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Help using Family Tree Maker

Help using Family Tree Maker

Answer ID 5219
What help is available for Family Tree Maker?

Family Tree Maker comes with a number of really good helps, plus a Digital Companion Guide. For help accessing these helps, please see the links below.

This article discusses the following:


Getting Started Guide

Note: Adobe Reader is necessary to view the Getting Started Guide. If you don’t have Adobe Reader installed, you can download it for free by clicking the image below.

The Getting Started Guide for Family Tree Maker covers three general areas: setting up the software, building a tree, and basic troubleshooting. You can access this guide directly from FamilyTreeMaker.com by clicking the version appropriate link below.

Family Tree Maker 2010

Family Tree Maker 2011

Family Tree Maker 2012

Family Tree Maker 2014

Training Tutorials

Family Tree Maker 2009 - 2014 also includes tutorial videos you can view on your computer. To access these video, click the Help menu from the top and select Training Tutorials.

Help File

There is also a built in help file with numerous tutorials and helps. The help file can be accessed by clicking the Help menu and selecting Help for Family Tree Maker.


  • Contents tab – displays a list of Help topics arranged like the table of contents of a book. You can double-click a book to see its contents. For books with subchapters, double-click on the subsequent icon (chapters) until you funnel down to individual Help topics.
  • Index tab – works like the index in a book. Find the term you're interested in and double-click it to see the corresponding Help topic.
  • Search tab – lets you search for keywords or phrases that may be contained in a Help topic, such as "source" or "printing".


Companion Guide for Family Tree Maker 2011-2014

The Companion Guide for Family Tree Maker 2011-2014 is included as a digital copy with your software. It can be accessed at any time by going to the help menu and selecting Companion Guide.


Official Guides to Family Tree Maker 2008-2011

Though these are no longer available from the store on Ancestry.com, the Official Guides to Family Tree Maker 2008-2011 are still available from many online retailers and bookstores.

Ancestry Academy

Ancestry Academy is a great resource that allows you to learn directly from those who work with the product. To view the Ancestry Academy course on Getting the most out of Family Tree Maker click here.

Note: By clicking on the Ancestry Academy link you will be directed to the Ancestry Academy website. You can use you Ancestry login credentials to log in.

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