Search for content in message boards

FTM Software -is it any good?

FTM Software -is it any good?

Posted: 1349918698000
Classification: Query
I just came across this software and wanted to ask what everyone thinks of it? I see on the boards everyone posting sync problems.
Wondering how it looks, is it similar to the one on this site?

Re: FTM Software -is it any good?

Posted: 1349919701000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1349968410000
Yes, it does have sync problems. You don't have to use the sync capability, however, and then those problems won't effect you. I don't use sync and don't have plans to use it.

I'll give you my assessment of FTM:

1) To achieve a published result (in a published book or article in a professional journal) - absolutely terrible - an "F"

2) As a piece of software that has all the bells and whistles that are expected in a really good genealogy program. C+. Look at Master Genealogist for A in this regard, but consider the increased learning time.

3) As front-end of accessing an on-line set of databases and merging that data into your dateabase and publishing on-line - an A

So... pick out what you want to do.

I use it primarily for Number 3 above, the ability to access ancestry's great set of databases - and they are adding more all the time. It's easy to use, no fuss, no muss. I have made hundreds of discoveries using FTM to access these databases. The biggest drawback is the length of the source citations, which are way overly long - but don't cause much problem in on-line publishing of your tree.

As for No 1 professional paper publishing, it doesn't do page-by-page footnotes, which knocks it out of the running right off the bat. It doesn't do line-by-line, chapter-by-chapter ancestors reports, the industry standard, and if one has used FTM's databases, the length of the footnotes will get you into trouble with a publisher.


You asked about how this looks compared to "this site"?? I presume you mean compared to ancestry trees - FTM is completely different.

Re: FTM Software -is it any good?

Posted: 1349919985000
Classification: Query
I love it! and sync is awesome. Right now it's slow but when it works it's pretty super awesome!

Re: FTM Software -is it any good?

Posted: 1349920838000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1349920958000
Whether you prefer FTM over other genealogy software will depend much upon your specific needs. I have current licenses for, and have used, most of the major software (FTM, Legacy, RootsMagic, TMG, Family Historian, Genbox, and more) on Windows. Further, I begin with genealogy software on CPM+ operating system back in the mid-1980s, before moving to DOS, and finally Windows.

For me, Genbox offered the most complete set of features. Unfortunately, that software 'sort of died' five years ago. TMG, Legacy, and RootsMagic offers many of the features found in Genbox, yet each lacks other features I found important. So far, FTM seems to be the only genealogy software that offers a similar set of features to what I found important in Genbox.

Since many genealogy software offers trial versions you might consider trying each software to get a feel for data entry, seeing where data (sources, media, etc) are used and shown by the software, along with output of typical reports. What is "right" for you may not be the same for someone else.

Re: FTM Software -is it any good?

Posted: 1349922318000
Classification: Query
Thank You, I will try the free trials.
I'm also looking for a program where I can just maybe print out the tree with just the family names to show and give to my other living relatives who are asking for it.

Re: FTM Software -is it any good?

Posted: 1349930795000
Classification: Query
FTM also allows you to create Ancestor Member Trees online that are also useful to share with relatives. Saves the paper as well :-)

John D

Re: FTM Software -is it any good?

Posted: 1349965747000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1349965846000
I think the first poster gave an opinion of a professional who uses the software for his professional genealogy business. Since it sounds like you are an experience person working for himself and his family I think you will be quite satisfied with FTM.

While you may find a report module lacking in some feature you want, all of the deficiencies can be made up in an FTM Book. In an FTM Book you can put charts, person reports, genealogical reports, outline reports, and most importantly you can use the word processor in the Smart Story (Text Item) to put any thing you like into the FTM Book. (I use them to explain my big conclusion, include some speculation on the pre history of the family, etc.)

As for working with the data, there is a slight learning curve, but it is no steeper than any other new software such as a wordprocessor, spreadsheet, or internet browser.

The biggest down side to FTM is it is SLOW. It takes over a minute to load, so it makes it difficult to pop it open to check a fact. While they have improved it some of the reports take a while to execute. (this depends somewhat on the size of your database.)

Once you have FTM open it response quickly as you navigate through the program to do you various genealogical task.

I had no problem in going from FTM 16 to FTM 2012, every thing imported with a couple of glitches in my FTM Books.

I use FTM Books to transfer information to Cousins and to family as it gives everything about the family with sorces, table of contents, and index. Occasionally I will use and outline report.

Re: FTM Software -is it any good?

Posted: 1354590476000
Classification: Query
FTM is good for finding and sucking in information from the internet
But be wary of where you are living for I discovered with 2011 smart story couldn't be printed out because it was set for US page size with no way of changing settings.
Sadly omitting them also meant numbering of pages still included them as they were part of the book even if not being printed.

It is shit when you discover that as long as you are in USA ancestry look after you but elsewhere they seem to be still forgetful shall we say.

They do listen and long term fix problems.
I am loathe to try creating another book entirely though just to find out if book issues resolved.

Re: FTM Software -is it any good?

Posted: 1354614762000
Classification: Query
Apart from one minor issue that does not influence the overall effectiveness of it, I have not had any problems with the sync feature.

As for the rest of FTM, I have had some complaints about some of the more advanced organization functions but overall, it's the best software I've used. For me, it was worth it for the sync feature alone since I do a lot of work on my online tree and so I need my online tree to sync with my software so the data is the same.

But if all you want to do is print out reports and charts, you can probably find a free or cheaper option. Try Family Tree Builder at My Heritage, the standard edition of Legacy Family Tree or RootsMagic Essentials - they are all free but I think they support pedigree charts and reports.

Re: FTM Software -is it any good?

Posted: 1354626768000
Classification: Query
"2011 smart story couldn't be printed out"

For printing, FTM receives all of its paper size information from the print driver not from the FTM Software. So if you are printing something from FTM (Windows) you must first go through the FTM printing routine, and when the print driver screen comes up you must select the paper size you wish to use.

There is one frustration. I use CutePDF because of the extra large paper sizes available. I find it less frustrating to make CutePDF my default printer before I open FTM, as in some charts it is difficult to have FTM change its printer when you are viewing a chart. However by setting the default printer first, and then creating an FTM chart the paper sizes are available to FTM when you are viewing the chart. You can then change the paper sizes and the chart will reflect the new size.

I routinely print to different printers on different size paper both European and US size designations.
per page

Find a board about a specific topic