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on 3 January 2016
Present for my mum, she loved it.
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on 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 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 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!
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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 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 9 March 2017
This does the job well especially as it's linked to your trees on Ancestry & mine gave me 6 months free access to Ancestry.
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on 9 December 2015
Urgent warning to anyone proposing to buy this as a Christmas gift. This is a really good programme that I have used for many years and through previous editions, whilst I would have been giving it a 4-5 star rating, Family Tree Maker has announced today that it will no longer sell this software from December 2015 and will not support the software as from 2016. This has resulted in a very angry response from its erstwhile loyal customers via the ancestry blog (thousands of hits within hours). The beauty of the package was that it had a really clear off-line programme that you could sync with an on-line tree, you had the choice. It was this facility that made it so good. It has recently revamped the on-line trees and I along with many users have found this has been a very poor and clumsy innovation. Ancestry effectively want users to use on-line cloud based trees only. The announcement today has led many users to say they will no longer use Ancestry. Whilst if all you want is some simple software to get you going and you are not worried that the software will not be updated or supported in the future, you will find this easy to use, I have previously found it excellent but best be aware of todays decision in making your selection.
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on 13 September 2015
I have considered doing my family tree for ages, this made the decission for me, and i dont regret it for one minute, great price, easy to set up and use.
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