Posted by Ancestry Team on December 21, 2007 in Family Tree Maker

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

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

A downloadable PDF version is also available here.

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


Description v16 Availability Comments
F1 Context Help same  
F2 People Index dialog same Available in “People”, “Publish”, and “Web Search” workspaces
Alt + F4 Exit same  
Ctrl + O Open same  
Ctrl + X Cut same Available with focus in a text field
Ctrl + C Copy same Available with focus in a text field
Ctrl + V Paste same Available with focus in a text field
Ctrl + Shift +
Delete same Available with focus in a text field
Ctrl + A Select All Text no Available with focus in a text field
Alt + Left Arrow Navigate back same  
Alt + Right Navigate forward same  
Ctrl + B Add bookmark same  
Ctrl + S Add new source same Available with focus in a fact field or when a fact is selected in the “Person” tab.
Ctrl + Shift + S Link to existing source na Available with focus in a fact field or when a fact is selected in the “Person” tab.
Ctrl + M Add new media item no Available from within a media context
Ctrl + Shift + M Link to existing media item na Available from within a media context
Ctrl + T Add new task same Available from within the task context
Ctrl + Z Undo no  
Ctrl + Y Redo no  
Ctrl + Shift + F10 Context menu limited Displays the context menu for the selected item
Ctrl + 1 Plan workspace na  
Ctrl + 2 People workspace na  
Ctrl + 3 Places workspace na  
Ctrl + 4 Media workspace na  
Ctrl + 5 Sources workspace na  
Ctrl + 6 Publish workspace na  
Ctrl + 7 Web Search workspace na  
Ctrl + Pg Dn Next tab na Switches to the next workspace tab
Ctrl + Pg Up Previous tab na Switches to the previous workspace tab
Ctrl + Shift + Pg Dn Next sub-panel tab na Available when focus is in a sub-panel (notes, media, tasks, sources, links)
Ctrl + Shift + Pg Up Previous sub-panel tab na Available when focus is in a sub-panel (notes, media, tasks, sources, links)

Other keyboard functions

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


Description In v16 Availability & Comments
Alt + A Add no Add a person, media item, or source depending on context
Alt + D Delete no Deletes a person, place, media item or source depending on context
Alt + P Print Ctrl + P Print options are context sensitive
Alt + S Share no Share options are context sensitive
Alt + F File menu same  
Alt + E Edit menu same  
Alt + V View menu same  
Alt + R Person menu Alt + P Available in “People” workspace
Alt + C Place menu na Available in “Places” workspace
Alt + M Media menu na Available in “Media” workspace
Alt + U Source menu na Available in “Sources” workspace
Alt + T Tools menu same  
Alt + H Help menu same  

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

I hope this is helpful information for everyone.

– Ben

PDF download


  1. Thank you – I had made a quick comparison myself

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

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

    Alt P + U

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

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

    Alt P H sorts the children into date order

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

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

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

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

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

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

    down arrow
    to repeat for the next child

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

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

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

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

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

    Happy Christmas to all of you 🙂

    Hugh W

  2. Paul Baranik

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

    Please respond to my Email address.


  3. Kathy Marie


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

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

  4. Kathy Marie

    See my First suggestion in item 5

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

  5. Lisa Giddings

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

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

  6. Herb Carter

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

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

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

  9. Jane

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


  10. Deborah

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

Comments are closed.