Adding Names in Family Tree Maker

Name Editing Window in Family Tree Maker for Mac 2Storing names in genealogy software seems simple enough at first glance, right? While Family Tree Maker makes it comparatively simple, it’s still a bit tricky when adding name variations, AKAs, suffixes, titles, and multi-word surnames.

Learning how to enter names will speed your evidence capture so you can focus on the fun family history activities: research, analysis, and storytelling. Those fun bits will be easier too! All the information and evidence will be organized.

[Read more...]

The Secret to Standardized Source Citation Ratings in Family Tree Maker 2012 and Mac 2

Using standardized source citation ratings in Family Tree Maker can help you make solid conclusions about facts. You’ve probably heard of original versus derivative sources, primary versus secondary information, and direct versus indirect evidence. That’s what FTM calls standardized source citation ratings. They also add a rating for clarity of the information–clear versus marginal. And both the Mac and 2012 versions support standardized ratings.

Unfortunately, the feature’s isn’t used by default. The source rating stars are there for you to set. The standard ratings are a bit hidden in the source rating window. The bonus is that by using the standard ratings, the number of stars is set automagically!
[Read more...]

Family Tree Maker for Mac 2 and 2012 Feature Comparison

Wondering what’s in Family Tree Maker 2012 and not in Family Tree Maker for Mac 2? I’ve got the answer for you.

I took the Family Tree Maker columns from the Mac Genealogy Software Feature Comparison and PC Genealogy Software Feature Comparison tables. I think this will answer your question about what’s missing from Family Tree Maker for Mac 2.

The Family Tree Maker for Mac 2 and 2012 Feature Comparison is on the Mac Genealogy Software Feature Comparison page.

I would have cut to the chase by putting a short list of the differences here, but I don’t want to keep it updated in more than one place. Click the link above. It will take you directly to the start of the section on the page. You won’t have to search for it.

January 2012 Update to Family Tree Maker for Mac 2

The Ancestry blog has news today of a set of fixes available now for Family Tree Maker for Mac 2. Here’s what the post says is fixed:

  • Performance and stability improvements
  • Improvements to resolve sync errors
  • Improvements for handling downloaded media in synced trees
  • Syncing of accepted and rejected hints
  • Option to include/exclude Ancestry media in synced trees

I haven’t received my copy yet, so I haven’t tried it out. Let me know in a comment if it fixes any problems you’ve experienced or not.

Comparison of Mac Genealogy Software Features

Comparing features helps when you’re choosing a new genealogy application. Seeing which ones support the features essential to your genealogy workflow and practice is also helpful.

I just compiled a set of tables I hope you’ll find helpful in comparing features of Mac genealogy software. I published it on the Family Tree Maker for Mac 2 buyer’s guide page.

I was able to complete this much more quickly than the one for PC genealogy software feature comparison because I had already been maintaining similar tables. I updated the tables where appropriate and made the criteria match those for PC genealogy applications. This way you can compare features not only between Mac genealogy software, but also PC counterparts–it’s a sad tale across the board.

Family Tree Maker for Mac Upgrade Release Date

Tana Pedersen mentioned the release date of the Family Tree Maker for Mac upgrade in an Ancestry.com blog post about the arrival of Family Tree Maker 2012. She wrote:

For those of you interested in Family Tree Maker for Mac, a new version with TreeSync capability is slated to be released by the end of 2011.

Note that it’s not being called Family Tree Maker 2012 for Mac. This isn’t surprising given the Pc/Mac feature inequality news from Duff Wilson, the Family Tree Maker Product Manager.

In response to a comment on the same post Tana wrote:

Family Tree Maker for Mac with TreeSync is currently in testing and is slated to be released before the end of the year. If you purchased Family Tree Maker for Mac last year and registered your product, you should get an email with an upgrade discount so keep checking your inbox.

This release date contradicts timing information I had from the ancestor Affiliate Manager. I think Tana’s information is more likely to be correct.

Take your time, Ancestry; I want it to be right not rushed.

Family Tree Maker for Mac 2 to Sync With Ancestry.com

Family Tree Maker for Mac 2 will include the ability to synchronize your tree with Ancestry.com (a function called TreeSync). This news is according to the Program Manager for Family Tree Maker (FTM). He had more to say in answer to my question about the PC and Mac feature inequality:

We are very committed to the Macintosh platform and as you know, released an initial version based on FTM 2010 last year.

I can say that the new Mac release will include the following:

1. TreeSync–The ability to synchronize a tree in Family Tree Maker with one at Ancestry.com
2. Performance and stability improvements
3. Other features:
   – Key features from the PC version of Family Tree Maker (TBD)
   – Macintosh-specific features related to the Mac OS that are not in the PC version

We will continue to evaluate features from the PC product to be included in future versions of the Mac product and we will continue to look at opportunities to leverage Mac-specific features and capabilities that are not in the PC version.

At this point we don’t know what other PC functions will be added in FTM for Mac 2. We have confirmation that the most important new feature, TreeSync, is included. That’s great news!

It’s also good news that there will be Mac specific features. This will help Family Tree Maker feel more like a Mac application1. I’m looking forward to the first beta release!2

I’m disappointed that there isn’t yet feature parity. And I’m going to continue to be patient because I see the long-term benefit of a complete version of Family Tree Maker on both PC and Mac. That’s the reason I’m supporting FTM; I’m more interested in a brighter future for genealogy on the Mac than ensuring that my admittedly subjective sense of fairness and desire for immediate gratification are appeased. How about you?

Notes
1. It already looks and feels more like a Mac application than Reunion for Mac.
2. I regret that I won’t be able to immediately tell you what’s in or out based on my beta program participation, but I’ll know. I’ll also know what’s out in this release.

Family Tree Maker for Mac 2 and 2012 Feature Inequality

I received a correction to the information in my recent article, “Will Family Tree Maker for Mac 2 Features Match Windows?” The Family Tree Maker 2012 Product Manager informed me that even though the features in the Mac version of FTM 2012 are not set, Family Tree Maker for Mac 2 will not include all the features in the PC version.

I have requested more information and will pass on what I can when I get answers.

Will Family Tree Maker for Mac 2 Features Match Windows?

Since the Family Tree Maker 2012 pre-sale and release date announcement, I’ve been asked whether the Mac version will have all the same features as the Windows version. I asked that question of my contact at Ancestry.com and quickly got the reply that all the features of the PC version will be in the Mac version [I have since recieved a retraction email from the Family Tree Maker Product Manager; please disregard the optimistic remainder of this post]. Feature parity is great news for Mac genealogists.

We made it through the awkward period of Family Tree Maker 2011 on the PC and 2010 on the Mac. We get a sort of double Christmas; we get all the enhancements from the 2011 and 2012 versions with only a four to six week delay. More importantly, it signals an intent to maintain equality between PC and Mac versions.

I’m all for this change. Mac genealogy needs some serious competition to move it forward.