on to the enternet.An I know its working because i have your site on now. so this is one more you need to work out, other than that i like the program. All i can is that its a good thing i didn’t delete my other program.

  91. Clovis LaFleur

    I installed Version 2008 today, 11/05/2007. I note you said the Register and ahnentafel reports were in the October Patch. While installing, I updated. The only report I have is the outline descendant report which is pretty much useless as far as I’m concerned. If there is an october patch, why didn’t the update pick it up.

  92. Peggy Clark

    Why do I have to submit my tree to in order to create a book? In the older versions of FTM, i could print my own book at home from my program without having to submit it to and how do I export my book to a gedcom using FTM 2008?

  93. I just installed the FTM 2008 three days ago and already update it to, and confirm that tha AKA information from my previous version (FTM 16) were lost.
    Info about Descendants and ancestors trees:
    Layout options :Save paper when you print a lot of trees (Using the portrait or landscape depending of the tree)
    The box size: Should automatically fit the information in it.
    Box lines should be sizable as the pedigree lines or at least give us option as it was in v16
    Same mention about boerders

    Text font and size: Let us choose the color and size for the info inside a box (All my trees covering the walls around me have a different color for birth marriage and death info)
    About the colors: I suppose that like most of us, I’m using only few of the many options! Should be possible to offer at first the 40 ones available with v16 and as in Microsoft Word font colot, an option for “More Colors”.
    The Chart title: Can’t find out how to centered it across few pages?
    In V16 I was able to connect and eventually update to my “Home Page”, where is that option now?

    About the international version, can the FTM software numbered individuals in a tree using the SOSA numbering system? (Can offered as on option in preferences).

    In family view: The bottom panel boxes for the individuals should be sizable to allow more children to appear (An old suggestion to FTM)
    Allowing the right panel to be open or close.

    Still hurting myself to get used to this new software: I started with V2.0!!!

  94. Ticked off

    I love (sarcasm dripping) this wording:
    “We don’t own the GEDCOM file format and some customers did not like us ‘hijacking’ it for our purposes.” In the word of Homer: DOH! “Some customers” are right – it is ‘hijacking’ and FTM had no right to do so *at any time*. Obviously, FTM should not change associations for files it did not create.

  95. Colin Pattrick

    FTM 2008 is not an Upgrade as it says on the Box but a completly rewitten program.
    I have had many problems using this program but these have now all been resolved.
    I thankyou for my refund.

  96. Kenneth Krill

    I have large files too large to save to CD, I would like to be able to save to a DVD-RW as data, right from Family Tree Maker and to be able to read and write to the DVD-RW. Another thing is to be able to read files from flash drive or any removable drive.

  97. Lois Strohmeyer

    I have been enjoying the new FTM 2008 for about a month. I can see a few problems, but mostly the new program is great. It is so easy to research — moving from People to Web searach is so easy. (I evidently didn’t have the last program installed right, because I wasn’t able to move back and forth.) I like the “Places,” with maps, etc. Someone else commented they thought it was a waste of space, but I like it very much. It’s great the way the sources can be linked with the family or individual, with space for your own sources, in addition to what has.
    Actually, I’m virtually having to start over, since somehow I’ve “lost” my backup copy which I could normally use and not go over it all again. But I can put in the census records, I go along.

    Thanks again for a great new program.


  98. UK User

    The places feature is a great enhancement. Couple of issues with it though.
    Be useful to see flags for all persons on the map rather than just the selected person. Easier to track flow of people.
    The places are incomplete to say the least. Given the technology it is based on, address level mapping should be feasable. The absolute minimum should be parish AND registration district for all years ideally, but at least the last 300 years or so.

  99. 17 Nov 2007

    It’s going to take me a good while to get comfortable with FTM 2008 because it is SOOOOO different! I’ve seen some things I like and some I don’t feel good about at this time.

    One problem stands out like a very sore thumb. To date, 2008 will NOT import my 2006 file. It says there was an “unexpected error” (And when would you get a message for an “expected error”?) Surely the programmers could at least report the name of the person being imported or the data type and value that was being worked on when the error occurred – something so we can narrow down where the error occurs and hopefully fix it! I’ve tried every remedy I could find posted on the net and so far, nothing has solved my problem.

    Also I did a simple merge test. I created a single person file in 2008 containing nothing but his name. I then merged him and his children from a 2006 FTW file. The merge seems to have worked well and gave no errors but all alternate birth date info for the main person was totally lost. This is hardly an exhaustive test but it is a red flag to worry greatly about trusting the 2008 version yet.

    With over 60,000 people in my file, there is no way I can check every data element manually! I neet to have complete confidence that everything will either work properly or report an error. At this time I do not have that confidence in 2008.

  100. Mick

    Similar to a previous comment – the lack of the All-in-One tree means I wont be using this version. It seems very strange that so many features of previous versions have not been incorporated – almost feels like a beta has been released by mistake. I’ll be back when the All-in-One tree is patched in (maybe)

  101. Irene Bell

    Using FTM 2008 is like starting my research again… from the beginning. Only 15,000 people imported. Forget about linking the husbands and wives (it didn’t). My database is now over 70,000 people. Using 2008 is about taking each family, relinking, checking for duplicates and getting no where fast.

  102. paul specht

    I installed FT2008 before I understood that there were so many items in the software that should never have reached the ‘final’ version that went on the market. I have since uninstalled this piece of junk and returned to my previous genealogy software. You may be certain that FTM will not be on any of my systems in the future! I wouldn’t trust my 22000 name data base to this software.
    Promising to fix things that never should have reached the consumer in the first place is not a very good way to do business is it? Oh, I forgot, this is a competitive market…the competition came out on top this time.

  103. paula

    I am using FTM 2005
    File size 256450 kb
    Total no if individuals 23495
    Total marriages 5178
    Texts record 3832065

    When I am reaching for record the message I have reach my limit of family tree maker 2005 capacity for entering information.

    I was going to buy FTM2008 but reading this has put me off should i leave it a while or buy FTM16.

  104. Derek

    Does anyone know how to delete unrelated individuals? I have accumulated hundreds from merging other files with mine and they are filling up my file….

  105. Mary D. Pokipala

    I have just installed the 2008 v. It is so complicatede that I have given up using it for a while. The is just too much informationb on one page. It just is not easy to use anymore.Don’t know where my pictures fron the scrapbook are now. Don’t know why you folks had to take a program that was easy to use and make it so you need to be a computer whiz to use it.

  106. Barbara A Howe

    I just installed my new Family Tree Maker 2008. I cannot believe how slow the performance is compared to the old Family Tree Maker Version 16! I do have a large file size of over 59,000 persons, but it was no problem for Vers. 16 to bring up a family tree (FTW), or a person, or a chart or a report. And indeed, it was much easier to add people. I hope I don’t have to wait too long for the fixes needed on Ver. 2008. Until then I will stick with the old Version 16!

  107. Charles Anderson

    As a long-time FTM user since the very first version and current use of FTM 16, I have been following the discussions of FTM 2008 problems with high interest.

    Commments here and elsewhere on the Web, including reports of more problems with SP2, convinced me to look elsewhere.

    I just downloaded the free version of Legacy (Standard) to check it out. I can’t believe how easy, trouble-free, and flexible it is. Features that were removed from FTM2008 are in Legacy, including all sorts of of book publishing options. I exported my FTM 16 file as a GedCom and it not only imported correctly in Legacy, but errors in FTM data were identified and fixed. I can’t find any problems at all with Legacy, including running flawlessly under Vista, and it seems infinitely customizable.

    Since Legacy Deluxe costs the same as FTM 2008 ($29.95), I will be switching to Legacy.

    So long, FTM–too bad you bought into the Microsoft model of releasing Beta software as a “finished” product and letting customers who bought FTM 2008 do the trouble shooting for you.

    FTM was once the real star of the Genealogy software market–what a shame.

  108. Alison

    I’m a new FTM user, so I have no issues with this version versus previous versions. however, in the month or so that i’ve had this FTM 2008, it has continued to crash everytime. i’ve removed and re-installed multiple times with and without the techies on the line; i’ve closed other programs while running FTM. still no good. I’ve been very patient, but so far there’s been no improvement from all the patches. HELP! Ready to Throw it out!

  109. TPW

    I have just found two very disturbing (at least to me) issues with FTM2008.

    1. In previous releases (FTM16), if I exported a single individual or several individuals to a GEDCOM file to send to someone, FTM16 only included the Master Sources associated with that individual(s).

    In FTM2008, if you export the same individual(s) to a GEDCOM, the ENTIRE Master Source List is included. First, maybe I don’t want to send my entire source list and second, probably the person receiving the GEDCOM doesn’t want their existing Master Source List bloated with thousands of extra sources (with zero usage).

    FTM16 was “smart enough” to know the correct association of Master Source to Individual so the export to GEDCOM worked correctly.

    As an aside, in FTM16, if you exported an individual to a new FTW file, the entire Master Source list was included – again not what you wanted, but GEDCOM provided a solution that worked – but that was then, this is now. FTM2008 broke the GEDCOM solution.

    It works just fine in FTM16.

    2. In FTM16, you could include “objects” in the Scrapbook. I would often transcribe information to a Word.doc or a PDF file and I could then “embed” that document in the Scrapbook. Since it was embedded, it because an integral part of the FTW file. Worked fine – also, this method was clearly described in the FTM16 Help file.

    In FTM2008, first none of these documents showed up in the person’s Media. Then, according to “phone support”, FTM2008 ONLY supports “image” file types (jpeg, TIFF, BMP, etc.) as Media. In other words, they don’t support “OLE” objects anymore. Oh, and this support of only “image” file types is not documented in the Help file or in pre-purchase literature, that I can find.

    It was suggested that I open each of my Scrapbook items in FTM16, save the document as a new document (Word, PDF, etc), then convert (if I have appropriate software) the document to a jpeg file and attach it to the correct Person’s Media in FTM2008. You have got to be kidding!

    I consider both of these issues “significant” omissions in FTM2008 and certainly no way to move a product forward. Hopefully, these omissions and bugs can be fixed.

  110. Fred

    I haven’t been able to get FTM 2008 Platinum working. It crashes everytime I try to use the publish feature to create a chart. I am running on Vista. As suggested by FTM support, I have (several times):
    1) uninstalled FTM;
    2) disabled security sw;
    3) reboot & reinstalled;
    4) updated/patched to version

    …but it still crashes.

    I cannot work with the FTM 2008 program like this…I have thousands of entries to input but will not put them in until this program is stable for fear of losing hundreds of hours of work. When will this problem be fixed? Can someone at FTM support please call or email me to discuss?

    P.S. I have previously (successfully) used several older FTM versions and have been happy with them. This has been very frustrating.

  111. Janice Gale

    I also haven’t been able to get FTM 2008 Platinum working. It crashes everytime I try to use the publish feature to create a chart. I am running on XP. As suggested by FTM support, I have (several times):
    1) uninstalled FTM;
    2) disabled security sw;
    3) reboot & reinstalled;
    4) updated/patched to version
    …but it still crashes.

    Does anyone know how to overcome this problem??

  112. Beth Tordella

    Congratulations. You have finally killed my addiction to family research. I have the 2008 FTM and can tell you that this is the most discouraging program I have ever used. The program locks up with every entry, thinks it knows place names better than I, does not link related persons adequately, and has no way to review for duplicate entries as a whole, just for one by one. This was an expensive gamble but I guess I will save loads of money in the future because this program has left me without a desire to find family any more. Shame on Ancestry.

  113. KC Ginn

    FTM 2008 and internet connection ISSUE:
    For the past 3 weeks I’ve gotten the run around with Technical Support concerning the issue of no internet connection since I downloaded the patch in Oct.
    Even though I have uninstalled and reinstalled FTM 2008 several times, done clean boot, downloaded patches driectly from NO RESOLVE.
    Tomorrow I will request refund and probably not renew my annual subscription to Ancestry if no refund granted.
    How can someone release a problem that is so BAD? Thank goodness I have FTM 2005 to fall back on.
    It’s time to see some good customer service rather than references to things that Tech support knows doesn’t work. I had a Tech tell me last week that the internet connection issue doesn’t have a answer except patience. I be patient if I get my money refunded .

  114. John Clisby

    FTM 2008 is HORRIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I have bought successive versions over the years and additional copies to give to family members so that they can see my file. The designers have lost touch with reality. Nothing is intuitive and nothing works with ease as with prior versions. I have lost several weeks due to wasted effort in trying to navigate this frustrating program. It is very dificult and frustrating to copy data from web searches. I find myself boxed in and lost in the mire of this program and cannot figure out how to go forward or backwards to enter data (such as data from the original census records). You have not kept up with Vista and the patch for FTM 2005 (which version I want to go back to) so far as I can tell (and have been told by the FTM help line) requires that the program be run in the administrative mode to work with Vista which is not recommended for the internet. Also, on Vista FTM 2005 cannot be backed up to a flash drive as far as I can tell which is essential for safe preservation of your file. I have approx. 11,000+ family members entered.
    I did not buy this program to experience such frustration with and ill feelings toward FTM. You can say “well you just have to get used to the program.” The point is that I do not want a program that requires this and from the comments/ratings that I have seen on the internet neither do others. The few positive comments apear to be from those selling the program not those buying it.

  115. colleen haney morgan

    How can I add multiple media items to charts. In the old version I was able to add say a portrait and a tombstone.

  116. Billye D. Jackson

    I still don’t see mention of no limitation on individuals we enter. I want to have no limits on how many people I put into my database.

    I also do not see something else, color coding of direct lines from user on up the individual trees, so they can be easily located going back down a family line, or seeing quickly in an index.

  117. I don’t know where to go with this question; I hope you can help.
    A long time ago, I contributed to and bought the first 17 disks of the World Family Tree. I would like to put them on a hard disk where I could access all of them in one place.
    Can you help?

  118. Bob

    The general speed of 2008 is much below that of 2005 (using the same number of individuals (12000) so it is not just the larger 50000 people files that have problems. Very Clunky program.

    This should be a top priority

    Had to turn fast fields off as they were so slow slow slow

    Charts need to be improved, come out poorly compared to 2005 and take some time to produce. Reports also slow compared to 2005 with the same infromation

    Is there a way to get the index to do Surname, given name, birth year as 2005 had. If you have say 50 William Smiths they seem to be in random date order in the index. This means if you already have a person and ahd come in from a different direction then double entries of people are difficult to spot.

    At the moment I am double entering all important information in 2005 as I may decide to revert unless further improvements start to happen, particularly speed and fast fields

  119. I have been an ardent user of FTM for many years now. Ever since hte first pc. But the last two versions I have bought (2005 & 2008) look like a kid was playing with them. And now, after doing a “critical” update to the program (2008), it killed my program altogether. I cannot even open it. I’m seroiusly considering going somewhere else at the moment. And i’m still trying to decide if the money paid for 2008 “upgrade” was really worth it. What is going on? Did you guys fire all of the original programmers who set this up? This has gone from a program I used to recommend to all of my family and friends, to something I would not put my name to even if I was paid to.

  120. Lynn Cunningham

    I do not see a way to sort the index of individuals using the married name for females. That was an option I used a lot in 2007. It was a big help when researching tombstones and cemeteries as the females are usually buried under their maiden name. If this option is still there and I am missing it, please let me know how to access it.

    I also have a HUGE problem with it being so slow. I have a very large file, so am hoping this will be improved in the future.

    Other than that, I LOVE the new program. It is great. But the slowness makes it almost unusable.

  121. Lynn Cunningham

    I do not see a way to sort the index of individuals using the married name for females. That was an option I used a lot in 2007. It was a big help when researching tombstones and cemeteries as the females are usually buried under their married name. If this option is still there and I am missing it, please let me know how to access it.

    I also have a HUGE problem with it being so slow. I have a very large file, so am hoping this will be improved in the future.

    Other than that, I LOVE the new program. It is great. But the slowness makes it almost unusable.

  122. Kenneth Marcum

    I have been a dedicated FTM user since the very first versions appeared. After getting FTM08 installed and and FINALLY getting my info transferred over from FTM16 (had to transfer my backup file) I am truly disappointed. What happened to the ease of use which we had in earlier versions? I know that that has been a lot of advancement in programming since the original versions, but that did not mean that you had to trash everything and start from scratch. The 08 looks like one big scratch pad to me. It looks as if a kid had tried to cram everything he could on one page. I consider myself proficient on a computer and able to navigate myself around and in most programs that I try, but this one is a headache with no remedy in site except to uninstall it and go back to FTM16. At first I couldn’t understand why there wasn’t an automatic removal of older versions but after trying 08 and reading the comments on this site (which if I had read them prior to buying 08 I would have saved me some money) I am glad it didn’t remove my FTM16. FTM, the high dollar rollers at bought you up and sucked you in and are giving nothing but trouble back in return to the people that have been with you over the years. I used to complain when FTM would put out a “new” version just a short time after a new release. But once you figured out that you didn’t need every version and could skip one or two of the “new” versions it was OK. Whereas I used to recommend FTM to everyone the only thing I will be recommending to people is that they find older versions or go to another maker. If I had the money I would be buying up all the FTM16s that I could find because they are going to be worth some money. They trash is supposed to be picked up shortly so I had better close because I have one more thing to put in the trash (FTM08).

  123. David Wilson

    I am on a month’s free trial (having purchased FTM) and am very enthusiastic about using and about the potential for on-line information sharing.

    However, my experience so far has been very disappointing. The site is VERY slow to respond and I have, so far, been totally unable to contact other members or ancestry support.

    On the bssis of this evaluation I really can’t imagine signing up for a regular subscription – which is a pity because I had high hopes of the site.

    David Wilson

  124. Craig Stevens

    I have just install FTM 20008 from FTM 16 and I have had nothing but troule and FTM08 is crashing eveytime I start it.

    So far I wish I would have just keep FTM16 or my ROOTS MAGIC. If you have not bought it hold off until they fix the BBBBBBBUUUUUUUUUGGGGGG….

  125. Stephanie

    What happened to some of the reporting that was available in previous versions??? Usually with new versions you add to them, not take away!!! I am especially hating the fact you guys pulled out the All-in-one tree and the genealogy report! What the heck???

  126. Len Crowder

    I agree that the omission of Genealogy Report is an atrocity. My FTM 2008 will not import the FTM 2005 files that I had saved on CDs. I have removed FTM 2008 from my computer. The book forming feature in FTM 2005 was a joke so I moved a genealogy report into MICROSOFT Word where it could be cleaned up and published in a suitable form.

  127. Christopher Port

    Just want to chime in and express what a shocking disappointment I found FTM 2008 to be. I’ve been using FTM from what seems like the days of DOS and always looked forward to the upgrades. FTM V16 is a gem but I figured that V2008 would work better with Vista. Not only did I find that not to be the case but I was horrified to find that the charting and reporting capabilities seemed to be a major step backwards. The product does not suit my needs and I have uninstalled the program and gone back to Version 16. I am hopeful that my substantial subscription fee to (not to mention my wasted purchase of FTM2008) will go towards significant improvement of Family Tree Maker from where it is now such that the next release is a true upgrade of V16. Thanks.

  128. Clarence E. Jennings

    I still have not found someone who can tell me how to get 2008 to install, Message-family treemaker 2008 has encountered a problem and must close. I have tried all the suggestions I have rece’d and nothing has worked. I would like to be able to use this product.

  129. Christine

    I am really looking forward to using FTM2008 internet capabilities – what a shame I still cannot go online (according to FTM2008) even though I am connected.
    FTM2008 is a big disappointment and complete frustration – I think I should have stuck to Generations Family Tree.

  130. Sharon Smith

    March 5, 2008
    I just installed the 2008 edition, and I’m disappointed by the extreme slowness–30 to 60 seconds for each mouse click to register.

    Somehow, even when I don’t touch the file, it’s using 60-90% of my CPUs! I’ve not managed to enter more than a sentence or two without it crashing.

    Family Tree Maker is unusable for my 125,000 person database–which oddly enough ran perfectly on my old version, now several years out of date!

    Could someone recommend another brand that works better for large files?

  131. Sharon Smith

    I have solved the problem I wrote about earlier! I should have realized there is a terrible problem with the 2008 Family Tree Maker, when it took a total of twenty-five (25) hours to transfer the data from my several-years-old version into the 2008 one.

    Solution: uninstall FTM 2008, return to the earlier FTM edition, purchase the basic Legacy program, and import my 123,000-individual database from my old FTM database into Legacy.

    Worked like a charm. My computer and I are very pleased with Legacy. The entire process took about five minutes and I can get at my data again!

    I really liked the look of FTM, but a program has to actually work if it wants to stay installed on my computer.

  132. Tom M

    FTM 2008 is a total flop.
    I am a long time user of Family Tree Maker and was very happy with the functionality I had in vers 16. I looked forward to the new release, as I had with most previous releases, assuming that it would bring new features and improvements.
    I innocently thought that the much hyped total rewrite would include all the features I had in vers 16 plus some new exciting additions.
    What a disappointment.
    I purchased 2008 as soon as it was released and quickly went back to v16. I check for any updates and improvements regularly, but at this stage have given up on it.
    I have reverted to v16 and will look elsewhere for my next upgrade. There is a market for someone to buy v16 and and turn out a v17.
    I cannot see the logic in the rewrite, it was a wrong business decision, it has succeeded in turning many loyal users away.
    “If it ain’t broken don’t fix it”

  133. Albert

    Well i used to use ver 16 also, Upgraded to the 2008 ver. Works like a charm so far, till today. Nothing is working in it pertaining to the website part of the interface. Did a uninstall and reinstall still same issue. what i am getting is a authentication error all day today. and of course tech support is not available on the weekends when you need to work on the tree.

    Looks like i might go back to ver 16 also since it works a lot better than the 2008 ver.

  134. EHaas4616

    Does anyone know if I can use Family Tree Maker Version 16 or Family Tree Maker 2006 on Vista? If so how?
    Any info would be very much appreciated. Thanks,

  135. Barry Williams

    Having installed 2008 and being told there will be no more online tree bldg. provision was upsetting.I understand thresholds of capacity for computers have been reached at Ancestry.
    Infuture your tree must be built at home and then feed to ftm servers. I have discovered you must LOG OFF say an earlier version,if you have it still on the computer and did not log out.Because 2008 will not function correctly and will place’Authentication failed’ in a box.Also do not interfer with say thinking to remove Microsoft live software to gain speed same problem well on mine anyway.

  136. Gary Violette

    “Data corruption
    Again, caused by a number of issues some including the action of adding an unrelated person, importing V16 files”

    You are joking — right?

    Why didn’t you tell us, your former customers that we could not use ver 16 data or add an unrelated person.

    You have perpetrated a fraud.

  137. Scott

    So when will the All-In-One tree be added? That was the most useful report for me. It allowed me to send a complete picture of our tree to everyone in my family and they loved it! You really need to get that added back in ASAP.

  138. Mike Nolan

    I keep looking for another Demand Release to fix issues identified on the 10-25-07 Webinar, but have only seen and installed one since then. The last Release was supposed to include the “Verticle Descendant Chart” back to it’s V16 self, but it didn’t get fixed. I am encountering CPU cycle-drain at times that make no sense: e.g. just trying to switch from the “Family” view to the “Person” view. FTM2008 has tied up my CPU for as much as 10 minutes at times for these simple screen changes. What happened to the “Performance Enhancements”? when are the fixes coming?

  139. Jennifer Mishoe

    I too bought FTM 2008 on the preorder special and I hate it. I didn’t want to learn a new program, I don’t like the new formate which I’ve yet to figure out. I’ve used FTM for years. Why the sudden total change makes no sense to me. I too want my money back and won’t be buying any more of their programs sight unseen.

  140. Donna S

    And I thought there was something wrong with me! Thank goodness I could export to Gedcom and upload back into my 2005 version!

  141. Shelley

    I was really wanting to buy the FTM 2008. I am glad I got a heads up here. The reviews all over the internet are that this version is pitiful. Hopefully the next version will be worth getting. Does anyone know when update fixes or a new version will be released?

  142. Erin G.

    I’m a complete newby, even though my version is 2005. I was so overwhelmed with it when I installed it that I just put it up. I kept looking for a feature that allowed me to see “my tree”, when all the names were entered. I’m sure it was there somewhere, but then my computer crashed from the info overload. 3 moves and one new computer later, I’m ready to sink my teeth into it again, but alas, the new version is out and I’m afraid to buy it with all the issues involved.

    So from a newby’s standpoint, (and one who is proficient with pc usage and website design), may I make a suggestion clearly from an aesthetic standpoint? I must admit I don’t have a clue as to what most of the issues are that folks are concerned with, but I’m sure I will discover them in time. However, right from start, the comfort of it just isn’t there for me. I’m a big one on being able to customize my user page, colors, layout, etc., and this doesn’t allow that.

    One HUGE idea that came to mind that I would absolutely LOVE to see is a startup page that automatically displays the “tree”, no matter if you have 3 or 3,000. Think “Google Earth” in terms of navigation, with one click magnification of areas of the tree. Ultimately, the larger the tree, the more dense it will look when not magnified (like the earth is from space). Of course, if folks wouldn’t like this navigation feature, they can opt for the “classic” view. Personally, I like to see instant gratification of the whole picture, with all the details readily accessable as needed.

    So that’s just me, for what it’s worth! Oh, and if that un-magnified tree could be printed on normal size paper, that would be awesome! I don’t know if home printers are capable of printing such tiny objects that would require the use of a magnifying glass, but boy that would sure make a great framed conversation piece!

  143. Struan Bourquin

    please, I urgently need help:
    i have been working with ftm 1995, english us version(!) for now 13 years, everything going beautifully. thinking of buying th new 2008 ftm (german version) would enable to import the old data into the new version. when i start the program, trying to open the old family tree, a notice “importing not possible because of unknown error” appears. it would be most helpful, if somebody could help. Do you need the data.?
    awaiting your answer!

  144. Bob Boutland

    The update with service pack 3 has stopped FTM opening, all I get is an error message. I had created a restore point before the update but I am told I can not restore from this point. The same message occurs 4 the last 4 restore points as well.

    This is Particularly annoying as I required some information before visiting a record office and I am giving a TALK ON ftm 2008 TO A FAMILY HISTORY GROUP NEXT WEEK! Not a good advert if I can not access the file.

    If you use windows explorer to find the ftm 2008 file and double click to open then it tries to open in the copy of ftm 2005 which is still on my system. Why did I change to 2008???

  145. Tim

    I cannot believe there is no request for adding text boxes, etc. to the notes page in order to avoid page overrun. I am highly disappointed with eliminating the ability to build books in the program. Just another way to get our information on their website to sell, and for them to sell books.

    BTW, the items listed in issues not to be included in FTM 2008 and those being considered for the future doesn’t even come close to all the wonderful features from previous versions that were not included (Book Making) from previous versions. Still would like to know who made that decision. I hope I can go back to FTM 16, and then I will be very skeptical about any of your new releases. Every time I use FTM 08, I recognize something else that has been removed. Since the missing functionality is only being “considered” for the future and there are items missing from the list, there seems to be no guarantee that TGN will ever return to the level it once had for those of us who are not just simply researching and merging data from

    When did they keep the customer in mind?

  146. Bob Boutland

    Ok so I’ve downloaded patch 965, installed it and can access the file

    BUT *******

    as soon as you try to add any data the file closes!!!

    What NOW?

  147. Ricardo Mansilla

    I bought new computer and installed sofware again. Program is making error on internet conection.
    “Authentication with the server failed”
    Some ideas?

  148. Tony Cousins

    K. Nash wrote October 2007
    ‘Facts which were entered originally as “Place or Description” are treated as places despite being facts such as “occupation”. And “occupation” is a FTM predetermined fact category!. Again such sloppiness is inexcusable. Further single entries for “Place or Description” which contain a semi-colon are now considered to be two distinct entries – one for place and one for description.’

    I purchased the new version as soon as it appeared and straight away ran into this problem. As K. Nash stated the text in V16 is place OR description. The solution I was offered was to use the location checker!!!!! but then you run into the other problem detailed on these pages. I have a 40/50/10 mix of UK, US and Canadian individuals – most of the complete addresses down to street level are then rejected.

    If the ‘new’ FTM is making the Occupation field a 2 part field – what does the OCCU GED tag look like?
    I can’t test it as I reverted to V16 withing 48 hours.

    GEDCOM is a standard – are TGN trying to redesign it. Sounds a bit like Micro$oft.

  149. Edd Schell

    WOW!!! After reading these comments, I’m certainly glad I didn’t buy the 2008 version for my wife as a surprise. My only problem right now is an OLE issue with version 6. If I do anything, I’ll try to find a copy of v16 instead since she is frustrated enough with not being able to import or view the pictures she put into our data file.

  150. Clare

    I want to be able to generate genealogy reports [Register format] with pictures. How can this be done?

  151. Sandra Fabry

    Please can you help. I have had to re-load my Family Tree Maker 2005 again on to my computor. I am given a message saying – ‘Contact Manufacturer Amyuni Document Converter 2.10 is ‘not available’.

    I have Vista on my new PC, since reloading I also seem unable to get onto the Web. Says application not found and then Family Tree Maker was not able to run and is it installed correctly. Unloaded and loaded several times to see if this would correct the problem.

    Please, please can you help


  152. Bill Wood

    The older version is much better than this version and I can’t get a copy of any report without Windows shutting down FTW 2008

  153. Kim Bartlett

    I have place some wrong media files under wrong persons. Can you tell me how to delete them?
    regards Kim

  154. Vickie Weber

    I have been trying to find out where in the new 2008 version the merge individuals button is. I found the merge specific individuals, but the old version I had would go through your entire data file and give you the option of merging people or not. Where is that in the new version? I can’t even find it in the book that came with the program.


  155. Steve

    I have FTM 2006 v16. I had not accessed FTM for several months. Now when I try to open FTM I get the error message “The file you are accessing is already opened or is damaged. Please choose another file to open.” When I click OK, I get another message “Family Tree maker cannot open the original family File. Click OK to open the backup of the file.” If I click OK, FTM crashes. I have pulled up a backup copy from another drive but it does the same thing. Any ideas what to try next?

  156. Ossie

    Please can we have an assurance that FTM 16 will be supported indefinitely, because there is clearly no confidence among users that 2008 will ever match its functionality?

  157. Maureen Scott

    Not able to register my recently purchased Family Tree Maker 17th edition. My son has tried all options listed and even he could not succeed. Is there another option or have I wasted my money?

  158. Mike Stibal

    I recently purchase 2008 Family Tree Maker.

    I have a HP DesignJet printer.

    How can I get my family tree to print on that printer? I want to print five generations. The plotter needs to print at least 96 inches long.

    Thanks, Mike S.

  159. Ned Jimmerson

    I would very much like to have some erroneous data corrected in a tree which alters my tree. I have been working on this issue for several years. Ned Jimmerson,

  160. Robert H Marler

    I would to upgrade my Family Tree Maker V3.02 Windows 95 V4.1 either
    on the Windows 95 or to Windows XP
    can you tell me if this is feasible?

  161. Mike

    Please bring back the “Status Field” for results shown from clicking on “WebSearch”. I am wasting an inordinate amount time using 2008 looking at items I have already dealt with.

  162. Susan Gaunce

    I am disgusted to see you’re coming
    out with 2009 when I cannot even open
    my 2008 version. After many visits
    to your support I gave up. I have
    followed the directions in your book
    as well as adding patch and still
    get the notice to Microsoft.

    Good luck with 2009 – you need it!
    Thank goodness I have 2005 and 2006

  163. Claudia Lee

    I recently purchased Family Treemaker 2008 and hate it! I have worked foe 15 years on my family and had written 4 books only to loose all that work when I purchased this software only because I now have Vista on my new computer and had to. It seems that wants to make more money by making you purchase this software.

  164. Claudia Lee

    I see that I’m not the only one who dislikes the 2008 version. I have 22,000 names in my files and will never see them. I am so disgusted with this software!

  165. I cannot register my family tree maker 2008 software. The message I receive is there is a problem with connecting to the registration server.

    I would appreciate receiving a quick response.

  166. Elizabeth Kania

    Cannot follow how to use coupon code for newesr update. Please give more explicit instructions. Thank you

  167. Russ

    William Culver posted that he was having problems Registering his copy of FTM. I was having the same problem, as was my sister, with her copy. I FINALLY (since its not listed in the KB or Support page) searched google for this problem and discovered (shock) that there is a ‘patch’ available for FTM 2008. This solved my problem. William I hope you have managed to resolve your registrations as well, if not search for the patch.


  168. W Anderson

    I own FTM 2005 and recently upgraded my computer to run Windows Vista. Of course the export to pdf and other facilities do not work from FTM in that format. FTM2005 was the third version of FTM I have had to run. It seems to be an unending story of buying new versions- not good Mr FTM, when older versions ran OK anyway. It has made transfer of files to relatives impossible unless they own FTM- most don’t. I have ordered FTM 2009- I hope it runs for more than a year 😉

    Also patches such as FTMVistaupdates do not install. What’s the problem?

  169. claire apgar

    i have family tree maker 2008. my computer told me i have an update from you program so i downloaded it and now my ican not open my software. do you have another update or can i reverse the last update?

  170. Al Santos

    WOW!!!! My very first piece of Family Tree software and what do I get….? You guessed it, “Family Tree Maker 2008”.

    I doubt if I’ll even bother taking it out of the box….

    Would hate to get 3/4 of the way into inputting family data only to have it … well, just read the responses from users and take your pick!?!?

    I guess slapping the word “Delux” or “Platinum” on a product is supposed to make it a better product eh?


  171. David Fairnington

    FTM 2008 is absolute rubblish – apart from being unfit for purpose it has gone backwards in terms of functionality. A flawed system design that can lose data should not be on the market in 2008! I do not wish to give Ancestry my data and then pay them to produce a book when I can do that myself with FTM16

  172. The thing I like best about FTM 2008 is the standardized place names. In 2006 I had the same place appear in so many different ways, it made it seem like I wasn’t sure of the right place. Now they all agree, except for a few that I haven’t found yet. The only problem with the standardized place names is that they get pretty long with the town, county, state and country, and then when I add a neighborhood in it’s even longer, so they take up too much space on a Pedigree Sheet. I wish there was a way to just show only the neighborhood and town on my reports, or abbreviate the rest.

  173. Bob Boutland

    Ok so the update some time ago made 2008 go a bit faster ie usable, but still slower than FTM 2005 one feature still missing is when trees are displayed in FTM 2005 it was possible to click on a box on a tree and go to that persons details. It would be good to have that back.

    FTM 2008 is also heavy on reports. For the same information as contained in FTM 2005 the reports are about twice as long with 2008

    Everything was stable but now the 2008 is tending to shut down when backups are tried, the same goes for compact file. There are occassions when data is entered that the file just closes. ie back to comment 161

    And yes I did mange to give the talk to The local FHS society (comment 159) but the new features did not seem to impress compared to the old functionality, certainly slowness report size missing features were issues.

    Incidentally it took over 3 months to sort the data after the transfer from 2005 to 2008

  174. William Oliver

    FTM 2005 displays an error message stating the inability to load Amyuni document converter print driver. Is there a solution being sought for Windows Vista.

  175. Jeanne Burnell

    I am having difficulty with reported relationships to the home person. I could have the siblings of a gr gr grandparent listed as uncle or aunt which would be correct but others might be second cousin, or first cousin or some other relationship which is not the closest. how can I fix this.. note I don’t see answers to these blogs so I am hoping that someone actually reads them and replies. I am not very happy with the recent versions of ftm

  176. E Reyna

    I have been using Family Tree Maker for many many years and I have never ran into this problem. I am having problems opening my Family Tree Maker 2008 and when I do get it open, I can edit or add some information and then it closes all by itself. I have sent numerous info to microsoft, can you please help me. I have over 4,000 individuals in my database. I do not want to loose it.

  177. Jim

    I am having major problems trying to use Source Citations module. I am certain it is operator error.

    FTM 2009. Problem is when I trying to manage sources, sometimes they are very nice and will the text will wrap around in a narrow window and I can see all the details. However, on some other entries, the data will run on a single line across screen and I can’t see the remaining data on the left.

    I’d like to see all the data in a text wrapped box several inches wide instead of running across the screen losing some on right.

    Thanks for any advice.

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