Technical Support

Importing Information from Other Programs to FTW

In order to get data from other genealogy programs into Family Tree Maker, the GEDCOM file format must be used. GEDCOM (GEnealogy Data COMmunication) is a standardized file format that all genealogy programs can use to communicate with each other. (Note: Data files from Personal Ancestral File can be imported directly into Family Tree Maker as well as via GEDCOM format. See the Family Tree Maker manual for further help on this.)

The first step is to export your data to GEDCOM format. This must be done from the genealogy program in which the data currently resides. You may need to consult the manual or call technical support for that particular genealogy program to obtain assistance exporting the data to GEDCOM format. (Hint: Pay close attention to what drive and directory on your hard drive you save the GEDCOM file to--you will need to know this later.)

Once you have successfully created a GEDCOM file, you are ready to import the GEDCOM file into Family Tree Maker. Below are general instructions for importing a GEDCOM file into Family Tree Maker. Please refer to your Family Tree Maker manual for more detailed instructions.

  1. Start Family Tree Maker and select Open Family File from the File menu.
  2. Select GEDCOM from the Files of Type list.
  3. From the Look In list, select the drive you saved your GEDCOM file to (most likely this will be the C: drive)
  4. In the larger window, locate the folder in which your GEDCOM file is located and double-click on it. Repeat this if necessary, double-clicking on subsequent folders until you have successfully navigated your way to the folder in which you saved your GEDCOM file. You should now see your GEDCOM file in the window. Double-click on it (or click once on the GEDCOM file and click Open).
  5. A New Family File window will appear. Here you have 2 optional choices of selecting both a new name and/or a new location for your Family Tree Maker file once it has been created from the GEDCOM file. To change the location for the file, select the hard drive from the Save In list on which you want the file saved (again, this will most likely be the C: drive), then double-click on one or more folders on the hard drive in which you want the file saved. Hint: You should always save your Family Tree Maker files to the FTW folder on the C: drive (C:\FTW). When the Save In window indicates the "ftw" folder (or a different folder you wish to save the file in), and File Name contains the name you would like your file to be called, click the Save button.
  6. An Import from GEDCOM window will appear. If you see a Fields to Import button, you may want to click this button to enter this area to insure you import all the extra pieces of data that are contained with each person (e.g., Facts, Addresses, Notes). Please see your manual for more information on this.
  7. Click the OK button on the Import from GEDCOM window.
  8. At this point Family Tree Maker reads the data from the GEDCOM file and creates a Family Tree Maker file with that data. If a message appears indicating some warnings or errors were generated, you may want to click the button to choose to view them. An example of an error may be a date that Family Tree Maker could not interpret and therefore ignored.
  9. Once the GEDCOM import is complete, you will be in Family Tree Maker at a Family Page of someone from that file, and are now ready to continue working with your data in the Family Tree Maker program.

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