Posted by Ancestry Team on October 12, 2007 in Family Tree Maker

In an effort to increase communication between the Family Tree Maker team and our customers, we are excited to announce an upcoming webinar! Please reserve the evening of October 25th. This free online seminar is scheduled to run for no more than one hour starting at 8:30 p.m. EDT. Time will be allowed for questions and answers.

The Webinar will focus on Family Tree Maker 2008, including the following topics:

– Background of Family Tree Maker 2008
– Getting started
– The new user interface
– Working with people in your file
– Places
– Media
– Sources
– Searching the Web

Click here to reserve your spot for this Webinar.


  1. Ticked off

    IF FTM2008 was NOT a useless, problematic, prematurely-released, incomplete program, the “webinar” would be totally unnecessary.

    Thankfully, there are other (complete, non-problematic, useful and overall **better**) programs, such as RootsMagic.

  2. Pat Blanchard


    In defense of FTM 2008, I just have to speak my mind and get it over with. My tree has only some 2,000 individuals, which certainly doesn’t compare with those with 20-30,000 entries and some 8,000 images; but that tells me some users out there are downloading/copying whole trees from outside sources, and there are going to be ERRORS no matter how careful you think you are being. I’ve followed all the blogs from the beginning of the introduction of FTM 2008, and am really angry about the total dismissal of user error. I thought I had a pretty “clean house” when I uploaded my file from FTM 2006, but FTM 2008 allows me to see things on a much broader scale than I ever could in the old software, and I am currently making sweeps through (with the aid of custom reports from FTM 2006) to correct the errors/duplications I didn’t know were there. I know they are my mistakes, because when I check back in FTM 2006, they are present in that tree as well …. I just didn’t realize it at the time. GARBAGE IN, GARBAGE OUT. I know you can’t say this point blank to your customers, but I sure can. Does FTM 2008 have some problems? Of course, it does … it’s a brand new program with a totally new file structure. However, you guys can’t wave a magic wand and fix user goofs. We all have to be responsible for our own input and correcting our own errors. It’s a pain in the rear to have to back up and make these corrections, but I certainly can’t blame “software” for my own mistakes. I’ve filled out the survey, signed up for the webinar, and keep my manual close by for reference. Even though I’ve published two books now through Ancestry Press, I’m going to sign up for that webinar, too. Thank you for all your tremendous efforts, and for the timely updates on your blog. Your patience with the whiners out there is remarkable.

    I’ll shut up and sit down now.

  3. BJ

    I agree with Pat. I like FTM 2008 and all of the features I’ve found. I find it intuitive and easy to use (once you get used to it). Like Pat I don’t have a large data base but I have used FTM 2008 with a relatively large data base. In both cases I prefer it over any previous addition.

    I also recognize that there are many beloved features which have not yet been incorporated into the new program. I’m looking forward to when they are. In the mean time I am using FTM 2008 to identify problems (all user problems) with my FTM 16 file. I make changes and the reimport the file. I haven’t lost any data except for AKA and Titles but as they were imported properly before the SP1 update, I assume they will be there in the next update.

    I congratulate you and the the Project team for a great new program.

  4. Chas

    I hope that the contents of the Webinar will be posted someplace so the people that can not make it, will also be able to see what happened there

  5. Kevin

    I agree with Pat & BJ in thatI think the recasting of FTM is potentially fantastic. But the key word is potentially. I believe it has been rushed to issue to meet commercial deadlines and that it is rediculous to assume longstanding users who have built up files, trees, reports and books are going to like a programme that effectively dustbins work put together over years. Please restore the lost functionality

  6. Jim Allen

    Ftm 2008 has been a major disappointment – purely because I expected it to produce ‘improvements’ to ftm2005 it appears students were put to work on several sections of it including the global update, GED export, Fixed reports, Merging, not backwardly compatible either in export mode nor Save as…. In short the beta release was in fact the alpha and the ‘complete program’ was the beta… I have never had so many crashes since Gates brought out windows 3.1….. Believe it or not once the progarm moves to version 3 I guess it will meet most of my requirements of my 7000 plus names and no I didn’t suck in other tree’s over 4000 are my own entry and the errors mostly caused by clicking the wrong global entry correction button!!!

  7. Please excuse the prvious mistake – post with no comment.

    I was just so bemused by BJ’s response to Pat’s comments. BJ knows how bad FTM 2008 really is but he just keeps on touting the poor excuse of what FTM 2008 really is.

    No one in their right mind can argue with the unbelievably large amount of dissatisfied and truly concerned EXPERIENCED users of FTM softare telling it as it truly is.

    Pat, as in my case with EVERY entry made MANUALLY by me, I know the real problems of FTM 2008.

    As stated so many times, Critical Review of FTM 2008 tells it like it really is.

    Who honestly believes TGN is going through all these hoops if TGN didn’t know they had really fouled-up a good idea?

  8. robert

    I have been a user of FTM from the DOS days of FTM. I now have 20,000+ individuals; and I’m proud to say everyone has been manually entered. I don’t even understand the concept of downloading other trees. Why would anyone do that? You would have to have a lot of confidence in the quality of the provided information.

    What I have learned are what I call best practices in using FTM. For instance I now believe in putting a graphic for every new entry. Even if it is just a state flag or a famous landmark. Because when you view this data in hour glass trees, descendent trees, etc. you have one more visual means of following your data. Also the trees are more interesting.

    This becomes even more important when your searches end up in Europe or in another continent where cities and regions use blasons for identificaton even today.

    And when you have more than 20,000 individuals you are very likely not using too many USA resources. For me after 5 or 6 generations I was already looking into most of the countries of Europe.

    FTM v16 has all the tools for doing this kind of research. I really tried using FTM 2008 and even after watching the video I’ve given it a 2nd and 3rd chance…but find the product so flawed as to be unuseable. As I have said before I have FTM v16, FTM 2008, Legacy 6.0, Rootsmagic, and TMG v6, all on my systems. FTM v16 is, in my humble opinion, the best of the lot.

    And the features that FTM v16 has that make it the best, are really only two! The inactivity of the charts and reports with your data entry; and the ability to format your charts in almost any form you like.

  9. Joycelyn Miller

    Thanks for the information about the text. The next thing I encountered is adding to the timeline. I have several events for individuals on my tree. Is there a way to add lines for adding those events or for getting them to go to the timeline in Press?

  10. World Citizem

    Are you really so dumb that expect everyone to convert from your local time zone? Please grow up and provides times in GMT..

  11. Benjamin Nettesheim

    According to – 08:30:00 p.m. Thursday October 25, 2007 in US/Eastern converts to 12:30:00 a.m. Friday October 26, 2007 in GMT

  12. Marilyn Hagedorn

    I’ve heard you cannot import Family Tree Maker books. If this is wrong, how does a person do that, after having finished writng several generations in a FTM book?

  13. Mirch

    Although I have used FTM since 1.0 for DOS (still have the disk and the brown box), I am concerned from all I have read about this 2008 version.

    The primary reasons I want to go is not marketed anywhere – perhaps they can be put in the webinar? Reasons like:

    1. Exactly what do the new reports look like?
    2. Exactly what do the new trees look like?

  14. Bill

    I find FTM 2008 painful to use and slow. I’m seriously considering reverting back to FTM 2005 but maybe I should give the webinar a chance first. However, if you think about it, why the heck would one need a webinar unless so many people found the software to be cumbersome and less than satisfactory? This should send up red flags to Unfortunately, I’m sure they spent a lot of time and money developing this new software meaning it’s here to stay for a while. I’ll give the webinar a chance before making any rash decisions.

  15. Richard

    I’m in the process of upgrading to a new computer and figured it’s time to upgrade FTM as well. BUT after ready so many disgruntled comments, maybe I’ll hold on to an older versin.
    1) recommendations of the best version BEFORE this new one?
    2) does anyone know if the webinar will be available for download from some website?j
    3) Perhaps, FTM folks will come out with a MAJOR upgrade/service pack in a few months and advise us all so we can buy a better version?

  16. Jo

    Richard, is now offering v16 again and I believe that Amazon still has FTM v16. A lot of folks have purchased this version instead of the 2008.

    Good luck,

  17. I have been searching for Family
    Tree Maker Online seminar, but
    cannot find it. It looks like I
    missed it!!!

    It would help a great deal to have
    a User’s Guide for the 2008 Family
    Tree Maker.

  18. Linda Neal

    Re: Oct. 25, 2007 WebiNAR:
    The survey at the end did not appear
    or the 40% discout. Plus
    how do I replay the presentation as promised but never mentioned again.

  19. MIchael Ball

    I just participated in the Webinar but did not see / find the feedback/evaluation which was indicated.

  20. Robert

    Your webinar promised a link to review the presentation. I did not get the link. Would you tell me where to find it?

  21. Christine

    I came here to comment that I didn’t get the link for the survey at the end of the webinar, or for the 10% discount. But I feel obligated to come to FTM’s defense on a couple comments.

    It would be more productive for users to check what they were promised before they call people names and suggest FTM hasn’t delivered. First, I doubt most users know how many hours away from GMT they are. Second, it was a 10% discount that was offered for the user guide, not 40%.
    Finally, I was able to successfully download the webinar slides before the webinar began as instructed in the reminder emails you should have received if you registered. If you missed it, the link to the webinar now states that the webinar is being archived and should be viewable soon. Maybe you’ll be able to download the slides then, too.

    I always feel bad when people get critized despite their best efforts. But I also realize I am only a hobbyist and perhaps many of you depend on this software for your profession. If so, I can understand some of your comments about a potentially pre-mature release.

  22. roythomas21

    How do I send from FTM 2008 to the printer the images from

    At present, I am using apart from FTM 2008, rather than the “search web” feature of FTM 2008.


  23. Karen

    I don’t know what kind of user error could be responsible for features that are diminished to the point of being unusable or dropped completely.

    What exactly do you think users have done that resulted in an index that does not include information to help users distinguish among 20+ individuals with the same name? How are users responsible for the fact that the programmers completely ignored the characteristics of individual types of facts and unilaterally loaded everything into “Place”? What kind of “user error” resulted in source images automatically loaded by FTM16 being systematically dropped by the FTM2008 conversion program?

    Now we read that everyone is encouraged to pay extra money to buy a user guide to learn how to use a program that bears only a passing resemblance to its namesake. Since when do customers who have been using a program for years, have to start from scratch to use an “update”. How is that a “user” problem? If that’s really what it takes — and if after jumping through so many hoops with patches and study, they are supposed to be satisfied with less function than they had in previous versions — most people would much rather switch to another program entirely and get on with their actual work.

    You cannot defend the indefensible.

  24. Ruth Nutt

    I have a tree with over 53,000 names, Family Tree Maker is really slow trying to handle this. Yet FTM 16 handles this size fine.
    2008 bogs down takes forever to get to the next place I have clicked on.


  25. Heather

    I just bought a new Vista computer and couldn’t find my v.16, so I called and was sold version 2008. I was shocked when I downloaded it and tried to transfer my old data file. I had almost 70,000 people in my old file, and it wouldn’t accept it.

    So I went on line to find out what was wrong, and I’m shocked to find out all the other things I can’t do… no ahnentafel or register reports? where did my source notes go? And it keeps crashing…Where did the old program go- this isn’t an upgrade it’s an entirely new animal!
    I’m calling in the morning to return the disk and get a refund, and I’m going back to v.16 (if I can find the disk!) which worked just fine. It is unusable. I can’t even get started.

    (By the way (Pat), I have all these names because I’m on the board of the Mayflower Society and several other lineage and family asssociations, not because I’m importing junk from online. I’ve owned all the versions of FTM since 1992 and it’s just acculmulated lots of names.)
    What I’m shocked about is how they could blatently sell me this piece of software over the phone without warning me, especially since I explained that I’m a professional with a very large file upgrading to a machine with 3 terragigs of memory and Vista expressly for the purpose of handling my large FTM file. The phone salesperson said NOTHING!

  26. John Blair

    A user for years, entered my own info, never imported, never gave my information to Ancestry, and now with 30,000 people in my database, it is actually 10x slower, it mixed my notes…so I’ve went back to Vers. 16, and am learning LEGACY…never again to be a victim of a company that has lost everything. I’m willing to bring a lawsuit!

  27. Thomas P. Barber

    It is sad that a product like Family Tree Maker 2008 was released LONG before it should have been! This version of FTM does not live up to the high standards of the previous versions of FTM.
    I have been a user of FTM since it was a very simple DOS based program. I would say that over the years I have most likely used every previous version of FTM.
    This is the first time that I have been SORRY that I upgraded the software.
    I run a small Genealogy Research firm and we had always used FTM. Luckly FTM 16 was still on our computers so we were able to go back to using it without a major hassle.

    We run subscriptions for both and, since both are owned by the same company maybe having the programers work on combining all various data bases on those two sites rather than sending out a poor product would have been a much better idea !

  28. Ralph Cibula

    Is there an apple version of this software?

    I have over a thousand individuals in my PC using the older Deluxe version of Family Tree Maker. I now have a new iMac.

    If not what would you recommend that I switch to?


  29. George C. Dixon

    I do not know if this is the right spot for this question or not, but my family tree maker is on a pc. I now wish to buy a mac. Can anyone tell me how I would transfer my information from the pc to the mac? Is it difficult? Thanks.

  30. To who it may concern,

    I have just bought the New Family Tree Maker 2008 Deluxe Program, and it won’t work with my Windows Vista.
    Please write soon.

    Carolyn Neel

  31. Carol King

    FTM 2008 is ok, if they can put in the reports that the version 16, and all prior versions that I had used had. I have been using FTM since 1999 and suddenly I can’t print the reports that I am used to.

    Bring back the reports Please!

  32. Julia Heevner

    Is there a number I can call to get help with my tree. On the kinship report everyone is their own half sibling and it only includes the person and their spouse even though I have include all individuals checked. Help


    I wasn’t aware ahead of time that I had to have special audio to hear the webinar; therefore, I have missed it. Does FTM/Ancestry do anything that’s user friendly? Needless to say, I’m a very unhappy user.

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