Monday, August 29, 2011

New Features in Family Tree Maker 2012

Tamura Jones alerted me to the message board post titled "What is new in 2012" by suecucch on the FTM Sync Beta board:

"So far in looking at 2012, I don't see anything different from 2011. Can someone tell me what the difference is between the two? The only thing I noticed is that when importing my data, it needed to convert my file to a new designator. So far my data seems to have converted without problems but my file is quite large so I can easily miss something."

Duff Wilson, the leader of the Family Tree Maker 2012 development team, responded with:

"The main new feature is the ability to synchronize your tree between Family Tree Maker and and we're especially focused on making sure that works well.

"Here is a list of new features:
1. TreeSync - Ability to synchronize your tree between FTM and Ancestry.
2. Blended family view - Easily show all of the children for two spouses whether they are children of one or both of them.
3. Index of Individuals Report
4. Chart improvements
- Show generation labels
- Add text anywhere on a chart
- Option to limit descendant chart to the direct line between two people
5. Report improvements
- Custom fact sentences (used in genealogy reports & Smart Stories
- Automatic Smart Story generation includes primary individual, spouse, and children
- Research notes report changed to "Notes Report" with options to include other types of notes"

Further down the message board thread, is this comment by Marshall Sinback:

"There appears to be a new option of exporting a 5.5 GEDCOM file that will include media. Is this correct?"

Duff responded with:

"Yes. You can now include media links in the GEDCOM export."

All of those sound like useful upgrade features, but it's the TreeSync feature, to synchronize (either way) your Ancestry Member Tree with your Family Tree Maker 2012 database, that will be the big selling point for the software.  Assuming it works well, of course. 

I have been working with the latest version of FTM 2012 and have found no problems using TreeSync so far adding/deleting persons, adding/deleting facts, adding media, adding/changing sources, etc. in FTM 2012 or the linked Ancestry Member Tree. 

There are some "fine points" about sources that need to be understood, however.  I haven't had any problems with "free-form" sources, but "template" sources can not be edited in the Ancestry Member Tree.  The Tree page for a source created in Family Tree Maker 2012 with a source template has a message "This source uses a Family Tree Maker template that can only be edited in Family Tree Maker." 

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