Posted by Ancestry Team on August 31, 2010 in Family Tree Maker

You’ve been waiting patiently and it’s finally here! Family Tree Maker 2011 introduces more than 100 enhancements (many based on customer requests) to help you create your family story like never before. Here are just a few of the exciting new features you’ll enjoy:

  • Smart Stories—a narrative tool. If you’ve always wanted help starting your own family history book, this is the tool you’ve been waiting for. Smart Stories helps you quickly fill up those blank pages by letting you use facts, sources, and notes you’ve already entered in your tree. Simply drag-and-drop the text into your story. And smart story text is linked to your tree; if you make changes, text will be updated automatically.
  • New and improved charts. In addition to four new fan charts, you’ll be able to enhance your charts with new backgrounds, borders, and embellishments. You can even change fonts based on fact types.
  • New and improved reports. Ancestor and descendant reports have been improved and added to. You’ll also find a new Surname Report, the ability to sort custom reports, and the option to save and reuse report settings.
  • More Ancestry integration. has millions of members all over the world. And now you can find out which members are searching for your ancestors by viewing Member Connect activity in the expanded Web Dashboard. You’ll also see links to message boards and notification of your new Ancestry messages. In addition, uploading and downloading speeds have been improved.
  • New media management tools. Now you can drag-and-drop, cut-and-paste, and even categorize multiple items at the same time. You’ll also find a new tool that helps you locate missing media files.

To view or download a PDF list of the new enhancements, click here. To purchase Family Tree Maker 2011, click here.

Also, in coming weeks I’ll be writing about how to use some of these new features. Please come back to the blog to learn more and also to let others knows how 2011 is working for you.


  1. Patrick

    I have basically the same questions Tana! You told us back on April 28th that we’d have a Mac Version soon. That’s been over 4 months ago now with no additional updates or announcements.

    Can you please give us an update? When can we expect to see this long awaited and highly anticipated version? C’mon Tana, we won’t hold you to an exact date. We’re just trying to get a handle on when we can expect it and to verify that it the Mac Version hasn’t been shelved again!

  2. Jim Brengle

    We know 2010’s format differed dramatically from, say Version 16 / 2006. Does 2011 adhere to the 2010 format, or is it different in any material way? I confess I do not find 2010 user friendly, at least for me. Will 2011 be any better?


  3. Tana L. Pedersen

    It looks like there others as excited as I am about the Mac release! To answer your questions: Yes the Mac version is still on; it on schedule to be released within the next two months. And just to make you jealous…I have been using it for the last couple months and it’s great. Looks like I can finally ditch my PC laptop.

  4. While I’ll agree that some of the updates are really neat to perform new tasks and utilize the software and the website further, it seems that this software never issues free updates as the other software packages do. At almost $28 we’re paying close to new price and some of us have done this since 1995! I cannot recall when FTM started charging for updates to the software, but It’s certainly getting a bit tiresome.

  5. Jennifer

    I was excited to see “Better performance—Upload and download trees from the Internet with increased speed.”

    However, are there any plans to include a feature that syncs your online Ancestry tree and your FTM tree?

  6. Valerie

    Also for the Mac version, will a free demo download be available? I’ve been working in Reunion for 8 years – I’m not about to switch to FTM unless I know that my Gedcom will be fully supported (sources, images, notes, etc).

  7. Marsha D L

    The 2011 update features sound good, yet don’t solve my top request. Synchronization. Are there any plans to include a feature that syncs your online Ancestry tree and your FTM tree?

  8. Marsha Re: # 11

    Now that Ancestry has FTM2011 out of the way and FTM-MAC due to be released withing two months there is no earthly reason that Full Synchronization shouldn’t be placed at the top of thier “To_Do” list.

    In fact, I would go so far as to urge *ALL* FTM users to contact Ancestry now and let them know that if Full Synch isn’t part of FTM2012 then they will chose to not purchase FTM until it is part of the release.

    If there are technical barriers to this bring done then they should inform their users as to exactly why it can’t be done so they can quit asking for the impossible. The loyal users of FTM deserve no less.

  9. Congratulations. As always a few hiccups –

    1) The new feature list PDF file name is 2001!

    2) I notice that the registration banner on 2011 says “Welcome to FTM 2008”!

    And while not a Mac user personally, good to finally hear of the schedule.

    Oh and I agree to some degree with Andy H about synchronization.

    And with CC about the update costs. I proposed many years ago that even if you got die hard users to pay a $10 annual subscription you would have a better user-base because we wouldn’t have to keep forking out the $30 to $40. (Using the old K-Mart philosophy – sell more cheaply and you’ll make more money if you sell it at an expensive price.)

    2010SP01 Sydney Australia

  10. Norman D Ackert

    Another $32.00. I have been with FTM since back in the 90’s and agree that the 2010 left a little bit to be desired on being friendlier to use. If I have to continue paying for every up date it should correct errors on past programs which would be to make is easier. I consider myself a novice after probably working with FTM since #3. Norm

  11. Stacie

    I have to agree with all here…

    Been a VERY long time user [#3 maybe?], but only upgrade every 3 or 4 years due to cost and the fact that I hated the last upgrade I bought because the features I LIKED about FTM were gone!

    Synchronization needs to be top priority – or at least stop giving me hints to my own online tree!

    I’d also like to block hints from specific trees – I’m all for sharing my information, but I get tired if ignoring hints to my own information that someone added to their tree.

  12. Mea culpa!

    Re-installing I’ve noticed that –

    (from my earlier post)

    “2) I notice that the registration banner on 2011 says “Welcome to FTM 2008″!”

    HAS in fact been fixed and reads 2011!

    2010SP01 09:20

  13. Cindie

    Yes, I wish for the OS X version. I thought that it was suppose to be out sometime soon. I’m bummed.

  14. Carol Carter

    Add me to the list of people who greatly desire synchronization between trees in FTM and trees on the web site. It’s because of the lack of it that I only use the online trees to test genealogical theories before committing them to FTM.

  15. Bill D

    I totally agree with CC. At $28 every year for updates and postage it comes to $35, if we want to update why can’t we download the new FTM verison from the internet at a reduced up grade price.

  16. Tony Knight

    After using FTM since v4, I jumped ship to RootsMagic4 last week.Gone are the constant crashes and the waiting while screens change/update. It may lack some of the fancy features, but I don’t use them in any event and want primarily something to manage my data quickly and efficiently
    FTM may be fine for those with smaller databases, but with mine at 92000 it is simply no good. The problems seem to start at as low as 20000 individuals.
    Perhaps the final straw was reading reports on the message board on Rootsweb that support was telling people to split their databases to get round the problems.

  17. John Donaldson

    #21 Karen

    FTM 2011 installs as a separate program and does not install over the top of any FTM program.

    On my computer, I have FTM 16, 2009, 2010 and 2011 all instralled and if you wish you can have them all running if you have enough computer resources eg RAM

    John D

  18. Patrick

    Hi again Tana,

    Re your response to our relentless Mac questions in the first three comments, thanks so much for the update you provided! I’m very pleased to know that we are finally getting close, and yes, I must admit that I am a bit jealous! Is there any need for Beta testers for the new Mac Version? If so, please accept this as my offer to help.



  19. Alex Friedlander

    I have tried using FTM 2010 but still find FTM 16 more user friendly. One serious deficiency in FTM 2010 is that unlike FTM 16 you cannot backup to internet storage, which I pay a modest fee each year to use and find extremely valuable. Has FTM 2011 incorporated that feature?

  20. Tana L. Pedersen

    Hopefully I can answer some of the questions that have been posted.

    Jim, the 2011 format and interface is the same as 2010. I’m sorry you don’t find it user-friendly. I know that some people find the interface intimidating because so much information is displayed at once. Try customizing the panels to display only what you want. And don’t give up. You may find that the newness wears off and that it gets more user-friendly the more you use it.

    Stacie, I can understand not wanting to get hints from your own online tree. You get excited when that green leaf appears and then to see it’s your own information is a downer! Although it’s not a perfect solution, you can choose to ignore specific hints so they don’t appear again and in 2010 and 2011 you have the option to ignore hints from all online trees.

    Bill, I love the idea of being able to download upgrades from the website (and the reduced cost). I’ll be sure to pass that on.

    Alex, the Internet backup option hasn’t been available since Version 16 and is not included in 2011. I wonder how many others like you use–and love–this service. Anyone else out there with the same issue?

    And for the big question. Syncing between Ancestry Member Trees and Family Tree Maker trees. What can I say? After getting a Mac version, this has been my top enhancement wish. I’m with you and hope that it happens sooner rather than later.

  21. Terri

    I purchased the upgrade, but I would love to be able to upload my FTM 2010 tree, with media, which is very large to without any problem. Or, as #12 suggested, be able to do a Full Synchronization. When will that be available? I am told it is not with 2011. BTW, I love FTM!

  22. Forrest

    I want to know if it will create a book, and export that book reliably to the PDF format using Windows 7 on a 64-bit computer. If not, forget it.

  23. Cindy

    I long to have the Mac version as well. Can’t wait ! I have some major catching up to do. Pls don’t let it take more than 2 more months.

  24. Lynn

    First-off, this is an acknowledgment that this is me being excited to try the new FTM version as well as being impatient at the same time … but assuming others have the same question … for those of us in the U.S. who pre-ordered FTM 2011 in the store, has the software shipped yet. I anxiously opening my mail box today, after John Donaldson (#22) share he already had FTM 2011 on his computer, but no software package was amongst my mail. Based upon John’s prior postings, I know he does not live in the US – so for those of who do and pre-ordered FTM 2011, please let us know if the software was shipped (and yes, I know, it will likely be in my mail box tomorrow … but could not resist asking). Thanks!

  25. Les McFadzen

    1. Synchronization is a priority.
    2. Better control of Ancestry hints is a priority.
    3. Downloadable upgrades from the website is a priority.

    When will the Direct Descendant chart, not available since Version 16, be reinstated?

    So far the only improvement over Version 16 is the ability to enter names in non-English characters, but each new release gets closer.

  26. John Donaldson

    Lynn # 32

    I have a copy of FTM 2011 because I do some testing for Ancestry. I have been testing FTM for about 15 years.

    This is quite common for experienced users to test software before it is released.

    My possession of a copy of the program does not imply that I have a commercial CD. I undertand that in fact CDs are only just starting to ship in the US.

    John D

  27. @Andy Hatchet:

    Andy, I’m with you all the way. Once the MAC version goes live, Ancestry indeed owes it to get into the business of the cloud (i.e. anywhere synchronization). I feel confident that is the plan, since so much discussion has revolved around it over the past year.


  28. Anne Re: #38

    When you will receive it is based on several variables…

    1) When did you pre-order
    2) How many preordered ahead of you
    3) How many orders can Ancestry process a day
    4) How long order transit time takes.

    Bottom line- your guess is as good as mine.

  29. David S C Wilson

    As a follow-up question, can someone advise when the Upgrade version will be sent to the UK and would they also confirm the US$ charges will be payable and NOT the UK stirling.

  30. Lynn

    Anne #38

    My FTM 2011 software arrived yesterday (since this blog has a global audience; I am located in the US).

    FTM 2011 loaded very easily as well as it appears to have seamlessly transferred my FTM 2010 file. I will continue to explore the features in FTM 2011, but based upon my initial review the software appears to have minor enhancements and is very similar to FTM 2010. I look forward to learning further about the enhancements during the Sept. 15th FTM 2011 webinar.

  31. Billy J. Sanders

    I have 0rdered 2011 8/7/2010. Why haven’t I received my order. A few days ago I contacted you and you said it has been shipped.

  32. Billy J. Sanders

    Verrsio 16 was the best. I have purchased Census Cd’s etc from Ancestry and have been unable to read them on your versions since it was upgrated to 2008, 2009, 2010. Why don’t you include this feature in your current version.

  33. John Donaldson

    Anne # 38

    FTM 2011 has over 100 enhancements over FTM 2010. I suggest you “keep looking” or have a look at the Companion Guide that shipped with your CD

    John D

  34. Kathy Oathout

    We received our copy today (US). It installed fine on my laptop along with ver 2009. It does seem to be a bit slower, but I went into preferences and noticed my internet speed was off. Changing that helped quite a bit. After seeing the demos in Knoxville, I think this was a worthwhile upgrade, but I really would like to see World members get any upgrades free if downloaded and for a shipping fee only if a CD is desired.

    I am going to explore some further and see what happens with my file.

  35. Candace Lundgren

    I too have been waiting for the Mac version. I expected it by now and instead we have the PC version. Please hurry!

  36. Derric Scott

    I got FTM 2011 yesterday and easily loaded it up and it looks good. However:

    When I pull up hints in the “Web Search” window, in FTM 2010 and earlier my habit was usually to put the mouse on the hotlink (say on “1870 U S Federal Census”) and right-click and use the “Open Link in a New Window” choice to open a full browser with the record in question. Then I can easily explore all sorts of things related to the record without losing my place in the FTP “Web Search” window. (In fact, I’d open lots of windows from lots of the links at the same time!)

    With FTM 2011 the right button doesn’t seem to do anything when I right click on the hotlinks!!!!

    Unless there’s a way to make this work, this will seriously hinder the speed of use of FTM hints! 🙁


  37. J Hintz

    Book conversion has apparently not changed since the first attempt. There is a disclaimer that the converted books are only a template, but you could get the same by looking at your old Table of Contents.
    I received no error messages transferring from V.16, but one converted book blows off with a Microsoft error after several hours trying to generate a preview. Another claims two reports are missing from the book though they’re there in the old file. Preview thinks it has several hundred pages though the original ‘book’ with the reports is 33 pages.
    If you’re doing a book, plan to start over.

  38. James

    #51 Other:

    I had to split my database up in in version 16 when the database reached the file size limit of 2GB. Now in version 2010, one of the files has the following statistics:

    122MB Database file size.
    355,696 Records
    118,622 Facts
    25,234 People
    115,576 Source Links
    18,000 Media Items (Mostly Census, Military, Birth Images).

    The secomd file has roughly the same statistics.


  39. Derric Scott

    FTM 2011 is working fine so far. However the “Merge” button is taking a lot longer to light up than it used to. Does the “Internet speed” setting influence that in any way? I’m waiting, literally, several minutes for it to become usable. The behavior of that button changed from ’09 to ’10 and now it seems to have changed again. Is there an explanation? My Internet speed is in the 200k bps range.



  40. Dave Locke

    Just installed FTM 2011. One of my favorite reports is the timeline one. However, I notice that only World Events show in the report and I can find no option anywhere to include all historical events.

    Perhaps I’m overlooking something.

  41. Paul Callahan

    Hmmm…no synchronization? I have been using and finally decided to try FTM, so I went for FTM 2011…only to find out that there is no synch. I have over 2,500 people in one of my trees. I can’t believe this feature is not in FTM 2011.

  42. Carol

    I’m also disappointed that synch is not available again in the 2011 version. Add me to the list of people who will hold off on buying another update until you offer that feature. It seems more and more that Ancestry is focusing on the “bells and whistles” while ignoring a serious functionality flaw.

  43. Chuck Willford

    For those in the synchronization doldrums, what other software has that feature?????

    I’m just curious?


  44. I am very disappointed with 2011. Recently my 2010 stopped showing the merge option and now the 2011 doesn’t show it either. And the relationship option is just as bad as 2010. My 20th great grandfather shows up as my uncle but his father, son and granddaughter show up as my grandparents. On 2008 and 2009 he is shown as my grandfather and his wife were both my grandparents; now she is my uncles’ wife. What good is my subscription to ancestry if I can’t merge new information to my tree? Shirley

  45. I am very disappointed with 2011. Recently my 2010 stopped showing the merge option and now the 2011 doesn’t show it either. And the relationship option is just as bad as 2010. My 20th great grandfather shows up as my uncle but his father, son and granddaughter show up as my grandparents. On 2008 and 2009 he is shown as my grandfather and his wife were both my grandparents; now she is my uncles’ wife. What good is my subscription to ancestry if I can’t merge new information to my tree? Shirley

  46. Chuck,

    To the best of my knowledge – none.

    Then again, I know of no other genealogical site that allows posting of trees that produces its own stand alone software package that can be used both offline and online.

  47. Dennis Dwyer

    So from what I’m reading FTM 2011 is still lacking some of the features that user’s have been clammoring for over the past few releases including reinstating some of those that were lost between v16 and 2010. I do IT for a living so I’m not so foolish as to believe that they will be able to build a product with all features that have been requested by users, but with as many requests that have been received for syncing with you would think they would have made that their top priority. Looks like the FTM version for MAC beat that out. I guess I’ll continue using for now and see what happens with FTM 2012 before I make that first purchase.

  48. Everyone keeps asking for “Synching”- but what exactly do they mean?

    Consider the following:

    1). When would this synching happen?
    a). Automatically at sign on?
    b). Automatically at sign off?
    c). Manually at the user’s direction?

    2). What would be synched?
    a). Everything that had changed?
    b). Only changes made to the online AMT?
    c). Only changes made to the FTM file?
    d). Any changes marked by the user?

    3). What about changes that concerned private info you didn’t want shown?

    These are just a few of the considerations involved in implementing the Synch function.

    I’d suggest that everyone asking for that function really consider exactly how you envision the function will work and then post about it so that Ancestry has an idea of what you really want.

    Synch can be done several different ways and it would be a shame to keep asking for a function and then wind up with something no one really likes.

  49. Chuck Willford

    I just received and installed 2011 FTM. I can see no visual difference or any significant differnce. It is a complete waste of money for normal users searching for historical data and merging those results. I always buy the latest software for the products I am using. This is the most disappointing package ever. The biggest issue is that it is 20% slower at a minimum. I have high speed internet and have used FTM since v 16. I am so disappointed at the loss of speed; mouse clicks take forever.

    Stay away from this version until something gets FIXED.

    I’m going back to 2010 tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!

    BOO Ancestry.


  50. Michael B

    I just upgraded to FTM2010 from v16 (been using since v4 or earlier). The only reason I did was because v16 would not install on Win7x64. Not pleased with the “improvements” (not intuitive, report limits imposed such as only 4 generations on some reports where I used to get 12).

    FTM2011 sounds like I’d do better saving my money. Not enough there to get me to pony up near full price for incremental changes. If someone wants to prove otherwise, please do. But I’m currently underwhelmed with FTM2010 and FTM2011.


  51. Christine Macke

    I have a large tree with 33600 people, 10,245 marriages. I loaded 2011 yesterday, Not impressed. Changes are not readily apparent. I was excited about the enhanced charts but as slow as this program moves, I haven’t gotten there yet. Talk about slow. Crashes are frequent, more than 2010 (which crashes more than it should, figure it is the size of my file). I just checked my internet speed in preferences and reset that as suggested, hope that helps the search function speed but what about the time it takes to move between screens. I was an early 2009 user and switched back to 16 until 2010 came out. Considering dumping 2011 already.

  52. Leigh Morgan

    I bought 2010 (UK) a couple of weeks ago along with a World subscription – total cost around £70. I didn’t know there was a 2011 version pending, I have to assume I’ll get a free upgrade to 2011. I’m a bit surprised the sales process didn’t advise me to wait for the 2011 release.

    I have to agree with the people who ask for a web download too; practically no software is available only as a CD/DVD install these days.

    As I new user I was very surprised to see there is no synchronisation with an on-line tree. The questions raised by Andy Hackett (comment 61) are valid, but it is surely Ancestry’s responsibility to do the analysis and only ask the user base for information where there’s a clear dilemma. In general it should be user configurable; all of the options in Andy’s post should be managed as a user preference in the software.

  53. WJ Henderson

    Well 2010 FTM was an excellent improvement to its past three versions. I am glad that FTM and Microsoft got together on this build. These two company’s have proved that they can work together. Microsoft with its Areo package has made adding data to FTM simply easier. Working with two programs at the same time on one screen is a vast improvement. FTM and Ancestry working to improve it interaction between programs has been a big plus. I have read these posts, and am surprised that some are upset with newer improvements. I have been using FTM for fifteen years now, had times when I actually shopped to for another program when two or three years ago their upgrade was a disaster. I am glad to see the improvements since and welcome more improvements.
    I have one thing for you to consider. Since Obituary’s are an important source for this program, I think that you should consider a small check to mark the program when an obit is added to the program. Printing a list of needed obituarys will speed up the process and eliminate looking for members that do not have an obit, which takes for ever.
    I am very pleased with the newest version and look forward to more improvements.
    Thank you for a great program

  54. Joe Brown

    Full Synchronization is needed. I would want all my data in FTM to automatically synch with the Ancestry site so that anything I change or add at either site would automatically be in the other file. I would love to put my data on Ancestry, but typing the same data or merging the same data twice is too time consuming.

    It would be great to log into Ancestry on my iPad and look up something, but with synchronization it “ain’t gona happen”.

    As to back-up, I use Mozy Home which backs up my selected files twice per day automatically. So internet back-up is already happing for me. I do not know why anyone would not be using Mozy or Carbonite to protect all the files on there computer that they have created and do not want lost forever.

  55. Catherine A. McBride

    I would like to beable to just have 2011 put in to 2010 the new things that were added to 2011 not the whole program as i messed up in 2010 and had both programs 2009 and 2010 on my computer and no one could figure how to get only one program one after i had gotten both of them on my computer I had to get a new computer to just put 2010 on with all the information i had in it, I still have my computer with both programs in it and it used up all the memory in it but was afraid of loseding 40 years of work that i had put into it . so could you please tell me how to just get the new things off 2011 to put into 2010 with out a full program of 2011 as i don’t want to wipe out memory again with this new one.

  56. Richard L. Anderson

    After reading all of the comments concerning the new kid on the block–FTM-2011.I would sure not run out and make purchase until I can be convinced it is any better than 2010. I have upgraded each year at the tune of $30+ since v-4 and I still think FTM Ver 16 is the most frindly and serves those who use it very well. I have both v-16 and 2010 on my laptop Windows 7X64 load both V’s with out any problems.
    Richard L. Anderson

  57. Ginnie Davis

    Just rec. 2011. Have spent most of the day getting frustrated at how long it takes to do anything. The Merge button is by far the worst time consumer, but you also wait after you enter data for a husband & try to click over to enter data for the wife. High speed internet & high speed computers can’t do a thing with a snail paced program. I’m going back to 2010.

  58. Tony Knight


    Contained within my database is a one name study of the name Werrett and its variations so I have far more individuals than if I simply limited myself to my own family.
    The amount of source documentation varies from individual to individual. There may be none at all where for instance I come across a reference to person on the internet and enter them for future reference. There may be large amounts. If you take 1930 US census images, my number system in my control spreadsheet shows I have processed approaching 5000.
    I have been working for over 15 years and am now retired, so have plenty of time to research

  59. Kathy Marie

    Following is a discussion of what I think is a program “Bug” in FTM 2011 when attempting to generate a “Timeline Report.”

    I am sending this information to the Family Tree Maker Blog and at the same time also directly reporting it to the Support Group as a “Bug.”

    The reason for sending it to the Blog is to let other users see it and if they are having similar problems to discuss it on the Blog and maybe even determine what causes it if it turns out not to be a “Bug.”

    In FTM 2010 and FTM 2011 a user can view a Timeline in two different places. (1) They can generate it and view it in the “Publish” area and (2) they can view it in the “People” Area by clicking on “Person” Tab and then clicking on the “Timeline” Tab. The only difference I can see between viewing and printing the Timeline Report is that in FTM 2010 the user can’t print the Timeline Report from the “People” Area (They have to go to the Publish area to print the report) whereas in FTM 2011 they can see the Timeline and print the Timeline Report from either area

    FTM 2010 seems to work fine, i.e. the Timeline is generated and shown in BOTH the “People” Area and the “Publish” Area and the Timeline Report can be printed from the Publish Area. (This is my experience – I have ALWAYS been able to see the Timeline in FTM 2010 in the “People” Area for EVERY Person in my data base and have ALWAYS been able to generate and print a Timeline Report for EVERY Person in my data base from the “Publish” Area.)

    FTM 2011 is a DIFFERENT story. In ALL cases in FTM 2011 the user can see the Timeline in the “People” Area (for all the people in the data base), BUT in SOME cases the Timeline Report CANNOT be generated for SOME people from the “Publish” Area. When trying to generate the report in the “Publish” Area [AGAIN FOR JUST SOME PEOPLE] the System attempts to generate the report, but no report is generated and the screen ends up being blank and the page numbering shows “Page 0 of 0.”

    If the user attempts to print the blank Timeline Report while in the “Publish” Area the System “Bombs” and shuts down, and if the user moves back to the “People” Area where the Timeline can be seen and attempts to print the report the system again “Bombs.”

    I have been unable to determine why some Timeline Reports in FTM 2011 can be generated in the “Publish” Area for CERTAIN people, but for other CERTAIN people it cannot, but have been unable to see a pattern

    Thinking I might have a corrupted file or some other problem I exported my (SAME EXACT) file from FTM 2006 to both FTM 2010 and FTM 2011. In both cases the Systems were able to import the data with no errors and the resulting statistics were exactly the same for FTM 2010 as they were for FTM 2011. I also ran an error report for both the resulting FTM 2010/2011 data bases to see if I had any “detached” persons. In both cases, there were no detached persons in the data bases.

    This leads me to the conclusion that as far as FTM 2010 and FTM 2011 are concerned they are both indicating the data bases are the same and the data bases are not causing the problem. Also the Reports work just fine in FTM 2010. Hence, I am led to the conclusion there is a programming error in FTM 2011 when attempting to generate a Timeline Report for certain people. I note that the information provided with FTM 2011 indicates the FTM 2011 data structure seems to have been rewritten from what existed in FTM 2010. Perhaps this change in data structure is leading to the “Bug.”


  60. Chris R

    Interesting to see people complaining about the price. You should be so lucky! In the UK FTM 2011 isn’t due out until 1st October, and it will cost £39.99 for the deluxe edition and £59.99 for the platinum edition. These translate to around $60 and $90 at the current exchange rate. It does come with 3 or 6 month subscription to Ancestry (Essentials only) at that price, but doesn’t seem available without it. There never appears to be an upgrade price either. Although the list of enhancements looks interesting I doubt if I will be investing. I’ll wait until Ancestry get the 1911 England Census, and then wait again for the best deal on Amazon.


  61. S. Larsen

    Will there be a danish translation.

    Or is it now just for the english language.

    The last we got was V16.

    Nu luck with support.

  62. erin

    This discussion has been very helpful to me. My husband just purchased 2010 for me. He did not know about 2011, and since we have not opened the box, i can return 2010.

    I’m extremely interested in the Smart Stories in 2011 and cannot seem to figure out from the web what the difference is?

    Is there something similiar on 2010 (maybe it’s just called notes)

    When i share with my family, they get “confused” by the charts, and really just want to know the “stories”, so i do the documentation for myself and attempt word pages for stories.

    I’ve moved quite a bit and so i only have paper copies of my genealogy and no computer data entry.

    Either 2010 or 2011 will be my “first” computer experience in saving the data….

    If someone can compare the versions in this area, i’d appreciate it

    1.) Smart Stories and whatever it may be called on 2010, or if i have to do my own word documents

    2.) in the older 2010 version is all media on one page or section?

    and in 2011 is that what they mean by it can be stored for each individual?

    Thank you,

    erin J.

  63. erin

    Kathy # 73

    Thankyou for sharing the possible “bug”….Timelines are also an important feature for me, so, I’m looking forward to see how this resolves itself

    Erin J

  64. Walker

    I agree with cc and some of the others who purchased the software recently. I bought the 2010 version in August 2010, then 2011 comes out in September 2010. There is not a free upgrade offer like other softwares do given the timeframe of purchase.

  65. Tony Knight

    Chris R

    I assume you will be able to buy an upgrade in due course from places like S & N genealogy who for instance have the 2010 upgrade at £17.35 reduced from the recommended price of £19.95.

  66. Rich T.

    I just received my copy of FTM 2011. I am paying an annual fee for internet backup, how do I do this on this version.

  67. Harry Poole

    We’re running FTMaker 2010 and just purchased FTM 2011. We want to upgrade to the new version but we are nervous about destroying/corrupting the work we’ve done in FTM 2010 which includes over 50,000 names, 15,000 media files and all the assorted notes, etc. Please reassure us that the upgrade is a no brainer and SPECIFICALLY the steps on how to handle it. Note: We have every file backed up to: 1) an external hard drive, 2) on-line backup (the Cloud) and 3) BluRay disk. So you can see that we are slightly paranoid about losing data. Any help, guidance, etc. is appreciated. Thanks.

  68. Kevin Price

    I installed 2011 FTM this weekend. I had 2008 and the new one is okay. It’s not difficult to use or navigate, It looks like the newer/expanded report types will be good. The only downside so far is that I cannot actually open or create any charts/reports; the FTM 2011 crashes,everytime. I’ll try the 29 steps suggested, to correct it, but this didnt happen with 2008.

  69. Randy Crain

    Installed FTM 2011 yesterday, so far has locked up my computer once yesterday and again just now. It also looks just like 2010

  70. Will the Mac version use the same database file as the Windows 2011 version? I don’t see why they shouldn’t be identical. I have a Windows 7 desktop and Mac OSx Laptop and need to be able to add updates to the database from either platform.

    I just ordered the 2011 update for Windows. I hope it has the charting features of the 2005 version. Forcing all the boxes to be the same width is nuts. My chart is off the wall expense wise. Over $400 to print it.

    I sure want to add pictures to the descendant report. Hope I can. Bet I won’t be able to.

    We’ll see soon enough. Kevin P’s crashing doesn’t sound good.

  71. Darrell Wesley

    On the cost issue, as a former paid subsciber to they would send you a FREE copy of the latest version of FTM each year.

    Why why not get a FREE copy with a paid subscription to

  72. Darrell Wesley

    I hope the new register reports includes the capabilty to have the primary photo sho up next to the persons main entry in the report.

  73. Mark Oehler

    Just the other day my wife mentioned that we hadn’t updated our family tree in many years. Knowing that we had an old version of FTM (5, I think), I thought I’d take a look at the comments on FTM 2011, and y’all are scaring me. Maybe we’d be better off trying to load the old version onto our Vista machine and not settle for any frustrating upgrades??

  74. Robert Morgan

    I received FTM 2011 yesterday (upgrade from FTM 16) and love it, especially the reporting, new task features, and the way it integrates with On the downside it is definitely a bit slower (but I only have about 800 in my tree). One thing I have discovered is the way it reports relationships on the kinship report. For example, my father’s reported relationship to my (half) sister in FTM 16 is correctly reported as “Ex Husband of the Mother” but in FTM 2011 is reported as “Stepfather.” I believe the former description is more accurate, will take that up with Ancestry.

  75. Gregg Lindblom

    I have been using FTM 2011 for about a week now and I have been very frustrated with how much slower it is than FTM 2010. If I enter a date in a date field and then move to a new field, the software does not respond for several seconds. The same goes for entering a place name. It acts like it is performing a new database search each time I move from one field to the next. This behavior has slowed me WAY down. I have been reading the boards and I see that I am not the only one with this type of problem.

    That said, I have gone back to using FTM 2010 so I can get some research done in a timely fashion, despite the fact that FTM 2010 periodically crashes when manipulating images. I will keep an eye on the boards to see if things improve for everyone before I switch back.

    BTW, I also agree that I would love to have FTM “synchronize” with my online tree. I have stopped updating my online tree because it takes too much time to duplicate all the work.

  76. Lauri

    I just upgraded from FTM2006, and only did it because I got a new computer with Windows7 and Charting Companion didn’t work anymore so decided to make the leap.

    I like some of the new features but the screens are very busy. I think I’ll get used to it, but like many comments, I don’t think keeping current with FTM software is necessary. Did hope I didn’t need to upgrade CC software but think it will be necessary for “pretty” and compact charts.

  77. Joan

    You can complain about paying for updates but I JUST finally bought 2010 about 3 months ago, now I have to pay again. I finally bought when I heard 2010 has books in it again but I find that it’s not user friendly or intuitive. I’m always trying to remember how to find one feature or another.

  78. I really love V16 the best, I also have upgraded each year but always found myself retruning to V16. I found it the most user friendly and did much more though searchs and retrieved the most data. The hints I get are not as in depth with 2010. I reacently got a new computer with Windows 7 and FTM 16 is not compatable with it and I have had to stop using it and this is very frustrating. I really wish FTM would bring out a newer version of 16, it was the best.

  79. erin

    Smart stories…..I found a link that shows the page for 2011, and i see that 2011 has “easier and drop downs, etc.”

    My question…..Is there anything like this on 2010, without drop downs, but a place to store stories or do most people use WORD ?

    Thank you,

    Still havent opened 2010 and hope to find answers to decide if 2011 would be better

  80. erin

    2nd question regarding “slower”….

    IS 2011 slower because people have transferred information?

    Is anyone out there a first time user, and just starting out with 2011, and is it slow as far as data entry in that respect?

    Are there bugs with every update? and since they’ve worked out most of 2010, is it better to start with 2010 and WAIT till 2015 or so when all the above “difficulties have been delt with?

    really hate to start inputing data if it’d be better to do it on 2011

    (i have paper trails to 1600 on one side, and 1760 on another…..dont know how many names that is or families, but lots of photo copies from when i did this 14 years ago and didnt know how to use a computuer…..

    after reading all these comments, i’m tempted to join ancestry and just use the online system….

    overwhelmed, eager to start, baffled and confused,


  81. Tony Knight

    Whether you have problems with speed in FTM seems to depend on the size of your database. If it is a few thousand individuals or less then it appears there won’t be any. Unfortunately it appears from comments that with FTM2011 the threshold, which with FTM2010 was somewhere above 9000, has lowered to no more than 7000.

    This is a programming problem which is illustrated by the fact that some other programs do not suffer from it.
    I would like to see Tana make a meaningful comment on this and solve the problem either in a patch of in FTM2012 so that I can return to the FTM fold.

  82. Kat

    Received Family Tree Maker 2011 and am anxious to
    try it out. Problem is that it won’t install!
    (I have Windows XP SP3)

    I get an error message that my computer needs
    Microsoft.NET Framework 3.5 SP1. Have tried down-
    loading that without success. Have tried manually
    downloading FTM 2011 to my desktop, but still no

    Have spent many hours trying various things to no

    Well, shoot it’s not heavy enough for a doorstop…. Now what??

  83. Kathy Marie


    I have ONLY been able to show Name, Birth, Death and Marriage source citations on the Ahnentafel and Descendant Reports in FTM 2011.

    As an example:
    I am able to able to set the fact options for the reports to include both preferred and non preferred facts
    And I am able to include, say, the “Residence Fact”
    And I am able to set the options for the Residence Fact to include Date, Place and Description
    And I am able to set the report to “Include Sources”
    And I am able set the report to “list non-vital facts separately”

    When I generate the report it shows the Residence Fact listed separately and shows the Date, Place and Description for the Residence Fact

    BUT, the Residence Fact does not show the Source Citation Number associated with the fact nor is there a source listed at the end of the repot indicating that the Residence Fact has a source.

    I have over 1000 Sources in my Data Base and over 9,000 Source Citations linked to the Sources—–BUT the only source citations that appear on either of the FTM 2011 reports are those dealing with Name, Birth, Death and Marriage.

    I note that I am easily able to obtain these Citations on the Register and Ahnentafel reports in both FTW 2006 v16 and FTM 2010

    Does anyone know why I am unable to do this?


  84. Tana L. Pedersen

    Thanks to everyone of you who has asked questions and left comments. I apologize for not being able to answer every question and appreciate those of you who jump in to help.

    I realize that synchronization is a much desired enhancement for Family Tree Maker users, so I asked if there was more I could post that would clarify the company’s position on the issue. Here’s the official statement. “Our customers frequently ask for more ability to synchronize and transfer data between Family Tree Maker and Ancestry Member Trees, and we want to assure you that we are listening. This is a complex issue and while we cannot say for certain when it will be resolved, it is an important priority that we are actively working on.”

  85. James

    I’ve started new trees to try out the new version and things seemed to be reasonable with respect to speed, other features seemed to work well. On my main database (~25,000 persons, ~350,000 records), speeds were similar to version 2008 speeds.



  86. Haydn

    Thanks Tana for the update on synchronization. The sooner Ancestry get this feature sorted the better in my opinion.


  87. Kathy Marie

    #99 James referring to #97 Kathy

    James’ comment
    Make sure you have Sources: Include Sources selected in the report options (Itemns to Include).


    James – I did set (check the box) “Include sources” on the “Items to Include” window.

    See my original list, repeated below
    I am able to able to set the fact options for the reports to include both preferred and non preferred facts
    And I am able to include, say, the “Residence Fact”
    And I am able to set the options for the Residence Fact to include Date, Place and Description
    And I am able to set the report to “Include Sources”
    And I am able set the report to “list non-vital facts separately”

    I do get a list of sources and a source citation number associated with Name, Birth, Marriage and Death facts

    I do get the other NON Name, Birth, Death, and Marriage facts listed in the report. For example I do get , say, the Residence fact listed (separately)in the report


    The only source citation numbers and sources I get on the report are those dealing with Name, Birth, Death and Marriage

    Are you or any other user reading this blog able to generate a source citation number and associated source listed at the bottom of the report for any fact other than Name, Birth, Death and Marriage


  88. James

    #102 Kathy:

    Thanks for getting back. I ran a report in 2011 and all facts have source citations associated with them, including Residence, etc., etc. If you want to discuss this further, email me.



  89. James

    Here’s an example (source links are in brackets [xxx])

    More About Frederick August Albert Bauer:
    Burial: 1976 in Niles, Berrien County, Michigan
    Residence: 1900 in Niles, Berrien County, Michigan[28]
    Residence: 1910 in Niles, Berrien County, Michigan[112, 115]
    Residence: Sep 1917 in Berrien County, Michigan[111, 114]
    Residence: 1920 in Niles Ward 2, Berrien, Michigan[117]
    Residence: 1930 in Niles, Berrien County, Michigan[113, 116]

  90. Annie P

    Like a previous poster, I too, am very disappointed right-clicking is not allowed in the web-search feature. This slows my searching down and I loose my bunny trail train-of-thoughts. If I need to format something somewhere to allow it, please let me know.

  91. JB

    I am a first time user of FTM. I NEVER would have bought it if I had realized it does not sync with

    What a waste of my money. I imported my tree from Ancestry and assumed that whatever I did in FTM I would be able to upload to Why would I want too different “tree makers” that I have to update individually?

    I also noticed after I imported my online tree to FTM the hints which show up in FTM have never shown up online. That seems very odd to me.

    I am relatively new to all this have only been doing it for about 18 months.

    I really am disappointed. I don’t think it was clear at all in the information about FTM that is didn’t Sync. I figured if Google Calendar and Sync with my outlook and with a smart phone then why wouldn’t FTM sync with

    I feel tricked and cheated.

  92. Steve

    Is there a reason why FTM 2011 uses almost as much memory as a video game? I have had FTM 2011 open for two or three hours and it is up to 515,380k of memory. The other day I had it open most of the day and it was using 795,000k of memory.

  93. Jim Lewis

    I would say 2011 seems to be an improvement over 2010, but for one thing: the program crashes about every 15 minutes. I don’t lose anything, but coming back into it time after time is very annoying.

  94. Jim McGowan

    Well, it certainly appears that a data sync solution between Ancestry trees online and FTM trees is one of the most wanted features in FTM! While Ancestry/FTM has never promised synchronization their advertising refers to “integration” of data which many (most?) potential buyers mistake for automatic data sharing between the two. The type of integration currently available in FTM is really no different than what has been there for a long time by uploading and downloading gedcom files. Now you can do the same directly with FTM files. No real improvement there; just saves you a minute or two and a couple of mouse clicks to export to gencom.

    Tana, I thank you very much for posting FTM’s official statement regarding data sync. That kind of candor is rare and it speaks well for you and whomever gave permission to publish that comment.

    I am presently using FTM 2010 and I am not certain that I will update this time around; might be a better use of my limited funds to wait another cycle when hopefully more real improvements will be added to FTM. Too many software developers push out a new version yearly just to generate revenue whether or not any significant changes have been made to their products. I believe this is the case with FTM, at least with this version, FTM 2011. I have not yet seen any changes that will have more than a very minor impact on my FTM usage. So until next year I’ll continue using FTM 2010 and making my own “integration” as I go! 🙂

    I do appreciate Tana’s work here on the blog and also her manuals – they certainly help me with using FTM as productively as I can!

    Thank you.

    Jim McGowan

  95. Kathy Marie

    #103 and 104 James:

    Thank you for your help

    It appears the problem I have has to do with me and not the software. Looks like it might be a corrupted data base, but I don’t know for sure.

    If you don’t mind, just two more questions.

    1 – I just want to make sure the data you sent me in #104 came from FTM 2011 and came from either a Register or an Ahnentafel Report

    2 – See my Full Caps Note at the bottom of #102, where I say that the Name, Birth, Marriage and Death facts in the “Items to Include” window are unchangeable (at least for me). That is, they are already included in the list of facts when I open the window and I can neither change them nor delete them. My question is twofold: Are these four facts also listed there when you open this window and if they are can you change them or delete them? If all or some of the four facts are not there when you open the window can you add the ones that are not there and can you change or delete the ones that are there?

  96. Jon Sanders

    #107: Steve, are you doing web merging from say If so then some of the leaking has to do with IE so make sure you have IE8 loaded if at all possible since it leaks the least of the IE. Some of the leaking is pure IE, some is the integration with FTM. Early versions leaked like crazy.

    Outside of IE and other dependent code my experience that for FTM8 and above is each release gets worse in it’s memory usage (both in file size and process size). This unfortunately implies the folks are not putting enough effort into this which is either laziness or not high enough priority (most likely cause) since there are tools to help developers track and resolve these things and its simple to take the same db and open in each release do a set of task and then compare results. Maybe they could improve on this in a hotfix?

  97. Zac

    It is good to see that there is a promise of more support for parishes and localities, but we have heard this before so I will reserve judgement. After years of upgrades with very little in the way of real added value and even bug fixes failing to be fixed I am not sure whether to bother this time.

    The place authority leaves a lot to be desired in the UK with many towns and even major cities missing. This has not yet been fixed and is NOT to do with Bing Maps, despite reporting each year nothing has been done to correct this, and I will take some convincing to part with my cash this time.

    I agree completely with the internet upgrade as either a “update” or download, this is really a must in this day and age. I also agree that any ancestry subscriber (paid) should get it for free. We pay a lot to ancestry and also contribute to the value for other members by uploading trees etc, this is not an unreasonable expectation, especially since the price hikes last year.

    Synchronization between desktop FTM for PC or MAC, Internet and the iphone or any other platform is a must. Currently it is impossible to keep all up to date and we all stand the risk of loosing data or failing to keep updated on all platforms. The iphone app is a great step forward with portability but with this advantage there is a responsibility on the developers part to actually make it practical to utilize effectively.

    Many thanks.

  98. Andy Staig

    I too have recently bought FTM 2010 and feel that there should be a free upgrade for recent purchasers of FTM 2010. This is normal practice for software and fair to your customers.

    Please consider and advise.

  99. erin

    Smart Stories….HELP

    Sorry to keep asking, but i’m between the two programs and 2011 Smart Stories looks really cool…

    IS there something similiar on 2010 with less bells and whistles?…..

    or do i have to do “word documents somewhere else with 2010?”

    My husband bought me 2010, and a week later 2011 came out, so we may return it

    Just looking for the easiest of the two do put all my information on the computer (and i have alot of stories)
    Thank you,

    Erin J

  100. James

    110 Kathy Marie:

    (1) Yes, the report is a register report. The file originated in FTM v16 > 2008 > 2009 > 2010 > 2011.

    (2) The four facts that you mention: “Name, Birth, Marriage, and Death” cannot be deleted from the report. You can add any avaiable fact or delete other facts, the Blue “+” or Red “X” appears for adding or subtracting facts from a report.

    (3) I have a file that started as a gedcom, translated into FTM 2011 and reports work well but when I run the report for the main person’s parents, the report will show nothing even with several generations below the selected person. Sometimes the report shows page 3 of 0, etc..

  101. Lauri

    I took the time over the weekend to read the entire FTM 2011 Guide and learned alot. I have three questions that I didn’t find answers to and can’t get to work.

    1. What is the largest poster that I can make out of FTM and export to PDF, and what settings do I use to create it?

    2. Came from FTM V16 that has a data error report where you can “ignore” an error and it then doesn’t show up again (unless you reset them). Is this feature available in FTM 2011? If not, it should be as otherwise you are rechecking all the “potential” errors again and again.

    3. I have a really large file (from ancestry) that would augment my data. However, I have been reluctant to add it because of its immense size (goes back to Adam and Eve). How many generations back, and how many records will FTM 2011 safely handle?

    Overall I like the upgrade. Lots and lots of new features that are going to take some getting used to, but that I think will be of great benefit. Thanks, Lauri

  102. Tana L. Pedersen

    Because of the many comments and questions this post has received—and because Comments for this article will close tomorrow—I have created a follow-up article which will be available on the blog tomorrow morning. Hopefully you’ll find more of your questions have been answered.

Comments are closed.