Thursday, August 13, 2009

Family Tree Builder 4.0 - Post 1: A First Look announced the release of their free software Family Tree Builder 4.0 yesterday. You can read the press release at Dick Eastman's blog here.

You can download the program and see a slide show of the features of Family Tree Builder 4.0 here. The blog has an article with more information. The new program features added include:

1) Maps -- Using our maps, you can explore your family's origins, gain a better knowledge of your family, and enjoy all the benefits below:

* Fix place names according to smart suggestions we provide and improve your data
* Map your entire family tree, or any portion of it, or just one individual
* Map birth places, places of residence, other particular facts, or all facts
* See all people, events and photos associated with any particular country or place
* See all places of importance in any person's life, and trace immigration patterns
* Find any place in any language on the map

2) Photo albums -- Organize your photos in albums for your convenience. When you publish your family tree to the web, the album structure is preserved in your family site. This makes it much more convenient to manage very large photo collections. Inside albums, use drag & drop to change the order of photos. Also use drag & drop to copy or move photos between albums. You can even drag photos from Windows into Family Tree Builder in the new version.

3) Slide shows and screen saver -- You can also view slide shows of any photo album that you create or for all photos. In addition, Family Tree Builder now comes with a Screen Saver that shows this slide show for any or all of these albums.

That sounds wonderful, doesn't it? But to utilize all of these neat features, you need a Premium Account at I have a Basic Account (250 persons in my family tree, 250 mb of storage, basic smart matching). A Premium account costs $75 per year (2,500 persons, 500 mb storage, enhanced smart matching) and a Premium Plus account costs $119.40 (unlimited persons, unlimited storage, enhanced smart matching).

Family Tree Builder has been promoted as one of the genealogy software packages that can synchronize between the desktop program and the MyHeritage family tree site and create a public or private family website. It is one of the programs that might be able to lead us to the "Genealogy in the Cloud" world.

I downloaded Family Tree Builder 4.0 and installed it on my computer. I got a warning from my McAfee Site Advisor anti-virus software that it might have adware or malware associated with it. I don't know why this happened, but I'm wary, and have contacted MyHeritage about it!

Then I uploaded my master GEDCOM file (38,420 persons, 15,116 families) to the program. It took less than one minute to load this file. Since it was a GEDCOM file, it had no media items associated with the persons in the database. If I use FTB 4.0, I will have to add the Photos myself. However, if I then create a family web site from the desktop software and database, those media items would be uploaded to the family site, according to the MyHeritage news release.

Future posts will cover navigation, data entry, sources, maps, reports and charts as I explore the free version of Family Tree Builder 4 (i.e., without a Premium MyHeritage account).


Thomas MacEntee said...


The reason for the McAfee error may be related to the fact that Family Tree Builder 4.0 places an update program in the Startup Folder. I downloaded the program last night, did the install and this morning when I booted up, Windows Vista warned me that a program had been blocked. I looked and it turns out it was Family Tree Builder 4.0 performing an update check back to MyHeritage.

I was also not impressed with the base install in that there was an option to make MyHeritage your home page. I have to give them credit for at least making this obvious on the screen (many software installs hide this under "Custom" installs) and you can uncheck the option. However there are many genealogy software programs that don't take this approach.

ezra47 said...

Downloaded version 4 of FTB, (XP Home OS)and my anti-virus Avast informed me that it contained a Trojan Horse in my win32 file.
I therefore aborted the download.
Anyone comments?