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3.8 out of 5 stars82
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
My history. I started an tree last year.
I got Family Maker 2011 to review- and found it really difficult to integrate with the tree online.
Installed Family Tree Maker 2012- absolute doddle this time to download my very large tree to the PC. Really easy to activate the 3 months free subscription by signing in to my deactivated ancestry account (make sure you remember your password first!).

I just like the look and feel of the online system better. Even if your subscription has expired on the website, you can still look at your tree via an iphone/ipad app. You just can't add documentary evidence to it based on the site. If you really want to print off all your data you can with this program, and certainly trees can get very entangled if you have linked to other people's and want to see multiple descent lines.

The free essentials membership is really for those just starting out- there is plenty there: birth marriages and deaths from 1837, UK census records from 1841 (boy, the wonderful computerised indexation was a massive improvement over searching through microfiches in the 1980s) If you manage to get your ancestors back beyond 1837 then you do need the premium membership (if your particular parish county records have been digitised). Warwickshire has only just come on stream since I let my membership lapse last year, so the essentials package is only for tidying up really.

Practically if you are starting out this is not a bad purchase, but you can cope with just the online system.
11 comment|28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 21 June 2012
Very disapointed!!! - FTM particularly the 2006 version which I have used for years used to be the best Family Tree software available.

This new version is dreadful being slow to activate and run and more orientated to being integrated with both cosmetically and datawise rather than doing the job efficiently for your own independant research. While it is possible to copy and merge searched data results from an integrated Ancestory search into family trees directly, it is so verbose that it only displays about 5 results per page rather than the summary 20 per page on the 2006 version making it more difficult to find those obsqure entries which are always diffult to find.

I am going back to the old 2006 version for as long as I can. This is another example of where developers have produced Bloaterware which may look pretty but is not up to the job.
22 comments|16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 29 January 2012
This is a good piece of software with plenty of functionality and reports. The ability to synchronise online provides the comfort of a backup which is welcome.

The major problem, and it is a major problem, is its speed. It is extremely slow generating reports and charts. It uses all my CPU for minutes at a time to generate a chart of report which makes the preparation of books a real trial of patience - every time something is edited it sits and thinks for minutes. Painful. This is a pity as the book function is otherwise excellent although it is trickier than I would like to print.

Even when entering data the response is not quite instant - there is a slight lag which makes if awkward sometimes as one consciously waits for a brief but noticeable period for a response.

If your tree is small then these problems will not be a problem, but if you have a few hundred individuals or more pop over to the ancestry discussion boards and see what others are saying about its speed before you buy.
0Comment|13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 10 November 2011
FTM 2012 is a disappointing upgrade if you already have FTM 2011 ... The only change is the Tree-Sync feature which might be great if you have a really small tree but it insists on sync-ing *all* media files. Even tho' this runs as a background process is noticeably slows the performance of FTM and more importantly there is no way to turn it off ... if, like me, you have thousands of private photos and scanned source documents in your file these will get uploaded to Ancestry whether you like it or not. You can make the Ancestry tree private to protect privacy and copyright but personally I would prefer a choice *not* to upload media in the first place or at least to be able to do so selectively.
44 comments|59 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 21 January 2012
Firstly, Amazon shipping time is fantastic. I ordered this product earlier from Ancestry in the USA. After waiting two months I gave up and cancelled the order. I then ordered it from Amazon and in a few days it was in my mailbox.
Many people have complained about Family Tree Maker with tree sync. If you follow the instructions exactly and do the things that the program and the help service tells you - you will NOT have any problems. The few problems that I had were of my own stupidness. The program does all that it says it does....and a bit more. The reports are fantastic. But the most important thing for me is the fact that I can work off line and then sync my tree with Ancestry.
Betty Dahlstedt
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VINE VOICEon 19 November 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I was looking forward to using this software, but after only a couple of hours, I found the glitches that others had found with the previous versions; that is the jumbling up of information. I had painstakingly filled in the information I knew about my family, but when it was downloaded onto my PC I noted that people had moved generations or disappeared all together! Not good. I also couldn't find out much more than I already knew regarding dates of birth and a bit pointless, really.

I decided to terminate my 3 month trial as I didn't think the glitches were a good thing to happen, as there would be too much work involved in correcting the problem. Apart from that the actual idea is a good one, let down by glitches.
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on 8 November 2011
I was used to using the 2006 version of this programme, and decided to treat myself to the new 2012 version. How disappointing this is. I personally have found this new programme very difficult to navigate and it's taken away some of the interest I had in Family History. I understand Ancestry are marketing this mainly on the basis of being able to sync your tree online via the subscribed website. While this may be a convenience for some, I would prefer to have a choice of what media content is actually shown online. So I may as well go back to uploading a Gedcom file as before.

Compared with my previous version, the overall screen views are also disappointing and are overfilled with information which should be in the background.

I am seriously thinking of going back to v2006, if I can get it to work on Windows 7.
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on 25 November 2012
I have been using 2005 version since new and bought this as I thought it would have lots more up-to-date features plus my old one was synched to rather than uk. I have found it very disappointing and much more confusing to use than the old version but I suppose it would be great for someone starting out in family research. I'll give it another chance and explore some more of the features but think I might change back to my old trusty familiar one.
0Comment|6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 9 May 2012
I purchased this software as my 2006 version would not let me view the searched items so felt a little peeved and apprehensive at buying a new version. I had tried the 2009 but just could not get on with it.

Delivery time was fantastic 3 days from order to delivery on super saver - cant ask for any more than that.

Software: Well Ive only had it for a few hours and so far so good, quite like that you can merge data and electronic documents at the same time. No more fiddling around to save them to the c: drive - its done for you. Getting the hang of the search facility quite quickly and played with a couple of reports. If you click on the report you can then save it to CSV (spreadsheet), pdf or a couple of other permutations. All the old reports seem to be there from 2006, and some new fancy ones. You can work on or off-line so no probs there, and I always update my tree on-line using file anyway, so did not try the synch.

Data from 2006 transferred across easily using a file - 6100 names and no errors which is pretty good going!

Only problem I had was installing it. I run on windows xp service pack 3, when the disc loaded it went straight to the avenquest registration, which refused quite a few times. Eventually got to the software installation and it hung - Im not technical but it was something to do with Windows .Net 4.0 I cancelled this and then ran the disc manually (using repair) and it installed and worked perfectly. Obviously you then have to register with Ancestry. I am already registered to gained a 3 month extension to my world wide membership - chuffed with that.

So all things being equal, so far I am pleased I have made the move to the 2012 version. If anyone else on 2006 is having problems or is thinking about changing I'd say that for £19.99 you are not likely to go wrong!
0Comment|3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 December 2012
VERY, very slow........... Also has poor reporting and charting. Has a long way to go to catch up with Genbox which was last updated 4 years ago!
0Comment|5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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