Posted by Ancestry Team on October 31, 2011 in Family Tree Maker, Webinars

Join us on Wednesday, November 9th at 8:00 pm (Eastern Standard Time) for a free webinar that will teach you about the new features in Family Tree Maker 2012. You’ll learn about TreeSync—the ability to link and synchronize your desktop tree with an online tree at Ancestry, how to use the new blended families display option, create new charts and reports, and more. You can even get questions answered by the developers who work on the software. Information will apply to both PC and Mac users. To attend the Family Tree Maker 2012 webinar, click here to register.

And if you have questions you’d like answered, please enter them in the Comments section below. We’ll try to respond to them during the webinar or on the blog. (Please limit your questions to functionality available in Family Tree Maker 2012.) We appreciate your questions and look forward to talking to you soon. Thanks!

Have you missed past webinars? You can view them any time at


  1. My wife’s Great Aunt gave birth to four children; she passed her husband could not take care of the children. Her siblings adopted each child. Can FTM 2012 have the birth mother & the adoptive parents?

  2. I have a very large tree with lots of picures in the tree. I have been unsuccessful in syncing this tree. Please let me know if it can be done or please tell me my tree is just too big to accomplish the sync – and I will give up. Thanks for your help. Gerri

  3. John Donaldson

    # 1 David

    Yes FTM can handle two sets of parents the blood ones and the adopted ones.

    Go into People>Person and click on the Relationship tab

    John D

  4. John Donaldson

    # # No Ocean in Kansas

    The next version of FTM Mac is in beta and is expected to be released around the end of 2011.

    I has the same treeSync feature as FTM 2012

    John D

  5. Mary Bowen

    Syncing tree: my tree has 79000 people and 1500 media items. I tried syncing several times, and after about 10 minutes i would get a sync error, couldn’t finish. I figured that it could be time of day when i tried, so i waited till late night to try.It finally was syncing but after 2 hours still did not finish, so i shut computer down, as it seemed to be stuck in one spot for over an hour.
    Evidently its not geared to do large files. Seems to be a waste of time, if your syncing just to add about 50 new people or update search material entered. I run Win 7, 9gb ram.

  6. Bruce Rohm

    I am thinking of switching to a mac computer. Will I be able to link Family Tree for Mac 2012 to my existing tree that is now on line?

  7. Shirley Hay

    I’m a Reunion user. Why should I switch to Family Tree maker? Reunion feature not in FTM: keyword search, Calendar and text. output

  8. Robert Christian

    David (#1 and #6)

    Check again, John’s instructions are correct. Click the person tab and the title bar that says Individual & Shared Facts has three word buttons. Facts (which is normally the default when you go to the Person tab), Timeline and Relationships.

    You can also go to the person with birth and adoptive parents and while in the Person tab click on the Person menu, click on Add Person and then select Add Father or Add Mother.

    However, when you do go to the Relationships view in the Person tab and you highlight the name of a Father or Mother, you can select whether they are a Biological or Adopted parent. You can also select which parent is the Preferred one that you would like to appear in your Family view.

  9. Judy

    Is there any way to make some “media” items private so they either don’t sync with the Ancestry tree or if they do sync that they are not viewable?

  10. Susan Ridenour

    I was using FTM 2011 and was so pleased that the new FTM 2012 has TreeSync, so I ordered it and installed it. Now it wants to upload the FTM file on my hard drive to – but I want it to merge with an existing Ancestry Member Tree I have at – I don’t see an option to merge the two, although this feature is mentioned in some of the documentation. Help please?

  11. Susan Re:#14

    There seems to be some misunderstanding about how the Help documentation is being interpreted.

    There is no way to link an existing FTM tree to an existing AMT-period.

    You have one of two choices:

    1). Upload your existing FTM tree to Ancestry as a NEW AMT tree and link the existing FTM tree to that New Tree.

    2). Download you existing AMT tree into FTM2012 as a NEW FTM tree and link the existing AMT tree to that New FTM2012 tree.

  12. Dale form Melbourne

    Have used Treesync and I am impressed. I guess the media issue will be fixed but its not my priority.

    On question.

    If you have a linked FTM data file and you move it to a new computer, should it maintain its link ? What would be the procedure when doing this, other than unlinking and recreating a tree ?

  13. W. Potter

    FTM 2012 — Really excited to see the ‘sync’ function added…however, after trying now for a couple weeks, not impressed. Several hours with customer support; they confirming the ‘sync’ option does not support larger files…oh well. Was also surprised that only selected items are synced, even though they may be initially uploaded (haven’t been able to personally verify…). So, back to FTM11 and pushing a complete tree upload about every six months. My recommendation is to stay with previous versions, unless you are really looking for the additional report formats.

  14. PeterPla

    Whether “leaves” are shown for a given person is different for FTM 2012 and, even in a sync’d tree. I.e., on Ancestry a given person has no hints or “leaves”, but FTM 2012 will show a leaf for that same person.

    When I try to investigate using FTM 2012, I’m always (I think) presented with facts/sources that have already been attached to that person. The result is I’ve given up researching using FTM 2012, and only research using; then have FTM 2012 sync the tree after I’ve made changes.

    I’d think that FTM 2012 would/should be the superior, more powerful tool (compared to for researching and attaching sources to individuals, but in my experience it’s been the opposite – FTM is the less powerful, more confusing tool for that.

    What am I missing?

  15. Hal

    I must have more than 100 hours in trying to get my database to sync. I’ve tried everything I’ve seen mentioned on the Web. I downloaded my family file from Ancestry and imported to FTM and it crashed. I deleted the version on Ancestry and uploaded from FTM. Crashed again. It always crashes just after the uploaded tree name appears under Ancestry Trees on the Ancestry Web Dashboard on the PC. Of course, that’s 5 or 6 hours after the process starts. Log out, log back in, compact file, cleaned PC of all traces of previous FTM versions and initial install of 2012, reinstalled 2012, crashed again same point in process. Right about now, I’d like to take the FTM 2012 disk outside and play a game of Frisbee with my dog.

  16. Dick Dussault

    FTM 2012 leaves a lot to be desired.
    I installed 2012 and now discovered all my notes did not come over in the new file format. Also, speed of searching is an issue and you can not tell if the searching active in many instances.
    Errors are also occurring?

    What else is not working?

    Strongly comsidering giving 2012 FTM

  17. Ron

    Holy cow. I’m not a heavy user of FTM but if some of the data (notes?) is not coming over in the conversion, that’s a huge issue, is it not? Considering the amount of data one might have, it’s virtually impossible to examine every record after an upgrade to make sure nothing was lost. Now I’m afraid to upgrade!

  18. Andy O

    I have 3 questions regarding Charting in FTM 2012:

    1) When will the All-in-One chart from 2006 be back? I know 2012 has the Extended Family chart but it’s not the same. I printed an Extended Family chart for my girlfriends family, it was 12 pages long. The chart only goes left to right, it also breaks up families so it’s much harder to follow. I exported her family tree to 2006 to print the All-in-One chart which ended up being 4 pages long and 2 more rows down and so much easier to look at and follow.

    2) Another chart feature I miss from 2006 is the ability to overlap pages when printing a large tree. I found the option for ‘No Page Overlap’ under the Advanced button for Layout but that changes the way the tree looks and is not available on all charts (the Extended Family Chart for example does not include this option). Are there any plans to add this feature back?

    3) One last issue with charting in 2012, under Box, Boarder and Line Options, there are only 3 Marked Boxes. I would like to have a different color for each generation but I have 6 generations and only 3 Marked Boxes to change the fill color of. How can I get each of the 6 generations to have a different fill color for their boxes?

  19. Barbara

    Hi, I have FTM 2012 and downloaded 2 trees from (one about 500 people and the other about 4,700 people). I tried making changes to both trees, and both to both online and desktop versions, and they were sycing beautifully for several weeks, albeit more slowly than I’d like.
    This week, with only changes made in the online version of my trees, I went to sync again to have a backup on my PC, and now neither tree will sync. Keep getting the same error message after it finds the changes and looks like it is working. Have tried compacting both trees and same error.
    The error message is: “An error occurred while synchronizing this tree. You can try again later, but if this message recurs, you may need to unlink your trees and upload a new linked tree from Family Tree Maker”
    I’ve seen others reporting similar problem after working well for a while. Will this be fixed soon? I was very happy with the new version until this issue came up. I have reported it to the support folks also, but haven’t gotten an answer back as yet.

  20. Susan Ridenour

    I see in the Companion Guide: page 20: Simplified interface for new users. When you install Family Tree Maker 2012, the software detects whether you are upgrading from a previous version of Family Tree Maker (version 16 or earlier). If you are, Family Tree Maker will display a simplified user interface that looks more like the older versions of Family Tree Maker.
    Question #1: How do you switch to the non-simplified user interface?
    Question #2: Does version 16 refer to FTM 2011?
    Question #3: Is there a page in the companion guide that explains what all of the icons mean?
    Thank you!

  21. Kim Thurman

    So, as a previous user of FTM and a current subscriber to, it’s true that if I upgrade to FTM 2012, I can’t link my existing trees on for the sync function?

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