Monday, November 29, 2010

MyHeritage Announces new (free) Family Tree Builder5.0 Software

This press release was received today from Gilad Japhet of MyHeritage:

We've just released a brand new version of Family Tree Builder, and I thought you should be among the first to know.

Before I describe everything that's new in this version, here's some more great news:

For the upcoming holidays, and to celebrate the release of Family Tree Builder 5.0, we're announcing today a limited-time, huge 30% discount on all MyHeritage subscriptions! If you've ever considered a subscription, now is the best time to get one, before this offer expires. More details on this discount are found further below.

Download Family Tree Builder 5.0 (FREE)

Family Tree Builder is the software that millions of people around the world rely on for building their family trees. The new version 5.0 released today brings significant new features and improvements, and we've been working hard in the past year to make its release a joy for lovers of family history. All the new and improved features of Family Tree Builder 5.0 are free.

Important note: if you're already using a previous version of Family Tree Builder, you can simply download and install version 5.0 on top of your current version with no problems. This will not affect your family tree data and is strongly recommended and free. If you're not using Family Tree Builder yet, the new version 5.0 is an excellent start. If you're using some other product, you can move over any existing family tree to Family Tree Builder using GEDCOM import.

What's new in version 5.0?

• Family tree charts: Family Tree Builder 5.0 features a completely overhauled chart module that generates beautiful charts, completely for free. 18 new chart styles are now available. Two new chart formats have been added: Bowtie and Hourglass. A new chart wizard makes it easier to create charts. There are great-looking new visual enhancements: title decorations, backgrounds, frames and borders to choose from. You can create as many charts as you like, save them to PDF or JPEG, print them or share them. Create your own favorite chart styles and save them for later reuse. There are more enhancements in the charts than we can possibly list here.

• Family tree posters: any chart can now be ordered as a printed poster from This makes a great gift for a loved family member for the holidays – Christmas, Hanukkah and others, or for a birthday, wedding or family reunion. This is especially useful for large charts that are difficult to print at home, and you can choose from a variety of high quality materials including vinyl and canvas. The posters will delight you and your family, so get one or more ordered today and receive them before the holidays!

• Tree consistency checker: we've invested a lot of thought in this new, free module; it will check your family tree and detect possible mistakes of approx. 40 different types, to help you make your tree better. For example, if you have entered dates inside place fields, or tagged someone in a photo dated before that person's birth, this module will catch such mistakes, and many other ones, and show you exactly how to fix them.

• Better privacy controls: users who publish their tree to a family site on, now have better privacy controls at their fingertips, allowing them to configure with much precision which information will be posted online. For example, it is now easy to avoid publishing information about specific individuals, or to remove certain fields, such as addresses, for all people. See all info that is marked private at a glance and easily make sure that private information stays private.

• To-do lists: use this great new feature to organize your work. Enter tasks that need to be done and associate them with people in your tree and with locations; organize the next steps you need to do in your research and prioritize them. Find all tasks associated with a certain person or location and conduct your genealogy research more effectively.

• Easy restore: Family Tree Builder 5.0 can now easily restore any tree you've published online, and also recover the photos included in it. You can even download trees that you've created online on, and use Family Tree Builder to continue to grow them.

• Search & replace: search and replace text in almost every field in the family tree, with multiple configuration options, like matching case, matching an entire word, or any part of the text, etc. You can even select which fields will participate in the operation.

• Dozens of other improvements and bug fixes: incorporating feedback from our users, many aspects of the program have been improved or fixed. You can now add photographs and other media items for sources, to better document your research. DNA test results can now be entered for further reference. A new wizard has been added to locate duplicate people in our tree, and you will receive a warning before adding a new person to the tree, if it may be a duplicate. Better handling of names is provided, and married names for men are now supported too. You can now mark a person as "research complete" and easily locate the people whose research is still incomplete. New graphics have been added, and several problems in the program have become a thing of the past. A list of all enhancements is found here.

Download Family Tree Builder 5.0 (FREE)

HOLIDAY SPECIAL OFFER: for the next two weeks you can purchase our Premium subscription with a massive 30% discount. You'll get:

• All Premium features of Family Tree Builder 5.0 (current and future). These include Smart Research results, Smart Match merging, all-in-one charts and interactive maps.
• Up to 2500 names and 500MB of storage for photos and documents in your family site.
• Enhanced Smart Matches.
• Priority support.

To take advantage of this offer before it expires, click "Upgrade to Premium" in the Tools menu of Family Tree Builder.

If your site is already Premium or PremiumPlus, you can enjoy this discount to extend your subscription: visit your family site for more details.

What's next?

Download Family Tree Builder 5.0 (FREE)

See what users think about Family Tree Builder.

Gilad Japhet
Founder and CEO

I reviewed version 4.0 of Family Tree Builder one year ago - see Family Tree Builder 4.0 - Summary of Posts.

The software installs relatively fast and performs most functions efficiently, and the presentation is excellent.  However, the user needs to be careful during the installation - the default installation puts a toolbar on your browser and makes MyHeritage the home page.  I uploaded a GEDCOM and worked with the program a bit, looking at some of the new features.  The new Chart capabilities are included, but the Narrative Report function is useless to any serious genealogist.  I'll comment more on that in another post.

The major benefit of this software is that it is full featured and free to download and use as a stand-alone program on your computer.

Disclosure:  I have a free account at MyHeritage, and have not been remunerated for publishing this press release.

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