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Charting Companion FAQ

Whether you've newly purchased Charting Companion, have recently updated or installed a new version of Family Tree Maker, or otherwise need some help fixing an issue with Charting Companion, you've come to the right place!  This article contains the most common questions that have come from our users and has links to get more assistance.



General Questions

Charting Companion 8

Charting Companion 7

Charting Companion 6




Q: Where can I purchase Charting Companion?

A: Charting Companion is available for purchase on familytreemaker.com - click on the blue rectangular banner with a red bow for the Family Tree Maker Gift Collection.  You will then see our current special offers for books, plugins and more, including the latest edition of Charting Companion.


Q: Is there a demo or free trial of Charting Companion?

A: Yes!  You can click here and click either the Free Trial (Windows) or Free Trial (Mac) button on the right-hand side to sign up for a free evaluation copy.  Please note that you can use the demo version for 15 days, after which a license key is required to continue using the plugin.


Q: How can I submit feedback or feature requests for Charting Companion?

A: If you'd like to share your experience with Charting Companion or thoughts on what more you'd like to see from the plugin, click here for our feedback submission form.


Q: Where can I go for more information about how to use Charting Companion?

A: Charting Companion has many helpful resources available within the plugin.  You can look through the FAQs, User Guides, and Help menus to find tips, tricks, examples and detailed how-to instructions.  There is a digital copy of the user guide available to download from this link - just select the button from the right corresponding to your operating system.  You can also find complete information including numerous examples of charts at the Progeny Genealogy website (the developer of this plugin).



Q: What are the new features of Charting Companion 8?

A: Here's a quick list:

  • Pastel Colors. Option to "pastel" blend colors expands design options for a more attractive appearance.
  • Slick Interface.  A totally new, improved appearance: more contemporary-looking, consistent with Mac.
  • Save Work In Progress.  A new option to save an editable chart that you are not quite done with, and come back to it at a later date.  This means that you don't have to choose between being in a hurry to finish the layout or starting over later.
  • Step-by-Step Setup Option.  New optional wizard-style dialogs: a simpler, easier interface for new users.
  • Accelerated graphics for large charts
  • 64-bit architecture
  • Apple M1 chip compatibility


Q: What are the minimum system requirements for Charting Companion 8?

A: Mac: macOS Sierra (10.12) and later, including macOS Ventura (13), 200 MB hard disk space, 1024 x 768 resolution.

Windows: Windows Vista and later, including Windows 11, 133 MB hard disk space, 800 x 600 resolution.

For both Mac and Windows, FTM 2019 is required. Tree files from earlier versions of Family Tree Maker can be imported as GEDCOM files.



Q: What are the new features of Charting Companion 7?

A: Here's a quick list - you can click on the names of the new charts below to open a page with more detail:

  • DNA Matrix: Display your DNA tests results in a clear and easy to understand chart. See if your family tree is true!
  • DNA Simulation: Find where lost members of your family fit in the tree. Automatically place adoptees.
  • DNA Matches: Manage your DNA contacts. Group them by family tree branch to make your research easier.
  • Round rectangle corners.
  • Background images for charts.


Q: Will my license key for Charting Companion 6 work with Charting Companion 7?

A: Charting Companion 7 is a separate new edition of the plugin with its own license key.  The license key for Charting Companion 6 does not upgrade automatically for use in Charting Companion 7.


Q: If I upgrade to Charting Companion 7 from Charting Companion 6, do I need to uninstall Charting Companion 6 first?

A: While Charting Companion 7 can be installed on top of Charting Companion 6, to avoid the small chance of encountering an issue, it's best to uninstall Charting Companion 6 first.


Q: If I upgrade to Charting Companion 7, will it affect any of the charts I've saved from Charting Companion 6?

A: Charting Companion does not keep working copies of your charts - when you've finished creating them, you export them to files on your computer such as .jpg or .pdf.  As such, none of your saved charts from Charting Companion 6 would be affected by installing Charting Companion 7.


Q: I've heard there’s a free update available for FTM 2017, is Charting Companion compatible with it?

A: Good news!  The latest version of Charting Companion 7 is compatible with our free update.  You can check by opening Charting Companion in FTM 2017, going to the Help menu and clicking on About Charting Companion.  If you discover that you need to update, you can download the updated version from this web page - make sure to select the link that reads Charting Companion 7 for Windows.


Q: What are the minimum system requirements for Charting Companion 7?

A: Mac: Compatible with FTM 2019 on macOS Sierra (10.12) through macOS Monterey (12).

Windows: Compatible with FTM 2017 and FTM 2019 on Windows 7 and later, including Windows 11 (32- and 64-bit).

For compatibility with earlier versions of Family Tree Maker click here.



Q: How do I install and activate Charting Companion 6?

A: Download and run the Charting Companion 6 installer from this web page - make sure to select the link that reads Click to download earlier version 6.  Open FTM 2017, then go to the Tools menu, through Plugins to Export With Plugin, and click on Charting Companion.

You will be prompted to enter the serial number and registration key from the order confirmation email you received when you originally purchased the software.  Note that you should enter the serial number into the Name field (not your own name), and it has this format: SOFTWARE MACKIEV 3028-xxxx


Q: I’ve been using Charting Companion 6 in FTM 2014.1, how do I get it to work in FTM 2017?

A: Open Charting Companion in FTM 2014.1, go to the Help menu and click on About Charting Companion.  If the version number is 6.4, download and install the latest version 6.8.4 from this web page - make sure to select the link that reads Click to download earlier version 6.  If you already have version 6.8.4, simply reinstall Charting Companion and it will be available in FTM 2017.



Q: How can I get a replacement download for Charting Companion?

A: If you find yourself needing to get a replacement download, click here then select the link that corresponds to the edition you've purchased to download the software.  Then register it using the same serial number and registration key you received when you first purchased the plugin.


Q: What do I do if Charting Companion is falsely flagged as a threat by antivirus software or a web browser?

A: Security software is designed to examine files that you download, and at times may prevent download or installation of a program it doesn’t recognize, even if you are sure it is safe.  This is referred to as a “false positive”.  You may need to add Charting Companion to the list of safe programs within your security software or could temporarily turn security off during installation.


Q: How do I fix an "Another installation is in progress" error during installation?

A: If you encounter an error stating that "another installation is in progress" when trying to install, it is because the Windows Installer Service is still running.  Click here for detailed instructions on how to address the issue.

Q: What do I do if Charting Companion won’t accept the registration information?

A: Reference the order email you received when you purchased the software for the serial number and registration key.  You should enter the serial number into the Name field in Charting Companion (not your own name).  The serial number should look likeSOFTWARE MACKIEV 3030-xxxx” or "SMK3030-xxxxx" and needs to be copied exactly (including the SOFTWARE MACKIEV or SMK text).  Fill in the field for Registration Key, then click OK to confirm.  For detailed instructions, please click here.


Q: What do I do if Charting Companion is missing from Plugins after updating or installing a new edition of Family Tree Maker?

A: Whether you’re updating (such as to version 23.3 of FTM 2017) or upgrading (such as from FTM 2014.1 to FTM 2017), you will need to reinstall Charting Companion afterward.  You will also need to re-enter your registration information.


Q: What do I do if Charting Companion 6 doesn’t work after updating FTM 2017?

A: Make sure you have the latest version (6.8.4) – you can check by opening Charting Companion, going to the Help menu and clicking on About Charting Companion.  If you have an earlier version, you can download the latest from this web page - make sure to select the link that reads Click to download earlier version 6.


Q: What do I do if Charting Companion doesn’t restart correctly after installing a new version?

A: If you run into issues after installing a new version of Charting Companion, you may need to reset the program settings.  If the program starts, go to the menu, then click on File, Options, then Restore defaults.  If the program won’t start, hold down the Shift key as you double-click the program icon, and you will be prompted to reset the settings.


Q: Still need troubleshooting assistance?

A: If you’ve followed the suggestions above and are still having difficulty installing, registering, or running Charting Companion, please come to live chat.  We have agents available to help 24/7 – click here to get started.


Charting Companion is a registered trademark of Progeny Genealogy Inc.

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