Modern Software Experience


Family Tree Maker 2012

Updated with new information on 2011 Sep 8.

New Features

Public Beta

Family Tree Maker 2012 Public Beta noted the availability of the Family Tree Maker 2012 Public Beta, and the fact that TreeSync is the new feature. FTM Sync Beta noted the existence of the official FTM Sync messageboard for the public beta. TreeSync limitations discusses the then current limitations of TreeSync.
So, there is a Public Beta, we know about FTM 2012's major new feature and its limitations. When you run FTM 2012, its seems practically identical to FTM 2011. It makes you wonder whether there are any other new features.

new features

One beta tester asked that very question - and got an answer.
User suecucch asked What is new in 2012 and Duff Wilson, the product manager for Family Tree Maker, answered:

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. 1. TreeSync - Ability to synchronize your tree between FTM and Ancestry.
  2. 2. Blended family view - Easily show all of the children for two spouses whether they are children of one or both of them.
  3. 3. Index of Individuals Report
  4. 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. 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

FTM knowledge base

On 2011 Sep 8, Ancestry added the What’s new in Family Tree Maker 2012? article to the Family Tree Maker KnowledgeBase. It provides a more extensive description of the new features.


Now you can work on your family tree anywhere with the new TreeSync feature. When you link your desktop and online trees together, you can update either tree and then synchronize those changes into the other tree—manually or automatically. All you need is an Internet connection. Syncing your Family Tree Maker tree and online Ancestry tree has many benefits that no other software can offer:

  • Access and update your tree anytime, anywhere. With an Internet connection, you can continue your research wherever you are whether it’s through Ancestry, your iPhone, or iPad.
  • Share your tree online. Family and friends can view your tree (and even work with you) without any software or an Ancestry subscription.
  • Collaborate with the largest family history community in the world. If you share your tree publicly, you can connect with other members who are researching the same family lines.

Improved Smart Stories

When Family Tree Maker creates a Smart Story for you, the story now includes facts about the individual and his or her spouse and children. Previously a generated Smart Story included information about the individual only.

New Combined Family View

The family group view has a new “blended families” option that displays all of a couple’s children in one location. An icon next the child’s name lets you see at a glance whether he or she is the child of the father, mother, or both parents.

Simplified Interface for Upgraders

When you install Family Tree Maker 2012, the software detects whether you are upgrading from a previous version of Family Tree Maker (version 16 or earlier). If you are, Family Tree Maker displays a simplified user interface that looks more like older versions of Family Tree Maker.

Customized Fact Sentences

When you create an Ahnentafel, descendant report, or Smart Story, Family Tree Maker generates descriptive sentences for each fact or event. Now you can change the wording of these sentences and also choose what data is included.


Improved Notes Report

The Notes Report lets you display person, research, relationship, or fact notes you’ve entered for individuals in your tree.

New Index of Individuals Report

The Index of Individuals Report lists every individual in your tree and their birth, marriage, and death dates.


Generation Labels

Now you can display generation labels (such as parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents) in charts to high-light the relationship between the primary person in the chart and other family members.

Additional Options in Descendant Chart

You can create a descendant chart that shows the relationship between two people whom you select.

Adding Text to a Chart

In addition to adding your own images to a chart, you can now personalize your charts even more by adding your own text—creating a chart that is completely unique.

New and Updated Tutorials

You can learn to do more—like creating trees and using features—with new and improved tutorials accessible in the software.

Simplified Interface for Upgraders

The KnowledgeBase confirms all the new features that Duff Wilson already revealed. It just presents them better, and describes them in more detail.

The exhaustive list in the KnowledgeBase does mention two things Duff didn't mention.
Duff mentioned several report improvements, but did not mention the new Index of Individuals report.
An remarkable new feature, not mentioned before, is the Simplified Interface for Upgraders; if you upgrade from Family Tree Maker Classic, New Family Tree Maker will display a different user interface than it would otherwise display, one that is more like the Family Tree Maker Classic interface.


2011-09-08: FTM knowledge base

Ancestry has added the What’s new in Family Tree Maker 2012? article to the Family Tree Maker KnowledgeBase. It provides some new information. The article has been updated.