You may have heard by now that Family Tree Maker 2009 is now as complete as it is going to be. They just released what is being called "Service Pack 1" or version 184.108.40.2065. If you have the program, it should prompt you to update automatically when you open it up. However...if you use Vista...you might have to run the program as an administrator to get the update. To do this, right click on your desktop FTM2009 icon and select the "Run as Administrator" function (or something along those lines). That is the only way to give the program permission to install an update when running Vista.
Anyway, I have been working with Family Tree Maker as a beta tester but they made us sign confidentiality agreements this time so I could not share many details. Now the cat is officially out of the bag so I can tell you what I know.
They brought back the book function, at least a semi-functional version. It is better than nothing but needs work. They also added some features to help you standardize your source citations that is kinda nice. There are some extra chart options now, the calendar function is back plus a few other things here and there. Basically, FTM 2009 is almost back to where FTM was at version 16 or so! They have almost fixed all of the ways in which they went wrong.
According to their website, the new features that have been added to Family Tree Maker 2009 are as follows:
- Free Download. Get the guide to these new features written by Official Guide author Tana L. Pedersen. Download Now!
- Extended Family Chart. This chart is bound to become a favorite because of its ability to display every individual in your tree—or just the people you select. Each generation appears on its own horizontal row, making it easy to quickly tell where people fall within your tree. Note: This is not a replacement for the All-in-One chart; the All-in-One will be added in a future release.
- Calendar. The calendar is back! You can create a monthly calendar that displays birthdays and anniversaries included in your tree. Personalize the calendar by choosing which individuals are included and customizing colors.
- Enhancements to Data Entry. The pedigree view has always made it easy to navigate between family members as you’re adding and editing information. But with the new data entry keyboard shortcuts, you can quickly move between family members without even lifting your fingers from the keyboard.
- Source Templates. Take the guesswork out of citing sources with new source templates. Family Tree Maker has created source templates based on the QuickCheck models in Elizabeth Shown Mills’s book Evidence Explained. Can’t figure out how to document the tombstone photo you found at FindaGrave.com? Family Tree Maker has a source template for that—and more.
- Desktop Book-Building Functionality. By popular demand the book-building tool is back. You can create your own family history book complete with charts, reports, photos, personal stories, and an automated table of contents and index.
They are now taking suggestions for the 2010 version. If you have any good, productive suggestions please let me know and I will pass them along to the development team if I agree with you. We cannot ask for the moon at this point, just to keep making small improvements, to bring back old and valuable features and to make the program more stable.