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Kimberly Powell

Family Tree Maker 2008 Review: Part 1

By August 20, 2007

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I spent this past weekend playing around with the newly released version of Family Tree Maker 2008. This new version has been built on a completely redesigned platform, and also incorporates some nice new features and what I've come to appreciate as a very nice, intuitive interface. These nice new features, however, are marred (in my opinion) by too much reliance on Internet integration - making this software no longer a stand-alone offering.

In order to give the program the fair chance that it deserves, I will be testing and reviewing it over the course of several weeks. Please feel free to offer feedback on what I've said or how you feel about FTM 2008 by clicking on comments and posting your thoughts below. You can see what I think about the software so far in Family Tree Maker 2008 Review: Part One.

August 21, 2007 at 11:06 am
(1) Arnie Krause says:

You might want to look at my comments on FTM-2008 at the following URL:

August 21, 2007 at 11:46 am
(2) Geoff Underhill says:

I am currently investigating the new FTM 2008 beta version and I have to say that I am EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED.
FTM 2008 (Ver 17) is a very retrograde step over Ver 16 considering the features that have been removed and other things.
Find and Replace has gone, Books have gone, Spell Check All has gone, Find Error has gone to name but a few.
While the Family View has not gone, the addition of a pedigree view on the same screen is totally unnecessary as is the name list on the left side. A sensible toolbar would be all that is required to access these, all the other features and any new ones.

One of the most important features that was severely lacking in usability in Ver 16 – Source Management – has not been improved at all in fact I don’t believe that any work has been done on this important area. There is no way that I could find to edit the Location/Place list, if indeed such a thing exists, again another important feature overlooked. Resolve Place Names is another unnecessary ‘feature’ as place names can be looked-up on the internet very easily.

To add Microsoft Maps etc. cannot be justified as all this data can be accessed via the internet anyway or could have been provided via a (chargeable) plug-in to those who want it.

The program operation is very very much slower that Ver 16 possibly because the program overhead and memory usage is about 10 times that of Ver 16.
In general not worth upgrading to unless the Beta version is substantially changed.

August 21, 2007 at 4:11 pm
(3) Robert Austen says:

I have tried the Beta version FTM 2008 and did not care for the new interface but was willing to give it a try. I imported a small file and learned to find my way around. I would have liked to see the option of having the “standard” interface.

I did switch from FTM (after many years) to another program as my file was getting fairly large and I had several file corruptions. FTM did not appear to be able to handle it.

Now for the “untimate test” – to import my main file of over 110,000 names. I started the import at 9:00 AM and finally cancelled it at 5:30 PM the following day at only 41% complete. That was over 32 hours and it appeared to be down to importing one name every 3 – 5 seconds – that could be another 3 days – or more! It would appear that even the new version is not meant for the larger files.

My short time in using it convinced me that it is not worth the upgrade. Besides the fact that I can’t transfer my data there are features missing that I would like to see. Does FTM really listen to its users?

August 24, 2007 at 4:28 am
(4) William Boswell says:

It’s crap! Save your money and wait for the next version or move on to another genealogy program.

I tried the beta version and now have the released version and there is no difference at all. I’m sticking with Version 16 (2006) for the time being. This one should have stayed in beta testing a little longer. I’ve commented on several FTM boards and in emails to the “techies” so I won’t comment any further. This one should have been trashed a long time ago.

August 24, 2007 at 8:56 am
(5) Doug Kreis says:

I feel it is a waste of money. I have always been a user of FTM all versions. I like version 16 and will stick with that. I have tried to email he company no response. That shouild say something. I still recommend the older versions.

August 24, 2007 at 1:04 pm
(6) Ed Hill says:

I have used FTM since the Blue Banner days and I have always upgraded to the next version. There have always been things that I would like to have that have been missing, but overall I have always been pleased . . . until now. I am not sure this version is any better than the very first version I tried years ago. It is a MAJOR step backwards. My question is . . . what other programs are their out their that are the same caliber as version 16?

August 24, 2007 at 6:48 pm
(7) Janet says:

I wish I’d found these comments before wasting my money on v2008! The program crashes every time I try to link a source to a fact. The program is extremely slow, especially when entering dates and places. It must be doing some tabling of those fields, but is so ineffecient that it drags the program down.

The new interface has some positives – ie. seeing the list of already entered names in case there’s match. However, for the most part I hate it.

I now have to go back to my previous FTM version and enter alot of info that I entered yesterday and today. sigh…

August 25, 2007 at 10:05 pm
(8) Wesley Allison says:

I too wished I had read these comments before buying. I have used FTM since version 2.0, and this is nothing like them. I have to say that the seach feature is truly awesome, if you pay for an Ancestry.com account. You can automatically import orginals of source documents as media. Every thing else though is a huge step backwards. In order to use the print books feature that is now web-base, you have to upload your file, not just to the printing site, but to Ancestry.com’s main site, making it essentially public, whether you are ready to do so or not. The data entry is a mess, since there is a seperate pane for reading and entering data. I’m going to be looking for a new program, and it really makes me sad that they have done this with what used to be such a great piece of software.

August 26, 2007 at 11:24 am
(9) Marcy Gill says:

I too wish I had read a review before spending the money on 2008. I am taking it out of my computer. I have all the Family Tree Maker’s from 2005 to 2008 still in my computer and 2008 takes up so much space my computer barely runs.

I got this version to print my genealogy. I have 22000.00 people and seven family’s in my data base. I thought this would be great because I could put pictures where I want them, and this would be a plus for my genealogy. Well I will be printing from and older version. For one thing the new one doesn’t print Genealogy reports just trees and out lines of descendants.

Also as I plan to voluntarily submit my information to Ancestry. Com after my family gets their books. This is out or respect for my family and also to correct any errors that might come up. This way what information I submit to the public is as accurate as possible.

In the 2008 version you have to upload your information to Ancestry. Com to publish your book. This now becomes their information for others to use. I use their data bases and pay to do so. I truly appreciate everyone that has submitted information to them voluntarily for all subscribers to Ancestry.com to use. I also have bought all of the Family Tree makers over the years. 2008 at forty dollars. I have research for ten years not just from Ancestry. Com, but I have traveled and spent hours in town halls writing information down and gathering from my family.
I feel for the first time used by a company I have been faithful to. For all the time and money I have spent they want my information to use on their web site and charge more people for. It now has stopped being voluntary. They are getting free information we consumers of their products have done the work on. Family Tree Maker will use this information to sell and now after buying Family Tree Maker 2008 we are paying them to do so and that does not seem right.

August 27, 2007 at 2:36 am
(10) Lianne says:

I used to love FTM but am now a Legacy user. I did not like the 2008 beta at all. Sorry FTM, you don’t hold up anymore.

August 28, 2007 at 3:18 pm
(11) Barbara McCormick says:

I rec’d my FTM Version 2008 last Friday (Sept 24). I started the d/l of a gedcom file with 88,000 people at 5 p.m. At 10 a.m. Saturday morning I cancelled the d/l – 87% complete. I then d/l a smaller file (6,000 people) and it did install rather quickly. I watched the video and did learn some things. I checked out the “Note” section and couldn’t find it. The generation bar was set at “4″….wouldn’t go any higher. I couldn’t find the Genealogy Report section…..found out it is not on the 2008 version. Several other things that I used on older versions and not on the 2008 version……so……I un-installed the program and sent the CD’s back to ancestry in Utah. That was a big joke!!!!! But I wasn’t laughing!

August 28, 2007 at 7:21 pm
(12) ROBERT ALLEN says:

I can only second many of the negative remarks made by others. I’ve used FTM 2008 for a week or so. At first I thought it seemed “fresh” and different. But now I have switched back to my 2005 version, and last night I ordered FTM 16 Essentials for a total of $15. There should be a recall and refund. It’s really quite outrageous!

August 30, 2007 at 9:02 am
(13) Chuck Bright says:

I recently received my upgrage to 2008 and was both disappointed and angry. I have been a long time user of Family Treemaker software and have always upgraded as soon as a new version was available. This package is a big step backwards. I e-mailed the company and advised them of my disappointment and that I was going to search for other software. Have heard nothing back from them. It is hard for me to believe that they obtained any user input before releasing this software. I will stay with version 16 until I find a different software provider. Do not waste your money on this product.

August 30, 2007 at 10:53 am
(14) Diane Sparling says:

I too regret purchasing 2008, and have had FTM with corruptions since V.3 and FTM has been made aware of them. My husband is a systems analyst, is computer engineer and Sr.software developer since 1978. (he trained in computer starting in college in 1966)In the vendors area of the Genealogy Conference in Fort Wayne two weeks ago he spoke to the senior technical person at the ancestry booth (the gentleman was also a presenter at the conference)and was told that FTM doesn’t have a good track record with fixing corruption problems, but we are welcome to send our cd in for them to try. He also said that the new one is completely different and doesn’t interface to the older versions.

I bought it anyway (I don’t and listen while my husband does technical talking)after my had purchased roots magic, and I got a trial version of Professional Genealogist. I to be honest like the screens and such with FTM but don’t like the constant corruption problems which makes it impossible to do some merge functions. The system is properitary so you can’t print out the program and have it analyzed to find out where your problem is, or my husband would have done it for me. Since he does this for a living at a major company he is extremely good at it and has the perserverance to do it.

The idea of being able to add the information directly from Ancestry and other databases was extremely appealing. Just think of being able to click merge on a person from your tree that you found in ancestry and add the parents and siblings to your tree fully documented as well as foot notes. What self respecting genealogist could turn this down. In reality the largest number of people I’ve been able to add has been 5 even though the record showed 7 more. To top it off, it didn’t do it consistently and it is EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TO ACCESS.

I have been doing genealogy with computers for 26 years.

I wil be contacting ancestry and voicing my complaints.
Diane Sparling

August 30, 2007 at 7:28 pm
(15) Joseph Lovett says:

The various Forums (FTW Install; Ancestry.com, etc.) have been a-buzz with unhappy Family Tree Maker 2008 customers. Those with extensive experience in software development, which includes myself, are astounded that the company would have released software that presents so many problems and issues for what, here-to-fore, had been an extremely loyal base. It will be a painful lesson learned for the company and a case study in how not to introduce and market software.

As painful as it is to admit, FTM has made several strategic errors simultaneously and should pay the consequences.

A) It radically changed the software platform to MS .NET without, it seems, fully understanding or investigationg how it would work in a real-life, “dirty” environment. By dirty, I mean, one that had customers with data bases built by previous verious of FTM, usually idosyncratic, but in all cases, filled with corruptions from previous FTM versions.

2) Extending marketing through “razor and blade” tactics — i.e., the real money is in the database publishing, unexplained secondary markets, and in subscription fees to online data repositories.

3) Failed to understand their customers. The demogrpahics of genealogy researchers would reveal two distinct populations: 1) LDS of all ages and genders who are doing it for reasons of faith; 2) recently retired or last-generations who now have the time, resources, and motivation to undertake genealogical research. The former know extactly what they need to document their “sealing” ans probably what nother more. The latter are looking for Easy-to-learn; Easy-to-use applications. Neither of these groups are served by FTW 2008. The Third group. professional geneaologists, are not going to use software as FTW anyway.

The sluggush performance, resource consumption, crashes, lost functions. missing reports, over-kill apps (internet hook to MS Maps and to Ancestory.Com), and the public relations fiasco now occurring with FTW Technical Help Services all point to software to avoid and a company that needs to take drastic steps to restore faith and goodwill with long-time customers.

August 31, 2007 at 9:03 am
(16) Bruce says:

It should be arrested for trying to impersonate Family Tree Maker. There is no resemblance to the real program that the previous loyal users have enjoyed for the last 18 years. It is difficult to use and produces almost none of the charts or reports we have come to love the program for all these years. My opinion is DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT! or…This is not your father’s Family Tree Maker. It belongs in a super max vault to protect the public against it evil ways.

August 31, 2007 at 10:07 am
(17) Jeff says:

I am along-time FTM user and this is the worst piece of genealogy-related software I have ever seen.

The Relationship Calculator says “no relation” on connections I know exist. Also, it gives marital relationships precedence over blood relationships – this is not right.

It locks my computer up. I cannot add a location for deaths, marriages or births without the program locking up and giving me a “not responding” message.

As Gomer Pyle used to say, “For shame, for shame, for shame” on ancestry.com for selling this worthless product.

I absolutely hate it!

August 31, 2007 at 2:34 pm
(18) Ken Stiles says:

I tried the new version of FTM and find it a dog. I transfer a file from another program consisting of 70,666 individual’s and found out it is so slow that it took me six hours just to change some multiple dates that it didn’t transfer. Also only some of my note file was transferred and the rest is blank. I wouldn’t recommend using this new version over the old, because like other’s have said to many of the good options have disappeared.

Ken in AZ

August 31, 2007 at 8:03 pm
(19) Emile Broome says:

I have been using version 11 for a long time then came version 2008 and tried it for 15 minutes but something went wrong and afraid to lose all my data and aborted and went back to version 11 and been there ever since … bought more version 11 for my relatives and they all love it…

Emile Broome

September 3, 2007 at 4:43 pm
(20) CHT says:

I was stunned to read your glowing review of FTM 2008. Now let’s think this through… You just gave 4 stars to a “genealogy” software that will not even do basic register and ahnentafel reports.

• To be able to effectively summarize your research for yourself and others is the end game of doing family research in the first place.

I was thinking of writing more, but having said that, what else is really important?

September 3, 2007 at 6:11 pm
(21) Kimberly says:

It’s not necessarily a glowing review. If you notice, it isn’t completed yet. Based on what I’ve formally reviewed so far the product receives 4 stars. But my review only currently goes up through basic startup and data entry. The lack of reports will definitely be a ding against FTM 2008 when I get to that section of the review, believe me!

That being said, Ancestry is hoping to soon release a free patch or update
(whatever you want to call it) that addresses many of the major issues that users have brought up. Personally, I feel it would have been better to delay release of the program until these final components were in place. Especially since The Generations Network does not plan to add every feature that users of FTM 16 are missing – something that should be have been communicated from the beginning so these users can decide whether or not to upgrade. The program is definitely going in a new, more mainstream direction.

September 5, 2007 at 12:17 am
(22) Theresa Griffin says:

I just want to know if we can return the program and get our money back.

I’ve been a long-time user of FTM and have been happy with every upgrade. The ONLY thing I like better about this program is it went back to the way it was several generations ago where it would show how many hits were in a source and as an added bonus we can now to merge them directly from the Ancestry site. We’ve been able to merge documents for several versions now, so that’s not new.

The other plus is the ability to see your ancestor’s locations on a map immediately. The minus is some of the places listed on the map show as “not found” when I listed them in the fact box after viewing the map.

I want to know when we’re going to get good quality searches at 3 and 4 stars. I show my ancestor died before 1635 and I get 2004 Phone Directory entries as four stars; does this make sense in any universe?

I can just say that the patch better be the size of a football field to fix all of the problems.

I echo the comments that say we should have been told that this doesn’t interface with Version 16 and previous versions.

September 7, 2007 at 12:06 pm
(23) Mary McKinley says:

I loaded it up last night, hated every bit of it and am going back to version 16 tonight. Extremely disappointed – and out $40 to boot.

September 11, 2007 at 6:13 pm
(24) Cheryl says:

Don’t like it at all. I’m extremely disappointed – have been a FTM user for years and always upgraded, but I’m getting rid of this one – good thing I kept the last one. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who is unhappy with it.

September 15, 2007 at 5:49 am
(25) John F. Jones says:

What everyone else said. It looks like they got more interested in using a “modern” platform (.NET) than in keeping FTM’s functionality. They have made a patch already (no noticeable change) and promise to add some of the missing reports back in mid October. By then it will be too late to request a refund. I sent mine back. Shame on you FTM! “A New Strategic Direction” indeed. Hogwash

September 15, 2007 at 10:56 am
(26) Randy says:

After two days of wondering what was wrong with me because as hard as I tried to like FTM 2008 it just didn’t work as well as the earlier version I use. I searched for product reviews and found this site. I do like the way 2008 shows “Places” as a list to make it easy for me to make place names all the same (even though I’m not sure if there is any value in that). Other than that, FTM 2008 stinks, They should pay me for my trouble.

September 16, 2007 at 2:10 am
(27) LaRue says:

Like all the other negative comments, I, too, find FTM 2008 very difficult to use. The screens are more difficult to navigate. Yes, I bought this new version but I won’t be using it. It is worse than the very first FTM version I used years ago. I’m not asking for my money back because hopefully they’ll revert to FTM 16 and add improvements to it and send it all out in patches to FTM 2008. I’m totally dissatisfied with this new software – most of the good features of the previous version are missing.

September 17, 2007 at 4:48 pm
(28) Lil says:

Can you imagint my horror when I discovered that I had “lost” version 16?
FTM has always seemed to fill my needs genealogically until version 2008. I feel like I have been totally ripped off. And no refund seems to be coming my way. I am disappointed in BOTH Ancestry and FTM. This version is soooo slow. I have deleted it from my computer.

September 20, 2007 at 2:43 am
(29) Mike says:

I purchased the new FTM 2008. I currently had FTM16. I have tried repeatilly to load my existing family tree of about 6000 people. Each time I get the following: “The import failed because an unknown error occurred”. What can I do??????

September 20, 2007 at 2:55 am
(30) Mike says:

Me again. I’m using the operating system Vista for the above. I have tried to download my tree from an external hard drive as well as from the internal “C” Drive with the same above results. I’m frustrated and worried my backups might not to good……

September 20, 2007 at 7:34 pm
(31) Kathleen says:

Well, I bought the update believing it would bring improvements as each update has in the past, but I feel all in a muddle trying to use it. I don’t think it is clear cut. It just seems so busy like a person who’s not thinking clearly. I’ve given it a fair chance, but am glad it didn’t obliterate my version 16. Can’t help going back to my old friend who seems so calm by comparison. I usually look forward to change, but this new version seems to be a bit off kilter. Also I have the feeling, real or imagined, that it will screw up all my information. What can we expect in the future? I wonder if I’ll have to find a different program. I’M DEPRESSED!

September 30, 2007 at 3:05 pm
(32) Mike says:

My problems are listed above in comments 29 and 30. Know one has offered any suggestions or help. Please if anyone has an idea as to what I’m doing wrong, let me know.

October 1, 2007 at 8:23 pm
(33) Bill says:

I feel so relieved to read all the critical comments about FTM 2008….why, because I installed it with all the anticipation of new and neat features I had enjoyed through all the earlier versions…..then when I started to use it I found it akin to a kiddie version of an adult game. If dumbing it down was a marketing strategy to attract more “regular folks” as users, FTM should get some new marketing people. It seems designed to drive people to their subscription data base services (and I already subscribe to all of them) rather than provide a well rounded genealogy database. My first genealogy program was Brother’s Keeper 1.0, way back in the 1980s….IT WAS A BETTER PROGRAM than this FTM 2008. I hope they wise up in the future, but in the mean time, I will be shopping around for a new program that builds on the strengths of FTM16. In the meantime, I am deleting it, and going back to 16.

October 3, 2007 at 6:52 pm
(34) Nicola says:

I started using Family Tree Maker 2008 today. I was extremely disappointed at such a poor selection of reports and charts – why have they omitted some of the really good reports and charts that were in the 2006 version?
The whole programme seems to revolve around the interent and wants you to upload data to Ancestry (read the privacy statements before doing this!).
I was really looking forward to using the 2008 version, but now think that I have wasted my money.

October 4, 2007 at 12:19 pm
(35) Rudy Caldwell says:

In a few words, FTM version 2008 is horrible. I made a big mistake in not reading the reviews before I ordered the new upgrade. I did down load the program but did have the wisdom to have a good backup. So 2008 is gone from my computer and I’m back to 2006. I have been a FTM user and ancestry.com subscriber for many years and in general have always liked there product. I won’t waste space telling everyone what is wrong with the program, just read the comments above, everyone of them is the truth. This program is slow, hard to use, confusing, missing important parts & features such as the book, and in general is a piece of trash. I didn’t expect that from FTM.

Rudy Caldwell 04 Oct 2007

October 5, 2007 at 2:12 pm
(36) Richard says:

This new version is a tremendous disappointment. I wish I had not lost my FTM 16 so I am stuck with this terrible version. It is extremely ‘muddied up’ and difficult to use. The lack of genealogy reports is disappointing. The ahnentefal reports were always among the most interesting and easy for my family to understand. Why did they eliminate it? They are going to have to do something much better than this to keep me as a user.

October 8, 2007 at 6:54 am
(37) Diane says:

FAmily Tree Maker 2008
I can’t beleve they took the Reference Numbers away, try doing a merge of two individuals, especially when you have 10 or more of the same name – its impossible. You can put the reference numbers back – MANUALLY

The AKAs (nicknames have also been removed. Previously you could search for an AKA which makes things easy if you have 20 people of the same name. You can put the AKAs back – MANUALLY but the seach facility has been removed.

You can also overwrite names by accident and never become aware of the fact as you don’t have to click on OK to do so.

I use OUTLINE DESCENDENCY REPORT for most of my emails and in my webpage. The choice of which Fields to include has been removed.

I find the whole program disappointing and a real step backwards. The mapping is a nice feature but not really a necessity.

Genealogists are more interested in content and quick representation than pretty pictures.

October 9, 2007 at 3:20 pm
(38) Judith Ann says:

Thank you, Thank you as I have been holding off buying FTM 2008 and now I will not even think about it. I have been a FTM user for many years and many versions and always bought the upgrade right away. This time for some reason I did not and I am so, so glad. I too am going to start looking for something else.

October 11, 2007 at 11:08 pm
(39) Rena says:

I want to thank eveyone for your feedbacks I have used FTM from inception and was getting ready to get this last one till I read all of your feedbacks I am so glad I did not do that The company getting too big for their own good and not thinking about us

October 15, 2007 at 7:33 pm
(40) K. L. Kirkland says:

Mike (#29 & 30: Don’t know if this is helpful, but I installed 2008 about Sept. 15, after service pack 1 was released. Technical Support by phone was very nice and helpful. They got around the import problem by having me export my corrupted 2006 file back to FTW ver. 11 (which would still handle photos–not that I had any in FTM) Then imported to 2008 from the FTW11 version.Of course that deleted all apostrophes in my notes and text, and who knows what else. Not sure I’ll ever master the new workspace approach. I’m too old a dog for such tricks, I think. I spent an hour trying to add two spouses with marriage dates of 1789, two grooms who married my g-g-g-grandfather’s sisters. The source did not link to the wives, and displays only for the grooms. Perhaps it is a matter of technique and order of entry??? I’ll most likely return to ver. 16.

October 19, 2007 at 12:11 pm
(41) Rosemary Thorburn says:

I have been a user of Family Tree Maker for many years and bought the UK version of 2008 this week. I am really disappointed with the charts and reports. In the Register Report it puts the word ‘in’ in front of Occupation. If you have born about 1720 it puts born on about 1720. Why put the word ‘on’in front. If you use AKA it puts also known as was. Why the word was? I have to say there were no problems inporting files from FTM 2006. A waste of nearly £50.

October 24, 2007 at 4:03 pm
(42) R. N. Bennett says:

Very disappointed! My main complaint is that it dose not show all of the source information included in my imported files, yes it shows there are several sources but only the first is shown in any detail, the others are all blank. spent too many years hand keying this to start all over now! Boxed it back up, deleted the program and will give it to someone I dont like for their birthday or make a expensive sun catcher out of it.

October 26, 2007 at 3:20 pm
(43) Robert F. Firo says:

I just installed FTM 2008 a couple of days ago and I cannot believe that a program that heretofore has been so user friendly can have become the exact opposite! What a piece of garbage! what a waste of money! I have been a loyal FTM fan for years and cannot express my digust for whoever decided to destroy the program for the sake of selling more Ancestry.com memberships!

October 26, 2007 at 7:02 pm
(44) M Windmill says:

Thanks to all for your comments, I was going to “upgrade” from my 2005 edition to the 2008. But before doing so decided to check the internet for information.
So pleased that I read your reviews, sorry your having problems or regreting buying it.
Thanks again though you’ve saved me loads of heartache

October 27, 2007 at 1:11 pm
(45) J. Cannon says:

I can only say how dissapointed I am with FTM2008. I have been using FTM for years with NO problems. 2008 is nothing but problems. Too bad I wasn’t smart enough to keep what I had. Am looking at other software…unless FTM wants to send me 16 to replace this mess that I have now. Heck..I will even be happy with 11.

October 27, 2007 at 2:49 pm
(46) D Church says:

Do not buy 2008 untill it is fixed

October 28, 2007 at 3:25 pm
(47) C. Boydston says:

OMG the Horror! Don’t go there! I am sooooo sorry I spent the money. I have been happily using FTM for 10 years. If I had started with FTM 2008 I would not have bothered sticking with it. I have not had any glitches with the program running – HOWEVER – it is unbelievably frustrating and slow to enter data. There seem to be fewer features. The facts – what is the deal with not being able to change fact names. What a pain. Those are just the top pet peeves. The list goes on and on. It’s a bad bad bad bad bad program. I just uninstalled and went back to the 2006 version.

October 30, 2007 at 9:47 am
(48) r sekanina says:

Just when did FTM become “associated” with Ancestory.com. my old program of FTM (10+ yrs) was doing just fine. it was suggested I “update” well I trusted the NAME – FTM. never again, a person needs a college degree in com-puter science to use it; and then it (FTM) still goes down 3-4 times in a 2 hour session of “trying” to use it.

October 30, 2007 at 2:34 pm
(49) S. Atwell-Tennyson says:

Thank goodness I checked this site – was about to “upgrade” my FTM, but will not even consider the 2008 version after reading these comments. Even if everything else worked as it should, it offends me to think that one’s database is “automatically” uploaded to Ancestry.com. I fear they have badly damaged their reputation.

October 30, 2007 at 5:02 pm
(50) Elizabeth Dial says:

Has anyone tried the 2008 version since the patch came out, and did it put the old features back in? Also did the 2008 version start running any faster? I have purchased the 2008 version but am afraid to install it. Should I wait until a new and better version comes out?

November 2, 2007 at 5:01 pm
(51) Jeff Peterson says:

I’m glad I decided to research FTM 2008 before updating to it! After reading negative comment after negative comment after negative comment on various sites about it, I decided resoundingly against upgrading.

Sounds like there’s just too many deal-breakers with this edition – they’ve dumped some of the most useful reports, and you have to give them carte-blanche to the information you’ve researched to print a book. Pass. I spend the money and time and they profit? Anybody into this arrangement feel free to send me the title to your car – I’ll be happy to sell it and give you nothing.

Not to mention the way-too-close ties to Ancestry.com. I used to have a subscription to that site, but got tired of the fees. Every time they add something new, it’s an additional fee to access it. Plus trying to cancel is like trying to quit AOL. Took me three calls telling them to cancel all subscriptions before they finally did it.

After some searching around, I’ve switched over to Legacy. After using it for a few days, it seems far superior to FTM. I’ve been using FTM since version 4, but I’m done. It’s just become one big advertisement and front-end program for ancestry.com.

November 3, 2007 at 9:47 pm
(52) Dan Hunter says:

Critical Data Losses Associated with Family Tree Maker 2008

Be afraid – be very afraid — of losing valuable data when transferring/upgrading to Family Tree Maker 2008 (FTM2008) software. I highly recommend NOT upgrading to this product at this time, and instead staying with earlier versions of FTM or using other vendors’ software.

I am an experienced genealogist with an extensive IT software development and testing background. When I recently attempted to upgrade to the recently released FTM2008 from Family Tree Maker 16 (FTM16), I experienced an large number of problems, the most dangerous and severe being LOSS OF DATA ! !

Below are my file statistics before and after upgrading to FTM2008:

File Size: (BEFORE UPGRADE) 18.598 Mb (AFTER) 13,855 Mb
Total individuals in data base: (BEFORE UPGRADE) 12,300 (AFTER) 12,300
Total marriages: (BEFORE UPGRADE) 3,769 (AFTER) 3,769
Total Text Records: (BEFORE UPGRADE) 194,103 (AFTER) 152,213

More than 20 percent of my text records were lost and failed to transfer. The lost records appear to be source data documenting events (i.e., birth, death, etc.) and individual notes for individuals. Also, some sources that did transfer appear to have been scrambled and no longer relate to the correct events.

I initiated numerous communications with the technical staff who purportedly supports FTM2008, and, in turn, received comments such as “I do apologize that you are frustrated with the software” …and… “I am not sure why this information has not transferred to the new software”. Other than these comments, there appeared to be no concern for the problem, nor any expressed intent to fix it.

Because of the seriousness of data loss, I subsequently sent a message to David Humphreys (Project Manager responsible for FTM2008) and two letters to Tim Sullivan, President and CEO of The Generations Network (TGN) – the company that owns Ancestry.com and produces Family Tree Maker software. THERE WAS NEVER A RESPONSE FROM ANY OF TGN’s MANAGEMENT.

It was recently announced that in mid-October 2007, Spectrum Equity Investors acquired TGN (which included FTM2008, Ancestry.com, and MyFamily.com) for $300 million. So, I sent correspondence to the two Co-Founders and Managing Directors of Spectrum Equity Investors advising them of this critical problem with FTM2008 – and like the correspondence sent to the senior management of TGN – NOTHING HAPPENED ! !

I highly encourage all using, or who might be considering using, FTM2008 to proceed with utmost caution. Besides the FTM2008 software being less than adequate in it’s present form (generally “buggy”, reduced reports, more cumbersome, difficult to install, etc.), as genealogists, we can not afford to lose the results of our research. I would suggest everyone retain their previous versions of their data files and software and refrain from using FTM2008 until the company announces a new release and CAN PROVE that their buggy software is fixed and reliable.

FTM2008 definitely has a long way to go before regaining and earning back the reputation that it enjoyed with the earlier versions !

Users may confirm the many problems being encountered with FTM2008 by doing a Google search using “Family Tree Maker 2008” and “problems”. Literally 100’s of sites are listed ! !

Dan Hunter

November 6, 2007 at 12:41 pm
(53) Patricia Grisotti says:

I wish I had seen this website before I purchased FTM2008. I have had nothing but trouble since installing this version. I have been using Family Tree Maker software since 1992 and this is truly a disappointment. Even trying to send a comment via their website was no easy task, in fact I’m not certain my negative remarks went anywhere. I am going back to FTM2006.

November 6, 2007 at 11:25 pm
(54) Mary Lee says:

Thank you all for saving me from this debacle of once great software. Are there any suggestions as to what genealogy software to use that is compatible with Vista Home Premium?

November 20, 2007 at 10:19 am
(55) Harold Kaeser says:

Is Family Tree Maker going to pull this off the market?

November 24, 2007 at 2:27 pm
(56) Heather says:

I have found like everyone else that transferring from XP to Vista totally impossible, however, I have found after downloading the program onto my new Laptop with Vista no problems if in fact it works far better!!!! OK I have to input my research all in again but I have found that with splitting the Ancestors up into different surname trees to follow each line I have had no problems whatsoever. Bt I do find the map a total waste of time. My version is the upgraded FTM 2008 so perhaps that is why I have no problems.

I do have a facility to upgrade once a week and I find that keeps me upto date.

November 28, 2007 at 3:34 pm
(57) J Lee says:

Everything that has been said above I agree with. it is a terrible programme!
I too have faithfully stayed with FTM thru the years and am so diappointed. I even wasted my money on the instruction book. The fact that it needs to be linked to Ancestry is a total rip off. I do subscribe to ancestry but this should be a choice not part of the programme. I will never trust FTM again and wish I could get a refund.
June Lee

December 4, 2007 at 12:34 am
(58) Dan Hunter says:

This is a follow-up to my Nov. 3, 2007 posting concerning the potential for data loss while transferring information to Family Tree Maker 2008 (FTM2008).

Although efforts to make contact with the management team of FTM2008 were unsuccessful prior to my posting, two days after the posting, David Humphreys initiated contact which resulted in ongoing communication.

For those who are only “scanning” this posting, I will sum up the info below by stating that I now tend to believe there is NO LOSS OF DATA when info is transferred into FTM2008 from external sources.

After establishing contact with the FTM development team, I shared a copy of my database with the team and they repeated the same processes I described that I believed contributed to data loss. They report they could not identify any data loss in the transfer to FTM2008, and explained that the apparent loss of data is due to the fact that FTM16 (the old version) stores data differently in its internal database dependent on whether the data was “entered directly” into FTM16 – or – was “imported” into FTM16 (e.g. from an imported GEDCOM or other file).

I’ve been advised that the new FTM2008 uses a totally differently schema (data base storage structure/content/semantics) from the older software — BUT — does not result in any loss of data.

I have begun checking their explanation with a smaller sub-set of my data, and have so far found their explanation to be true.

The main difference I’ve found (and which led me to believe there was data loss) between FTM2008 and FTM16, is a difference in how some source information appears to the end-user in FTM2008. ALL source information in FTM2008 is a more hidden, and harder to view than it was in FTM16, but in certain situations the source information within FTM2008 for events (i.e., Name, Birth Date, Death Date, Marriage Date, etc.) is more “secreted” than FTM2008’s “norm”.

It appears that when source comments stored in FTM2008 DO NOT reference (or are not linked to) specific records within the Master Source file, these comments appear differently than source comments that ARE directly linked to an entry in the Master Source file – - BUT – - they are stored in the database and appear to the user (and in reports) somewhat differently in FTM2008 than these same comments did in FTM16 (they appeared with the comments but showed “No Master Source”)

Coupled with the fact that FTM16 stores data in different ways (discussed above – ‘direct-entry’ versus ‘import’) the other factor that led me to the conclusion that data had been lost results from how FTM2008 produces a GEDCOM file, as opposed to how FTM16 produces a GEDCOM file. It appears both versions DO produce standardized GEDCOM-compliant files; however, each version uses different rules to produced those compliant GEDCOM files (i.e., FTM2008 appears to take long comments and/or notes, and generates multiple short “CONC” lines within a GEDCOM file (instructions that cause those lines to be later concatenated/linked) – whereas FTM16 takes those same long comments and/or notes, and generates longer lines within a GEDCOM file.

To recap – - – I now tend to believe that the importation of data to FTM2008 will not result in a data loss within the new version’s database. Some of the info may be a bit hard to find, but everything appears to be there.

As far as needed improvements to FTM2008, the management team responsible for FTM2008 development advised me that the ‘just-released’ Service Pack 2 strives to improve the reliability of the application and should improve some performance issues. The new SP2 also added the Ahnentafel & Register reports to the application. They assured me they were “looking hard” at ways to improve the way FTM2008 deals with ‘Sources’ along with other on-going performance-enhancing improvements.

For me personally, I will continue to use FTM16, but will regularly re-evaluate FTM2008 for performance and functionality issues, and will probably upgrade in the future when I can be as comfortable with the new version as I am with the old.

Dan Hunter

December 4, 2007 at 4:55 am
(59) David Hoare says:

Don’t like the appearance of FTM 2008 and navigating around the program is fraught. The program also gives incorrect Kinship reports, for instance in FTM 2006, it correctly reported two individuals as being my half uncles, which is in fact accurate – however FTM 2008 advises me that they are ‘second cousins.’ Would have been nice to have been able to vary fonts and colours according to taste. Altogether not what I would call an improved program – am returing to the more user friendly FTM 2006 !

December 10, 2007 at 8:55 pm
(60) Scott Sikes says:

2008 is crap. There is a blog on FTM’s site from the project manager admitting to over 300 issues and errors that were to be fixed in SP 1. I’ve never heard of an application release candidate with that many issues. I couldn’t even get it to import my main FTM file. I’m not even addressing all the basic reports that were stripped out. And the new owners of Ancestry want us to believe they consulted the FTM user base prior to release – bullcrap. This means that software is being released to make numbers. Assuredly, this was done to increase the newly purchased companies value. How shortsighted.

I’ll stick to FTM v 16 until a new management group takes this failing company over and puts the focus back on their greatest asset – their former loyal customer base.

January 3, 2008 at 10:55 pm
(61) Eddie Davis says:

I bought 2008 in late December and even with SP1 it is still total garbage. I’ve used FTM since version 2.0 for DOS, and have faithfully used every version since. Compared to 2006, this thing is a horrible mess. It runs far too slow, the interface is worthless and I absolutely hate it. I’m going to use either Legacy (a free program) or version 2006. Can you believe that you would have to CONVERT a 2006 FTM file to version 2008? I have a 40,000 person file and it took about an hour and then I got an error statement and the conversion failed. I tried the same program in Gedcom format and it worked. This program is a TOTAL WASTE OF MONEY. I’m so mad I’m going to try to get my money back. Avoid this turd like it was the Grim Reaper.

January 10, 2008 at 9:15 am
(62) Debbie Turner says:

YIKES! My old puter pooped out so I upgraged to new laptop with Vista – unfortunately the old version 16 will not work with Vista…. So I bought 2008 hoping for the best – UCK! I am going to purchase older used desk top so I can still use my older trusted easily navigated and packed full of usable reports and charts.

January 11, 2008 at 4:34 pm
(63) Roger says:

There really isn’t much I can add that hasn’t been said already. I removed FTM 2008 today because it is horrible. It is a major step backwards. I had both 2006 and 2008 on my pc and found myself constantly going to the ’06 version because it is so much better. Right now I’m in the market for something else.

January 14, 2008 at 8:34 pm
(64) Methuria Ra*Shad says:

Well I’m right there with all the people who wish they wouldv’e read these comments before purchasing V. 2008. You can’t sort the index to search for a married woman by her married name, it is extremely slow (drives me crazy!), it can’t find and merge all duplicate individuals (you have to manually figure out which two are duplicates and merge just the two), You cna’t resize the left people index (other than shutting it completely, or making FTM a bigger portion of the screen – I typically have FTM on one side of my wide screen,and the internet open on the other), etc. I do like the source are better, and I do like the resolve place name feature. I’m not getting any errors, and it does open faster than v 16 (I have 38000+ people). Overall, I’m thinking of going back to v16, but not sure its a good idea yet.

January 26, 2008 at 8:39 am
(65) Denise says:

Am I glad I decided to read the comments posted by other users who have tried this newest version! I was just about to place my order for the 2008 version as I have been using the older v. #11. I have recently replaced my old computer with one that is using windows vista. #11 runs ok, but it’s not the greatest. Any recommendations out there for other software?

January 27, 2008 at 6:27 pm
(66) Patrick says:

I have been disappointed with most of the versions since what was it version 10 or 11. Yes they upgrade the program by changing things around to make you think they did something besides change the version number. Family tree maker is only good if you get it for a buck in the cheap software section, kinda like day old bread. I have been considering changing to a new program and after seeing this latest excuse for an upgrade. If you really want to get upset call their customer service department, they are very skilled in not answering your question or problem while all along being considerate. This company will stay in business only because they prey upon the beginner genealogist. It is up to us the consumer to start letting people know not to waste their money as I have over the years. The money I have spent could have bought a good piece of software that functions and doesn’t lock up and die, and then their are the bugs they send it out with. I’m done with this software, all they are about is your wallet and what they can get out of it. Well, that’s enough of my rant. Bye

January 31, 2008 at 8:36 am
(67) Patti Salter says:

As many of you have said, I wished I’d read these reviews before buying the 2008 edition. I find it absolutely useless, none of the great features of the old FTMs are available (and I’ve been using it and upgrading since V.11). I would have thought that the reports were one of the most important aspects of any family tree programme, so what do they do – they leave them out. Navigating around is another unbelievable chore, I’ve never had such slow software and it seems to take half an hour just to open the [expletive] thing. The only place this version belongs is in the Recycle Bin followed by the “delete” button. DONT BUY IT

February 6, 2008 at 3:01 pm
(68) Dick Ledbetter says:

I received my copy of the latest version of Family Tree Maker (2008) today 01/30/2008. I have loaded it on the computer and I am very disappointed in the new version. To me it is so bad that I am thinking it is a piece of junk! The way it presents the data is as if it were designed by someone with dyslexia. It is a major design change and a complete regression instead of an improvement.

I purchased my first copy of Family Tree Maker in 1998 and I have gotten each new version that has come out since that time, which has been a new version almost every year. Recently there was version 2005, version 2006, version 16 and now version 2008. I have no idea why the version for the year 2007 was called version 16.

This is the first new version that I have been disappointed in. I really like version 16 and for the time being I plan to stay with it. Version 2008 is a waste of ones money!

February 8, 2008 at 1:11 pm
(69) Mark D says:

Wow, I’m one of those beginner folks just starting to build my family’s tree. I started it on Anscetry.com and and logically thought their software would be a good place to go as a next step – I wanted to print a complete family tree chart (which they don’t let you do on their website). After reading all these postings of how bad the software is and seeing virtually the same negitive reviews on amazon.com, I’m not going to buy this software. I spoke with the ancestry.com sales group and they said most of the bad reviews seem to come from “older age” users who don’t like to change. Amazing… What other geneology software does anyone recommend?? I downloaded a trial of Legacy 6.0 and it just seemed cumbersome.

February 27, 2008 at 4:05 am
(70) Joy says:

After using FTM 2008 for several days, an error message appeared to say that problems had occurred, with the choice to send or not an error report.
On advice from Tech support, I reloaded FTM, did not lose any data, but it only worked for a few days before crashing again. Do I have to reload every few days to get this disappointing program to work? I cannot believe it has anything to do with my a/v application.


February 29, 2008 at 2:09 pm
(71) Frank N. says:

I have been using FTM since the DOS version and have a huge version 16 file; in fact, I have run up against the 2500 scrapbook entry wall that I did not know existed until I hit it with a thud! I was about to go to FTM 2008 until I read these comments. You all saved me a big headache. I just purchased TMG and, while I know from comments on TMG that it will take some time to transfer all my data, I think it is the right thing to do in the long run. Genealogy.com really screwed up a great piece of software and, in my opinion, it was probably done to more closely bind users to ancestry.com! I appreciate that all of you took the time to warn those of us on the fence. Thanks.

March 15, 2008 at 9:55 pm
(72) Chuck says:

DON’T PURCHASE !!! Piece of krap !!!

Waste of good $$$ !!!

Nothing like what former FamilyTreeMaker used to produce … unfortunately !!!


March 29, 2008 at 6:45 pm
(73) Lee Honeycutt says:

I also think the new version stinks. I would love to get my money back. I will not use this program. Back to v16. I have used FTM since its inception, purchasing new version after new version, so I really feel duped.

April 23, 2008 at 11:54 pm
(74) Fred says:

I’ve used FTM2008 for 6 months and kept telling myself eventually I would get used to the new layout. It never happened. Unfortunately FTM2008 converts your FTM files AND backups to 2008. I will output GEDCOMS so I can go back to FTM2006. It is much faster and has a more logical layout.

May 17, 2008 at 9:01 pm
(75) Ian says:

After using previous versions of FTM, I am very disppointed in 2008. Far fewer options, reporting and inferior interface. Some added features are an improvement but overall, not to be recommended.

May 20, 2008 at 11:45 am
(76) David says:

I actually prefer Family Tree Maker 2008 to Family Tree Maker 16 because it allows me a better way to store images. I consider it to be a work in progress that will get better.

However, I do not disagree with any of the criticisms of FTM 2008 posted here. I was not able to transfer my trees from FTM 16 to FTM 2008 because the images had to be stored several times under the old program and the transer brought each copy of the image forward from the old program to the new one. In some cases it meant that I had as many as 20 copies of individual pictures. My solution was to rebuild my family tree on the new FTM 2008 program. This is working for me only because my tree was not large to begin with. Also, it is allowing me to clean up the sloppiness of my past work.

In summary, I like what the people at Family Tree Maker attempted to do. The new program has many shortcomings (all detailed here in the comments posted by others). I have confidence that the people at Family Tree Maker will fix the flaws.

June 5, 2008 at 8:45 pm
(77) Eldon Brooks says:

Does anybody know what the BEST Tree Program is? I would like to know before I waste anymore time on this miserable FTM 2008

July 20, 2008 at 6:19 pm
(78) Carrol says:

Thank you all for all the comments. I am getting a new computer and wondered if I should also upgrade the FTM from V 16. I have used every version of FTM since 1.1 (Blue Banner)and enjoyed it because I am not a computer expert. I will NOT be getting the last version, and my question is: What other family tree programs are out there for those of us who are not computer experts. I have been researching for over 40 years, and have accumulated thousands of names for the 10 files I have.

July 26, 2008 at 12:18 am
(79) Bill Bolton says:

Since I have moved to a Vista x64 operating system platform, I have been trying to get a few critical (for me) feature, like exporting descent tree fans etc, working in FTM 16. While it mostly works, the poor software design of FTM 16 uses some “hardwired” interfaces which it turns out are not portable to 64 bit comptuing environments (AAAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHH).

So, I paid my money for a copy of FTM 2008 in the hope those features would then work.

What a shock that has been! My critical features are *not even supported* in FTM 2008…. they are just not there at all! Even allowing for that, the new user interface design has all sorts of practical usability issues.

Now I dont know where to turn…. but its probably going to be away from FTM! I don’t understand how the developers got FTM 2008 SO wrong!

September 30, 2008 at 8:25 pm
(80) Bob Burris says:

I bought the ftm 2008 Sept 10 2008 put it in the same day and registered it. I am so dissapointed, I contacted them about upgrading to 2009, they said the free deal was only if I got it and registered before Sept 12, I told them I did and had a reciept of when I bought it but didn’t have the free upgrade confirmation. I may have deleted it by accident thinking it was junk mail. They told me to bad there is nothing they could do about it. I am very unhappy with them , wish I would have read all this stuff before I bought it. Bob Burris

November 21, 2008 at 10:29 pm
(81) Neil Rossiter says:

Re. FTM 2009. I have used FTM 4.01b for quite a few years and found it excellent. Prior to upgrading to FTM 2009 I emailed Ancestry.com to check on compatibility and was assured it was fully compatible with all previous versions. IT IS NOT. Many earlier versions require ancestry’s archive programme to enable upload of data saved on the earlier versions. Second you find, as in my case, that a 32MB file is transformed into a 104MB file on FTM 2009? According to Ancestry.com it is because FTM 2009 handles info in a different way? Thirdly, be prepared to tear you hair out with all the glitches – lost info, inexplicable rearrangement of relationships and so on. Granted there are a few decent ideas, but overall FTM 2009 is rubbish. What makes the problem even more frustrating is trying to deal with the sanctimonious characters on the helpdesk at Ancestry.com who seem incapable of giving a straight or truthful answer. Buy FTM 2009 at your peril.

November 24, 2008 at 1:56 pm
(82) Ted Lee says:

I’ve used the old version of FTM and have over 2700 fam members in it and have been happy with it. I bought the 2008 FTM hoping for a few advancements but quite frankly it sucks. I’m staying with the 2006 version.

December 15, 2008 at 11:55 pm
(83) Mrs. Lewiz says:

I am so dissapointed in FTM 2008. I have tried to use it for the last two weeks but I can not even get online to enjoy my 3 months of ancetery.com and I can not register my copy. I am just going to delete it from my system. The point of releasing a new version of a program is so it is new and improved. FTM you hAVE FAILED IN BOTH AREA…..

December 15, 2008 at 11:55 pm
(84) Mrs. Lewiz says:

I am so dissapointed in FTM 2008. I have tried to use it for the last two weeks but I can not even get online to enjoy my 3 months of ancetery.com and I can not register my copy. I am just going to delete it from my system. The point of releasing a new version of a program is so it is new and improved. FTM you hAVE FAILED IN BOTH AREA…..

January 18, 2009 at 12:24 pm
(85) Larry says:

FTM is no good…We cannot get on line to register or to do anything.
we waisted our money.

June 5, 2009 at 10:02 pm
(86) Elyse says:

I agree with all the comments above and after several months am finally ready to give up on 2009.

Have been using and upgrading every version of FTM since 1992. Read the reviews on 2008 and figured they were fixed for 2009 so finally jumped in – stupidly without checking user comments such as this boarfd. Have been working with 2009 for a few months and continue to be incredibly frustrated and features that I loved that are missing from 2009 – too many to detail here and continuing to find more. The lack of ability to customize defaults properly is an ongoing frustration. Also, for some reason, reports selectively do not include my husband, although everyone else’s spouses seem to be there. He appears in certain reports and not others. Trying to import the books I had saved in earlier versions has been a disaster.

I would like to return to v.16 or use some other software – which I am so reluctant to do after being an 17-year FTM devotee. Does anyone know if I export to a GED file, will all my info/notes/facts be properly exported, and can I easily import them into the old version or a new program?


January 10, 2010 at 9:20 am
(87) Linda says:

I just purchased the FTM 2008. I know it is 2010 but this has not been used and I thought I would try it. I have used FTM for years, since the first one came out and it seems to be getting more complicated and less usable. I wished I had read about this version before I bought it. This program is absolute worthless. It also tell me that I need an internet connection to get on line (which I have) but yet it says I am not on line. There is no help on how to establish and internet connection either. So I can’t use the internet with this program. I am so disappointed. I think I will contenue using the older version I have and look for another genealogy program. The 2008 version doesn’t even have family group sheets and the internet dashboard is useless but I don’t know how to get rid of it.

To make a long story short I feel I got taken by FTM and I hate the program.

March 1, 2010 at 4:04 pm
(88) Sarah says:

I’ve had this software for over a year but only just installed it yesterday, and already I’m unimpressed. I started entering my immediate family manually to get a feel for it, but as soon as I changed my parents’ relationships to my adopted brother from ‘natural’ to ‘adopted’ the program started calling him my half brother. I haven’t been able to figure out any way to fix it manually. I’m still showing up as his full sister; that didn’t change.

If this thing can’t keep relationships straight with only four people entered, I’m certainly not wasting my time importing the rest of my data.

July 26, 2010 at 2:11 pm
(89) C.J.Cooper says:

Hi there,
Wanted to try Family Tree Maker SE, but everytime I download it, it has a virus. Anywhere I could get a clean version to try before I buy.

December 7, 2010 at 5:48 pm
(90) Belinda says:

I am NOT IMPRESSED with this 2008 program. I have worked on putting a book together over the past 10 years and am UNABLE to continue with this on this program not to mention you can only order books online in the States and I live in Canada. I now have everything all mixed up and cannot even get online to search from the program. It keeps saying i am not connected to the internet which I am and I am in general not happy and very angry to have spent countless hours only to get where I am, not being able to use this program. I wish I could get my money back and purchase a useful program.

December 13, 2010 at 4:17 pm
(91) Michael says:

Well, I could not find my old FTM 14 discs when I bought a new computer in the summer of 2009. So, I bought FTM 2010 and tried to install it on my Vista machine. because FTM 2010 uses some Windows files that Vista could not update, FTM 2010 would not install. So, being the clever guy I am, I went to amazon.com and bought a copy of FTM 2008, thinking it should not have any problems installing on a Vista machine. I was right – no problems installing it on my Vista machine, but now when I want to export my data to .rtf files, there is no Books export capability. Crikey!!! It it is not one frigging problem with these FTM people, it is another. All along I have been unhappy with my first FTM product. These software programs are crippled and limping around without even a crutch. I give up trying to accomplish what I desire using FTM POS. I am either going to write my own program, or just use Excel workbooks – at least then I cannot blame anyone but myself. If you are new to this game, DO NOT BUY FTM PRODUCTS!!!!! Find some other useful program made by a manufacture who listens to their customer base and tries to improve their product from year to year, instead of trying to manipulate their customers. FTM now (at least as of FTM 2008) requires its customers to connect to its website in order to do many things previously done on your machine. By forcing you to use their website to publish a book, they are capturing your data. Maybe you do not care if they steal your data, but I sure do!!! I have too much invested (money and time) in my database to just give it away to the world.

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March 3, 2012 at 6:20 am
(103) Mike E says:

I recently bought FTM 2012 – version 21 – (for $59.95) and imported the data from the 1999 version (version 7). Well, I have never had the misfortune to come across such a crappy piece of software as this latest version. Here are just a few of the main problems:

The pages look crap and navigation is practically impossible. If an ancestor had more than one spouse, this is not shown and it is a real challenge to get the second one showing on the screen. The old way was so user-friendly and so obvious.

If something works brilliantly, why change it?

It says I have 14 days free access to ancestry.com, but when I click on the link, it says I have to register the software first. However, I HAVE registered the software. I then clicked on some other link to obtain information on the net, and it says that there is no internet connection. But I was connected.

The program runs slow, takes a long time to load, and is constantly crashing. If it doesn’t crash, then it freezes and I have to go to the Task Manager and cancel it. Several links just don’t seem to work.

I would say the 1999 version produced by Broderbund is a VASTLY SUPERIOR product. This latest version is just another example of technology going backwards. I regret spending my $59.95 and would strongly recommend anyone to NOT buy this software.

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August 6, 2013 at 1:23 pm
(106) Sarah Thompson says:

I am disappointed with FTM 2008. Not only is it really slow, merging two files is almost impossible. And there is no trouble shooting for this on the Ancestry site.

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