Tuesday, September 10, 2013

First Look at Family Tree Maker 2014 - Post 1: Family View

Family Tree Maker announced their impending release of Family Tree Maker 2014 genealogy software two weeks ago - I covered it in Family Tree Maker 2014 Software Announced - 30% Discount (or more) (posted 26 August 2013).  

I ordered it last week and downloaded it, and imported a recent GEDCOM file created in RootsMagic 6.  I will go through the advertised changes one by one in this series, and will highlight other features, and problems, that I find.

1)  The top "new feature" that was highlighted in the FTM 2014 release announcement was the "Family View."

In the "People" Workspace (Workspaces are the top row of menu buttons - Plan, People, Places, Media, Sources, Publish and Web Search - same as in FTM 2012), FTM 2012 had only a "Pedigree View" in the top center pane on the "Tree" tab, and FTM 2014 also has it:

On the left-hand side of the "Pedigree View" panel, there are four icons and a zoom slider.  The four icons are for "Go to Home Person," "Pedigree View," "Family View," and "Re-center on Selected Person."

I clicked on the "Family View" icon and the top center panel showed the "family" of my selected person:

The user can reduce any of the panel boundaries to make the top center panel larger (or any of the panels).  There is a "collapse panel" arrow for the index (left-hand panel) right above the "Go to home person" icon), and I clicked that, and also reduced the size of the lower center panel in order to increase the size of the top center panel showing the "Family View:"

This "Family View" screen is very similar to the "Family View" presented in an Ancestry Member Tree, and can be very useful for navigation to a family member who is not an ancestor.  I usually use the "Pedigree View" to navigate to an ancestor.

In my humble opinion, this is not an earth-shaking new feature - it's nice to have but not essential for an experienced FTM user.

2)  I was curious to see if there were any changes in the "Person" tab view in the "People" Workspace, because that is where a user will work to add Facts, Media, Sources, and Notes.  Here is the "Person" tab screen (with "Notes" selected in the lower left-hand panel and "Fact" selected in the right-hand panel) and the "Facts" list:

It looks very similar to FTM 2012, with the person's facts in the upper left-hand panel, the person's Notes (or Media, or Web Links, or Tasks) in the lower left-hand panel, and data entry in the right-hand panel (with tabs for Fact, Sources, Media and Notes) for the highlighted Fact in the upper left-hand panel.

I clicked on the "Birth" Fact, the "Media" tab in the lower left-hand panel and "Notes" in the right-hand panel and saw:

Note that the "Media" shown in the lower left-hand panel is for the Person, not the highlighted Fact.  The "Notes" in the right-hand panel contains a Note about the "Birth" Fact, and not the Notes for a person.  

3)  I noticed that there are no Photos (head-shots) for my relatives in the Pedigree or Family Views, or in the "Person" Tab name in the upper right-hand corner.  I clicked on the "place-holder" image and easily linked my grandfather's photograph to the image:

It also appears on the "Pedigree View" and "Family View" on the "Tree" tab.

From my vantage point, it appears that Family Tree Maker has added more options, views, and complexity to the software, but that's how genealogy software programs (heck, ALL software programs) develop over time - they rarely have fewer features and rarely get simpler or smaller.  

4)  Are there other changes to the "People" Workspace that I've missed?  I have not done a side-by-side comparison with FTM 2012 to determine all of the changes made.  Perhaps my readers will mention other changes to the "People" Workspace in comments to this post.

What other new features of Family Tree Maker 2014 would you like to know more about?  I will try to address some of the listed new features in future posts in this series.

I'm sure that Russ Worthington (Family Tree Maker User blog) and others will highlight the new and improved features of FTM 2014 as the program is explored and used.

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2013/09/first-look-at-family-tree-maker-2014.html

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver (I almost typed 2014 here...my fingers are getting retrained)


Cousin Russ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cousin Russ said...


Thank you for the comments on this View. I 'm not there yet, but I have starting looking at FTM2014. First posts have gone out. Working on more.

My only comment, here, about this View, is more about helping Ancestry Member Tree users transition from AMT to FTM2014. But, that's only my observation.

Thank you,


R. Mansfield said...

You ordered it and -downloaded- it? I ordered it, but I didn't realize it was available yet.

R. Mansfield said...

Okay, to follow up my own comment, I called them and they sent me a link to download. I purchased the upgrade back in August, but it's odd that they hadn't sent me the download link yet. Was the final version just made available today or has it been out?

Dan Stone said...

If you get a chance, I would be very interested in seeing any, or all, of the following features demonstrated, along with getting your feelings on their implementation:

1) View people by location (grouping them by country, state, county and city)

2) Enhanced viewing options, which allows users to display an individual’s ancestors, spouses, and children together.

3) A new export function which allows you to export a single branch of your family tree to a GEDCOM or Family Tree Maker file.

4) New editing options that will save time when source citations, media items and notes are copied and pasted. [What are the specifics of these new editing options?]

5) A more robust TreeSync lets you sync even more of your family tree info. [What new info can be synced?]



Cousin Russ said...


I hope Randy doesn't mind, but I think I have many of what you are asking for on my Blog


I am currently posting FTM2014 Features.

Oh, it will take a number of days to get everything posted. I have a list of about 50 items to post, so it will take time.

What you asked for, generally, are existing features and should already be on my blog.


Randy Seaver said...

R. Mansfield: my understanding is that those who pre-ordered it as a download were sent the link to do so starting on 9 September. They may have had thousands of orders to fulfill and you might have been on the list for today or later.

I pre-ordered the DVD so I would have it and could install it on my laptop and desktop computers. Last week, I was sent a link to download a pre-release version, as a courtesy to me from FTM, so that I could look at it and work with it a bit. Due to other tasks and life in general, I didn't do much with it until today!

I'll continue to work with it, but Russ it doing more studies and descriptions of it on his blog and I encourage you to check out his blog regularly since it is devoted to FTM.

Randy Seaver said...

Russ, I have absolutely no problem with you answering Dan's questions or highlighting your own blog on this post. I appreciate your methodical efforts on your blog to educate me and many others.

Dan, please read Russ's blog for more information. Much of what is in FTM 2014 was in earlier versions, and Russ has covered many topics over the past years.

T said...

The family view is one thing I really wanted but I haven't spent the money for the upgrade. I would still like to be able to order my photos and documents in date sequence.

Cousin Russ said...


Trying to understand your comments. We HAVE had a Family View. Are you looking for something different? With FTM2014, we an additional Family View. Randy showed the new one.

You have control over the order of those items. But, you haven't provided enough information to see what is missing. With FTM2014 there are some improved ways of organizing our "stuff".


Driver1928 said...

I recently bought Family Tree Maker 2014. I installed it and imported my records from a previous program. All of my records with a name and suffix (like John James, Jr.) ended up being imported with just the suffix, no first name, middle name, or last name, just 1077 records as "Jr." or "Sr." I didn't count the IIs, III, IVs, etc.

I tried from my PAF file (*.paf), my Ancester Quest file (*.aq), and my *.GED files created from PAF and Ancester Quest. None of them were imported correctly. I called the help line at Ancestry. Per their request, I imported a file into a tree on Ancestry. There, the names were imported correctly, but the suffix values were gone. I exported those into a GED file and imported it into my Family Tree Maker file. So, now, I finally got full names in my FTM, but the suffix values were still missing.

My problem was bumped to higher authorities. They couldn't fix it either. Their "solution" was that I edit my 1077 records and add the suffix values manually. How was I supposed to find them? No answer.

I am returning Family Tree Maker 2014 for my refund. Not only was there this import problem, but the fonts on the screen were too small. When I selected their option to "Use large fonts," some of the values on screen were cut off horizontally because they were too big. (Cover up the bottom third of any name. Can you still read the name? Possibly, but not the way I want to view a piece of software.) Not every value on screen, just people's names. Their solution? I should change the Windows' fonts to the small size. So I am supposed sacrifice my eyesight and use small fonts my computer - and every other program I use on my computer - just so their program will display properly? Have they even heard of usability?

Like I said, I am returning the software.

Cousin Russ said...


The Jr, Sr, problem is the use of a Comma in the name from your previous program and GEDCOM.

It's easy to fix, it's NOT a problem With FTM2014 !!!! GEDCOM is the cause of this problem.