FTM 2008 is so bad I cannot recommend anyone purchase it or if you already have purchased it you might want to consider returning it.
Items REMOVED, NEW PROBLEM and what FTM says is “NEW IN 2008” with my comments as to what FTM says is “NEW IN 2008”. This is not an all inclusive list of these items as NEW issues are being found daily. The issues below were found using a database with over 104,000 people.
I attribute all of the issues with FTM 2008 to improper design, programming and beta testing.
Thanks to those that sent email to let me know of some of these issues. I checked to see if I could duplicate your issue and if I was not able to duplicate it, it is not listed here.
REMOVED: Double click on GEDCOM file to open.
REMOVED: Option to select what items to include on a FTM and GEDCOM file merge/append.
REMOVED: Capability to save a file back to an older version of FTM.
REMOVED: All Nicknames or AKA were lost on import of file into 2008. AKA that existed in 2006 in the full name edit screen was removed in 2008. You can add them manually back in by using a fact field. So my grandson’s 1st cousin 11 times removed whose name is Wahunsenacawh and had an AKA of Chief Powhatan the father of Pocahontas is lost. It will be next to impossible to fix this manually in a large database as I was not able to generate any report in 2006 to list everyone with an AKA. The custom report in 2006 had a field AKA but when generating the report noting shows in the AKA field on the report.
REMOVED: Capability to change menu bar.
REMOVED: Index of individuals options.
REMOVED: Index of individuals search by given name.
REMOVED: Index of names no longer shows comma in front of name suffix.
REMOVED: Automatic selection of female when entering a NEW person in the database. It now defaults to unknown requiring extra work as you have to change this almost 100% of the time. In 2006 it was set to female and it only required you change the field to male about 50% of the time.
REMOVED: When you have a drawing of a tree on the screen you can’t click on a person in a tree and go to that person. It is this way on all report I tried.
REMOVED: Automatic backup of file on exit. You must now manually go to the menu and select backup every time you want to back up the database.
REMOVED: Reference numbers.
REMOVED: Address labels.
REMOVED: Meciclal labels.
REMOVED: Spell check for facts or anything else except notes.
REMOVED: Spell check does not move through all the notes like it did in 2006. You must go to each person then open the notes to that person and can only spell check that person. When finished a popup window and if you click continue the program crashes and closes.
REMOVED: Edit facts by double click it. Now you have to click on the fact then the fact also shows on the right of the screen. You must then move to the right side of the screen to edit it, rather than allowing you to just click on the field and edit it there.
REMOVED: All-in-one tree chart.
REMOVED: Address report.
REMOVED: Basic register and ahnentafel reports.
REMOVED: All Ancestor tree charts. Now only has a standard pedigree tree chart.
REMOVED: Alternate facts report.
REMOVED: Bibliography report.
REMOVED: Birthday report.
REMOVED: Data error report.
REMOVED: Documented events report.
REMOVED: Genealogy report. This was the major report used by most people.
REMOVED: Hourglass tree charts.
REMOVED: Medical report.
REMOVED: What robust features that did exist on all charts and reports. NEW charts and reports are primitive in design and features. The ancestor tree report looks like something a child would draw.
REMOVED: Books. They now want you to upload your data and design report on-line and then either print at Ancestry Press or download and print on your printer.
REMOVED: Research Journal.
REMOVED: View data CD. So none of the CDs you purchased will not work in FTM 2008.
REMOVED: Option to sort reports with data fields on the different fields.
REMOVED: More than one relation to a person in the Kinship report. Now only shows closest relation, so if a person is related more than once to a person, there is no way to see or show the duplicate relationship. No search on a kinship report and in 2006 report on the person Wahunsenacawh was 55 pages now because of the new spacing it takes 86 pages to produce the same number of kin on the 2008 report. It appears that all the reports and charts in 2008 now require more pages to produce the same report information as in 2006.
REMOVED: Fast fill fields do not work as in 2006. Original fast fill type as you go in 2006 which remembered about the last 30 items was removed and replaced with a drop down menu that is slower. When you import a file into 2008 it puts every item you had in any location in the new fast fill database. I don’t know if the slowness of the new fast fill is due to the fact that the drop down menu holds every item you ever used beginning with the letter of each word of the fact that the CPU is maxed out at 100%. Also, I see no option to delete something form the fast field database. If you make any change to the data in the location field it drops down the fast fill box again for you to select from.
REMOVED: Find and replace.
REMOVED: Capability to change the capitalization of a name from CAPS to lower case by changing one letter in the name. You must type everything again, as there is also no find and replace to mast change the capitalization.
REMOVED: Capability to copy selected items on any of the reports.
REMOVED: Capability to copy selected individuals from one database to another.
REMOVED: Capability to generate a tree of a family and then select to delete them from the database.
NEW PROBLEM: Requires a PC with more memory, faster CPU and more hard drive space.
NEW PROBLEM: Program uses large amounts of page memory. More than any program I have seen. High end programs such as Photoshop and Microsoft Office do not use anywhere near the amount of memory to run FTM 2008. Which most likely is responsible for the slowness of the program.
NEW PROBLEM: Some names of people are incorrect in 2008 after importing from 2006.
NEW PROBLEM: Pretty interface that is slow and unresponsive. The slower response dramatically increases the time to enter data and generate reports.
NEW PROBLEM: Authenticate with the server. An unnecessary feature.
NEW PROBLEM: Registration fails for some people.
NEW PROBLEM: Nag screen popup window to register program. I did not have to register the program to download the update or to use the program. After 4 days the nag screen stopped.
NEW PROBLEM: Nag screen popup window auto-search on starting program asking if it is ok to search the web. I have not found a way to turn this off, but it also stopped after 4 days.
NEW PROBLEM: Maxes out the CPU when checking in task manager to almost 100% making the PC and program extremely slow and unresponsive. I cannot do anything else on the PC until I FTM is shut down because of this.
NEW PROBLEM: Undo of merged/append file. I merged two files and did not find where you can undo it on the menu anywhere. Although this morning when I started 2008 there was an undo on the menu under edit. It was not there before so I checked the version # of FTM and it had not changed. So I have no idea as to where undo feature was before when using the program.
NEW PROBLEM: Imported a FTW file from ver 2006 into 2008 and all went ok. On checking the data, several names were incorrect.
NEW PROBLEM: Bloated program increased in size from 55MB in 2006 to 379MB in 2008.
NEW PROBLEM: Bloated database increase in size from 95MB in 2006 to 174MB in 2008.
NEW PROBLEM: Exported data back to an older version of FTM using a GEDCOM file from 2008 and re-imported back into an older version of FTM and then exporting it from the older version and re-importing it back to 2008 caused data errors with the data.
NEW PROBLEM: Moving from one person to another now takes between 15-60 seconds on ever person I move to.
NEW PROBLEM: Trees contain fields such as B and D when you have no data for them. In prior versions the trees were not cluttered with missing data fields. I have not found a way to remove them.
NEW PROBLEM: For people that are married more than one, you lose your preferred spouse setting when importing a file from prior versions of FTM. All my preferred spouses are gone and if I continued using 2008 I would have to go to every marriage and reselect a preferred spouse.
NEW PROBLEM: Changes to the pedigree report design do not hold when saved. I had made changes several times and saved them only to come back to the same report and it is set back to the defaults.
NEW PROBLEM: Custom report does not allow you to remove items such as dates and the word "in", even though it has a tab under item to include doing this. It even shows you a sample of how it will look without the data or the word "in" but it does not show up that way on the report. The custom report no longer lists the name to the left and then the items you select directly across from the name so you can readily run through the report and find errors in the names of locations, such as birth, death and marriage. Now it lists these under the name so it makes it much harder to find irregularities in spelling and abbreviations.
NEW PROBLEM: When moving from one report to another you must reselect the individuals you want in the report.
NEW PROBLEM: On merging/appending a FTM file with 21 people to a database of 104,215 it took 10 hours 5 minutes. This is broken down to 7 hours 15 minutes to load the 21 people, 2 hours to do matching people and then another window opened for you to select items to do the merge and click continue and it beginnings merging, another 50 minutes to complete the total merge process. Both files had already been imported into 2008 prior to doing the merge. Windows task manager showed the CPU maxed out at almost 100% the entire time and used over 800,000k memory. I saw no undelete option after the merge. I can’t live with this software taking this amount of time to do something. Although this morning when I started 2008 there was an undo on the menu under edit. It was not there before so I checked the version # of FTM and it had not changed. So I have no idea as to where undo feature was before when using the program.
NEW PROBLEM: There is an Undo feature. This morning when I started 2008 there was an undo on the menu under edit. It was not there before so I checked the version # of FTM and it had not changed. So I have no idea as to where undo feature was before when using the program. It appears to me that certain items do not show up at all times on the screen. Example is the calculator on the side of the date field and the ? on the side of the place field. Do not show up at all times.
NEW PROBLEM: Parentage report with 100,000 people took over 30 minutes to generate, where it took less than 1 minute in ver 2006.
NEW PROBLEM: Most reports will not allow you to set or save defaults. You have to make the changes every time you use the report. If you select certain individuals in one report and the want another report you must reselect them all again. Where as in 2006 you could move from report to report and not have to reselect them again.
NEW PROBLEM: 2008 has database of 3 million place names connected to FastFields that are inaccurate and leave out locations where names changed. I see no way to turn off FTM place names or change these place names or to only use your place names. I have a detailed email outlining the problem with FTM place names if you have not seen it already. There is a setting in the options to not use FastFields for place names, but then your FastField items will also not work. I don’t need FTM telling me how to name a location.
NEW PROBLEM: Program unresponsive and locks up. It appears that unlike 2006 if the program locked up and did not close 2008 properly the data or changed setting are not saved. So in 2008 on a lock up and you have to force the program to shut down or the program crashes on you and closes the data or setting change is lost. I noticed this on the date files as I set the date to show month, day year with full spelling of month. On crash and starting 2008 the date settings were set back to the default.
NEW PROBLEM: Reduced design of reports that still exist.
NEW PROBLEM: Duplication of data on the screen in more than one place at the same time.
NEW PROBLEM: When you close the program, even though it is gone on the screen in task manager it still runs for about 5 minutes.
NOW THIS IS WHAT FTM SAYS IS NEW IN 2008
I do not see where hardly any of these items are really NEW items. My comments are after >> on each item.
What's NEW in Family Tree Maker
Family Tree Maker opens with a whole new look. Every effort has been made to make family history welcoming and fun. The program is now divided into seven distinct areas (workspaces) that focus on the key tasks of research and data management. The following list explains the new features available in each of the workspaces.
Improved file merge. >>Not the case it took 10 hours 5 minutes to merge a 21 person database with an existing 104,215 person database.
Global task management.
Ability to import PAF, Legacy, The Master Genealogist and various other file formats. >>You could already do this in prior version using a GEDCOM file.
Family view that combines the family tree and family group. >>Looks good but is slow.
Person view that displays facts, sources, notes, and tasks in one view. >>Slow and unresponsive and duplicate information shown twice for some item on the screen.
Timeline view that lists personal, family, and historic events. >>Timeline report already existed in prior versions.
Relationship view that lists family relationships. >>Slow and prints a head in the box to the left of the persons information. I see no way to remove the heads. You could produce a similar type report in prior versions. I don’t see much use for this report the way it works. You can select the person relation from a drop down box but to change the person relation to you have to fumble through the tabs of the few people listed at the top of the screen. You cannot pick someone from a drop down box to pick the relation to person.
Index groupings that allow searching by family name, given name, birth date, marriage date, and death date.
History list that displays the changes made to records in the tree. >> History tab existed in 2006.
A database of 3 million complete place names connected to FastFields name completion. >> Slow and these so called Place FastFields cannot be changed. They are inaccurate as to name of locations and leave out locations where the name changed. I see no way to turn off FTM place names and only use your place names.
A map to find each location in the tree. >> Slow and a similar map existed in prior versions.
A view to see all of the people associated with a location. >> Slow and a similar view existed in prior versions.
View all of the images and media in your tree from one location. >> Nice.
Link one media file to multiple people and view all of the people a media file is linked to. >> This might be of use to people.
View all of the sources in your tree from one location. >>Available in 2006 under edit master sources.
Rate sources using standardized rating criteria.
Full reference notes. >>Notes existed in 2006.
Flexible citation/source/repository model.
Publish >> Existed in 2006.
New charts and reports >> These so called new charts could for the most part be produced in 2006.
Improved chart and report customization. >> Not the case, they appear to be of lower quality and features removed that existed in 2006. The tree chart looks like something a child would draw when compared to the features it could do in 2006.
Output charts and reports to PDF, CSV, RTF, HTML, JPG, PNG and other formats >> Most of this was available in 2006.
Web Search >> Available in 2006.
Search Ancestry.com, Rootsweb.com, and Genealogy.com and merge the results into your tree. >>Available in 2006.
Search anywhere on the Internet from within Family Tree Maker and merge the results into your tree. >> Can do the same thing in Internet Explorer. I don’t need to search the web form inside a genealogy program, although others might want this feature.
Add your own bookmarks to web sites. >> Can be done in Internet Explorer.
Capture text, images, and entire web pages and merge them into the tree. >> Nice but was able to copy and paste into 2006.