Posted by Ancestry Team on November 4, 2010 in Family Tree Maker, News

Got a Mac? Today announced the launch of Family Tree Maker for Mac, the new Mac version of the world’s No.-1 selling family genealogy software. It is available for purchase online starting at $69.99. The program is also available in select retail stores, including Apple Stores, Amazon, Office Depot, and Office Max.

As a Mac user for many years, I couldn’t be more excited. And I hope you are too. Any new software release generates a lot of questions so I will try to answer the questions I’m hearing.

  • What type of Mac will the application run on? You will need an Intel-based based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later.
  • I have been using the PC version of Family Tree Maker. Will I have to start over? Family Tree Maker for Mac includes a migration utility (used on a PC) that will convert your Family Tree Maker Windows files (2010 and 2011) so they can be opened on a Mac (and vice versa).
  • How is the Mac version different from the PC version? The Mac version has the same functionality as Family Tree Maker 2010.
  • Can I download the software from the Family Tree Maker website? No, at this time the software is available on CD only.
  • Can I import a tree I created in Reunion? Yes. You will need to export your file as a GEDCOM and then import it into Family Tree Maker.
  • I am used to using the PC version of Family Tree Maker and don’t want to learn a new program. How different is the Mac version? The Mac version is based on Family Tree Maker 2010, so if you’ve used Family Tree Maker 2008, 2009, or 2010, the transition will be easy.


  1. I have a few questions…

    1) Why so much more expensive than the regular FTM product?

    2) Will the MAC functionality always be one version behind the PC version?

    3) Assuming that the answer to #2 is no, how soon before can we expect the FTM for MAC to have the functionality of 2011 (i.e. when can we expect this product to be updated to current FTM functionality)?

  2. dklart

    It’s double the price of the more advanced PC Version.

    How about some incentive for Mac users to switch from another program?

    1) Free 6 months Deluxe or 3 months World access to

    2) Free upgrade to the next version.

    The fact that it doesn’t integrate with on-line trees like the PC 2011 version doesn’t make a good case for Mac users to switch from Reunion.

  3. dklart


    Can you upgrade your OS? 10.4 (Tiger) is ancient, you also need to have Intel-based based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5.8 (Leopard> Snow Leopard) or later.

    Intel-based Macs came out 3 years ago, if your machine is older than that, don’t attempt to upgrade your OS without consulting a tech head.

  4. Eileen Smith

    Ack, I will have to get a techie to upgrade for me. I’m not sure how to do it. Can I upgrade to this machine, which is about 5 years old?

  5. Gary Berlucchi

    A new Mac product that is already one version behind the PC version. This makes no sense given the price difference between the Mac and PC.
    How long do we have to wait to get the 2011 version? Very disappointing for Mac users.

  6. dklart


    Hit your Apple Icon in the upper left of your menu bar.

    See “About this Mac”? Pop that open.

    See “Processor”? If it doesn’t have “Intel Core” in that line, you can’t use the FTM program.

  7. dklart

    Integration of on-line trees and FTM.

    Here’s what PC FTM 2011 can do:

    Use and Family Tree Maker together to get the most out of both.

    * Search the extensive record collections at without ever leaving your family tree! And, when you find new records, you can quickly merge them into your tree.
    * Take advantage of Ancestry Hints—Family Tree Maker automatically suggests records that may match people in your tree.
    * Import your family tree, along with attached photos.
    * Upload your tree to and connect with millions of other family historians across the world.


    Here’s what MAC FTM 2010 can do:

    Integrate with

    Search the billions of historical records on from within the Family Tree Maker for Mac software. Take advantage of Ancestry Hints linking you to historical records that might contain more information about people in your tree – and simply click to merge records that are a match into your tree. You can also upload your tree to and connect with millions of other family historians across the world or import a tree you’ve created on to Family Tree Maker for Mac.


    The feature to import photos (or documents that are jpg’s, png’s, etc) attached to the on-line tree is new to PC FTM 2011, Mac FTM 2010 doesn’t allow this.

    PC FTM users have been hammering Ancestry to allow “syncing” between the desktop FTM and the Ancestry on-line tree. As it stands now, the only way to update an online tree is to do it manually, or upload the updated GEDcom created from your desktop program. This creates a new tree, and requires you to re-invite those who had access to your “old” tree, if the tree is privatized.

  8. The price needs some explaining I think – I managed to get it for $33 on pre-order by combining my 40% off “pre-order for existing users code” and another code found online for 20% off, and another eMail I was sent for free shipping, but that really only put it in line with the more feature rich Windows version that is currently available.

    But I’m interested to try it out in any case and see where it outshines Reunion and where Reunion still has Family Tree Maker beat. I don’t have any plans to switch entirely to Family Tree Maker from Reunion though.


  9. Valerie C

    Is there a demo available? I know that you say it will import gedcoms from Reunion, but I’m concerned about sources importing properly. I’ve been using Reunion for about eight years now and have a ton of sources in my gedcom. I tried out MacFamily Tree last year, but it could not read the sources. Is there a way to test this?

  10. I’ve been using the PC version of FTM for ages. Ten years. I bought the mac version and was up and running with all of my data in less than 30 minutes. I am not a techie. I’m a over 50 something homemaker. Don’t be frightened. Very easy switch over!!!!

  11. Robert Re: 3 16

    I’m pretty sure the pre-orders started shipping today.

    As to when they will be received… that is a function of many variables; when the orders were placed (as they will probably be shipped in the order received), distance involed, method of transport,and even possible weather delays depending on destination.

  12. I agree with Tom – Tamura’s rundown of FTM Mac is very insightful. Definitely follow his link to Tamura’s site. I think she’s correct in her analysis of the difference in features between the Mac and Win editions. It seems to me that trying to compare the two editions is misleading because if you use OSX there is an added cost to using the Win edition that should always be taken into consideration. It really is more accurate to compare this to other OSX programs, and in that case, it seems to compare favorably in both price and features.

    I expect to purchase this version for several reasons: 1)I just bought a new iMac and I’m in the process of moving to OSX-based genealogy research (after about 15 years in Windows) I’m trying to avoid the added cost involved in bootcamping Windows. 2) The deluxe version with 6 months of US subscription is a good deal. Puts the actual price for the software in line with FTM Win 2011.

  13. Janna

    I have a PC myself. I think it’s completely ridculous that ancestry doesn’t offer a trial or free version. It’s bad enough to have pay for a monthly subscription but then to charge for software and upgrades is just greedy. I have choosen to stick with free programs like myhertiage.

  14. Janna Re: #21

    What on earth does cost of subscription and cost of software have to do with one another ??

    One is for accessing Ancestry’s databases, etc., and the other is about a separate genealogy program to run on your computer?

    Are you actually saying that any commercial site that offers databases should also offer a free database program to each user of that site – or that any developer of database software should provide a free subscription to a database site??

  15. Warren Brown

    Is there gonna bea trial version? I have gotten burnt by buying before trying software in the past, and the free MyHeritage software is free. So I need to know its worth it, though; I know the Mac native is more convenient.

  16. To the best of my knowledge, there are no immediate plans to offer a downloadable trial version.

    Perhaps they fear such an option might overload their servers- after all, a 547MB file being downloaded by who knows how many users…

  17. Judy

    First, I will echo Roger’s comment #12. I pre-ordered with discounts, knowing I was gambling the money.

    Also, if you do an advanced search for today’s postings on Mac Family Tree Maker and the phrase “is constructed from the bottom up,” you should have any number of hits from today’s press release. I find this fascinating, as explained in my next paragraph.

    The reason for the feature differences is that FTM Mac is based on the 2010 PC version–this was reluctantly verified by by multiple FTM techs when I called a few weeks ago, insisting on an answer.

    I also requested that these complaints be recorded at FTM: 1) Few/no details pre-purchase; 2) In 25 years, I’ve rarely had luck with Mac apps built on PC versions; 3)I gambled, even after warnings from Mac users deserted by FTM the 1st time around; and 4) My master file will still be kept on LeisterPro’s excellent Reunion.

    IMHO, no trial version is offered (for the Mac at least) because they know we wouldn’t buy it. But maybe I’m just being pessimistic. 😉

  18. Judy

    Just called Ancestry Customer Service. Pre-orders will start shipping next week.

    Re the difference in cost. I would rather not have it, but I think we have to accept the fact that Mac users are a minority. Research and development are the same for a product that the publisher knows will sell fewer copies than the PC version. It’s a business decision and an understandable one, I think.

  19. Tana L. Pedersen

    First, thanks to those who are answering each others questions. Unfortunately I am unable to respond to every comment so I appreciate the help.

    Pre-orders started shipping this week so keep an eye on your mailbox next week.

    Trial version
    There is no trial version of Family Tree Maker for Mac. However, Family Tree Maker offers a 90-day money back guarantee so don’t be afraid to try it out.

  20. Andrew Zappelli

    I have to concur with the pricing. Your prices are too high. And what, no downloadable version? Come on, you could do better than this.

  21. Jay Wolford

    I went to today, and found comments from people who had bought, installed, and were using their FTM for Mac. I pre-ordered the first day it was available, and paid for the express shipping. So, I called to find out if there was a problem. The customer service rep told me that pre-ordered software would ship “sometime next week”.

    That is disappointing. I guess I figured I would have been among the first to get the product, not the last. I think maybe a down-loadable version would have addressed some of these concerns.

    Perhaps I am used to being courted by my service providers- an occasional email letting me know where we are at, when I can expect it, etc.

  22. Rocco

    I just checked There are 2 comments about FTM for Mac. One dated 13 Oct, the other 23 Oct.

    The person who wrote the “review” dated 13 Oct, was questioned how they were able to use this product since it hadn’t been released. Maybe they were a beta tester, but more likely a liar. They never responded to explain their (glowing) review.

    The fact is no one who ordered it from Amazon has acknowledged they’ve received it since it’s release a couple of days ago.

  23. Kathy Weaver

    I read the review on dated 13 Oct and also read the nasty comment(s) made asking how the product could be reviewed if it hadn’t been released. I posted a review and noted that I purchased FTM for Mac at the Apple store in Omaha, NE on October 18. The Apple store also honored the price I showed them online and I purchased for $59. I then received a comment that told me I was a “liar” because the Apple store didn’t have the software on their website. I didn’t respond and in fact deleted my comment. The review dated 23 Oct was made after I deleted mine.

    Rocco’s message and his/her comment is probably why the Amazon reviewer didn’t respond. I know the comment I received calling me a liar is why I deleted my review/comment that I made on the Amazon site.

    When I purchased FTM for Mac in October the store had many many copies. If you live near an Apple Store I suggest you look to see if they have the software in stock. They couldn’t explain to me why they had it in stock when I showed them the release date online, but the fact that they honored the price as opposed to their price of $99 is another reason why I am a Mac user.

    I’ve been a Mac user since day one, and have always found Mac users to be “user friendly” and/or “people/friendly.” Being called a liar by a Mac user is disappointing.

  24. Tony Knight

    Someone on the Message Board as opposed to this Blog also claimed to have bought the program, but she couldn’t tell Family Tree Maker for Mac from Mac Family Tree which is what Apple sell in the UK.

  25. Rocco

    #32 Kathy Weaver

    I confirmed with the Apple Store in Omaha, MacFamilyTree Maker is the product they received a couple of weeks ago. They haven’t had nor do they now have Family Tree Maker for Mac 2010 in their store.

    You see, you’re talking about MacFamilyTree Maker and this blog is about Family Tree Maker for Mac 2010, they’re not the same thing, get it?

    Before chastising someone and blathering your tale of victim woe, get your facts straight. I admit calling some liars wasn’t the correct label, self-righteous morons seems more appropriate.

  26. Judy

    @@32 Kathy–Sounds like an honest mistake.

    @34 Rocco–Jeez, we’re not talking politics or religion here–lighten up. There is certainly no software forum topic that justifies that kind of name calling and attitude.

  27. Judy

    @ #15 tom mactee — Somehow I missed your excellent post and the link you recommended at Just read the review and agree 100% that “Tamura Jones has written an informative, detailed and balanced news article.”

    I notice that Tamura verifies this version IS based on the Mac platform and is not port of the Windows code. That’s excellent news and explains why the publisher would based FTM-M on the more stable 2010 PC version. Sadly, the 100 features introduced in the 2011 version are the ones most of us seemed to be interested in.

    Since my Oct pre-order is in the chute, I’ll definitely give it a try. But considering the cost of FTM and my satisfaction with Leisterpro’s “Reunion,” I expect to take advantage of Ancestry’s 90-day money-back guarantee. Hopefully the FTM-M 2011 will be able to sync online trees and use a DB format that is compatible with Windows users.

  28. Cyndee

    I received FTM for MAC last week. I had pre-ordered it from I just installed it and downloading my tree as I type. Sunday 11/7/10. I will let you know how it turns out.

  29. Debra Ingrum Trammel

    I pre-ordered on good faith, taking a chance. I am disappointed that I have yet to receive the software. OK, so it’s due to be shipped this week but it seems to me that those of us who were willing to pre-order the product even though we knew little about it, let alone hear any reviews about it….perhaps Ancestry should have figured out a way to get the software to us the day it was released. has done this with several products that it has sold in the past. I suppose many of our comments sound a bit picky but I have been a loyal subscriber for over 10 years and I realize that my subscription won’t make or break but good customer service will always be an asset to any company. While I am appreciative of all that offers, I hope they will never forget that it’s people like us who keep them in business.

  30. Clara Owen

    I am just so happy that it will be mailed this month. I too ordered as soon as I found out I could. I did send an email to about four weeks ago and they kindly answered. Clara Owen

  31. Tana L. Pedersen

    I also like the idea of being able to download the software from the website. Nothing like instant access! I will be sure to pass on this request.

    I’m glad to hear that some of you have received the software. I hope you’ll come back to the blog and let us know what you think.

  32. James

    The automatic searching, source documentation and image download of’s resources is one of the main reasons to use FTM over the other programs listed. My files have grown significantly over the years due to the information that Ancestry offers.


  33. Cyndee

    I’m back to report that FTM for MAC is great! I had no problems downloading and importing everything in my tree. My pictures and notes are there also! Hope you all get yours soon!

  34. RE the comparison list mentioned in post 43 above…

    There are some omissions in the Reunion column…

    Mark Notes as Private – Reunion allows you to enclose sensitive data (so all or part of a note) in { } and so then exclude it from reports, export etc.

    Link a Media item multiple time – no problems to link any one media item to any number of people or families – simply link it to one, then copy and paste it wherever else you want it

    List All Place Names in a Tree – the List ——> Places Menu does exactly that, and includes

    View People and Facts associated with a place

    List Sources by Title – the Sources window can be sorted by Source Number or by Source Title if Title is the first data field in the Source – strictly it sorts by the Source Data, or by Source Type

    Create/Print Ahnentafel Report – Yep, no problems

    Create/Print Custom Report – not sure what this is?

    File Merge – Yep, Match and Merge has been part of Reunion for quite some time

    Global Spell Check – Reunion can use the Spelling checker that is built into Mac OS X

    Global Find and Replace – Reunion can do find and Replace globally, or in a chosen subset of the data, or in a chose subset of field types – eg place names.

    Relationship Calculator- Yep Reunion has this too.

    I have no idea how many blobs are missing from the Mac Family Tree Version 5 column, but I would point out that Mac Family Tree is now up to version 6.0.9. so a comparison to Mac Family Tree 5 is kind of stale.


  35. Tony Knight

    Just noticed that the commenting cut-off date is before the program is released elsewhere, such as the UK where the release date is not until November 19th.

    Can anyone answer my 32/64 bit question?

  36. Rocco


    Maybe you can contact the Family Tree Maker software (Mac) Message Board Admin, they clearly need something to do.

    I reluctantly recommend that people post on the Message board, the dialog on the message board will outlast this blog.

    The board admin, “J” on the blog and “worldcrew” (user name) on the message board, needs to give posting the link to their web page a rest. They clearly don’t understand about posting the same info over and over again. They need to step back and stop the nanny attitude.

  37. J

    Re: #48 (and 33)

    A request for information about whether the software is 32 or 64 bit has been submitted to the developer, and any response is to be posted to the Message Board (

    Re: #49

    If you no longer wish to receive notifications of recent posts made to boards, logged-in users can change this option at

    The Message Board posts (and message alerts–a user option) about FTM for Mac are made available to provide links to new product information and support.

    For example,

    “This helpful guide will help you begin your first projects in Family Tree Maker for Mac and to master the program’s basic features.” –

  38. Alex

    Up to this point I have been very happy with and their excellent customer service.

    This Mac preorder event is very disappointing. I too ordered the Mac version as soon as I could, and then changed it to take advantage of the free 2-day shipping offer.

    Hearing people were getting their copy end of October beginning of November made me call Customer service twice, and the response was that I should be happy because I saved money versus retail.

    Everywhere else preorder with 2-day shipping has meant receive it 2-days after first release. At, it apparently means save some money and get it a few weeks later than customers willing to pay retail.

    I hope the software is good enough to erase this poor opinion about

  39. rod

    I called customer service and they said pre-orders shipped “two days ago”. I don’t know if that means Nov. 10 or is a generic “two days ago”.

  40. Alex

    Last week customer support stated they would ship early this week. Well with 2 day shipping and still nothing – I guess I was lied to again.

    Anyone else getting theirs?

  41. Darwin

    I switch to a Mac last spring and no longer have a PC. I saved my PC created FTM files. How can I convert my old files without having access to a PC?

  42. Dan

    The price of the Mac version is higher because it’s new code and not a port from W…WW…Smack!…Windows. The development team needs to get paid.
    I am however disappointed that those of us that bought it early get to use it last. Not a good PR move for sure. At the least there should have been a download available when the app hit the store shelves.
    Don’t know what these folks are thinking sometimes.

  43. Tony Knight

    For those complaining about the delay in getting the program, I repeat and amplify what I said earlier.

    1. are not offering the program for sale at all.

    2. originally reported release was due on November 12th and were taking pre-orders for a considerable time based on that date. This has now slipped to November 19th.

  44. Dan

    There’s no delay getting the program in the US, it’s been available in the stores, unless you preordered it over a month ago, then you/we are still waiting.
    The company claims you should wait because you didn’t pay the full price. Say what? You sweet deal people to buy the product then slam them once the order is on the books.
    If this thing doesn’t arrive in the next day or so, I will buy it off the shelf and return it whenever I get my preorder copy. Just to be nasty. I may return that as well. Family Tree for Mac works fine.

  45. David Seay

    I am using FTM 2009 on a Windows 7 machine. I have now installed FTM Mac on my Mac. The file translation tool will not allow me to use my 2009 file. Can I return FTM Mac for a full refund?

  46. Roger

    I thought I’d read somewhere that earlier versions of FTM could be converted to the Mac edition…however the migration tool does not seem to allow this.

    Is there anyway to allow conversion of earlier Windows versions, short of buying FTM 2010 and upconverting the data before migrating it to Mac?

  47. Rocco

    #58 David Seay

    Tana L. Pedersen (Ancestry Staff) states in her post #28.

    “However, Family Tree Maker offers a 90-day money back guarantee so don’t be afraid to try it out.”

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