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.

Pre-sale of Family Tree Maker 2012

The pre-sale has begun. The Family Tree Maker 2012 release date is set. Ancestry is temporarily offering 40% off an upgrade or 20% off a full copy. That makes the upgrade price $23.99 and the full version $31.99. The sale ends September 28th. Click here to learn more and buy Family Tree Maker 2012.

Be sure to click the “Upgrade Info” link under the “Buy Now” button if you need the upgrade.

What else is new in Family Tree Maker 2012 besides the much anticipated TreeSync?

  • Blended family view — shows combined families, including stepfamilies and adoptees at a glance
  • Improved Smart Stories — give you new tools for adding and editing details
  • Chart personalization — lets you personalize charts by adding text and displaying generation labels such as parents, grandparents and great–grandparents
  • Index of individuals report — lists every individual in your tree, plus their birth, marriage and death dates
  • Customized fact sentences — let you change wording and choose what data is included in sentences that Family Tree Maker generates for certain reports and Smart Stories
  • Descendent charts between two people — make it easy to choose two individuals in your tree and create a descendant chart that shows their relationship

P.S. There is now a coupon code for Family Tree Maker 2012 that takes an additional %20 off the pre-sale price.

Family Tree Maker 2010 for Mac Version Released

Launch your copy of Family Tree Maker for Mac to get the latest update. It’s apparently loaded with undisclosed bug fixes and enhancements. Here’s what the upgrade dialog lists:

  • Numerous stability fixes were made
  • Child sort order is shown correctly in reports
  • Added support for GEDCOM 5.5.1
  • Numerous other fixes and enhancements

It’s unfortunate when professional software developers can’t or won’t provide detailed lists of fixes and enhancements. Ancestry is not alone in this and there are some companies who do this well (like RootsMagic). While it’s good to know that GEDCOM 5.5.1 is supported and that the child sort order is fixed in reports, it’s of virtually no help at all to know that “numerous” stability fixes and enhancements are in a release. Come on! You know what they are and if you don’t you shouldn’t be publishing software. Please list them so that we can see if the problem fixes or features we desire are present in updates to our genealogy software.

Resolving Errors when Importing a GEDCOM from Reunion for Mac

When copying or moving your genealogy data from Reunion for Mac to another genealogy software program you’ll want to be sure not to lose any precious information. It’s very likely that you’ll have errors when you import a GEDCOM file regardless of the source and destination software. It’s not always a reflection of the quality of the genealogy software; it’s often due to the limitations of the GEDCOM standard. Either way, I’ve got a technique for finding and correcting the problems you’ll encounter.
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Where are Notes About Facts in Family Tree Maker 2010?

Notes attached to characteristics and events (so called facts) are a good place to store proof statements and arguments. Strangely, these are not enabled by default in Family Tree Maker 2010. In this video I show you how to enable fact notes and provide some valuable tips about how these notes export in GEDCOM format. I also show you where the same type of notes can be found in other PC and Mac genealogy software. This may make it easier to figure out which notes go where when importing a GEDCOM in Family Tree Maker 2010.
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Secrets to Importing Reunion Data Into Family Tree Maker 2010

Whether you’re emigrating from Reunion for Mac to Family Tree Maker for Mac or establishing dual residency, you’ll want to get the best possible import of your family file. This video will show you how setup a GEDCOM export to get your multimedia and person data imported and where source information from Reunion appears in Family Tree Maker. Here are the secrets covered in this video:

  • Setting up the export in Reunion for Mac (multimedia links, optional fields, and event memos)
  • Making Family Tree Maker for Mac actually find the multimedia files
  • Where multimedia for sources appear in Family Tree Maker for Mac
  • Keeping a list of import problems to correct later (especially the “facts” that won’t import)
  • What “[no source-citation information]” means
  • Where the free-form text you entered in Reunion for Mac can be found in Family Tree Maker for Mac
  • Why the “[Unlinked]” source group in Family Tree Maker for Mac is empty if you’ve got unlinked sources in Reunion for Mac

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Is Family Tree Maker for Mac Too Expensive?

“Why is the Mac version of Family Tree more expensive than the Windows version?” I’ve read the question in the comments here and on Twitter. Here’s the scoop and thanks to GenealogyTools member Roger, the secret to a significant discount:

The Mac version price is higher because in bringing Family Tree Maker back to the Mac, Ancestry have had to pay to convert the program (a process called porting). They’ve got to pay for this expense and let’s face facts, Mac using genealogists are a tiny minority. That means the cost is spread across a much smaller group so the price will be higher.

We can complain, but it won’t do any good. We can refuse to buy it in protest, but that may simply lead to them leaving the market again. I think it’s better for us to have more competition. That’s why I welcome Family Tree Maker to the Mac.

On to the secret to a greater discount.
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