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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 14 November 2013
I purchased FTM 2014 direct from Ancestry as an existing subscriber.

There are three distinct groups of people who would consider buying this product:
1. Owners of a previous version who are subscribers to Ancestry and wish to extend their subscriptions for six months at the lowest possible cost.
2. Owners of a previous version who are hoping for improvements in this latest version.
3. People new to genealogy looking for a program to help them.

I belong to the first group. Premium membership of Ancestry normally costs £12.95 per month so this package with six months' subscription is therefore a very cheap way of extending Ancestry membership.

People in the second group will be much less satisfied, for there are tweaks to the program rather than a major overhaul, though there were no problems in setting up the software or integrating it with my existing tree. The main difference in the 2014 version is that one has the option of Family View in addition to Pedigree View - just as one has on the Ancestry website. The interface has been improved marginally and in addition one can now export an individual branch of one's tree. However, these are relatively minor changes and would not justify upgrading to FTM 2014 unless one values the six months' Ancestry membership. There are supposed to be improvements to the charts but I can detect no real difference. It was anyway unlikely that there would have been major improvements in this area because Ancestry wishes to continue to sell its charting software programs as extra add-ons. Buying this new version only for impovements in functionality would be a waste of money.

I believe that Family Tree Maker may be a good buy for those in the third group - people embarking on genealogy as a new hobby. It is, of course, possible to purchase perfectly adequate software for a fraction of the price of this product and if one is seeking only to create a tree from existing knowledge then it would certainly be better to buy a cheaper program. The merit of the Platinum version of Family Tree Maker is that it includes six months' Premium membership of Ancestry, and a subscription to one of the genealogy websites is, I believe, important for serious genealogical research. The Premium membership that comes with this Platinum version offers very much more than the Essentials membership attached to the Deluxe version and is much better value. I have 2,000 individuals on my family tree. I could not possibly have achieved that without Premium membership of Ancestry - or an equivalent membership on one of the other genealogy websites. Finally, a big plus for FTM 2014 with a subscription to the Ancestry website is that one can invite family and friends to view one's online tree as either guests, contributors or editors. No subscription is needed. It makes it possible for creating a family tree to become a collaborative effort.
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on 5 February 2014
I had been using the Generations program for over 12 years now, and had been very pleased with it, but decided to try Family Tree Maker because of the good reviews. Initially I was a little concerned because I couldn't get this program to do what my original program could do, and didn't get much help from the help line, but after some perseverance, I found what I wanted, in particular being able to sort on married names as well as surnames. I also found out how to customise charts. Some people have critisised the handbook that comes with this program, but all of the information is there once you have read the small print!

I have transferred over 3000 names by using a gedcom file, and have been impressed with how much information has actually been transferred. I am also impressed with the facilities that had not been available on my original program, in particular the spell checker and much easier way to find a particular person's name!

Once I am happy that I have transferred everything correctly, I am looking forward to uploading parts of my tree onto and then creating a book (or books for different parts of my family tree) to send to other family members.

Another interesting fact with Family Tree Maker is that you get 6 months free membership to and, if you are already a member, your current membership automatically gets extended by 6 months!
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on 17 January 2015
I used the 2010 version with no problem.

Then I tried to load the 2012 update. Despite many calls and emails to customer support, it would not work. I finally gave up.

I purchased a new laptop at Christmas, and decided to start from scratch. I purchased the platinum version 2014. This has installed OK, but will not register which among other things means that I cannot run searches from within the software.

I've spent 40 minutes on the telephone to "customer" support", who have told me that this is a "known issue", but apparently there is no "known solution" to the "known issue" because they have given me two inappropriate "solutions". Customer support seem to be call centre workers operating from a script with no actual expertise in the software

I have since emailed with screen grabs of the error message, and of the problem it seems to cause. I also sent details of my laptop operating system, system resources etc. That was three days ago, and to date I have not had the courtesy of a reply.
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on 13 November 2013
I have only had a few hours on the new 2014 Family Tree Maker. I bought on line at the FTM Site.

The 6 monthly free premium membership is worth about £52 on its own. The package includes CD and includes
283 pages "Companion Guide" written in small print.

It is compatible with Windows XP - Vista- Window 7 & 8 either with 32 of 64 bit compatible.
Apart from a few cosmetic differences I cannot see much difference between versions 2012 & 2014.
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on 22 December 2013
Building on Derek Jones review which I found really helpful.
I was really concerned about upgrading from FTM 2012 as I am sure would anyone who has spent hours producing their family tree especially given some people's reported problems.
Well I have to say it was a breeze so thank you Avanquest and Ancestry.
A few points that I found hard to clarify before going for it.
FTM2014 installs completely separately from FTM2012 so you can retain your old tree in this software in parallel to your new tree.
When you install FTM 2014 it automatically upgrades itself before you can use it, I suspect getting rid of some of those initial issues, so make sure you are connected to the internet.
When it opens your current tree it has to convert it to its new format, but it does ask you if you want to keep the old version and save the new one with a new name. I'd definitely go for this approach then you can still open your old tree with your old version.
Finally if your tree is linked to Ancestry to synchronise, FTM2014 will detect that and ask if you would like to swap this to your new tree, I said yes and everything worked fine.
If you now open your old tree in the old version of software it is still there locally but no longer linked to I guess if you really wanted to you could re-upload this as a different name although not sure why you would want to.
Totally agree with Derek Jones' views on why you would do this, the best bit is the 6 months premium. Changes in the software indeed seem limited from FTM2012, the tree view is useful and when opening media the mouse wheel now zooms (little things please!). Other than that all looks much the same.
After upgrading as far as I can see all my notes and place co-ordinates that had been changed are intact.
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on 13 February 2014
This item was delivered quickly and was well packed. My spouse uses this more than me. I can only report that there seems to be little change from the previous version. The installation is very straight forward, you have to watch out for the usual sneaky items during the install process that wants to do things like adding extras to your home page and resetting tour home page to something else. Just keep an eye out for the ticks on the installation screens to avoid any surprises. Both the last and current versions are stable and now feature a synchronise with Ancestry feature that appears to work well.

As I said apart from some minor screen changes, similar to the last version. Time will tell if there are any new glitches. So far no complaints, it does an excellent job and I would definitely recommend it to keen or starters in family history builders.
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on 20 November 2014
Speedy delivery etc. from Amazon - no issues there.

The major issue came after installing the programme it tells you to do a critical upgrade - I thought no problem, wrong.....
The package crashed and after mulitple uninstall's and install's still no joy. I then spoke to the help desk who told me this is a known issue. He sent me a procedure which entailed installing in a certain mode. Manged that but still wouldn't work - this was now six pages of documentation printed off. I called them back and after some argument with the help desk we proceeded to uninstall the software and then deleting my registry - this is not for a normal user!!!

After 2hrs on the phone we managed to get things working again with the upgrade down. What a nightmare. Never again especially if there is another upgrade.
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on 3 January 2014
FTM 2014 is the best of a long line of FTM's. It will allow you to build your Family Tree to the degree of accuracy and depth and width you desire. Unfortunately, it will also allow you to embark on flights of fancy and bouts of wishful thinking the result of which is a total waste of time and loads of mal-information floating around the web.
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on 6 December 2013
I purchased this product over a month ago and am still trying to get it to work.

It will not permit me to `register and it will not connect to my Ancestry subscription and therefore the vital `web-search' and `places' functions are inoperable. These flaws render it utterly useless as a safe and reliable research resource.

I have spent hours on the telephone with the help desk and tried scores of suggested `fixes' to no avail. I have also had my PC checked out by a specialist company who have declared this to be a software problem peculiar to the 2014 upgrade.

The `experts' in the help centre have finally admitted defeat and have advised me to go back to using the 2012 version. Trouble is (AND THIS IS WHERE YOU SHOULD BE VERY CAREFUL BEFORE PURCHASING) my data has now been converted into a form that will only convert back to the old 2011 version of Family Tree Maker and not the 2012 version that I previously used.! As I no longer have FTM 2011 on my PC I have been utterly snookered.

The Customer Service people have advised me to go and ask their sister company for a refund (they seem unwilling to do this themselves for me) leaving me with the hassle of producing the evidence to justify this! They have offered no suggestion at all about what I might do next, now they have stranded me in this hopeless position.
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on 20 July 2014
Have had earlier versions of this software so main reason for purchase was the included 6 month subscription to Ancestry and would therefore have given 5 stars for value, the software itself has been problematic and merits only 1 star.
Buy it for the Ancestry subscription, but unless you really need it, don't bother installing the software - the small improvements over previous versions are not worth the problems caused when you try to import your existing family tree.
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