Thursday, September 24, 2009

Family Tree Maker 2010 - Post 1: Installing Program and Creating a Tree

I ordered Family Tree Maker 2010 in mid-August and the CDROM came in the mail while I was on vacation. I loaded it onto the desktop computer today.

The program took several minutes to install on my computer, and then it went hunting for a Family Tree Maker 2008/2009 file to load. The screen below shows a message box:

The message box says that the FTM 2008/2009 file format is not compatible with FTM 2010, and the file has to be converted to the new format, which should result in a smaller file size. I clicked on the box to create a backup of my FTM 2009 file also. All of that took a little more time to do. Finally, the program started and the "Plan" workspace screen looked like this:

It looks like it loaded access to the three different trees I had in FTM 2009, as evidenced by the upper right hand corner display titled "Trees." Also on the right-hand panel is a new "Web Dashboard" box with a listing of my Member Trees and the most recent Twitter feeds from

The Web Dashboard had an "Options" link so I clicked that to see what could be done on the Web Dashboard, and a panel with a bunch of check boxes appeared, as shown above.

I wanted to see what options there were to create a new tree, so I went to the "New Tree" tab in the main panel, and started to enter a new tree:

It would be too difficult to enter all of my family tree data, so I clicked on the box to "Import a tree from an existing file." FTM 2010 permits imports from any Family Tree Maker file from Version 5 on, a GEDCOM file, Personal Ancestral File, Legacy Family Tree (I wonder which versions?), and The Master Genealogist (which versions?). The Help function did not tell me which versions can be imported.

I wanted to import my most recent Family Tree Maker 16 working file, so I browsed my computer data files and found it and clicked on it to put it in the File name box and renamed it with a date:

It took quite a while to load into FTM 2010, since it has over 38,000 persons and over 15,000 families, but only 18 media items attached. As it neared the end of the processing and creating the tree, the progress bar filled out:

When the file was created, the program gave me the statistics about the file, including the fact that it took over six minutes to do the job (about 150 records per second):

There is one other option to creating a new tree - I could download a tree from my Member Trees. I clicked on the button on the "Plan" workspace to do that and saw:

I currently have two trees on Member Trees, and I'll take a look at how that works in the next post in this series.

I wanted to check the file sizes, but installing FTM 2010 resulted in the FTM 2009 files being converted to FTM 2010 files and I could not determine the FTM 2009 file sizes. The FTM 16 Family File size was 38.773 megabytes (which included the media items). The FTM 2010 Family File size is 62.920 megabytes, plus 6.580 megabytes for the media items. I tried to import the FTM 16 Family File into FTM 2009 and put it in a separate file folder, but an error occurred and it did not load. The same thing happened with a FTM 16 Backup File upload to FTM 2009. That's frustrating - I want to be able to compare FTM 2010 with FTM 2009 and need to use the same "starter" file.

My plan is to NOT do a comprehensive review of FTM 2010, since I did one for FTM 2008 last year. I will be looking at the things that have changed since FTM 2008 and 2009, however.


Anonymous said...

Hi there Randy,
I discovered a potentially useful resource online today and thought I'd pass along a heads-up.
Google has added back issues of ANCESTRY magazine to it's magazine lineup. It looks like full issues from the last 5 years or so.
Heres a URL:

Keep up the excellent work!

Anonymous said...

One of the biggest things that I noticed that was different from my previous version, 2008, was the file is automatically saved in a different location. The files previously were saved under program files. The new version saves them under your user profile and auto backs up frequently. This came in very handy over the weekend when the program crashed and I had to use a back up version to restore.

Cathy -