Posted by Ancestry Team on February 27, 2008 in Family Tree Maker

On occasion I come across enhancement requests or questions about features that are currently in Family Tree Maker 2008. Here is a short list of some of those items.

Support for all media files

Users can link to any type of media by selecting “All Files” under the “Files of type” drop-down. The default is set to image files, but any type of media can be linked.

FTM - Any Media

Address report

An address report can be created following these steps:

  • Open the “Custom Report”
  • Click the “Reset” button
  • Click the “Items to include” button
  • Click the blue + button. The Select Fact window opens.
  • Choose “Address” from the Facts list and click OK.
  • In the “Included facts” list, highlight a fact, such as birth, and click the red X button.
  • Click OK.
  • In Individuals to include, click “Selected individuals.” The Filter Individuals window opens. No individuals should be included in the report at this point; if there are, click Exclude All to clear the report.
  • To choose a group of descendants, click an ancestor’s name in the “Name” list
  • Click “Descendants.” The list on the right side of the window now includes a list of that ancestor’s descendants.
  • Click OK. The report opens.

Add a new Source-Citation

In addition to adding source-citations to facts in the People workspace, you can create new source-citations in the Sources workspace as well by clicking the ‘Add’ button in the upper right section of the ‘Sources’ workspace.

FTM - Add Source

Place Warnings

Users can choose to have Family Tree Maker 2008 ignore the place warnings and remove the question marks in the Places panel.

FTM - Place Question Mark

This can be done under “Tools – Options – Warnings” and then uncheck the “Show unrecognized place name indicators” box.

FTM - UnrecPlaces 

Font size

Fonts can be set to display larger by clicking the “Use large fonts” box in the General Options window.

FTM - Font Size

Convert names

Names can be converted in Family Tree Maker 2008 to all be mixed-case or mixed-case with capitalized surnames. This option can be found under the “Tools – Convert Names…” section.FTM - Convert Names


  1. Terri

    Thanks Benjamin! There were a couple of those I hadn’t found myself. I think this type of post would be useful on a periodic basis.

  2. Linda

    As a comparison to previous versions, here are my comments:

    Media Links – I can’t say conclusively that ALL the types of files are supported but have read on boards how some files are dropped in the import from previous versions of FTM. One theory was that if they were scanned directly into a previous version rather than the file being imported, perhaps it doesn’t recognize the scanned items. So beware as with anything imported into FTM 2008 is at risk of being lost or changed. Scanning items directly into Family Tree Maker is not a feature included in FTM 2008.

    Address Report – This is a sorry work around for the replacement of the address report in previous versions. FTM 2008 also doesn’t have the address label feature. In addition, there are no separate address elements in FTM 2008, just a single field…at least that is what I remember. This is missed.

    Add a New Source Citation – FTM v 16 also has an ability to add the source citation either when working with an individual or selecting from the menu (Edit / Edit Master Source and then New button).

    Place Warnings – It is good that it can be turned off because valid place information commonly used (historical names, township names, church names, etc.) are not recognized. In addition, it consumes a tremendous amount of computer resources contributing in part to the slowness of FTM 2008.

    Font Sizes and Convert Names – These are new features. However, in previous versions, the font size was appropriate and didn’t need that option. Converting Names is a nicety that I suppose would be useful to those who merge data from other databases where the author has used a different name formatting style or have problems with their own formatting consistency. I’m not a fan of the merge process as I’ve had more clean up at times than its been worth.

    As far as Robert’s comment, there is no excuse for an upgrade not handling at least the size it did in previous versions. Seems like there are some database design and optimization issues to resolve. This is especially true with TGN’s agenda to try to get people to buy a subscription to utilize and download from member’s trees and merge data from its databases.

  3. Athena

    Support for all media files

    This is a misleading heading. FTM2008 doesn’t really “support” all media; it would be more accurate to say that it tolerates all file types. While it is true that a user can force linking to any kind of file, the application itself fails to recognize these objects for what they are and the results are very hit or miss when working through program functions.

    Address Report

    This is a good example of a feature that was designed without adequate focus on an actual end to end user scenario.

    FTM2008 introduced 2 significant changes that should have improved the usefulness of this report. They are: a) parental addresses are no longer inserted in the report entries for children and b) a new filter option has been added for custom reports that enables users to select records based on multiple criteria.

    Unfortunately, the value of these two changes has been considerably undermined by a design that ignores why users want an address report. One common reason one would want to print an address report would be to contact the listed individuals. In such cases, the user doesn’t just want a printed list, he wants to use the addresses; to export the report as a CSV file to generate mailing labels or form letters (i.e. for a reunion notice). As others have noted, the CSV export “feature” doesn’t support that. In other words, we now have report that is “better” than its FTM16 counterpart but is less flexible in the ways it can be used and is therefore less useful overall.

    FTM2008 is replete with this kind of limited vision and the result is all too frequently a net loss in actual usability. The net effect of these tradeoffs is a collection of features that have been degraded to the point that they satisfy the underlying user requirement in name only.

  4. Kevin

    Not sure where I should be asking this but….
    I ahve a number of individuals in my family who are known by other than their first names. e.g. Patrick Joseph Murphy known to all and sundry as Joe Murphy. I want to record the full name but I want trees etc to use the “name-in-use”. I’ve never been sure how to deal with this.
    In previous versions of FTM AKA you could either..
    enter Joe as AKA and display as Patrick Joseph “Joe” Murphy
    enter Joe Murphy as the AKA and substitute
    but not all reports behaved in the same way. I realise this is not just a query for the FTM 2008 team but also a wider discussion of best practice in recording genealogy.

  5. kay

    I need help. I bought Family Tree Maker 2008 and want to transfer my research information from into Family Tree Maker,
    How do I do this? where do I start?

  6. I have a tree in Family TreeMaker and one on I find it extremely frustrating that it is impossible to merge the two trees. Why are these two not made one. The redundancy is not only ineffective as a recording tool, it is terribly frustrating. I wind up never using Family Tree Maker. Next update will not be purchased by me. Each one is only more frustrating than the other because the main inefficency is never addressed.

  7. Linda


    I agree FTM 2008 is totally frustrating but I would never encourage anyone to maintain a tree online. FTM v 16 (aka 2006) is very good and still available. Competitors are much better than FTM 2008. Here are the reasons I would not maintain a tree online.

    1) Privacy and Identity Theft Concerns with putting living person information (names, dob, medical info, etc) on the tree. While you can privitize it (which I hope you do), the medical information and notes may still contain private information.
    2) obtains rights to the data when you upload (read the agreement). I don’t like that!
    3) Limitations of online trees in speed, performance, and features allowing effective management and reporting of the data. Quality genealogy software (I don’t include FTM 2008 as quality software) will always exceed online trees in capabilities and performance for managing and reporting data.
    4) Necessity to be online to update data if you have an online tree. Online connection services and Ancestry do go down. I find having FTM v 16 on a laptop convenient for recording while at a library, family history center, or at relatives.

    I also caution beginners about merging data from the ancestry databases and other online trees. You will eventually have a mess that you’ll have to clean up if you don’t pay close attention to what you are merging. In other words, don’t get mesmerized by Ancestry’s little leaves. In many cases, you will be led down the wrong path!

  8. Mary Tomcsanyi

    Hello, I’m sort of new to this blog. I received FTM 2008 as a Christmas gift and I installed it with no problems I thought but, now I get an error message that says “Authentication with the server failed”. I have tried to reinstall the software but, I still get the message. I can’t use the free subscription nor can I register my software because of this.
    What can I do to fix this?

  9. Linda


    This is not an unusual problem and there seems to be a variety of variables that cause it. I would suggest posting your issue to the Family Tree Maker message board at There are a lot of helpful people there who can work through the problem with you. You could also browse the messages and see if you can find the solution. There is one thread that has several messages on the authentication problem. Unlike the blog, you will get an email soon after someone responds so you don’t have to keep watching. Good luck!

  10. Mark

    Some functionality I would like to see in FT Maker are:
    1) Visual indication of a divorce i.e. =/= or something similar.
    2) Full tree back again – why was this taken out?
    3) Media files attached to marriage event – again why was this taken out?
    4) Ability to change individual box colour (i.e. if they were as yet unverified etc)

  11. Ted Pinelli

    I have a real issue with Backing up my tree from to my PC. We have several people who are adding data including photos. All photos ae lost during the export process to my PC. How do I get them back?

  12. Benjamin Nettesheim


    Another option is calling technical support at 1-800-262-3787. I know Member Services has seen this issue before and has helped a number of people resolve it.

  13. Susan Wahl

    I just loaded FTM 2008. I had decided it was about time I upgraded from FTM 7.5…
    My older version loads faster and works better. The new version locked up twice on install….and it is a pain to find what you are looking for…Who is the idiot responsible for this cheesy version?

  14. Cindy Major

    I would like for FTM 2008 to import my non-jpeg media files. I have many of these files. I recognize that I can manually link them all myself after the import is complete, but I would prefer that they be imported and linked similar to the jpegs.

  15. David Rawsthorne

    Susan, yes many users agree, but the programmers are doing a reasonable job at trying to fix the absolutely massive amount of errors, missing features, performance issues etc.

    If you update the program to the latest publically available update it does help, but not a huge amount. Service Pack 3 is currently being tested and helps a lot in regards to earlier issues, but it is still far from perfect.

    My bet is that when SP5 is released I’ll probably swap from V16 to 2008 🙂

  16. If I use only a report on a daughter of a family, why does the report not link in and place the parents names with the daughter instead of ignoring it? This was available in all previous versions.

  17. Philip Blander

    I just can’t get to to export my family tree to family tree maker. I see that I am not the only one with that problem.

  18. Tom Melton

    Thank you for updating us on these facts, Benjamin. I am glad that FTM2008 will support all media types. I am currently using FTM2006 and have in the scrapbook a wide variety of file types (e.g. doc,rtf,pdf,jpg). I am anxious to upgrade to FTM2008, but if I understand correctly, non-image files found in the scrapbook are currently not imported into FTM2008. Is there a plan to implement this capability, and if so, is there now a target release date for it.
    Thank you again,

  19. Kathy

    I bought Family Tree Maker and got the “My Family” version. I see that there are a number of versions and am curious as to the differences. I am on and have Gen Smarts, as well. Can I get more information from FTM if i buy another version?

  20. Exxport media from FTM 2008 to GEDCOM. I have not found a way to get all my information out of FTM 2008 into a standard GEDCOM file. the export excludes media. Is there a way to do this? If not, is there a plan to provide that feature? Are their 3rd parties who offer coverters?

  21. Kaylene

    Hi, is there a way 2 family members working from 2 different sites can update the same family tree? One of us has FTM 17th edition installed and we’d like to work on this rather than the family tree on the website.

  22. Avi Treistman

    I would like to see the ability to print the age of an individual in the various reports. It could be displayed as Age:70 or as 1930-2000.

Comments are closed.