Family Tree Maker for Mac 2 Buyer’s Guide

What is it Called?

Let’s start with what it’s not called. It’s not Family Tree Maker for Mac 2012. You’ll see why in, How Family Tree Maker for Mac 2 is Different from Family Tree Maker 2012 (FTM 2012), below.

This one goes by the name as the first version: Family Tree Maker for Mac. Since it’s the second version, it has a “2” added to the end of the name. It’s called Family Tree Maker for Mac 2 (FTMM2).

What’s New in Family Tree Maker for Mac 2

  • The ability to synchronize your tree between FTM 2012,, and the iOS Ancestry app. This feature is called TreeSync.
  • Blended Family View lets you see all the children of the selected person not just those of the currently displayed couple.
  • You can use the camera (internal and external iSight) on you Mac to capture images directly into Family Tree Maker for Mac 2.
  • Use the full screen mode of Lion (assuming you have Mac OS X 10.7).

Family Tree Maker for Mac 2 Release/Ship Date

FTMM2 is targeted begin shipping by the end of November 2011.

Recommended System Requirements:

  • Mac OS X 10.5 or later (including Lion)
  • Intel-based Mac
  • 2x CD-ROM Drive
  • Internet access for online features

Upgrading from Other Versions of Family Tree Maker

There is a discounted upgrade price for owners of FTMM2 (1). I recommend making a copy of your family tree data to use with Family Tree Maker for Mac 2. You can open your files with the new version and remove the old one when you’re ready.

Family Tree Maker for Mac 2 Discount Coupon Codes

I keep an eye out for promotional coupon codes that apply to FTMM2. There is a sale that will get you 25% off a new copy and 30% off an upgrade. No discount coupon code is needed.

If you see a discount coupon code not listed here please contact me.

Where to Buy Family Tree Maker for Mac 2

You can click here to learn more and buy Family Tree Maker for Mac 2.


I can’t recommend this genealogy software. A contributing writer, Keith Riggle, wrote a review of Family Tree Maker for Mac 2 and found it lacking. My experience with the application is similar.

Mac Genealogy Software Feature Comparison

I’ve found the selection of the best genealogy software is a highly personal matter. What’s best for you will come down to the presence or absence of a short list of features that are critical to the way you practice genealogy.

I’ve examined the leading Mac genealogy software and compiled a list of features to help you choose. I have copies of all of these. While I have done the best I can to ensure the information provided on this page is correct, it is offered with no warranty. If you note any errors or omissions please contact me.

Previous Mac Genealogy Software Feature Comparison tables

Data Entry & Citations
Feature FTMM2 iFamily for Leopard MacFamilyTree Reunion
Automatic Age Display
Automatic Date Formatting
County Selections
Custom Facts
Geo Coding
LDS Options
Media File Sources
Privacy Setting and Flags
Relationship Settings
Source Quality Rating
Unicode Support
Type FTMM2 iFamily for Leopard MacFamilyTree Reunion
Management Tools
Type FTMM2 iFamily for Leopard MacFamilyTree Reunion
Address Book
Customizable Languages
DNA Results
Duplicate Person Search
Duplicate Person Merge
Individual Re-Numbering
Individual Search
Multiple Open Databases
Problem Detection
Relationship Calculator
Relationship Types
Research Guidance
Soundex Calculator
Track Medical Conditions
Unlinked Tree Detection
Type FTMM2 iFamily for Leopard MacFamilyTree Reunion
Bow Tie
Extended Family
Hourglass (horizontal)
Hourglass (vertical)
Pedigree (horizontal)
Pedigree (vertical)
Type FTMM2 iFamily for Leopard MacFamilyTree Reunion
Ancestor Narrative
Descendant Narrative
Data Errors
Descendant Outline
Documented Facts
Family Group Sheet
Family History
Family On This Date
Index of Individuals
LDS Ordinance
Media Item
Media Usage
Notes Report
Photo Album
Source Bibliography
Source Usage
Who Was There
Printing & Publishing
Type FTMM2 iFamily for Leopard MacFamilyTree Reunion
Custom Options
Themed Backgrounds
Wall Charts
Type FTMM2 iFamily for Leopard MacFamilyTree Reunion
Ancestry Synchronization
Online Data Import
New Family Search
Web Search
Help & Support
Type FTMM2 iFamily for Leopard MacFamilyTree Reunion
Online Resources
Printed or PDF Guide
Trial Version
Video Tutorial
Supported Operating Systems
Type FTMM2 iFamily for Leopard MacFamilyTree Reunion
10.7 – Lion
10.6 – Snow Leopard
10.5 – Leopard
10.4 – Tiger

FTMM2 and 2012 Feature Comparison

Wondering about feature differences between Family Tree Maker for Mac 2 and Family Tree Maker 2012? These tables display the respective FTM and FTMM2 columns from the Mac Genealogy Software Feature Comparison and PC Genealogy Software Feature Comparison. I have only included those tables and rows where there is a difference. This may help you make a decision about suitability for your family history research.

While I have done the best I can to ensure the information provided on this page is correct, it is offered with no warranty. If you note any errors or omissions please contact me.

Data Entry & Citations
Feature FTMM2 FTM 2012
Unicode Support
Type FTMM2 FTM 2012
Ancestor Narrative
Descendant Narrative
Index of Individuals
Type FTMM2 FTM 2012
Online Data Import


  1. says

    Is there a UK based equivalent discount page? If so, I haven’t found it. However, It is actually cheaper on than buying it from the US and having it shipped to the UK.

    Also, is this likely to be available from the Mac App Store at the same time? And if so, is it likely to be introduced at a discounted rate? The current version is a whopping £69.99 on there at present.


    • says

      Hi, Keith. I haven’t see a pre-sale page for the UK version yet. The one for the Windows version trailed the US pre-sale page by a couple weeks if I remember correctly. —-Ben >@<

    • Margaret Murdock says

      I just checked on the Mac App store and FTM for Mac 2 is not listed, so I guess the pre-sale discount is not being offered there. They ARE offering the original version, with a 30% “Limited time only” discount (hmm… I wonder why they’re offering this now?…hmm).

  2. says

    ummm… Doesn’t sound like there are any signifiant differences except for Sync.

    Camera – I don’t see any big use for using the built in camera. Do you?
    Chart backgrounds – Wow…A FEW new chart backgrounds? How lame.
    Full Screen Mode? Nice but…

    How about some feature improvements? And all that for just $70? Ouch!

    No new charts? No new reports? No smart story? Far from parity.

  3. Steve Chambers says

    What would be the pro’s and cons of purchasing the US version for use in another country such as Australia in my case…?

    Is it likely the new release will come with any bonus’s, such as 6mth free subscription to like the previous version…?


    • says

      Hi, Steve. I don’t have the version Ancestry is going to ship yet so I can’t say for sure. The beta version I have offered a 14-day trial upon initial launch. —-Ben >@<

  4. Margaret Murdock says

    In my opinion, TreeSync is a MAJOR feature improvement, one that many users have been clamoring for. I have been using it in FTM 2012 in Parallels on my Mac – the only reason (besides the price) I bought the Windows instead of the Mac version. For me it makes all the difference in the world to be able to research on and refine in FTM, and use one to update the other. I would prefer to have the Mac version, as setting up FTM in Parallels has been tricky, and I just like the Mac interface better. The price of the Mac version is a major obstacle, however. Seems to me I read in one blog or message board that I can return my FTM 2012 within 90 days if dissatisfied and credit it to buying the Mac version. I also would be interested in buying it on the Mac app store, as I have a gift certificate!

  5. Margaret Murdock says

    Re: using built in camera to capture images directly into FTMM2: Does this include using iphone/ipad cameras? This would seem more useful than using the laptop webcam.

  6. Arandun says

    How does the new FTM for Mac compare to the current version of Reunion? Do you have a recommendation/preference, or do you deliberately remain neutral and report on both without expressing any preference for one over the other? I’ve been a bit frustrated with Reunion’s out-of-date appearance/interface, but it still seems to be generally considered the best thing out there for Mac users… does this new FTM for Mac change the game at all? Will there be any kind of comparison review coming, once FTM is released and you’re no longer bound by the confidentiality agreement?

  7. Margaret Murdock says

    FYI, you don’t need the coupon code to get the discount at this point. I followed the link to the store and added the FTM for Mac 2 upgrade to my cart. They are already subtracting a 40% discount automatically, without adding the coupon code. When I put it in, the price did not change. I didn’t check on the 20% discount for the full version.

    By the way, do you know if you can get the upgrade discount if you currently have the Windows version ( FTM 2012)?

  8. says

    I am a long-time Reunion user but I’ve also been using FTM for Mac this last year and think it’s got great potential, As someone else said here, I am also very frustrated with Reunion ….. it has not been updated or improved upon for several years, and seems woefully out of date it its features and interface. I have gone ahead and pre-purchased FTM for Mac 2, strictly going on faith that it will have more enhancements than have been listed on the Ancestry store site. If those are the ONLY improvements, then I’ve probably just wasted my money. Like I said, going on faith here.

  9. pmm says

    Yes, you can get the upgrade discount when going from PC –> Mac- I just called to ask.

    I too am hoping that if enough of us buy this new Mac version, Ancestry will see that there is a big Mac market and continue to put resources into development, at least to bring it up to parity with the PC version. I bought Reunion 2 years ago when I switched to a Mac, and was woefully disappointed, especially in the reports, and never fully converted. My big concern about the new FTM/TreeSync is the privacy issue- I know you can have your tree private but… I was thinking I could upload my most current tree to the new FTM program, and then just keep that tree on my Mac, not sync so info about currently living people would not be posted, nor notes that don’t need to be on a website. When you search from inside FTM on, is it taking any of the info you have in your tree to put on Ancestry? I still resent them taking my info into their World Family Tree years ago without my permission, and posting info on living persons. Our 20 yr-old tells me to just give up my privacy issues and become part of the hive, but don’t think I am ready yet. Would love to hear more about privacy with this new FTM TreeSync and search feature.

    • Judy says

      pmm, I have some of the same privacy concerns for the same reason. I treat Ancestry the same way I treat Facebook — if I’m not willing to see it online, I don’t post it. For both sites, it’s in the companies’ best interests for users to share information unwittingly so I’m not very trusting of either.

      Not sure how I’ll handle modern generations but I think my Ancestry/FTMM2 synced tree will start with grandparents, all of whom have been gone for many years. I’m keeping documentation for my parents and their descendants in Reunion on my computer — I’ve also been burned on info for living people by Ancestry so have learned my lesson.

      Tell your 20-year-old that his view will be different when he’s your age and definitely when he’s mine! My computer obsession began in the early 70’s and I’ve truly loved being along on this warp-speed development of technology. I’ve never been afraid of change or of the technology itself, but the vast amount of really, really private information people put online IS scary. Tell your son it’s kind of like having locks on glass windows and alarms in your house — won’t keep anyone from breaking in, but at least they’ll have to work a little harder for it. 😉

  10. Bill Clayton says

    Wall charts can be produced with Reunion – your table seems to indicate other wise. I was able to produce a 2ft x 27ft wall chart with Reunion that none of my friends with FTM/PC have been able to replicate. I haven’t tried in FTM/Mac.

    • says

      Hi, Bill. You’re right, of course. Thanks for pointing out that mistake. I’ll fix it right now. —-Ben >@<

  11. Pmm says

    Thanks, Ben, for the detailed comparisons for both Mac & PC versions.

    Does the FTM Mac2 have the Places Usage Report and Web Clipping that the PC version has? I was reading through the FTM info on upgrading from FTM 16- that also had useful information about the new features.

    • says

      Yes, both the places usage report and web clipping feature are present in Family Tree Maker for Mac 2. —-Ben >@<

  12. Keith Riggle says

    Family Tree Maker for Mac 2010 has source quality rating; if FTM for Mac 2 does not, then that’s a step backwards.

    @Keith Bage & Steve Chambers: I’m American but bought the UK version of FTM when I was living in Europe. The only difference I see is that it accesses instead of The databases are the same, but obviously it takes slightly longer to access a server in Europe instead of one in the US. I don’t see why you couldn’t wait until Ancestry start shipping the download-only version and get the US version. Of course, by then you’ll probably miss out on the pre-order discount, but maybe they’ll offer one for the holidays, as they currently are with FTM 2012 (25% off). The pre-order version of FTM for Mac 2 is CD-based only, as far as I can tell, and I don’t think you’d want to pay for shipping to the UK or Australia.


    • says

      Hi, Keith. Thanks for catching that. Family Tree Maker for Mac 2 does indeed allow one to record source quality. —-Ben >@<

  13. says

    Thanks for the info Keith (Riggle). For others in UK, I find that is still the cheapest place to pre-order FTM for Mac 2 even with the new -20% sale.


  14. says

    Reunion has a place usage report in List ——> Places; then check any/all the boxes and then click to get the report. It lists all places along with who had an event there.

    Reunion also has a Source usage report – open Sources Window and in the Source Tools menu at the bottom you can choose from several reports, including “Create Usage Report for all Sources”


  15. pmm says

    Thanks Roger- I had not found those. So do you use Reunion or FTM? If Reunion, why are you staying with it? I am so stressing over a change. I have very extensive trees on so felt that maybe it would be easier to use the new FTM/Mac and sync than to reenter so much info into Reunion.

  16. says

    Dear Anonymous – I am staying with Reunion because changing is too much aggravation compared to the benefits I’ve found in any other software so far…

    I don’t use Ancestry trees – all of my data is put online on my own webserver using TNG which processes a GEDCOM file exported from Reunion.

    I do have the first version of FTM for Macintosh and was quite underwhelmed by it, although I did have this idea of using it to put a tree on Ancestry just to see what matches it might find, but so far that hasn’t happened.

    Even if I do that I am quite unlikely to enter any data on that I’d then have to re-enter in Reunion. If Ancestry does turn up stuff, I enter it directly into Reunion.


  17. says

    Just checked and the date for FTM for Mac v2 has gone out from 30 Nov to 11 Jan 2012.

    Although I will buy it, personally, I’ve pretty much decided to stick with Reunion and wait for v10. I just wish it would hurry up and get released.


    • Pmm says

      Anyone in the US have their copy yet? Amazon lists it as in stock but I don’t have my copy yet. That would be sad to have Amazon beat out pre-orders, though Amazon’s is at full price.

  18. Keith Riggle says

    The Shop now says that FTM for Mac 2 will begin shipping by mid-December 2011.

  19. eric says

    Hi dose FTM for mac 2 have the free 6 mouth subscription on ancestry .com . My mother wants to start using and i seen the other ver. gave 6 mounth free on the U.S. discovery. I was going to get her 6 months
    of the world explorer . But then seen this app FTM mac 2 for $55. Good deal if you get the free 6 months. But Will
    it work with the world explorer too. Thats if FTM mac 2 even has the free 6 months. Did not see anything in the distraction of the software . Thank you for your time Eric

  20. Keith Riggle says

    FTM for Mac 2 is now shipping from the Shop, still at the discounted price of $55.99 ($41.99 for upgrades), as of Dec 14, 2011.

  21. pmm says

    Thanks for the updates. I am eager to get my copy, and hope that the extra time Ancestry took means bug free!

  22. Judy says

    Eric, I pre-ordered the update version so the package only includes a disc and an offer to buy The Companion Guide with a 25% discount. But my first version didn’t include the subscription, either.

    I’m not seeing anything in the Ancestry store to indicate a free subscription with either the Mac or PC version so I would be inclined to think they’re not offering it this time. But I don’t know that for sure!! You might give Ancestry a call and ask. Good luck — hope it works out for you.

  23. pmm says

    Just got my upgrade disk in a flat paper mailer- it does offer a 14-day subscription if you register the software, which is evidently required to access anyway. You do need a valid credit card to activate the subscription, and do be careful if you want to discontinue it- they need ~ 3 days notice (check the fine print) or they will charge your card.

    Re: Ancestry World Deluxe subscription- yes, it is very expensive, and I have not found anything useful even though I know where folks came from in England, Ireland, and Germany. It does give hundreds of search hits even though you state in a search that you are looking in a particular US state, and it takes a lot of time to go through the overseas ones that do not apply at all. (Ancestry needs to fix that.) I was going to discontinue the World part of my subscription because of this, but to do so you have to cancel completely and then start a new subscription. I was afraid to do that and possibly lose my contacts through ancestry etc. Also, they let me know about 1 month before my subscription was to renew, and though I put it on my calendar, I missed the window. So you might start with a domestic version of Ancestry (if in US or UK, don’t know what they have for other countries) and then it is very easy to upgrade to World Deluxe if you find it is needed. I have had more success with FamilySearch for the European records.

  24. pmm says

    So excited to install the new FTM for Mac2, but installation has failed multiple times on my new iMac: “The Installer encountered an error that caused the installation to fail. Contact the software manufacturer for assistance.” At the top of the FTM Installer it says “There were errors with the installation. You may want to try i”- seriously, the sentence is not even completed. There is no phone # or website listed on the minimal packaging received with disk. I went to and the Customer Service there says only open until 6pm. It may be an authorization problem between FTM and Mac from what my computer info says, but ??? Anyone else having this problem? I got the upgrade (FTM said that would work ok) but have the previous Windows 16 version and am running Lion on the 1-month old loaded iMac. My thoughts thus far are to save your money and not buy this…

  25. pmm says

    OK, belay my last… After looking around in the FAQ, it turns out Tech Support (1-800-ANCESTRY, the same # as on the package to order the companion book) is open until 10pm Eastern despite what it says on the “Shop” page. After trying a number of things Tech Support asked if there was a scratch on the disk and there was, despite going right from the package to the disk drive. They are sending me a new disk. So at least the customer support is decent at this point- didn’t even have to hold to talk to a real person.

    Tech Support did say there is no difference in the upgrade or non-upgrade, except the price- the disk is the same. There is a migration utility included for migrating any trees from previous versions of FTM including the Windows versions prior to 2012.

  26. Margaret Murdock says

    I received my FTMM-2 disk today and the installation went well. I would just advise that if you have already set up a genealogy folder and subfolders, watch where it is putting itself – it defaults to putting the Family Tree Maker folder directly in the Documents folder.

    I was migrating an .ftm file from FTM 2012 on Windows 7 in Parallels and didn’t have a problem with that part of it either. Again, it’s a matter of knowing where the FTM folder is in Windows and how to find the Mac folder you want to migrate it to. The Mac folder shows up as a psf (Parallels shared file) network drive under Computer (C drive) in Windows, at least the way mine is configured. (In case this is helpful to know, my Mac system is OS X Lion 10.7.2 on last summer’s version of Macbook Air.) However, the tree is not automatically showing up in the FTMM-2 start page, so I apparently need to import it from the .ftmd file in the Family Tree Maker folder.

    I have two related questions. Firstly, I know that with FTM 2012 you can’t link an member tree with more than one computer. Since I migrated my FTM file from Windows to Mac, and Parallels functions as a separate machine even though it’s closely integrated with the Mac, am I right in assuming that I have to upload/create a second ancestry tree for FTMM-2 to sync with? Or should I/could I unlink the ancestry tree from FTM 2012 and download it to FTMM-2? I would like to avoid cutting the umbilical cord between FTM 2012 and until I am confident FTMM-2 is up and running and doing what I want it to do.

    My second question is this: I noticed that the file that was created on the Mac has exactly the same name as on Windows except for the extension. if I want to run both the Windows and Mac programs for a while and migrate information between them, am I creating a new file with a new name and a new tree on the other program each time? In other words, if I migrate it back to Windows, will FTM 2012 treat it as a totally new tree or just a new version of the original tree? Then, what happens if I go to sync that Windows tree with the linked tree on Ancestry?

    Perhaps I am not understanding the process well. Thanks in advance for any insights from all of you whizzes out there who help the rest of us out.

  27. Margaret Murdock says

    Addendum: I’ve experimented with the program a little. Overall, I found FTMM-2 to be much easier on the eyes than the Windows program, which is one of the reasons I prefer the Mac in general. Since this is on the same display it must be the OS/program rather than the machine.

    When I imported the ftmd file to create the tree in FTMM-2. It found the file immediately without me having to go look for it, which was nice. Remarkably, almost everything that was in FTM 2012 appears to be there, all the people, sources, citations, notes etc, even my task list. EXCEPT In the Media/Collections tab only some of my media is there, and I don’t see the media progress bar going in the Plan workspace, which is supposed to show if media is in the process of loading, so I presume it has done as much as it is going to do.

    I went looking for the very helpful Find Missing Media command. Right-click equivalent (for me, double tap) on the touchpad will bring up a dialogue box to find individual media in the Media/Collections pane, but not for the whole collection as you can do in FTM 2012. FTMM-2 was not able to find the missing item automatically. There is an “Open Media File” command – the media folder is there, but not where I thought I designated it to go, and not all the files are in it. I created my Family Tree Maker folder in my Genealogy folder in Documents, but FTMM-2 created the ftmm (tree) file, another (empty) Family Tree Maker folder, and the Media folder directly in the Documents folder. Maybe you have to let the program put the stuff where it wants to, but I would rather corral it where I want it. Tana Pederson in the companion guide suggests migrating a backup file instead of the regular family tree file from FTM 2012 if there is a problem getting media, so I will try this at a later date and see what I get.

    At first I thought there were no menu items specific to each workspace, as the menu bar items at the top don’t change in different workspaces like they do in FTM/Windows. However, if you double click on the buttons, you will see tiny bars with tiny triangles on the right side of the workspace buttons. If you click on these, the submenus open up. The submenus in the various workspaces are limited compared FTM 2012. It also seems to take some time for the submenus/context menus to show up, as i thought a lot of them were absent when I first tried them, but then later they showed up when I tried them again. I’m sure this is projection, but it’s like they have to unfold themselves and stretch their limbs before they can move quickly.

    One last observation, kind of amusing: I happened to click on someone in FTMM-2 and noticed a birthdate of BC 1478! Her husband, on the other hand, was born in 1670. Talk about a May-December marriage! When I checked in FTM 2012 on the Windows side, her birthday was 1678. This was my fault, as I had put a note regarding her mother’s name next to the date, which I do in ancestry in the process of adding a record to a family tree, and sometimes forget to cut and paste to the description.

    Hope this long-winded treatise is helpful to somebody!

  28. Kathy Cardoza says

    I am very disappointed in FTMM2. There is very little new or different about it from the first version…..mostly just the tree sync and the ability to go full screen in Lion …..big whoopee! But, my biggest problem with it is that it crashes…..very often. In the two days I’ve had it, it has crashed probably two dozen times requiring a force quit of the application. I even uninstalled it completely and reinstalled it but it doesn’t seem to help. I have read on an Ancestry page that, if you’re having problems with the program crashing, to install it in a fresh user account and try running it from that. Now, I’m sorry but I’m not doing that! I have many, many apps on my computer of all kinds and NONE of them require me to run them from within a different User account. If I have to do that with FTMM2, then in my book there’s something wrong with FTMM2! At this point, I’m thinking I wasted my money.

  29. Robert says

    Kathy, thanks for the info. I was holding off until FTMM2 appears in the online Mac App Store. I’m perplexed about what’s taking so long for that to happen (today their “special” on FTMM1 rose in price from $69.99 to $79.99). But now maybe I’ll just skip it altogether.

    I keep hoping Ben will chime in with what he thinks about FTMM2, now that he is presumably not bound by the NDA. I don’t recall him doing so with FTMM1 last year, however.

  30. says

    Robert ……. I really do wish I could give it a better review. I wanted to. I have the first version from last year or so and although it needed some improvements that I hoped would be addressed in version 2, it was a pretty good program. To me, it feels like Ancestry just added the tree sync feature and the full screen view for Lion and they think that is enough for a second version. I don’t think so at all and the constant crashing and memory hogging (it gets up to using 450 MB of RAM on my system and all the CPU power before it crashes) just make it totally unusable. I feel I’ve been duped by Ancestry and have written to them to express my thoughts on this and the problems I’m having but haven’t gotten a reply yet.

    Yes, I would be very interested in Ben’s opinion about FTMM2. Ben, how about chiming in here? We all value your opinion. :)

    • says

      Hi, Kathy. I’m still waiting for the full release version; I only have the beta and it’s expired. I’ll weigh in after I receive and analyze it. —-Ben >@<

  31. Charles says

    I’ve been using FTM2 since I got it on the 23rd. The install went perfectly, and the program has not crashed one single time and I’ve been using it constantly since my install. I’m not sure why some are having issues but there are none on this end. There are also several upgrades with this version, Tree Sync, Plan Workspace, Expanded Web Dashboard, View Blended Families, Enhanced Undo/Redo, Lion Compatibility, Image Capture, and many more. Just click on Help, then Family Tree Maker for Mac 2 Help, then What’s new in Family Tree Maker for Mac 2. There is also no need to fix the gedcom to locate your media items as this has been fixed. Is the program perfect? Heck no but it is getting close. For those who are not happy please for the love of all that is holy return it for a refund and quit complaining already.

    • says

      You know, Charles, I don’t see it as complaining at all. I’m sorry that you do.

      Now, I’m pleased for you that you have had no major issues to contend with. But, others such as myself, have had major problems with this new version. A review was asked for, and I gave my review of the program’s performance and features, or lack thereof. I don’t see that as complaining. If I was on the fence about whether or not to purchase this program, I would appreciate being informed as to any problems with it……or not, as the case may be.

      Also, I am well aware of the “what’s new” features Ancestry has listed…..I am personally disappointed that they were so few and, in my opinion, mostly not high priority issues. As I said, Tree Sync is very nice but the fact remains that I am having serious problems with this app. Now, you can take that as complaining if you want. That’s your opinion. I’m entitled to mine.

  32. Tony Knight says

    The program is probably fine so long as you do not ask it to handle a large file.
    There was in Mac 1 a component which has serious memory management problems and caused the crashing, and a host of other problems, described. From what I have seen it has not been fixed, and actually as it is third party and the app cannot run without it, possibly cannot.

  33. Robert says

    I was interested to see that Family Tree Maker version 1 has been removed from the Mac App Store. Either they’re getting ready to put up version 2 or they were intent on getting all those less-than-complimentary customer product evaluations off the site. Heh!

  34. Paul Aylett says

    One feature of FTM (PC) that I particularly like is the Smart Stories function. Ancestry do not list this as a feature on FTMM2 so I contacted them. Their reply was “The Smart stories will be a feature of FTM for Mac 2. The FTM for Mac 2 will have the same features as the 2012 PC version.”

    Can you confirm that both these statements are correct as I think they may be being economical with the truth.

    BTW Ben, I’m greatly looking forward to your full review of FTMM2 and many thanks for all the work you do for us Family Historians.

    • says

      Hi, Paul.

      I can now definitively say[1] that smart stories is not in Family Tree Maker for Mac 2 (FTMM) and therefore the features are not the same as those in FTM 2012. There are other features missing too, of course.

      I cannot say whether the statements as you wrote them are true or false. I don’t know if FTMM2 _will_ have smart stories and all the other features of FTM 2012. I can only say it doesn’t today and that I would love it to have them soon–tomorrow would be good.

      —-Ben >@< Notes ——- 1. Yes, I finally received my copy of FTMM2 today. It turns out it was sent to my previous address and was eventually forwarded by the kind and evidently very busy current owner.

      • Paul Aylett says

        Much obliged to you Ben. I have asked Ancestry to explain why they gave the answer that they did. Meanwhile, I have ordered it at the bargain price of just £38 which includes 6 months of Premier Ancestry membership even though I’ll still keep waiting for Reunion update.

      • Michael Schultz says

        Hi Ben,

        Looking forward to your complete review of FTMM2. I’ve seen a lot of both negative & positive posts here & on other sites about FTMM2 and I think I’ll wait before trying it. I’m interested in the TreeSync feature, primarily because our entire family has been working on our family tree on for a few years now, and it is expansive.

        But the first release of FTMM2 (an update has been recently released) seemed to be pretty buggy, and many people weren’t too happy about their initial experiences.

        Being a Reunion user since version 3.0, I prefer it but am interested in seeing what FTMM2 has to offer. The price of it compared to FTM2012 is considerable but that is normal for Windows software being move to the Mac platform.


        • says

          Hi, Michael.

          I’ve begun investing what will be many hours systematically exploring Family Tree Maker for Mac 2. I’ve got a couple videos recorded already as a by-product. I’ve also encountered a couple nuisance bugs in the process.

          You’ll see the videos published soon. I’ve got to edit and post-process them and write the accompanying articles. Here are the titles as a preview:

          Adding Names in Family Tree Maker

          How to Add and Change a Portrait in Family Tree Maker for Mac 2

          Migrating a Family Tree Maker 2012 File to Family Tree Maker for Mac 2

          As for the price of FTMM2 with respect to FTM2012, I’ve got an observation for you: the price of FTMM2 compares favorably to Reunion. Whether or not it compares well in other ways is yet to be determined by yours truly. 😉

          —-Ben >@<

  35. says

    I added a table to this page that compares the feature list between Family Tree Maker for Mac 2 and Family Tree Maker 2012.

  36. says

    Apologies for being so blunt here, but FTM 2 for Mac is a complete croc of s*%t!

    After completely corrupting my online Ancestry file, I’ve had to start afresh (nearly 400 records messed-up).

    Now, with a simple 10 record file, I’ve used the ‘TreeSync’ feature to flick between my local file & the online version & have ended-up with 6 duplicate records.

    Very frustrating!!!

    • Keith says

      Please share your experience with Ancestry support ( Ancestry has released several patches to FTMM2 over the past year that have greatly improved the TreeSync feature. However, I’m now seeing several reports of files getting corrupted and records being duplicated. I experienced this myself recently. FTMM2 has the potential to be a good product, especially for those who use, but if Ancestry doesn’t hear about the problems, they can’t fix them. They have shown a commitment to fixing the current versions for both Mac and Windows by not releasing a paid update for 2013; instead, they are releasing free patches to current owners.

      I also highly recommend that people keep a good backup of their tree. If starting with a tree on, this can be done by downloading a GEDCOM file. Unfortunately, this will not include any media that have been saved to the tree, but at least it will include the data in the tree itself. If starting from a FTM tree, a backup can be saved by going to File > Backup.

      • Keith says

        Correction: a GEDCOM downloaded from will not contain any media, but it will have links to the media files stored on

        • says

          I feel stuck with getting all the media files and source citations renamed in FTMM2 before it is practical for me to move them to a different program. As I understand it from reading up on GEDCOM standards, GEDCOMs SHOULD have links to media files, but the GEDCOMs I created with FTMM2 do not. This option is greyed out when you create them, and as far as I can interpret the instructions, this is the way it is designed. It looks to me like the only way to export media links with a tree file from FTM/FTMM2 is as a FTM/FTMM2 file, which can only be opened in FTM/FTMM2.

          I even went to the trouble of migrating my FTMM2 file to FTM 2012, and exporting a GEDCOM from there, but it still did not have media links. This means that if you import the GEDCOM into any another program, you will have to recreate all links to media files manually, even if the program is able to import GEDCOMs with media links. I was trying out Heredis, which has the option of importing GEDCOMs with media links, and allows you to link to media where they already reside on your computer, but this did not work.

          The problem is that if you started with an tree, and downloaded it to FTM/FTMM2, the media files downloaded with generic names. You have to go into each one individually to give them meaningful names, as the media files and source citations that download often lack even basic identifying information. Ancestry seems to have started to at least put the name of the person you attached the media to online, but this doesn’t help with the many records I had already downloaded and synced from Ancestry. In many cases I need to know what event/source citation/person(s) the media file was attached to in order to correctly label it.

          There are a lot of clicks and ins and outs of the various windows to get the same information in the media details, source citation, and notes. FTMM2 does not give you the option of, say, automatically making the caption and the filename of a media file the same, which is what I always do. Being able to set that as the default would save a lot of time. If the record on Ancestry was an index with no image attached and there is no specific information in the source citation, it’s really useless as a citation. I have to click on the link to view the source online and then transcribe it, or go to web search and find it again and do a merge, then copy and paste into the source citation.

          The process is quite laborious. It’s easy to lose sight of the forest for the trees, to get bogged down. I read Keith’s and others’ discussion of his efforts to export GEDCOMs with media files into other programs and tried to do what they described. It looks like Heredis does have the capacity to import GEDCOM with media links, but after multiple tries with both FTMM2 and FTM2012 decided that the problem is really that FTM does not create the links.

          Am I misunderstanding something here?

  37. Mallyjam says

    Hi, I’ve just bought the software and am now concerned I will corrupt my online tree if I download from there. Is there any possibility that is likely to happen? I have over 5000 names with several comments, stories and photos attached. I don’t have any backup at this point. How do I backup my online tree first. Can it duplicated online for the purpose of downloading to FTM and then deleted after the files are checked. What is the best way to go about this in order to preserve the tree online.

    Many thanks for any help you can give me.

    • Keith says

      Mallyjam, you can safely download your tree from into FTM without any risk of corrupting your online tree. In fact, that would be the best way to back up your online tree. It’s when you start making changes and syncing your online tree with FTM that you risk corruption. I recommend you download your tree into FTM and then make a backup copy of that file and all associated media. Keep the backup in a safe place, like an external hard drive. Once you have a backup, you can start making changes using FTM and sync with your Ancestry member tree. If you notice any problems cropping up, you can always restore your backup file. Also be sure to notify Ancestry Support so they can look into the matter. You should get into the habit of backing up your FTM files regularly, depending on how often you make changes. Please let us know if you have any questions.

  38. Bob Hoffman says

    Really appreciate the time and effort that you put into these charts. They answers so many questions in one place.

  39. Kate says

    I’ve been using FTMM2 for about 9 months now. I appreciated getting a 6 month subscription to Ancestry as part of the deal. As for the software itself, I think it’s the “buggiest,” most frustrating software I’ve ever used. In the few months I’ve used it, I’ve had to unlink and re-link my tree no less than 8 times. Maybe 1 out of every 4 syncs actually complete successfully. I find the user interface pretty unintuitive. I am continually deleting myself as the “home person” by accident, and often without knowing I’ve done it. The other night, I deleted a huge number of people from my FTMM2 tree (from a family it turns out I’m not related to after all), synced with Amazon, and discovered that not only did it not delete anything from my Amazon tree, I now have 148 new “hints” to go through for those people. I don’t trust that FTMM2 is providing me with a good “back-up” for my online tree, and certainly don’t find it easy to work on it and trust that the work I do will be accurately synced to my Ancestry tree.
    The reason I was reading Keith’s review of family tree software is that I was hoping for a better alternative (although having put out the money for one program, it seems a bit daunting to have to pop for another). All along I’ve felt like this software is just a sort of thrown together knock-off that’s supposed to satisfy those of us who use Macs – as though we were the “poor relatives” of the computer world. Maybe we are, but I still expected better than this, and I’m hoping it improves in the near future.

  40. Jenny Wilson says

    FTM for Mac2 Started having duplication problems with individuals. Fixed them then on next sync I have many more duplicates and triplicates and more of certain peope but not all people. Now I see I have up to 8 copies of each media file. Also the facts are duplicating!!!!! I am so frustrated!!!!!

  41. Jane says

    I’m just getting started and planning to, at least initially, use a windows pc for from the Geneology Society library. But, i will want to download that to my MAC. I don’t think there was ever an answer to how to do that and then sync back from the MAC to ancestory. Someone said something about ending up with multiple files. Also, does the upload from Family Tree really transfer all the stories or notes you make into ancestory? Not, sure I really want to do that.

  42. Keith says

    Jane, you can sync an Ancestry family tree with only one installation of Family Tree Maker, so if you upload a tree from a PC in the Genealogy Society library, make sure you do not sync your tree with that PC. Once you’re at your Mac, you can download your tree from Ancestry into Family Tree Maker by creating a new file and selecting “Download from Ancestry” under “Getting Started.” See the Family Tree Maker Help for more information if you need it. During the download process, you’ll be offered the option to sync your tree with Ancestry. See my comments above about keeping backups of your family tree. As for your other question, stories and some notes will upload from Family Tree Maker for Windows to Ancestry; however, only person notes will upload–not fact notes or any other kind of note. Also, the Mac version of Family Tree Maker does not have stories, so if there are any in your Ancestry family tree, they may not sync, or if they do, they might come in as a media file.

  43. Trailrider says

    All this is overwhelming. Here is my story – can someone shed some light on my dilemmas? My database is a Family Tree Maker .ftm (version 2012), and I have over 16,000 names, many of which have reams of data including photos, documents, etc. included. So I am very concerned about the following. This is literally a lifetime of work.

    1. My PC desktop is in need of upgrading, so I am now trying to decide whether to jump to mac, or continue with a new PC. I have heard so many bad things about the mac version of FTM that I am very nervous. I have heard about crashes, the mac not having all the features of the windows program, and to convert from one to the other is not always successful.

    2. I have every piece of information sourced, using the new/attached options in the windows program, and I am not sure if I will lose some of that source information if I migrate to the mac version.

    3. I have not used the TreeSync, and so am not familiar with it. I would like to know if I can upload a windows FTM file (16,000 names plus data) onto the server, and download it onto a mac computer without running the file conversion utility.

    4. I am also thinking about buying an iPad, and am wondering if anyone has experience to say whether it would be useful (and why) for entering or at least looking at my file.

    I have lots more questions, but basically I don’t know whether to stay with windows or jump ship, or to get a new windows desktop and a macbook. I have been thinking about this for literally months, and am no further ahead in my decision. By the way, the reason I am considering moving to the mac platform is solely to get (reasonably) far away from the constant threat of viruses, malware, spyware, etc. and the performance issues and nuisance of running virus check programs. Otherwise I like the windows platform.

    • Ben says

      1. Wait for the release of FTMM3. I’ll let you know whether or not to upgrade then.
      2. Your sources and citations will not be lost.
      3. This is not the best way to migrate files.

  44. pmm says

    Arrggh! Wrote a long reply and the website timed out and ate it!

    Macs are incredible machines that just WORK- so you can just WORK on your research, writing, etc., and not have to worry about the technology. You can use ANY software- win, Mac, Linux. My old Win FTM worked better on the Mac with VMware than it ever had on a Win machine. Yes, Macs are expensive, but you can’t put a price on the lack of hassle with the technology, safety fm viruses, etc., and it will probably only take ~ 3 weeks to get your mindset switched to intuitive Mac vs. convoluted Win ways of doing things.

    Remember that the iPad is not a fully functional computer- I still cannot see some images and videos from some websites that still use the older technology (though those sites are changing). iPads are incredible mobile machines though, and I love how my MacBookPro laptop, 27″ iMac desktop (amazing real estate for research and images!), iPad, and iPhone play so well together.

    New Macs are coming out mid- Oct. The scuttlebutt is that they are basically the same as what is out there now plus some enhancements for gaming. (The new operating system may be delayed.) If you prefer the older machine and wait til the new come out, you can get a great deal. (I saved $1000 that way with my current MBP.)

  45. Margaret says

    Viz: Mac vs Windows – I really like Macs, but they are not as hassle-free as they used to be – not the machine, but the operating system (Lion). As far as a new mac goes, I would wait until Mavericks comes out and see if it turns out to be a jackass – if it’s like Lion and comes installed on a new machine, you won’t be able to downgrade to an older OS, but you will be able to upgrade older Intel Macs if you want from what I’ve read. And a proviso re running Windows on a virtual machine on a mac – I did not have such a good experience running a Windows virtual machine on a 256gb macbook air – it really interfered with the performance of the Mac OS. I think if you want to do this with decent performance, you need a bigger hard drive/SSD.

    There is a significant improvement not mentioned with the new Macbooks/OS (Mavericks) coming out – amazing battery life. Some of this is due to the new OS, which is much more efficient, but I don’t know how much is due to the new machines. My other thought is that the new Windows machines are a big improvement over the last generation – much more Mac-like. One reason I strongly prefer Macs is that I find the display much easier on my eyes – some of the new windows machines look good to me in the store, although it’s hard to know how they would be in other lighting situations. The other thing is multidirectional scrolling on the mac touchpad – for some reason windows machines couldn’t figure out how to do this – I think now most can, and some have touch screens, if you want that. I would argue against mix-and-match PC and Mac – there are problems with networking, sharing files etc. If you are used to the Windows versions of Excel, Word etc, you will be frustrated by the Mac versions. I would say that every Mac version of software that was originally Windows that I have tried is inferior.

    There is also another option now – Google now has a Chrome OS on HP laptops. I don’t know if you can run FTM Windows or Mac on it.

    As far as the software goes, I didn’t have trouble migrating my data from FTM2012 to FTMM2, but I agree with Ben/Keith’s low opinion of the mac version. I like having Treesync, and it seems to be working well most of the time, but I have do some quasi-techie tweaking periodically. As far as uploading your FTM file to ancestry and then downloading to the Mac, you will lose some information. See Keith’s comments above.

    One option to help you make up your mind is export a segment of your tree using the Publish tab in FTM – see Keith’s blog entry on this: Splitting a Family Tree with Family Tree Maker, Part 2, 25 Mar 2012. Then you could try out the sync feature with your windows FTM with a small part of your tree, and experiment with it to see how you like it. One thing I had really liked about FTMM2, which I am now having problems with, is the WebSearch/ WebMerge function. I think it is related to the changes Apple made to Java this year, and Firefox’s latest upgrade. Since the upgrade to the latest version of Java, 1.7.25, both FTMM2 WebSearch and don’t work well. I can’t use FamilySearch with Firefox, I have to use Safari.

    As far as the virus/security issues with Windows goes, my husband and I have both used Windows Security Essentials in Windows 7 without performance problems, and my brother is using Norton – it may be that with a newer Windows machine/OS you wouldn’t have the performance issues from the anti-virus program. I know a couple of people who really like Windows 8. They really took the time to go through the tutorials to learn how to use it, but you would have to do that with a Mac too.

  46. Kate says

    I use FTMM2 and believe it is the worst Mac software I’ve ever used (and I’ve had a Mac since about 1992). I’ve given up trying to use it as a database, since I’ve had to unlink and re-link my tree from my Ancestry tree so many times (during the year I’ve had it). Last time, I just wiped my tree off entirely and downloaded the tree from Ancestry. I would recommend using another kind of genealogy software (Reunion or one of the others recommended) or a database of another kind. As for getting a Mac, I highly recommend it! Macs are easier to use, easier to troubleshoot, virtually resistant to viruses, etc. etc. etc. On the advice of a tech at the Apple store, I recently upgraded my 4 year old Mac Book Pro for only a few hundred dollars and it’s great. With the money I saved by not having to buy a new computer, I bought an iPad. Although I love it for traveling, etc. it’s more like a big iPhone than a laptop. Rather than that, you might consider getting an inexpensive little netbook that runs Windows. You can always use a gedcom from your FTM and use it with other software on a Mac.

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