Building and organizing family trees is what genealogy software does best. Sometimes you encounter outstanding software that helps you research your family history. Family Tree Maker 2014 connects with Ancestry.com, giving you access to millions of family records from around the world. This family tree software can create charts and keepsakes to map your lineage and share discoveries with the rest of your family. FTM 2014 wins the Top Ten Reviews Silver Award because of its connectivity and large span of helpful researching and documentation tools. Be aware, however, that you need an Ancestry.com membership to access the site's complete database.
This version of Family Tree Maker offers up to 10 types of printable charts. You can also generate an array of different reports and even create full books. Whether your genealogical research is personal or academic, publishing features are important to good genealogy software. Books, reports and charts are the best way to help others who have overlapping research in their own family and leave keepsakes for your own family. This genealogy software is also capable of displaying PDF images and simplified exports. The PDF capability makes it easy to share your work, collaborate with other researchers and publish your findings online.
Most of the features you use in FTM 2014 are tabs in the tools ribbon. The People tab is where the majority of the actual data entry happens. When Ancestry.com locates information about your ancestor, the leaf icon appears next to family members. This is where having a full membership with Ancestry comes in handy. You can find useful documents such as census records and death certificates on Ancestry and other genealogy websites.
Within the People tab, you can complete standard pedigree charts with family information, including birth, death and marriage dates, as well as extra information such as notes and medical records. Additionally, you can list complex relationships such as remarriages and stepchildren in your family tree.
The Plan tab allows you to create a task list and keep your research strategized. You can filter tasks by type, priority or individual. This section also shows statistics about your family, including the amount of people listed, surnames, average life span, earliest birthdate, and the number of places, sources and media you have linked to your tree.
You can access a physical map of your ancestors' migration and origin in the Places tab. The more information you complete in the People tab, the more complete your Places tab appears. When you record significant events such as births, deaths and marriages and enter a location for each event, the Places map marks the locations. This is a great tool to show your family's migration over the years. It's also a handy visual for multiple families and a good way to see how new branches of your family developed.
Family Tree Maker has outstanding editing and organizing options. This software sorts children automatically by birth order and allows you to view people by country, state, county and city. Adding facts to your family tree is as simple as copying and pasting. You can add facts such as source citations, media items and notes.
When you add multimedia to Family Tree Maker, you can tag each entry with a caption, date and description. All the videos, images, stories and other bits of information collect in the Media tab, which keeps your documentation and other files organized and accessible. Similarly, the Sources tab is a repository for all your sources. The fields within the dialogue windows ask you for information about the sources, and the software formats them into formal citations, which is a massive relief if you're doing professional or academic genealogical research. If you fill out data on your source such as title, author and publishing info, FTM 2014 can create a full bibliography with your sources.
FTM 2014 and Ancestry.com work hand in hand to make family research easier. You can search for information on your ancestors directly through, and you're not limited to searching one database. FTM 2014 can access databases on RootsWeb and Genealogy.com to help you search for your family. You can also search through Google, Bing or Yahoo within this tab. This is a convenient tool for researching and entering data in one window.
If you need extra help, the tutorials teach you how to do more with the software. You find them in the help menu, or you can watch them online. When you purchase the software, you get an electronic copy of the Companion Guide to Family Tree Maker to give you further instructions and help. Other helpful support features include a tech support hotline and a blog through Ancestry.com for nontechnical questions about family history and creating family trees.
Family Tree Maker 2014 has enough features to satisfy both advanced and beginning genealogists because it hits a sweet spot between advanced and intermediate software. It also integrates seamlessly with Ancestry.com, so you can do your research through one of the most popular genealogy sites.
The TreeSync feature links your working family tree to your Ancestry.com account.
You only get the full force of this software with a paid subscription to Ancestry.com.
The price for this software jumps if you want to get the most out of its online counterpart, but its close relationship with Ancestry.com is great for online researchers and bloggers.