Monday, September 12, 2011

FTM 2012 TreeSync - Differences between Desktop and Online Trees has released the following FAQ about Family Tree Maker 2012 's TreeSync.

Differences Between Desktop and Online Trees

Most content in trees is uploaded and/or synced seamlessly between Family Tree Maker and Ancestry. However, because and Family Tree Maker trees are in different formats, there are a few differences you should be aware of.
  • Facts
    In general fact dates, names, places, and descriptions (including custom and alternate facts) are the same in Family Tree Maker and Ancestry trees. However, you may find that some fact types are labelled differently. For example, the Physical Description fact in Family Tree Maker is the Description fact in Ancestry trees.

  • Media items
    • The caption of a media item in Family Tree Maker is the same as the Picture name field on Ancestry.
    • Audio and video items are not transferred between Family Tree Maker and Ancestry.
    • Media items attached to relationships in Family Tree Maker are not uploaded to
    • Records you've found on and merged into Family Tree Maker won't be re-uploaded to Ancestry.
    • Documents in Family Tree Maker will be uploaded to an Ancestry tree only if they are in one of these formats: .pdf, .doc, .txt, .rtf, and .htm.
    • Photos uploaded to Ancestry Member Trees cannot exceed 15MB, so a photo in your desktop tree that exceed this size limit will be resized when it is copied to Ancestry - your original file will not be affected. Images need to be in one of these formats: .jpeg, .bmp, .png, .gif, and .tiff.

  • Notes
    In Family Tree Maker you can create a variety of notes: person, research, fact, relationship, media, and source citation. When you upload a tree to Ancestry only person notes will be included; they can only be viewed by people you have invited to your online tree.

  • Places
    If you have entered shortened display names for locations or custom GPS coordinates in Family Tree Maker, they will not be included in your Ancestry tree.

  • Publications
    Saved reports, charts, and books cannot be transferred from Family Tree Maker to Ancestry.

  • Relationships
    In Family Tree Maker only you can view information you've entered for a living individual. In your Ancestry tree, anyone who is invited to your tree can view information about living individuals.

  • Sources
    • Sources created in Family Tree Maker using source templates will transfer to Ancestry, but you cannot edit these sources online.
    • Media items attached to source citations in Family Tree Maker will be uploaded; media items attached to sources in Family Tree Maker will not be uploaded.

  • Stories
    • A story created on will become a .htm file in Family Tree Maker, which can be viewed in a Web browser. You can edit the text in a word-processing program.
    • Smart Stories created in Family Tree Maker will become .rtf text files in Ancestry. The story can't be viewed within your Ancestry tree but the document can be downloaded. (Smart Stories are uploaded only if they are attached to individuals.)

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Family Tree Maker 2012 List of Improvements


Unknown said... me the big question is...since I've already decided I'm gonna purchase this upgrade, and since I understand the sync feature only works with a NEW file----do I delete the old on Ancestry and upload my "big" file from FTM OR do I download my existing Ancestry tree to FTM?

Kathi said...

It works either way. You can begin by downloading your online Ancestry tree to Family Tree Maker OR by uploading a tree from Family Tree Maker to Ancestry. After the initial download or upload, then the two linked trees can be synchronized when changes are made to either one.

If your Ancestry Online Member Tree and your FTM database file have different information in them then you need to select one of those files and then add the information from the other file to it before the upload or download.

If you upload your "big" file from FTM, you don't need to delete your old on Ancestry as you will be creating a NEW online file. Only delete it when you are ready.

When I read the differences between the two, I plan to upload from FTM because I use a variety of notes in FTM whereas the online tree only has person notes. I have also entered shortened names in locations in FTM and have saved reports and books.

Jeff Jahn said...

Heres my problem i work off more then one computer alot of the time. I work off my desktop, laptop & work desktop. It appears I can only sync one computer so the other two i might be forced to work of off ATM instead.

Kathi said...


Do you keep a master file on one computer and then copy to others?

I think you could to upload from FTM 2012 to your Ancestry Member Tree from one computer to sync and then DOWNLOAD this tree to FTM on the other computer. Even though the file would be an exact copy of the file on your first computer, it is a copy of it and not THE ONE that is linked to your online tree.

Niall said...


Damn, I should have read the blog before upgrading to 2012.
I thought that it would be simple to link existing on and offline trees, now I see I have to create a new tree.
However this is not easy, first my tree is fairly big about 8,000 people in the offline one. Second they have got well out of synch and third last time I tried to upload a tree with about 1500 people in it, the upload timed out.
So I guess the main point of the getting the upgrade is no use to me.

Anyeay I'll give it a try but how can I compare my on & offline files to make sure I've got a good one to start off with and is there any way I can split my FTM file into two - Paternal and Maternal.


Kathi said...


Here's how to split a FTM file:

To compare your online and offline trees, you can use the merge feature which will allow you to compare the information in both files, and decide which you want to keep or discard or change.

If you elect to do a merge, I caution you to be very, very careful when doing so as it is very easy to create duplicates in your file and very time consuming to fix those problems. Back-up before you do anything.