Your Guide to Using Family Tree Maker
Family Tree Maker has a lot of cool features that are designed to make building and researching your family history easier. But do you know everything it’s capable of doing? We’re sharing a few tips our Mastering Family Tree Maker course with you to give you an inside look at what you can do to make Family Tree Maker really work for you.
Establish a Plan
Going into your research with a clear plan yields better results, which is why Family Tree Maker has an entire workspace dedicated to it. You can use the Plan workspace to see your tree stats at a glance, as well as create tasks in order of priority and by due date. The Plan tab is also where you can see overall stats for your tree at a glance.
Family Tree Maker has 78 standard facts already built in, ranging from the usual suspects such as birth, marriage and death to more specific items, including occupations, medical conditions, namesakes — even excommunication! Just looking at the list offers some ideas for what records we may have overlooked in our search. Of course, if your ancestors’ activities fall outside those 78, you can create customized facts as well.
Start a Search Party
Of course, the ability to sync is quite possibly the most helpful aspect, especially if you already have an online tree at Ancestry.com or FamilySearch.org. But Family Tree Maker doesn’t just sync; they provide hints within your tree. And you’re not limited to those two sites; you can search other locations as well. By searching from within the software, you can add information quite easily to your tree, though make sure you review the information thoroughly before you merge it in.
You can create charts and reports to evaluate the data you have and make it easy to view at a glance with the handy publishing workspace. Family Tree Maker has a ton of different chart and report templates that you can use quickly and easily to organize and view your information.
Charts include a range of pedigree and relationship charts, while the reports range from Individual reports to family group sheets, kinship reports, media and source reports, and plenty of other types. You even have the option of creating books from the data you include, complete with editing tools.