Posted by Ancestry Team on October 26, 2007 in Family Tree Maker

I wanted to thank everyone that attended the Webinar last night. I believe it was a big success. Over 1,500 of you were in attendance! We’ve received some very informative feedback about the event so far. I encourage you to continue sending us your thoughts in this blog.

Although I personally was silent during the event, I was doing my best to organize the mass number of questions coming through the Webinar system. Over 900 questions were submitted! As soon as I receive a post-production report I will start digging through, organizing, and finding answers to those questions. Please refer back to this blog or sign-up for the RSS feed.

Three common questions I’ve seen so far are:

  1. I didn’t receive the survey at the end of the Webinar. How can I take it?
    A follow up email will be going out with a link to that survey. Please watch your email.

  2. I didn’t get the link to the 40% discount for The Official Guide to Family Tree Maker 2008. How can I take advantage of that?
    That discount can be found by following this link:

  3. I want to watch the Webinar again (or never was able to watch it.) Will that be made available?
    Yes. As soon as I receive the event archive, I will make it available on this blog.

Again, thanks to everyone that participated!


  1. Gayle

    This was my first Webinar…I would have found the info more helpful if you had done it more slowly. I could not “enlarge the slides” as you suggested, therefore, they were “blurry”. Can you tell my why I couldn’t get the slides enlarged? Everything else went smoothly.

    Are you eventually going to include a Calendar in FTM 2008?

    Seems like you should give all of who bought FTM 2008 a FREE Official Guide just for all this frustration that we’re going thru. After all, you did admit that you shouldn’t have released this version, yet.

  2. Virginia Hegseth

    My question was not answered. I have many Broderbund and genealogy CD’s that I viewed on the older versions of Family Tree Maker, but can find no way to view them on this version. Is there a way?

  3. Terry

    I agree with Gayle.
    1.Free offical guide would be in order.
    2. Could not enlarge the slides.
    3. No survey came after the seminar.
    4. No discount offer came either.
    5. Not many questions were really addressed. If there were over 900 questions submitted, then the seminar was not long enough to answer what seems like some real problems with new version.
    6. I would guess that most people do not understand all the technical issues that took up a lot of seminar time. People wanted to know the answers to their questions and how to use the program.

  4. Caroline

    This was my first webinar and I really enjoyed it. Even though I pre-loaded the slides, they were still slow in refreshing. Will look forward to the event archive being posted.

    I agree with the comments about the Official Guide. My copy which was discounted 20% with the purchase of FTM2008 just arrived in the mail two days ago. If I had been slower, I could have saved 40%. Woe is me!

  5. Please provide an update to FTM 2008 so it allows a person to create non-traditional relationships. Right now, you can, but it’s not given the same priority as the traditional ones. For instance, I am in a long-term, committed relationship with my boyfriend but we are not married. I would like to list him as my life partner with the same priority a husband would have, and shown the same way. Please seriously consider this request. Thanks!

  6. James Gordon

    It was stated that some of the programs were not ready for the release of FTM 2008. Will there be
    additional charges when these are completed or just a software update??

  7. Innocent Lamb

    I’ve been musing over my webinar experience. I must be among the fortunate few: aside from the survey/offer gap, immediately righted here, my webinar went smoothly and I was able to expand the slides (wondering whether everyone who complained pre-tested, & whether they even saw the rectangular button pointed out at the beginning of the webinar– & if they were even on time in starting!). And here’s some more good fortune: I have been using (solely) FTM only since 2004 and have only 1500 in my tree. I am trained in literary research and I verify everything, moving very slowly! (I thought my tree was large; now I know better. I also happen to believe that some who have 20,000 or more folks in their tree have fallen prey to the bogus Lord o the manor & chief o the tribe trees floating around out there.) In any case, I had No Idea so many folks had fury to vent over FTM 2008! I too thought my media was “gone” until I Got that gedcom files do not contain media. My upload problem was solved over the phone with Ancestry in three minutes! So I felt like the Innocent Lamb of the webinar. Went I went, after the webinar, to the FTM blog, its crankiness really blew me away! I read every entry. Here’s the thing: My overall impression of 08 was pretty positive, & this after tinkering around with it quite a bit. Furthermore, I’m generally considered an intelligent person, but this blog- reading experience really made me feel dumb! Is anyone out there like me in that you figure there’s something wrong with Your Own Approach (Not the program) if the thing doesn’t work; so you keep trying stuff until (usually) you figure it out? Well, I thought that a good proportion of the people who were complaining and complaining really didn’t want to try and find Another Way of Doing Things, and that many of the things they said were missing were really there, in other locations. My estimate is that about 60% of the complaints weren’t entirely legitimate or weren’t legitimate at all. Some of the examples covered in the webinar showed that even the programmer dude with his long list of errors didn’t have all his “errors” right. For example, it’s possible that some of these people never understood how flexible the panes are, that you can get a page to look very similar to the old FTM if you want, that AKA is there after all, etc.
    I Get that being shoved in a different direction when you’re used to and fond of the status quo isn’t pleasant, but at least keep in mind that if the code is old it’s old. And sure, Microsoft has us all entrenched it its gadgety versions & protocols; so why shouldn’t a new version of FTM be geared toward these, for survival reasons? (I know, Lamby is following the herd.) Further, I realise that highspeed is still a class issue, but for Pete’s sake if you haven’t got it, you simply can’t expect a whole heck of a lot here, there, ot anywhere.
    Of course, my my %60 estimate leaves %40 legitimate complaints, and that’s too high. If patches won’t do the trick, why then everyone who bought 08 should be sent a full 08.2 disk (wch should be bundled, for future buyers, with a revised manual). I do think we Summer/Fall of 2007 buyers deserve a free copy of the Official Guide, but as I indicate above, wait! and revise this thoroughly, first, along with said .2 version of the program.

  8. Monica HInson

    I did learn some things from the webinar, but am one of those who didn’t get the survey or the link for the discount. Frankly, I agree with those who suggest we should get the Official Guide free since, in a sense, we’re guinea pigs.

    I was reasonably content with FTM08 until I tried to export files — it crashes every time I try. (Had similar problems in importing my files from 06.) I spent time on the phone with a tech earlier this week and she was really NO HELP at all!! She seemed distracted through the whole help session, spoke extremely softly, and I’m guessing she was as confused as I am with my issue.

    This morning my FTM crashed — it was just GONE! I did reload it successfully, but what a pain! Although I like the format and possibilities of 08, I’m tempted to toss it and go back to 06 — at least I can import & export files, and it’s never crashed! I started with 04 (I think) — have taken advantage of each update and all went swimmingly until 08.

    Is there help available for iimportin/exporting files? Or should I more serously consider going back to the last version?

  9. Judith Rabalais Scola

    Another thing about the webinar. All the technical reasons for constructing 08 might have been interesting to some people, but most of us had very specific questions. How will these be addressed?

  10. I learned a lot about the program from the Webinar however moving more slowly would have been helpful.
    I order the manual and received it a day before the Webinar and if I had waited I would have saved 40%. Bummer.

  11. Richard

    After the webinar:
    1) I’ve not purchased your product yet and think I might wait until some updates come in..hoping you’ll advise on your site that it’s been updated a bit.
    2)With the updates coming, your current publication is at least 40% worthless, so the discount is a nice touch. But still $20 too much if there’s not additional publishing of the updates. Perhaps you could make available a PDF download with a small “book” describing each update as it comes. We could three hole punch it and keep it with the book. At this point the book should be free to all registered users and free to anyone else as part of the registration, say thru 2008.
    3) re the program itself: sometimes I’m Googling and collecting info that I don’t at the moment have time to read. How could I create a file WITHIN the program that I’d title something like, “stuff to read and consider”? That way I can packrat (I just invented a new verb) info and delete or investigate at will. I could certainly bookmark it or create a file in Windows, but would like to keep this all selfcontained and searchable within the program.

  12. Margaret Ann

    re the program itself: sometimes I’m Googling and collecting info that I don’t at the moment have time to read. How could I create a file WITHIN the program that I’d title something like, “stuff to read and consider”? That way I can packrat (I just invented a new verb) info and delete or investigate at will. I could certainly bookmark it or create a file in Windows, but would like to keep this all selfcontained and searchable within the program.

    In other words, we need something similar to the “shoebox” on Ancestry — somewhere to store information that we are not yet sure we want to integrate with the family database.

  13. Karen

    For example, it’s possible that some of these people never understood how flexible the panes are, that you can get a page to look very similar to the old FTM if you want, that AKA is there after all, etc..

    The problems with FTM2008 run much deeper than cosmetic rearrangement. Displaying the AKA in the person details for example, is not the same as having it actually used by the program as it is in FTM16. Importing and exposing the data as a fact is not sufficient; we want it visible in the index and used automatically by the integrated web search.

    The most heartening thing I heard in the webinar was that the development team does take the complaints of the customer base very seriously. They realize that they have stumbled badly and are now struggling to restore function as quickly as they can. Unfortunately, that will take several months and by that time, many users will have discovered competitive products.

    I agree with those who say the guide should be free. New orders for FTM2008 should include it and customers who have already purchased the program should be able to download a form somewhere and include a copy of your invoice to get it for free. Anyone who already bought the book should get a credit for other prodcuts from the store such as an updated copy of the Charting Companion.

    Actually, I think TGN hould stop selling FTM2008 until they have a more usable program.

  14. Pat Blanchard

    I like Karen’s idea about getting a free updated Charting Companion. Like some others, I bought FTM 2008 AND the manual before there was any price reduction. I’m not going to quibble about getting money back at this point, but I did like using Charting Companion in the past, and getting “credit” towards a new edition of this add-on for FTM 2008 would be lovely. Just a thought. I enjoyed the webinar and learned quite a bit. Thank you for listening to your users and addressing the main issues. It seems, however, there are those who still have difficulty with importing their trees, and that wasn’t addressed in the webinar. What appears to be the common thread with that problem, and will SP 2 finally take care of this issue?

  15. Robin

    I have been using previous versions of FTM for about 5 years now. I upgraded to ’08 a few months ago and have not had any issues with it yet, although I have a relatively small tree and have not tried to import/export any files. I was very happy to find my media files after the webinar and have since started to link them to my people.

    It sounds like a number of Q&A webinars should be scheduled to give folks a chance to discuss their issues.

    I also agree that a guide should be made available at not cost to those who have purchased or plan to purchase FTM 2008.

    I am anxious to see this version suceed!

  16. Donald Francis

    Enjoyed the Webinar but still have problems would like to see list of questions and the answers. Thanks

  17. Pat Blanchard

    Since the webinar, I have spent quite a bit of time this weekend making additions to my tree in FTM 2008, and especially adding sources to my entries. I really enjoy this new layout and find FTM 2008 much easier to use than previous versions. I think it’s the fact that I can see so much all at once, so I can make corrections and additions without getting confused or lost in the maze of people with the same names. I especially like the fact that when I do a web search, I can scoot backwards to check on someone I’ve seen in a census and verify if I’ve got that information entered or not, and then click back to the web search information without losing my place. Some folks find this a problem, but I personally like having the web screen staying static, until I’m ready to start a new search. Overall, I’m getting used to the new approach and am looking forward to the additional charts and book features.

  18. Christine

    This is the first version of FTM I’ve owned. Up until now I was using Ancestry Family Tree, a free program you allowed us to download in 2002 or 2003. I stuck with it all this time primarily because I didn’t like the navigation in prior FTM versions and I couldn’t quickly see how each person was related to my home person. I was impressed with FTM2008 and decided to finally make the move. I am still glad I did, despite all the comments so far. Re-writing an entire program is a monumental effort and appreciate the balancing act you are performing between getting the new version out to users who are anxiously awaiting it, moving on from supporting old programming methodologies, yet providing as complete a product as possible. I am confident all will be ironed out in the months to come.

    Getting to the point, my main concern now is whether there will be a revision to the FTM 2008 User Guide once updates are made, making buying it now a waste of money?

  19. Leigh

    While there are certainly some problems with FTM 2008, I personally think this version is a dramatic improvement. I have been using FTM since at least version 4.0 and 2008 is the easiest to use. The Webinar was very informative and I have watched it several times as there was a lot of information conveyed in a short time. Being able to watch it over helps tremendously.

  20. Dick B

    I have gone to your site for the Guide for FTM 2008 discount. I have tried five times to purchase the book. After completing all the forms the site continues to tell me on the final submit page that I have nothing in the shopping cart despite the fact that earlier pages clearly indicates the book is in the cart. I attempted to call to place the order but keep being referred back to the same link with the same results.

  21. Lorelee

    I also would like to buy the official guide but sure as heck if I buy it then a new one will be out in a few months.

  22. Lynn

    Although I found the webinar useful, I am most interested to learn two things:

    * Will a fix for version 2008 allow for the importing of version 16 source images (e.g., census files, military records).

    * When will search and replace functionality be added.

    Both of these items are MUST HAVES for me, since I spend thousands of hours reimporting source files (to capture source images) when I upgraded to version 16. Also the find search and replace function is critical for making certain types of updates.

    Other items that I was very surprised were removed and would like to know the timing of a related patch: Ancestry Tree Fan Charts, All-in-One Chart, as well as Reports. What is provided in 2008 version does not meet my needs.

    Although 2008 does appear to have some nice additions, until the basic functionality that I regulary use is incorporated within 2008 as well as I can import all of my source images I am unable to use 2008 version.

    The designers of the 2008 version clearly were focused on trying to provide some new “delighters” but missed the point that you can only delight your customers if their basic needs are first met.

  23. Sharon Brickner

    When the leaf icons do not pertain to your tree you to not have the same option as in ancestry where you can say ignore and they go away. Now they stay there and you have to check them every time in hopes something new is there. If you turn the icons off that defeats their true purpose.
    I see you had many multiple same names in your tree. You must have do as I did and when I merged left it as an alternate. What a pain in the xxx to clean that up.
    I did find the class informative, however a free dvd of this should have come with the new version. I already purchase my 2008 book not at 40% off, because I was about to send the program back to you and thought it must be me who does not like the changes and missing scrap book etc. Guess I was wrong.

  24. Larry Clum

    I was called out of town, so didn’t get to participate in the forum on Family Tree 2008. I am very sorry I missed it. I still have not figured it out, and so, I am still posting to Version 16 and transfering to 2008. I do not like the Firefox format at all, but unless you folks revert to a new version of #16, I guess I must get used to the new one.
    Having to have a forum should indicate that the 2008 version was a bad idea to begin with. I have been a Tree Maker customer since the beginning, so this problem is especially disheartening to me.

  25. Hi. I’m new to this ancestry domain. I’ve been asked to take over our family web site. I’m going to be very short here, but I want to have a way to communicate requirements. (Full disclosure: I’m a retired PhD specializing in knowledge management, with 49 years experience, so I’m bringing some specialized database management and mining experience to the table.) The short is that I need an indexing scheme for individuals that will work world wide, where there are many “trees” and genealogy books going back to the middle of the first millennium. This scheme should uniquely identify this individual in the worldwide matrix and point back to the source. It should work into the infinite future. It should be efficient, both in terms of size and in terms of being used in computer search and sort algorithms. I’ve got a proposal. Does such a scheme exist? If so, please send. If not, would it be appropriate to send someone at that scheme. We can share ownership rights. Thank you very much. Best Regards, Duane

  26. Lisa Giddings

    I have followed these blogs since I purchased FTM 2008, I have a few niggles but have been willing to persevere, I am glad that you have now posted the link for the 40% off the ‘Official Guide’ however that it in USD and not in UK Sterling – is that offer being offered to UK residents?

  27. Nelson Hart

    I enjoyed the Webinar and had no problems with slides or survey. I didn’t see anything about the 40% discount, but that has been resolved obviously from prior comments. I submitted 3 questions, none of which were addressed. Seems that there needs to be a way to get those types of questions answered as many blog comments have the same issue of unanswered questions.
    I had to buy a new computer to address the response issues, but I guess I needed to do that anyhow. 2008 works fine with Vista.
    I’m generally pleased…now… with 2008. Several issues that I am working thru and hope that future updates address some of them.

  28. Cynthia Thadison WIlliams

    I am in the process of trying to separate my information into four different books representing all four sides of my family. I am still using Family Tree maker 2005 and Family tree 16 which was purchased last year I believe. My question is how do I upload the information without individually going through every person on each project?

  29. Brent

    I just purchased ftm2008, but have not opened it yet, with all the issues with 2008, can i back rev to the version before? Even Microsoft is usually OK with people purchasing a newer/more expensive version and actually installing the old version, if it meets their needs. I would think this would make may people here that don’t have the next oldest version happy until 2008 is ready for prime time?

  30. Bill Arnold

    Type your comment here.

    I know I’m not commenting on this article but I’m desperate. I bought Family
    Tree Maker 2008 and I cannot download it. Can somebody help me? Thanks

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