Top positive review
61 people found this helpful
Worth the Money
on 19 October 2011
First thing that should be noted are the differences between FTM 2012 and FTM 2011:
1. Tree Sync
2. Combined Family View (If a person has children with more than one partner then all children can be displayed on the same screen - I've found it useful but it is quite a minor detail)
3. Improved Smart Stories (They are better than 2011's Smart Stories, but they still read like a machine has written them - I wouldn't bother!)
4. New report and chart options - haven't tried these yet.
5. New tutorials - haven't tried these yet.
Also, for those updating from FTM Version 16, then apparently it will detect that & display an interface that looks more like older versions of FTM.
And that's about it as far as changes go.
It comes in a very big box with a 370 page guide to FTM 2012 - it seems quite comprehensive, though I haven't read it all yet. It also has 3 discs:
1. FTM 2012
2. Backup and Protect, a program called Perfect Image, Version 12 (I can't comment on this as I haven't installed it. FTM 2010 World Edition came with Version 11 of the same program for those who are interested.)
3. Create Your Own Website (Web Easy 8, exactly the same version as in FTM 2010 World Edition)
Installation on Windows 7 was straightforward and reasonably quick, but be aware that if you have a previous version of FTM on your computer the new installation will automatically convert your Family Tree Maker files to the latest version.
When you start the program, the Plan screen is the most different as it has a box for Tree Sync. Most other views look very similar to last year's version.
Tree Sync is the big difference as it allows you to update your tree and will automatically or manually make the changes on your Ancestry family tree. It can't sync a tree that already exists though, you have to upload a tree to Ancestry again for it to work. Compared to some, my tree is quite small - about 400 names, 200 media / reference files - and it took just a few minutes for the tree data to upload, about an hour for all the media to be uploaded too. I decided not to have the automatic sync turned on, prefering to manually sync my trees, I've done it several times and the whole process has been smooth and quick. Of course, you don't have to link your tree on Ancestry should you wish not to. I'm really pleased with the process though.
If all you want the program for is simply to update from 2011 to 2012 then it's probably not worth the money for the World Edition. However if, as I did, you want it because it's a cheap way of getting a world Ancestry subscription, then it is excellent value for money.
One of the things I like about Family tree Maker is that the software comes with two licences - I can install it on my laptop as well as my desktop. I have done that as I was away for a week. I keep my family tree on a portable hard drive - it's just a case of plugging the drive into whichever machine I happen to be using. When I started it up on my laptop though, the family tree came up as not uploaded or synchronised to Ancestry. Rather than worry about that, I just worked on my tree, then when I next used my desktop, I synchronised all my changes without any problems.
Had a hard drive failure on my computer so had to replace it and re-install everything including FTM 2012. My family tree is kept on an external disk and I open it from there, but when I opened it on the re-installed program it didn't recognise it as linked to the Ancestry tree any more. Having been in touch with Ancestry's support, it appears that there is no way to re-link it. I'll have to go throught the whole process of uploading the tree & media again, as well as re-inviting all the people I had given access and, to avoid confusion, I'll delete the old tree. This is a major flaw as far as I can see, and one that will need fixing. It's enough for me to knock a star off, but the program is still woth buying if you need the subscription to Ancestry. Otherwise, I wouldn't bother upgrading now.