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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 30 January 2011
I have only just received this, so cannot as yet give a definitive review, but it seems that it will do all that I wish it to do. It arrived promptly and well packaged with 3 boxed CD programs, (the program itself, a "Back up and Protect" program, and a "Create Your Own Web Site" program - will I use these extra programs? doubtful, also a "quick start guide" and a 340 page "Companion Guide"). The program includes a 6 months subscription to Ancestry worldwide membership, which will more than pay for the product itself.

BUT, and this is a BIG BUT, the installation was awful as has already been mentioned, (and from what I have read on various forums, is a major issue). It installs onto the computer, but when I tried to open it, I received the message that I hadn't closed it down correctly and that I should go into the "tools" menu and compact the files!!!! How can one not close a program correctly if one has never opened it in the first place? and how can one go into the tools menu if one cannot open it????? I also had the usual Windows message that this program has a major problem and will close etc. Anyway, I re-started the computer...no difference; un-installed it 3 times and re-installed, re-started the computer each time; ran the program as administrator.....no difference....nothing it would seem would get this to open. I have just written to Ancestry via the support section of their web site, but will have to wait about 3 days according to the automated email. In desperation I did the following, which worked and hopefully will help anyone else with the same issues, (incidentally, I have Windows 7):

1) Load the Program CD but do not let it self run, so when it starts to install automatically, press cancel.
2) Go into "My Computer" and right click the drive showing the CD and click "Copy"
3) Go back to your desktop and right click anywhere on an empty space, right click and press "copy"
4) After the CD has been copied onto the desktop, remove the CD from the drive.
5) Click and open the program and click the install button, (blue in colour and not far from the bottom of all the items)
6) After it has installed, you can delete the copied program from the desktop.
7) Hopefully when you click the short-cut on the desktop it should open - famous last words!

I look forward to reading how you get on, and thanks for listening,

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS 24 HOURS LATER:

I have tried to use the program 3 times, and while it opens fine, nothing has been saved, so all my entries and dates have disappeared! I have read the manual and everything is supposed to save automatically! I have searched the computer in case it is saved in a file somewhere, but it has not.....So back to Avanquest and I will add the answer when I hear.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on 27 December 2010
As an experienced computer user I had major problems with registering this product. This is obviously a known issue that has existed over previous versions (years) of the software as instructions are available on the website to fix the issue. Unfortunately this can involve alterations to the registry files of the computer and deleting other files/directories.

I have followed all the instruction I could find and am currently uninstalling the software in an attempt to get it working using a clean install.

I'm not known for giving poor reports on software but think in this day and age, these sorts of problems should not appear in the latest versions of retail software.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This pack has now been superseded by Family Tree 2012 World edition (also the top in the range). World Edition allows access to Ancestry's on-line global collection of records, including the UK. Ancestry apparently has over 4 billion records available to search, ranging from historical censuses and parish records, to military records and passenger lists, although it's not the only on-line place to pay-as-you-go research your family tree. This pack contains a full 6 months 'World Wide' membership for the Family Tree on-line Ancestry website, whose webpages actually integrate into this software much like iTunes and its shop. It's similarly expensive to go beyond the 6 months membership though and some suggest Ancestry does have factual errors, as it also relies on genealogy information uploaded from other registered members [although it can certainly help get you get started]. However now that the 2012 version has been released, you would be best served investigating the latest version, as the membership offer may have lapsed on this obsolete Family Tree Maker 2011 version. If you are already a member of Ancestry this software is perhaps less useful as much of Family Tree Makers features are mirrored with similar tools offered on-line at Ancestry anyway.

Family Tree Maker 2011 World Edition also features chart creation and reports, family tree creation with support for photos, documents, audio, video and other files, as well as timelines, and interactive maps, and it's all pretty straightforward to use and looks loads better and is far easier than trying it on say Powerpoint or Publisher. Family tree Maker is a bit more complicated than earlier versions of GSP [now Avenquest] genealogy software, as it no longer has a simple single tree layout, but is split into lineages with more multimedia content options and now integrates into the on-line membership fees driven version. But it's still a nice Family Tree package to get you up and running - although the key resources for any family are the memories of its oldest members so pump them for information ASAP. I would add you have to be serious about getting started with the family tree as well, as if you don't get much free time to pursue this you might find the money spent on Family Tree Maker 2011 is wasted if you don't make full use of your 6 month Ancestry trial period [you can try a free 14-day Ancestry trial before buying if interested].
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
When I was very young, I learned that the bigger the box, the bigger and shinier the present. When I was very, very young, apparently I found the big box to be as interesting, if not more so, as the present itself.

With the Family Tree Maker 2011 World edition, you know that you will be getting a substantial package. For a start, the box is over 3 inches thick and seems to weigh commensurately more than you would expect. It brought back fond memories of the days when software came in hard boxes. Its contents (i.e. what you get for your money) are:-

1. The program itself (Family Tree Maker 2011 World) on a separate CD in the usual CD/DVD casing. It comes with 6 months Free Worldwide Membership of Ancestry worth £72 currently (not £113 as stated on the box). However, to get this you have to produce your credit card online and unless you then take steps to cancel at least 2 days before the 6 months are up, you will automatically get a 6 month renewal at a cost to you of £72. There's no such thing as a free lunch!
2. A separate CD (boxed as before) with "Essenti@ls Backup and Protect" software on it which appears to be quite a thorough backup program for the benefit of the whole PC (and not just the Family Tree software. The box suggests that the "Product contains Perfect Image 12". Unless you already have a good backup package, this software has a value in itself.
3. A third CD (also boxed) containing "Essenti@ls" Create your own Website Version 2" software. This utility has some link with a hosting site which requires payment after a short 14 day trial. I cannot see (and I have not checked) whether the software is actually tied to that hosting package, but I think probably not.
4. A manual/companion guide, YES a PRINTED MANUAL, some 340 pages long. If you find the print rather small to read, as I did, then the manual is on the main program disc as a pdf and can be copied on to the PC
5. Printed Quick Start Guide and 'Welcome Pack' (the latter being really a promotional leaflet for related goods or services).

System requirements will no doubt be set out on the Amazon Page. My set up is a Dell PC dual core running Windows XPpro with 2GB ram and lots of space on the hard drive. The box tells me that the product is "Compatible with Windows 7", "Works with Windows Vista" but "Designed for Windows XP". Personally, with my set up I found absolutely no problems with installing and using the software. I did however have problems with the automatic online searching which caused "debug" messages constantly to appear. I switched those messages off and have found no significant problems with the online searching although there are 1 or 2 minor irritations.

Having said that, my PC has hung on a number of occasions during the online search routines, although, thankfully it has recovered after 3 or 4 minutes. I cannot definitely put these instances down to the software and I mention them only in passing.

So far as the program itself is concerned, it is fairly intuitive and has to be for me because I reserve manuals for dealing with `footnote' type issues. I did manage to work out how things were supposed to be entered etc. but bear in mind that this is US software and was a lot less user friendly until I found out how to change the inputting and appearance of dates, etc.

Given its pedigree, the software generally must be seen by genealogists (at least amateur ones) as being worthy of the investment of time and money. I am in no position to disagree.

By way of summary, the package is complete and thorough with some bonuses and the odd disadvantage here and there. It seems just right for those who wish to do a thorough job in establishing a Family Tree. The package will make the job a lot easier and professional. My only concern for non XP users (and particularly Vista users), however, would be its degree of compatibility with their systems.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 30 December 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Unlike some reviewers I had no problems installing or runing this program.

The programme itself is probably much the same as other family tree software but with the bonus of access to Ancestry's web records, which is what sets this program apart. Without this access it is probably an average pice of family tree software.

You do have to be careful when accessing the web records - it is a little too easy to add a record to your tree and then realise it isn't a family member at all - especially for older records where individual details can be a little sparse.

After the initial free period your subscription to the web site will renew automatically - so if you dont want that you have to remember to cancel it beforehand. I had no problems doing this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
My goodness, there is a lot in the rather large box that this comes in. Of the three CDs that are included, the Backup CD and the Create your own website CD are not really connected to the Family Tree maker software and of peripheral use.

The main software is the Family Tree Maker itself and this is extremely comprehensive whilst being fairly easy to use, once you get the hang of it. I would suggest starting simple before embarking on a large genealogy project. What you do get, unlike most software these days is a comprehensive printed guide and this is a very useful addition. It installed perfectly first time and I was up and running in no time.

When all is said and done though, this is effectively a bespoke database program and to get anywhere with it, you need the material to flesh it out. Thankfully, you get a six month subscription to Ancestry.co.uk, a useful resource for discovering basic information from Birth Marriage and death records as well as censuses up to and including 1911. I should point out that this information is limited as the information shows months and years but not exact dates and, although it is searchable, it can involve poring over scanned documents to find the information you require. What is does give you is an easy way to obtain the basic information which you can flesh out later if required.

Be warned that researching your family tree can become quite expensive. To get exact details, birth, marriage and death certificates would need to be purchased and these are fairly expensive (around £27 each). Also once the six months is up, you need to renew your subscription to Ancestry.co.uk (although you can just as easily use a diffeent service - I have been using Genes Reunited).

So all in all this is a good tool which provides the software you need to build a decent family tree but be aware that to gather the information to fill it out can work out a significant expense in the long run.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 3 March 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I found this software very good and would recommend it to all experienced and new genealogists who require a user friendly and professional family tree programme on their PC. Beginners would get off to a really good start as the tree connects to Ancestry online and integrates your own records with their millions of worldwide records online which are downloaded easily into your own tree.
I am a genealogist of twenty years and already a member of Ancestry but found it was very easy to import all my data into this new programme. Charts of several different formats can be easily created to share with family members, and are the best charts I have used. The Worldwide subscription to Ancestry is invaluable, I still find Ancestry by far the best online site for research. Included in the pack is a back-up DVD for PC's, however I found this quite difficult to use. There is also a `create your own website' DVD which is easy to use as no web programming is required.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I actually gave this to my wife to review as she has had experience of FTM2009 software and thought her opiions would be more valid

The 6-month free subscription to Ancestry and the ability to instantly merge records into my family tree is brilliant and I find FTM 2011 is pretty user-friendly I can see I'll be using it whenever I have a spare minute. I like the automatic back-up facility, but I found early on that I could switch this off if I wanted to, and save a back-up elsewhere, which is useful.

To be honest I didn't really read the Getting Started guide much before getting stuck into using FTM 2011 as I have already been using FTM2009. I found it really easy to pick things up as I went along, producing reports and adding people and so on, by just exploring all of the options on-screen. I also like the way you can choose to look at the information in different ways. I think it does help that I am used to computers, and that I had used a Family Tree program before."

There is better integration with additional data sources, iPhone Apps if you have such a thing, and it just seems to be a little bit better at most things.

I'm not 100% sure that you would need to upgrade if you had FTM2009 ... I think it would depend on how keen you are, whether you want or need the new bells and whistles and data sources.

If this was my first FTM software, I would be delighted.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
First thing to point out is that it comes with 6 months free membership on [...] which is worth roughly 60 quid on it's own.

Like many other reviewers here I had problems with the installation, in fact, it simply refused to install on my PC so I've had to install it on my laptop.

Once it was installed, it generally worked fine and although it does take a while to get used to(nothing seems to work as simply as you'd think it should) it is worth persevering with.

I had already built and researched a lot of my family tree and found it very easy to import and add the information I already had into my newly created tree on the software. Being able to then attach birth certificates, paper clippings and old photo's I had as well is really useful and it's allowed me to print off some wonderful family tree diagrams which i've had framed and given to various members of my family as presents.

Can you get by without this software? Yes, it doesn't really do anything you can't do without. Is it useful despite that? I would say so and I certainly will be using it a lot from now on. Could it be better? Certainly, it really does need a decent programmer to go through and iron out some of the bugs in it and needs to be a bit more user friendly but there's nothing game breaking wrong with it.
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on 29 September 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Having used a previous version on this product a couple of years ago, I can say that this feels faster, has more functions including several that are very useful, and has added depth to the standard search and tree layout system. The user interface is better optimized for high-resolution displays and it feels like you have more room to maneuver. You need a more powerful PC to handle this improvement though, so bear that in mind. As this is the World edition you get access to US and Australian databases which can help immensely in finding long-lost parts of a British family tree. This version also comes with a 340 page printed manual which is a rarity these days.

I am using it on Vista 32-bit system and it installed with no problems.

Be aware that it has a six-month subscription to the Ancestry.co.uk website, which you will need to pay to extend after that date.
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