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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 Ancestry.co.uk 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 Ancestry.co.uk and, if you are already a member, your current membership automatically gets extended by 6 months!
22 people found this helpful
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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.
6 people found this helpful
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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.
6 people found this helpful
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on 3 August 2015
This has to be the most useful but badly implemented program I've ever used. The best things about it are the free 6 month subscription to Ancestry and the Charts. Don't get me wrong, its got some really good features and allows you to do all sorts of things that just aren't possible on the website itself but there are some things that are really annoying. I never managed for example to figure out how to get the program to include the relationship between you and ancestor into the reports and charts that it generates - for a family tree program you'd think that would be an obvious thing to do with a big button to push - its got the code in there to do the calculation as it displays it on screen but goodness knows how you get it into a chart or report!

Family Tree documents do tend to be quite big and I was happily using the built in Book feature until one day it suddenly said that it had ran out of memory in trying to build the book.... to my mind of being a programmer for 30+ years, this is just bad programming and if there is a limit, why doesn't it display a percentage of free memory? Also trying to lay things out in the SmartStory editor isn't proper wysiwyg in that you can get it all to look nice and setout as you want it - but then when you preview the book which sends it to a different program, its all changed and pictures moved around and then if you send it to a PDF file it gets hacked about even more and pictures can end up being half displayed on the next page. It takes an eternity jiggling things about to get things to make it look nice and proper in PDF files - no problem with other programs.

The worst thing though is pictures in charts - you can mark them as being private and not to upload them to Ancestry. The problem though is that sometimes it does exactly that and all of a sudden you can log onto Ancestry and find yourself looking at pictures you didn't want to share and there's no way of deleting them - it doesn't even tell you that its uploading them. It's also a bit random whether profile pictures will stay profile pictures or not - they've got a nasty habit of disappearing between different sessions of using the program.

So yes its good and useful and anyone serious about doing Ancestry should get it for the additional features but watch out for the quirky bits that don't necessarily work the way you'd expect them to!
One person found this helpful
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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.
4 people found this helpful
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on 18 November 2014
Family Tree Maker consistently satisfies amateur genealogists with a solid platform which seldom hangs or fails to open correctly.

There are other programs on the Market with better individual features, however Family Tree is an adaptable 'tool' to record and store family in a simple and foolproof way. Overall its simplicity assures capture of your past generations, and the genealogical 'assets' offered by Ancestry allow you to study possible additional links & previously unknown family members in the comfort of your own home.

Ancestry also allows you to store a copy of your personal Family Tree on its database. You can choose to make this copy private or publicly available. Go for the public option! You have unknown relatives out there, and you and they can add to and enlarge any Family Tree.

Just remember one Basic Rule. Never commit informative details of living persons to any file, online or offline.

Identity Theft is a Very Real Threat, and any computer with either Internet or LAN access might be breached.

Older genealogists will remember the agony of hiking around museums and libraries, organizing access and then sinking hours of research into the records, often without any information payback, and just sometimes providing the ecstasy of fresh insights into the lives of your ancestors.

The Ancestry Library of genealogical data allows you armchair access.

Computers and painstaking indexing have both provided the modern genealogist with more bang for their buck of research time. At the same time the resulting greater volume of targeted genealogical information now available to your armchair requires a means of analyzing and storing the results, and that is where Family Tree Maker scores top marks!
2 people found this helpful
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on 18 September 2015
As other reviewers have stated, it is a very cost effective way of getting 6 months of ancestry membership. I had an old 2006 version of Family Tree Maker and it was no problem moving my family tree into the new version. I am on windows 7 and have had no problems at all with the software. The uploading of your tree to ancestry was a doddle. The syncing of your tree to download new finds is also very straightforward. The instruction book that comes with the pack is very thorough.
One person found this helpful
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on 15 October 2014
Arrived really quickly, installation no problem on windows 8 found it a bit tricky to use at first but soon got used to it , I like the fact that it will find duplicate people and you can sort out all the place names, I have linked it to my ancestry account and now I have the best of both worlds good value if you are thinking about paying for a subscription on ancestry.co.uk get this instead as it give you a free period, I have not activated that yet so hopefully there will not be a problem
One person found this helpful
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on 27 February 2014
This is good as family tree software goes but has got bugs when I connected to my Ancestry tree on line I was overwhelmed with "Hints" about 200 hundred of them. Some you can ignore when you review them. But if the they are Hints from Private or Overseas trees you can not remove the hints. I have contacted Ancestry and they tell you to check Cookie settings but it makes no difference you are stuck with them. The free 6 months premium membership of Ancestry paid for the software so not to bad
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on 13 December 2014
Family Tree Maker Platinum edition provides the tools to create your own family tree and has the benefit of providing access to the Ancestry website and search facility. These are hugely valuable when carrying out research in the UK.
The software was delivered rapidly and arrived in good condition. Would recommend this product.
One person found this helpful
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