An important feature in genealogy software is access to records and multimedia. Family Tree Maker 2014 connects with Ancestry.com, giving you access to its documentation about your family, while the software charts your progress. With multiple types of charts available, you can map your lineage easily and share information with the rest of your family. FTM 2014 wins our TopTenREVIEWS Silver Award because of its connectivity and large span of helpful researching and documentation tools. Be aware, however, that you’ll need an Ancestry.com membership to make the most of this software’s features.
The toolbar on Family Tree Maker 2014's interface features a ribbon bar, so it looks less cluttered than previous versions. You can supplement your tree with photos and stories about your family with the Media tab, and the tools in the Sources tab help you keep your facts straight. Family Tree Maker 2014 is useful genealogy software for casual and professional genealogists.
This version of Family Tree Maker offers 10 kinds of charts, such as pedigree, descendant and relationship 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. Creating reports and books is a good way to help others who may have overlapping research in their own family. Professionally printed books and charts also make great keepsakes and serve as heirlooms for generations to build on. The charts allow you to display an individual's ancestors, spouses and children together. The Index of Individuals report expands to anniversary, birthday and contact lists so you can keep in touch with living relatives.
This software is also capable of displaying PDF images and simplified exports. We like the PDF capability because it makes it easy to share your work, collaborate with other researchers and even publish your findings online.
Most of the tools you'll use in Family Tree Maker 2014 are located at the top of screen in the tools ribbon. There you'll find seven tabs. Each of the tabs – Plan, People, Places, Media, Sources, Publishing and Web Search – houses an array of helpful features for different types of projects.
The Plan tab allows you to create a task list and keep your research strategized. You can filter tasks by priority, or type of tasks, or base the filter on the individual you're researching. This section also gives you a quick look at some statistics about your family, from the number of people listed, surnames, average lifespan, earliest birthdate and the number of places, sources and media you have linked to your tree.
The People tab is where a majority of the actual data entry work happens. When Ancestry.com locates information about your ancestor, the leaf icon appears next to family members. These are the most helpful if you have a membership to the site, but you can find useful documents like census records and death certificates. Within the People tab, you can fill out a standard pedigree chart with standard family information like birth, death and marriage dates, as well as extra information like notes and medical records. Family Tree Maker 2014 is flexible and allows you to create complex relationships like remarriages and stepchildren.
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 will appear. When you record significant events like 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 a handy visual for multiple families and a good way to see how new branches of your family developed. You can change the look on the map from a two-dimensional road or aerial view to an impressive three-dimensional map through Bing Maps. This mapping feature allows you to get a physical sense of your family's history and shows direct links from one state to the next via marriage or other events.
When you add multimedia to Family Tree Maker, you can tag each entry with information like a caption, a date and a description. All the videos, images, stories and other bits of information collects in the Media tab, which helps to keep your documentation and other files organized and accessible. Like the Media tab, the Sources tab is a repository for all your sources. The fields within the dialogue windows ask you for information about the source and the software formats them into formal citations, a massive relief for professionals and academics doing genealogical research. By filling out information on your source such as title, author and publishing info, Family Tree Maker 2014 can create a full bibliography with your sources.
This version of Family tree maker also has outstanding editing and organizing options. This software sorts children automatically by birth order and allows you to view people by location via country, state, county and city. Adding facts to your family tree is as simple as copy and pasting. You can add facts such as source citations, media items and notes.
If you need extra help, FTM Tutorials teach you how to do more with the software. You’ll find them in the "training tutorials" section 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 available and a blog through Ancestry.com for non-technical questions about family history and creating family trees.
The most outstanding feature in Family Tree Maker 2014 is the TreeSync tool that lets you synchronize your tree within the software and your online tree in one click. Any changes, research or relationship notes, source templates and multimedia you added within your software will appear on your Ancestry.com account. The privacy tools keep your research safe and allow you to share what you want to share with others.
FTM 2014 and Ancestry.com work hand in hand to make family research easier. You can search for information on your ancestors directly through FTM. We like that you're not limited to search one database. FTM 2014 can access RootsWeb and Genealogy.com's databases 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 data entry in one window.
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 synchronizes your working family tree with your Ancestry.com account, which is especially useful for sharing your findings and charts with others online.
You'll get the most out of FTM 2014 with a membership from Ancestry.com, which adds to the cost of this genealogy software.
Arranging and building your family tree is easy and the interface for this software is clean and organized. The close connection to Ancestry.com, a vast genealogical database, is convenient, but it's hard to complete much work with Family Tree Maker without paying for an account on the website.