Reunion vs MacFamilyTree vs iFamily vs Family Tree maker for Mac

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Quiltmom, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. Quiltmom macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2010
    I have been doing genealogy research on my family on and off for the past 20 years. I had been using an older FTM program on a PC. I want to just use my MacBook, so checking into software. I would like something that will also have an app for my iPhone. I have checked into Reunion, MacFamily, and iFamily. I know FTM is coming out with their Mac version in November. But you can't access a demo of it anywhere.

    Because I wasn't thrilled with my older 2002 version of FTM, I am hesitant to wait for their new MAC version. I am not thrilled with the cost of Reunion, but leaning towards it. Most people I have had suggestions from are PC users, and only use FTM. I need some Mac users opinions. Thanks!

    Should I wait for the FTM for Mac, or go with Reunion or MacFamilyTree?
  2. Dizzler macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2009
    Reunion all the way!

    I've been using Reunion for maybe 15 years and can't say enough good things about it. I've always felt that the company really puts lots of thought into the design (it's very well designed) and always responds to questions and problems quickly. Now that they have an iPhone app, it's even better. You won't regret going with Reunion.
  3. Quiltmom thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2010
    FTM for Mac

    I have several friends who say I should buy FTM for Mac, as then I will have an easy way to go back and forth between FTM and I have no idea how they communicate between each other, but wondering if that is a feature I will miss if I go with Reunion.
  4. chrisgeleven macrumors 6502

    Apr 28, 2002
    Manchester, NH
    I'm holding off buying Family Tree Maker until someone (anyone!) does a review of it.

    The thing that bothers me about Reunion is it is not very Mac like...the interface looks like it hasn't been updated in 12 years. I am also not a fan of how it handles media like photos. That said, it is by far the most powerful Mac genealogy app out there.

    MacFamilyTree is pretty easy to use and has excellent media integration, but the thing I don't like about it is the limited reports it generates.
  5. ribbo1939 macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2009
    Go with Reunion

    I have used MacFamily tree and yes it does have some nice features. I have
    Reunion and use it all the time and prefer it to MFT. Its very powerful,
    more so than you realise and they respond quickly to any problems or faults.
    They have a lively forum and full of knowledgeable members always very helpful.
    Yes it may be a little more expensive than other genealogy programs but I feel
    its the only Mac app worth pursuing. Its been going for a good number of years
    and I've used it for the last 4-5 years with no problems.
    By linking your documents and photos you can always access them in each individuals multimedia file from either iPhoto/documents/reports or whatever.
    There is a lot more than I can say here so - Go for it - you'll not be disappointed
  6. Quiltmom thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2010
    Reunion vs Family Tree Maker

    I emailed FTM asking about a demo for their new FTM for Mac. Also asked if there would be an app for the iPhone for FTM Mac users.

    I was told that there was no plan to have a demo available online. I was also told there wasn't any plan for an iPhone app in the future.

    Therefore I ordered Reunion this afternoon. I had input from Charles Bourland of . Thanks to whoever mentioned his webpage. Love the info, and he was a great help.

    Supposedly already shipped today from LeisterPro. Anxiously awaiting it's arrival.
  7. alwaystanning, Feb 8, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2011

    alwaystanning macrumors newbie

    Sep 9, 2009
    Happy with Reunion but...

    I have been using Reunion for about a year now... It is a very good program but I feel it has some awkward characteristics that I am unhappy with...

    1) it is not easy to move around through families and know where you are or how to get back.

    2) I do not like the way family screens and marriage events are linked, and also have problems with children born outside of marriage. I spent many years using Family Origins on a PC and it was much, much easier to move around and know where you were.

    3) I miss that you cannot have as a default view a 'tree.' The index is awkward to use and I don't like constantly having to 'paste' names from the index to see relationships for example.

    4) Why did it have to be twice as expensive as most genealogy software?

    I am interested in trying the new mac version of Family Tree Maker. Reunion is good but it does have a look and feel that I feel are not that intuitive.
  8. macpixie macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2011
    FTM vs Reunion

    Did you ever decide on a MAC genealogy program?

    I've been waiting for a review from someone who has tried both Reunion and Family Tree Maker for MAC. Haven't found one so far and don't know which one to buy.

    I've been using a very old version of Family Tree Maker for PC using Parallels. Would prefer to take Parallels off my MAC so that I'm only using MAC programs and my only hesitation is the one PC program that I'm still running and that's the old FTM for PC.

    Wondering if you narrowed your search and have any advice to offer. :)

  9. Flocci, Apr 13, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2011
  10. Flocci macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2011
    I've read several reviews of FTM and have actually been able to try a copy of it.
    The bottom line? Stay away from it.
    Every in depth review mentions a bunch of flaws, bugs and shortcomings, and I would have to agree. The program is buggy at best, lacks some elementary features (media/sources export, same sex marriage icons, bing places search that places towns in wrong parts of a country...) and has very limited control over settings.
    Several reviewers mention that its GEDCOM export is in fact not GEDCOM compliant at all. Oh, and it does not have any support to speak of either.

    This Mac version appears to be little more than just a means to generate income for the company that sells it.
    If you want good options, try Ifamily (feature packed, good interface), MacFamilyTree (slick, excellent for the basics) or Reunion (most features, overall best, but kinda crummy interface and feel).
    Just my 2.
  11. dixieau macrumors newbie

    Apr 30, 2011
    If you are a serious researcher, at this stage I recommend staying away from Family Tree Maker Mac [FTMM]. I have purchased it and whilst the interface is modern and great it lacks a lot of features I am used to. Heaven forbid you need to merge two files, that is a nightmare! Although for somebody that is not used to a program rich in features it would be quiet suitable.

    On Windows I was a Legacy Family Tree premium user and I wish they would create a mac app, but that is not even in the pipeworks.

    I have tried MacFamilyTree which is a great app, but still lacking in features. I was not fussed with Heredis and iFamily either. I am considering splurging and buying Reunion, but am still deciding on this.

    I did install VmWare fusion to run Legacy but am not happy with how the mac performs whilst this is running :( I would love to be happy MacGenealogist!
  12. patwales macrumors newbie

    Apr 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    I too switched from Legacy because I bought a Mac

    Hi Forum,

    I was a Legacy User before I bought my iMac and started using Family Tree Maker for Mac. I have been using FTM for Mac for a few months ago. The gedcom transfer to FTM went seamlessly and I can't find that any data went missing. On the plus side the integration with is great, saves a lot of typing and time with data input, and it is really easy to collaborate with others researching the same family as you can notify them of updates to your tree and vice versa and they can just copy the info and media. I also find it easy to use with the National Library of Australia Newspaper Digitalisation Project which has citations built in and therefore easy to copy paste etc. Also easy to use with iphoto as the drag and drop really speeds up the process of cropping newspaper articles etc.

    I have found a few bugs but nothing terrible. No more than Legacy had. The online manual seems comprehensive and easy to use.

    On the negative there is not much customisation in reports and I really miss Legacy for that. I often used to print off individual reports for people with photos linked to events in Legacy. This does not seem to be possible in FTM. I also feel that the program is not enthusiastically supported by its maker whereas Legacy certainly was.

    All in all it's not as advanced as Legacy but I would certainly find the integration with hard to give up. A lot of people seem to research a couple of my family's so I suppose this sways it somewhat. The potential is certainly there to make it a star program and I can only hope that Ancestry puts the money into it. I would love it if Legacy put out a Mac version though. Pat
  13. tmecham macrumors newbie

    May 2, 2011
    Can you merge two files together on FTMM?

    I just received my Family Tree Maker Mac and I downloaded one GED file and one file from ancestry, but I would like to merge these together. Does anyone know how to do this?
    Appreciate any help.

  14. markiv810 macrumors regular

    Sep 27, 2002
    in Limbo
    Is there any way by which I can show the whole family tree in one window with all the details.
  15. rogofam macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2011
    I will be getting a refund for MTF, I am going with Reunion

    I actually purchased MTF and started to input data and quickly became frustrated. Simple things such as inputing a birthday seemed unreasonably difficult and not obvious. I purchased it on the advice of a website which I learned is basically a marketing tool for the company. So dishonest you might say. After that I downloaded the demo version of Reunion. Needless to say it was obviously a better program. Inputing data was vastly superior. I will be calling my credit card company and requesting a refund based on deceptive advertising. Then I will bite the bullet and pay the higher price for Reunion. Face it, if you are going to work putting all this data together, you want a program that is a pleasure to work with and actually helps you.
    PS: There just might be a reason that MTF doesn't have a demo version - don't ya think???;)
  16. ozaz macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2011
    What's MTF? Do you mean MFT (MacFamilyTree) or FTM (Family Tree Maker)?
  17. Pammellam macrumors newbie

    Nov 22, 2011

    I have been using Reunion since August. It may be sort of vanilla in its layout, but it is really easy to use. I really love the fact that it makes web pages automaticity. Also, the learning curve is fairly easy. Support is good. They answer their emails fairly quickly. Also, you have lots of control over what goes out on your web pages.

    I can easily make family tree charts, add text to the chart, change colors and fonts and then output that chart as ping or jpeg.

    I have not bought them yet but Reunion has iPad and iPhone Apps. I plan to get an iPad and will use the Reunion app.
  18. Davydd macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2008
    I have been a Reunion user almost since its inception. So I guess I cannot add a lot as to how it compares other than to say I've always liked it and it has done everything I needed to do. I thought the big plus was their iPhone app. Then they came out with a native iPad app and that is about the best in the field genealogical research tool one could imagine, especially if you have an iPad 2 with built in cameras.
  19. aplnub macrumors regular

    Nov 16, 2008
    I would not recommend Family Tree Maker for Mac 2. I just purchased the software and have spent all week trying to understand it and make it work. Does not sync correctly, the interface is busy and hard to understand at times, and it is not intuitive at all.

    I am returning it for a refund. I will be checking out Reunion next.
  20. Mishenka macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2009
    Reunion vs FTM

    I've been using Reunion for over 20 years, and prefer it to any other Macintosh program on the market. There are some things that I don't like about it, but overall very happy with it.

    I wouldn't recommend Family Tree Maker (FTM) Mac 2 yet (this is a new version - older version was FTM Mac (actually their 1st Macintosh version)) - from the feedback I've seen on other sites from people who bought it already, there are a lot of bugs right out of the box, it doesn't synch with with TreeSync very well, among other things.

    I am going to test out the Windows version of FTM 2012 (running it in VMWare on my iMac), which also syncs with - the reason being is that my sister has updated our entire family tree for the past few years on, and I can sync with that Family Tree into FTM 2012, obtaining all of her updated information, including photos, notes, etc... FTM 2012 seems to be a more functional software that the Mac version (often is the case), and is 50% less than the Mac version as well.

    This is a major benefit of FTM over Reunion - being able to sync with, accessible to many family members who can update the online tree and then I can sync or download the latest information to my FTM 2012.

    Hope all this helps! Keep an eye on FTM Mac 2 though - if they lower the price and perhaps squash the bugs in it, I might test that as well but not for awhile.
  21. wendling macrumors newbie

    Mar 5, 2012
    Don't buy FTM for Mac 2 - YET

    The program loads easily, comes with a complete written manual (unusual, nowadays), and allows you to get started easily.

    It is an extremely powerful application which allows you to basically synthesize all of your geneological records in one place, and it allows numerous publishing options. Printing is a breeze.

    HOWEVER - there are huge problems with how it syncs with!! Numerous users have posted about this issue elsewhere, and it is valid - no matter what precautions are taken, "sync error" messages occur, seemingly without reason.

    The "solution" is unwieldy (backup, create new tree, load new tree, etc.) and works for maybe a couple "syncs" before the error occurs again

    Rumor is that FTM is working on the issue and hopes to have a fix out soon - and it appears from blogs that it happens in the newest Windows version also, but I haven't had personal experience with that.

    So - the program is great, EXCEPT for the glitch of syncing data. I would wait until the "fix" is available to purchase this!
  22. riegelbaum macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2012
    Detailed Review of FTM for Mac 2

    Here's a detailed review of FTMM2 from my experience:


    Prior to the release of FTMM2, the feature I wanted most but didn't get from FTMM was the ability to sync with my family tree at Ancestry, so when Ancestry announced they would include this feature in FTM 2012 and FTMM2, I was very excited. Now that I've used FTMM2 for two months, I've been able to evaluate whether the TreeSync feature meets my expectations. I've also compiled a detailed list of the pros and cons of the product. Bottom line: TreeSync is great in concept but lacking in implementation.

    To start with, not all data sync between FTM (both Mac & Windows) and Ancestry, and Ancestry even says so in their help pages. Here's a summary of the most important things that don't sync:

    ▪ Audio and video items
    ▪ Research, fact, relationship, media, and source citation notes
    ▪ Media items attached to sources
    ▪ Comments, weblinks and the contents of your shoebox 

    In addition to the items that Ancestry warns you about, tree hints, tasks, and member connections are also not synced. To me, one of the biggest drawbacks to FTMM2 is that hints do not sync with Ancestry. Even if you accept or reject hints in FTM, they will still show up on Ancestry, or vice versa.

However, as much as I would like hints to sync, what I would really like is for TreeSync to work consistently. All too often I receive a sync error while uploading changes to Ancestry. Ancestry even offers a whole help page devoted to TreeSync troubleshooting steps for FTMM2. I have tried all of them, spending days to re-upload and link my tree to Ancestry, and usually can get sync working again for a few days, until the sync error starts popping up again. Furthermore, because of the things that don't sync to begin with, some of Ancestry's troubleshooting suggestions are not viable. For example, they suggest uploading your tree to Ancestry without linking and then downloading the tree from Ancestry with linking. If you do this, however, you will lose everything that doesn't sync. You could try to merge the tree with your existing FTMM2 tree, but my experience is that FTMM2 will crash when trying to merge a lot of records (I have over 22,000 people in my tree).
I reached a point where my tree would no longer sync, so I had to unlink it from Ancestry and re-upload it. When I did, all the media items I had added from other trees lost their connections to those trees--i.e., I could no longer tell where the items came from.

    People Workspace

    OK, enough about TreeSync. What about the other features of FTMM2? Starting with the basics, adding or editing data in the People workspace is fairly easy, and I like how FTM lets you set preferred facts, if you have more than one date of birth, for example. Copying and pasting source citations from one fact to another is also very easy. Fastfields for names, sources, and places are good; these can autocomplete names that have already been entered as you type the first few letters. Another nice feature: if you type a title or AKA in the name find, you can set FTM to move them to the appropriate title or AKA field, which saves you from having to manually add those fields.

    Places Workspace

    FTM includes a place names database called the place authority to help ensure place names are spelled correctly and consistently. It covers the entire world, so it must be quite large and obviously can't include every place name, including historical names. But there are some place names that show up in the accompanying Bing Map but are not in the place authority. Perhaps Ancestry should look into getting their place authority from Bing Maps? It also doesn't initially use words like "township" or "county", although you can add them as you add new place names. There are also some outright errors in the places authority; for example, Iowa City, Iowa, is listed in Wright County, when it should be Johnson County.

    Media Workspace

    Adding a media item to FTM is easy, but finding and using it again is not so easy. You can add a media item to a person, a fact, or a source either from the People, Media, or Sources workspace. Finding a specific media item is not easy. There's no way to search for it from the media workspace. You can't even press a key to be taken to that letter. You can only scroll through the items, which means you have to remember what you named or captioned it. When you have a lot of media, that can be difficult. A workaround is to filter the list of individuals from the Family tab by words that might be in the name of the media item. Then you just have to find a fact the media item is attached to. Ancestry needs to add a way to search for media from the media tab or when linking to existing media.

    Sources Workspace

    Sources and citations are easy to enter. Unfortunately, sometimes the citations that Ancestry adds when accepting hints are garbage, inconsistent, incomplete, or redundant. For example, here are two different source citations, one for the 1900 US census, and one for the 1910:, 1900 United States Federal Census (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004.Original data - United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 18), Database online. Year: 1900; Census Place: Amity, Livingston, Illinois; Roll: T623_318; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 91. Record for Ebenezer Perry., 1910 United States Federal Census (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA:
    Operations Inc, 2006.Original data - Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910 (NARA microfilm publication
    T624, 1,178 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Was), Year: 1910;
    Census Place: Hunter, Choctaw, Oklahoma; Roll: ; Page: ; Enumeration District: ; Image:.
    Birth date: 1895
    Birth place: Arkansas
Residence date: 1910

    How many times does "" need to be included? Or that it's an online database? Why are they in different formats? Why does 1900 include the Roll, Page, and Enumeration District numbers but 1910 does not?

    Also, trying to link to a citation in the Find Source Citation window is impossible for long citations, like the ones Ancestry provides. The search box at the top does not work to find the one you need, there's no slider bar at the bottom of the window to see the rest of the citations, and the window can't be enlarged. The only viable option in these cases is to link from the source citation you want in the Source Workspace to the fact you want.

    One thing I like is how, if a source citation came from Ancestry, you can click on a hyperlink in the Edit Source Citation window to be taken back to the source.

    Publish Workspace

    FTMM2 includes a good variety of pedigree and descendant charts & reports. Both can be customized, saved, printed, or exported to different formats. Notably, FTM lack the ability to create web pages for your family tree, probably because they want you to save your tree on Ancestry. In addition, FTMM2 is lacking some reports that are included in FTM 2012 for Windows: ancestor narrative, descendant narrative, index of individuals, and surname index. These would be really nice to have in FTMM2, and it's a mystery to me why they are not. Lastly, FTMM2 lacks a nice feature of the Windows version called Smart Stories, which are the FTM 2012 equivalent of creating a story on Ancestry. In FTMM2 there is no way to create a story at all. You have to add a document file as a media item. On Ancestry you can either upload a file containing the story or type it in using a form. If you do the former, the file will simply be downloaded as a media item to FTM. If you do the latter, the story will be downloaded as an HTML page. So you should think about how you want to handle stories. It's not trivial to edit an HTML page or a PDF, so it might be best to put all your stories in a .doc, .rtf, or .txt file. Personally, I think plain text is best, but of course there isn't any formatting. I also think Ancestry should include a story entry form in FTM like there is on Ancestry so that entering and editing stories is seamless between the two.

    Web Search Workspace

    Searching Ancestry from FTM is pretty much like searching directly from the website. You can also search Rootsweb,, Google, Yahoo, Bing, or any other site you wish to add. You can merge results from Ancestry directly with your tree (more about that shortly). Other results you can copy and paste. One good thing about FTM is that you can get tree and record hints from Ancestry within it. Another good thing is that when you accept hints, you can control which fields have the hint added as a source; you can also accept the hint without actually changing the data in your tree, or you can add the hint as alternate information. One thing that does not work is if you accept a hint and decide to discard the existing fact; FTM gives you the option of keeping the existing sources, but if you discard the fact, in actuality, it also discards the sources. The only source listed is the new one from the merge. So my advice until Ancestry fixes this bug is to tick the "Make alternate" bubble, copy the original source citation to the fact you want to keep after the merge, and then delete the alternate fact that you no longer need. Another drawback of accepting hints in FTM is that you must review hints one at a time, unlike Ancestry, which allows you to review all tree hints at once. This isn't always a bad thing, since there's a lower chance of introducing garbage into your tree if there's a lot of conflicting information, but if there's lot's of agreement, it can be very time-consuming.

    One nice feature of accepting hints in FTM is that you can either add the source media, if there are any, or not. This is in contrast to Ancestry where if you accept hints, it always adds the source media, whether you want them or not. Furthermore, when accepting hints from family trees on Ancestry, a source citation is added only to the name field, whereas in FTM you can add source citations for all facts that you add or change.


    One of the most important requirements of genealogy software is ability to find information. However, searching within FTMM2 is limited compared to, for example, Reunion 9 for Macintosh. From the Edit | Find & Replace menu, you can search in Facts, Notes, Sources, Media, Tasks, and Places, but unlike Reunion, you can't drill down to a specific type of fact, like Name, Date of Birth, Research Note, etc. If I need to do a search of all people who where born in Illinois between certain dates, I need to export my file to a GEDCOM, import it into Reunion, and do the search there. You can do wildcard searches in FTM, but you can't search for blank (null or empty) fields like you can in Reunion.

    You can also search for a person, place, or source from their respective workspaces, but this type of search is not as robust as it could be. You must type at least the first few letters of the name (first or last, depending on how you've sorted them), place, or source to find them. If your spelling is off, you will not find them that way (you'll have to use the Find and Replace feature from the Edit menu, or do a filtered search from the Index, described below). On Ancestry, at least finding a person in my tree is incredibly easy; I only have to type any part of the name, and all the names that match it will pop up in a list, along with birth and death dates, allowing me to select the one I want. Why can't FTM have this feature?

    A third way of searching that I've found is using the Filter feature from the index on the Family tab of the People workspace. Using the Filter In or Filter Out, you can search on almost any field in your tree (but not notes), to include searching for blank fields. While this is better than the simple search from the Index or Find & Replace, it's still not as powerful as a search you can do in Reunion because, for one thing, you can filter only one condition at a time. You can add more filter conditions, and depending on whether you filter in or filter out, they are treated as AND or OR conditions in boolean terms. So, for example, you can filter in people born in Illinois and then filter out people born after 1900, assuming you want to look at only those born before. While you can do this for as many fact types as there are (except notes), it's awkward and time consuming, and you really have to think about whether you should filter in or out. Furthermore, in Reunion, you can save lists of your found people in either rich text or tab-delimited plain text format. The latter you could then import into a spreadsheet for additional analysis, if you wanted to. In FTMM2, you can do this only from certain reports where you can filter individuals in or out, such as the Custom Report and the Data Errors Report.

    FTMM2 has basic error checking tools like warnings for unlikely dates or double dates and a duplicate person finder; there's even a Data Errors report that can find basic errors, like children with birth dates before their parents. There's a tool for merging two people and another one for merging two files. The people merge works fine, and the file merge worked for merging a small GEDCOM into my main file, but when I tried to merge my Ancestry tree with my FTM tree (because TreeSync failed), well, the merge failed, also. It progressed to a certain point and then FTM crashed (more about that momentarily). Otherwise, FTMM2 is lacking in management tools. For example, Reunion comes with several preset reports, such as people without parents, spouses, or children. FTMM2 provides only the Data Errors report mentioned above.

    A final tool in Reunion that I find invaluable is the ability to mark people based on almost any criterion that exists in your tree, like fact fields, relationships, or other attributes, like duplicate fields. There is no easy way to flag, tag, or otherwise mark people in FTMM2, and certainly no way to do it based on conditions. You could create a custom fact labeled "Mark," for example, but you would have to update it manually. This would not be very feasible or useful.

    GEDCOM Issues

    As Nigel Bufton Software states, "GEDCOM compliance is not important for users who are comfortable with being 'locked-in' to the methodology and non-standard data capabilities of a particular genealogy program, but it is very important for those users who require the ability to transfer data freely between different genealogy products, websites, and utility programs, with maximum reliability and data integrity" ( There is absolutely no reason to include the ability to export a family tree to GEDCOM if the resulting file is not compliant with the latest standard (5.5.1). If the file doesn't use tags properly, then wherever it's used, data will be misinterpreted or, more likely, ignored. I found that a GEDCOM file exported from FTMM2 has some compliance issues; out of 33,000 records, 5,000 of them produced an error or warning when I ran it through a GEDCOM validator ( These are the major problems I found. Not all GEDCOM 5.5 or 5.5.1 tags are included in FTMM2, and there is no option to add them. User defined facts are lumped into the EVEN tag, whether there is a standard GEDCOM tag for them or not. The ALIA tag is used incorrectly; it's used in place of the NICK tag, but it should contain a link referring to another individual, who may be the same person. It allows data in description fields for facts like birth and death that should only have a "Y", which means the event occurred. While some other genealogy programs, including Reunion, will import the contents of the description field into a memo or note field, not all will, so this information will be lost.

    General Issues

    This is a message you would probably see a lot when using FTMM2: "Family Tree Maker 2 quit unexpectedly," especially when doing something resource intensive, like trying to merge two large files or generate a report of all people in a large file. I don't know what constitutes a large file, but I have over 22,000 people in my file, and FTM hangs and crashes a lot. I try not to run too many apps at once when using FTMM2, because it always uses the most resources of any of my apps.

    FTM is also just downright buggy. Sometimes I click on a person and it doesn't show his or her parents, even though they connected. I know they're attached to each other, because if I try to attach them again, I get an error message that the individuals already have a relationship with each other. The only way I can get the parents to show up is to disconnect and reconnect them.

    Features in FTM 2012 for Windows Missing in FTM for Mac 2

    Would you pay more for one version of an app that has fewer features than another version? That's what Ancestry expects Mac users to do. The Windows download version retails for $39.99 from the Ancestry online shop, while the Mac version retails for $69.99. According to Ben Sayer of the website, the following features are in the Windows version but not the Mac version: Unicode support; ancestor narrative, descendant narrative, index of individuals, and surname reports; and online data import ( As I noted above, the Mac version also lacks the Smart Story and hint sync features. The Windows version also exports media to GEDCOM files, while the Mac version still does not. In addition to feature inequality, the FTMM2 and FTM 2012 file formats are incompatible with each other. That is, FTM for Mac cannot open FTM for Windows files, and vice versa. To me, this is inexcusable. The FTMM2 installation CD does come with a FTM Migration Utility that enables you to transfer files between Windows and Mac versions, but the utility runs only in Windows. So if I want to send my FTM file to my dad, a Windows user, I also have to send him the conversion utility.



    • Tight integration with Ancestry, to include searching and merging hints
    • Ability to set preferred facts
    • Ease of copying and pasting source citations
    • Fastfields for names, sources, and places
    • Hyperlinks to Ancestry source citations in the source citation window
    • Good variety of pedigree and descendant charts & reports


    • Frequent hangs and crashes; buggy
    • TreeSync does not work consistently, nor does it sync hints, member connections, or tasks
    • Loss of media sources that originated from Ancestry member trees when re-uploading a tree to Ancestry
    • Adding people without a last name is problematic if you don't use "unknown", etc.
    • Place authority is limited and doesn't recognize place names with administrative division words like "county" in them
    • Search functions and management tools aren't as robust as other apps
    • Missing features that FTM 2012 has, especially Stories, hint syncing, and export of media to GEDCOM files
    • Costs 75% more than the Windows version

    Final Verdict: Not ready for prime time, and certainly not worth paying 75% more than the Windows version. It’s ridiculous that Mac users must pay such a premium for an inferior product. Until Ancestry fixes the bugs, especially with TreeSync, and provides the same feature set as the Windows version, I cannot recommend FTMM2.

    [Note: I provided a draft of this article to for a fact check, and they did not dispute anything I said. To see a version of this article with screenshots, go to]
  23. JaimeChinook macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2008
    I bought MacFamily Tree when it was on sale and only recently started to use it. I am a newbie in this business and I often get into trouble because I usually start a new software without doing much reading. In this case, I had a lot of trouble.

    I wanted to construct my family tree in chunks, doing the complete families for each of my siblings separately and then combining the families into one by adding my parents, their parents, etc. Every time I did this, extra family members would be generated.

    I had numerous discussions with the developer (are they in Europe?) and got no joy. Finally, I sent them my file. They said they could not replicate my errors; so still no joy.

    My last communication with MFT voiced some frustration and suggested that I might have to spend the "big bucks" and buy Reunion. I was really hoping to get them moving again but instead, they went totally silent... :-(

    I bought Reunion and never looked back. It has worked flawlessly for me (and I still haven't read the manual)
  24. noughte macrumors newbie

    Mar 14, 2013
    FTM for the Mac 2 money-back guarantee not honored

    Customer support for Family Tree Maker for the Mac 2 is too poor to recommend its purchase. Those risking the purchase of this software would do best by buying it from the manufacturer, using a credit card for the purchase that might be credited in the event of later requesting a refund.

    My experience was that the stated claim of complete satisfaction and refund is false. I purchased the software from Office Max, not from Development. I returned the software within the 60 day period to Avanquest. My refund request status was listed as approved after a few weeks. Six weeks after receiving my post-paid manuals, disks, and forms, the company claimed they mailed a refund check (they had not processed the credit card purchase). That check was never received. Three subsequents requests for a replacement check have gone unacknowledged and unheeded. Using the company's website and other Internet information, I have been unsuccessful in identifying any individual in customer support or on the refund team who can aid in my request. An online chat with a company representative yielded the following: "Once there is no return check from us, we cannot reissue a replacement check." So much for complete satisfaction.
  25. jimD8 macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2013
    Reunion vs MacFamilyTree vs iFamily vs Family Tree maker for Mac NOW?

    Hi. This thread is kind of old and wondered if anybody has any recent experience using Reunion 10 and FTMM2? Since I use Ancestry and Family Search extensively for my research I'm having a hard time choosing Reunion that to my understanding requires data point by data point manual entry. Any input would be greatly appreciated!

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