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on 8 March 2013
I needed new family tree software as my original programme was very old and no longer able to be updated. Family Tree Maker was very easy to import my records into with no errors and once I'd found my way around the intuitive programme I was able to make good use of the free subscription to on line services and even found and confirmed a long-lost relative! It took me a little time to set up the various charts to the way I wanted them. Any one new to family history software would be well advised to read the handy little book which came in the package to get them off to a flying start.
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on 28 January 2012
Having bought the FTM 2008 and it being a waste of money, I was a bit hesitant to buy this but I badly needed to upgrade my 2005 FTM. I shouldn't have worried as FTM 2012 is so much better than any of the other upgrades I've tried.

It is easier to move around and find information and also the map actually works and gives you streets in Britain...although it is definitely aimed at the American market.

I've very happy with the product and can now finally allow my FTM 2005 to have a good rest; it has served me very well!
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on 31 October 2011
After initially using Family Tree Maker 2006, it was fantastic that I could just transfer all the information from that into this one. I am working my way around the system, which looks really good. It's also a nice addition that you have 6 months subscription to Ancestry.com. The only thing that I am a bit disappointed about is that there are no a4 print options for the whole tree as far as I can see at present. Well worth the money that I paid - which turned out to be cheaper than when I pre ordered it - so felt like I got a bargain.
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VINE VOICEon 5 February 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have been using FTM for years and I like it because it links up with the records on Ancestry.co.uk and I always get the annual upgrade because, with the Ancestry.co.uk subscription, it more than pays for itself. This year, I wish I hadn't bothered - it is a truly awful upgrade and I have had to spend hours sorting out the family tree file which it corrupted. I would not recommend FTM12 to anyone that already has FTM11.

The new feature which I was most excited about was Tree Sync. I have always input data into the FTM program, rather than into an online tree on Ancestry.co.uk. That works well, until you want to share information with family and other researchers. In that case, you want an online tree. Tree Sync promised to allow you to make changes on your FTM tree, which it would upload to your online tree, and if you changed your online tree, it would automatically add those changes into your FTM tree. It sounded like a brilliant idea. Up to that point I had been uploading excerpts of my tree to Ancestry.co.uk and then if I found any new information about the individuals in those trees, I had to manually add that information to both trees separately.

Tree Sync had a couple flaws from the outset:

1) It uploads your whole tree, including media items. I have a tree with over 4000 media items and it took hours and hours to upload them all. I don't want the media items to be uploaded, but there is no way to stop them. This leads in to a second flaw...

2) Ancestry tells you not to include in online trees pictures of living individuals without the permission. I have one tree with all of the branches of my family in it, including photographs of various old family gatherings from the different sides of the family - it would take an age to go round to each of the people in those photographs and ask if they mind their picture appearing in my tree. This wouldn't be a problem if I could exclude media from the online tree. As it is, I am left with a dilemma, delete the pictures from my FTM tree, or not allow other people to view my tree and go back to my old method of uploading small extracts from my tree and allowing different family members to view them.

I thought that these were just issues that had cropped up because of a lack of thought on the part of the developers, and that as time passed, more customisable options would be added to the Tree Sync feature. But, since then I have run into huge problems.

1) There was a mandatory update to the software, which required me to re-register the product to Ancestry - only it registered it to Ancestry.com instead of Ancestry.co.uk. Now it is always trying to log me into both sites, with the result that I am always locked out of one of them for 'exceeding the licence limit.' If I am locked out of Ancestry.co.uk - I cannot use it for standalone research (it is often easier to find information in the web browser than in the window in FTM). I have been in contact with Ancestry about this, followed all their instructions for fixes (which went as far as changing the Registry!) and nothing has worked. Ancestry support has stopped responding to me and my subscription to their site is worthless half of the time because I am locked out.

2) I left my tree uploaded to Ancestry and it would sync everytime I opened or closed FTM12 - until one day it told me that there were conflicts. I looked at them, couldn't see anything wrong and told it automatically correct the conflicts by preferring the data in my FTM based tree. The next time I opened FTM, I noticed that a lot of people had been duplicated, facts had been duplicated and the same source appeared several times over. It took me hours to put the tree back to the way it had been before that sync, but I sorted everything out and the corrected tree was synced to Ancestry. A few days later, the same thing happened again. This time, I tried manually resolving all of the conflicts, but I noticed that every time I moved onto the next conflict, the previous one jumped back to preferring the online tree information, instead of FTM one. I cancelled that sync so that it did not corrupt the tree again. It would not sync properly after that because it picked up the same conflicts. My only option was to delete the online tree and start the upload process from scratch again.

There have been a couple more mandatory updates to the software since then, and I have had to completely unistall and reinstall the software several times. The most recent update was a couple of days ago. This update promised to fix problems with syncing trees. I had another go at setting up the online tree and then I got a message that 'the last sync failed - try again later'. I have tried again, several times and it still does not work. I have looked at the online forums and everyone who has had this problem (and there are a lot of people) says that the only fix is to delete one of the trees and set up the sync again - that is not really a fix.

If I could go back to FTM11, I would - no question. The problem is that there is no backwards compatability with FTM. Once you open the file with FTM12, you cannot use it with FTM11 again. I have a back up of my old FTM11 file, but I have done 3 months worth of additional research then, which would all be lost if I went back to that version.

I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND FTM12 TO ANYONE WHO ALREADY HAS FTM11 - the only real change is the addition of the Tree Sync feature and this needs a lot more work by the developers before it is usable.
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on 24 March 2013
a good upgrade from Family Tree Maker 11
it was also required at this time as,
I had also upgraded my system to Windows 8
and some of FTM11 was not compatible with Windows 8
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on 1 February 2013
I have used an old version for years (2005), this is much improved, the sync. with the Online Tree is excellent, and together with the app. for Android makes this a valuable and simple tool for Family Tree updating.

Its excellent for exchanging photos between other peoples Tree's and your own, and adding family off their tree on to yours.

The Interface takes a little getting used to, and can be a little confusing at first, but I am sure with use it will become easier.

The book with the program helps as an overview to get you started, but nothing like practice to really find your way around this excellent tool.

The icing on the cake is the six months registration which is included free, this really does get you started, I have been on via my Tablet (app), and PC most days since its arrival, its so easy to log in and do searches.

If you are into Family Trees .... buy it, you cannot go wrong ...
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VINE VOICEon 13 December 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I had a piece of software like this many years ago but that was before the advent of Ancestry.com and all the benefits it heralded. I never made any progress before but this is a dream to set up and get started. My only criticism is that it seems to be more difficult to get information if you are based in Northern Ireland like I am. Results seem to pop-up more readily for the rest of the UK but not so much for here. Ah well ... can't have everything!
I'm finally making progress with my family tree and every little twig and branch that gets added brings another smile to my face.
This is software that I can highly recommend and with a free 6-month subscription to Ancestry.com you're onto a winner. I didn't renew my subscription after the free term due to the shortcomings of the service for Northern Ireland users - info for users in the rest of the UK seems so much better than for us :(
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on 25 June 2013
The links to web pages are unstable , found the possible hits useful but annoying as the program points to USA file that you cannot access unless you pay more. The overall feel of the program is good , if somewhat dated , I have given 4* because despite limitations , its a good tool for Family research
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on 25 February 2013
Family tree maker is a real help to anyone doing their family tree. It saves you a lot of time, especially with easy to produce charts that you can easily amend and print. It's user friendly and comes with a complete 'foolproof' step by step guide that explains everything clearly. The big plus is the 6 months free subscription with Ancestry worldwide. If you're already signed up with ancestry, the 6 months free is applied from when you register family tree maker with them, which is required to sync your online tree with the one on your computer. I'm sorry I didn't buy it sooner!
I can also recommend the android app for Ancestry, which enables you to have your tree with you wherever you go
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on 18 January 2013
I had a big disappointment as soon as I started as ancestry is not able to access Scottish records, I know my fathers line is from there, I think this should be made clear before purchase,
As a tool for my English side of the family I am pleased with it .
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