Monday, July 29, 2013

Review - The Companion Guide to Family Tree Maker 2012

The Companion Guide to Family Tree Maker 2012
By Tana L. Pedersen
Publisher: Ancestry Publishing
Pub. Date: 2011
ISBN: 978-1593313388
Retail: $24.99
Pages: 320
Buy Link: The Ancestry Store


Genealogy has become more popular thanks to the reality series Who Do You Think You Are?, which started it's fourth season on TLC last Tuesday featuring celebrities such as Kelly Clarkson, Jim Parsons, and Christina Applegate. Many people around the world have been researching their family heritage way before the series started. Thanks to modern technology you now have the ability to keep track of all your family findings by using the computer software called Family Tree Maker, a program that first came out in 1989; way before home computers were in the average household. FTM has had dozens of upgrades over the years and including several different owners. The most popular genealogy site in the word is, who happens to be the current owner, released the FTM 2012 in September 2011.

I was in my early twenties when I got interested in genealogy, mostly thanks to my mother who was already researching our family history. My genealogy days came to a stop several years back when I hit several brick walls, since then my mother has taken over the family research. I bought my mother the FTM 2012 software last year, which the software turned out to be a major improvement compared to the old versions as you can sync directly with The 2012 version is now on my computer as well and I have now started to get back into genealogy.

There is a basic guide with the program, but there are so many changes in the program it takes awhile to figure out what is what. Luckily, there is the Companion Guide to Family Tree Maker 2012 written by Tana L. Pedersen to help us new and old FTM users understand all the cool new tools and features. If you are a new user, the first few chapters will go over all the basics on how to setup the program with your family's information.

The book covers building your family tree from scratch or using a previous FTM  GEDCOM file (Yep, you can still keep all the family info from a previous FTM version.); how to correctly give credit to a source; adding a picture or other media to a specific individual; how to use Microsoft Bing Maps to help find places of interest; how to research online; and how to create family charts, reports, outlines, and family history books.

The Companion Guide to Family Tree Maker 2012 is written for anyone to use, even if you're not too familiar with the program. I learned how to save a snapshot of a webpage so I can merge it into the FTM and how to print a media item. I enjoyed reviewing the book and I plan on referring to it from time to time. I recommend it to anybody using or thinking about purchasing the Family Tree Maker 2012. 

Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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