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Opening Old and Unsupported Files in FTM 2017 for Mac

How do I import old or unsupported files in FTM 2017 for Mac?

Family Tree Maker 2017 for Mac does not support some older file types. If you are unable to import a family tree file created in an older Family Tree Maker version, it may be necessary to convert the file to a supported format. The following file types cannot be imported directly into Family Tree Maker 2017 for Mac:

This article will help you use Family Tree Maker 2005 Starter Edition or the FTM File Migration Utility to convert your file to a supported format so that it can be imported into FTM 2017 for Mac.

IMPORTANT: .FTW or .FBK files from Family Tree Maker versions 5–16 can be imported directly into FTM 2017 for Mac and do not require any prior conversion. Files created in Family Tree Maker for Mac versions 1, 2, 3, and 3.1 can be opened with FTM 2017 for Mac without prior conversion.

Converting .FTW and .FBK files (from FTM 1–4) and .FBC, .AFT, and .GED (prior to version 5.5) files

To convert these files, you should use Family Tree Maker 2005 Starter Edition. Note that FTM 2005 Starter Edition can only be installed on a computer with the Windows operating system. Also, FTM 2005 Starter Edition is a 14-day free trial. Once the 14-day free trial is over, the Starter Edition can no longer be used. We recommend installing it after you have received your new Family Tree Maker software and are ready to convert your files.

To download Family Tree Maker 2005 Starter Edition, click here.

As the conversion process will update your file to be a Family Tree Maker 2005 file, we recommend creating a separate backup file from your current version of FTM before starting the conversion process.

After downloading and installing Family Tree Maker 2005 Starter Edition, open your family tree file by following the instructions below: 

Converting .FTW files (from FTM 1–4)

  1. Make sure Family Tree Maker 2005 Starter Edition is installed on your Windows PC.
  2. Open Family Tree Maker 2005 Starter Edition, and then click the Open Existing button or choose Open from the File menu.
  3. In the Open Family File window that appears, locate the .FTW file that you want to convert, select it, and click Open.
  4. After Family Tree Maker 2005 Starter Edition opens the .FTW file, close the application. Your file has been automatically converted. You can now import this file into the latest version of Family Tree Maker.
  5. If you have no other need for Family Tree Maker 2005 Starter Edition, you can uninstall it from your computer.

Converting .FBK files (from FTM 1–4), .FBC, .AFT and .GED (prior to version 5.5) files made in Windows versions of FTM

  1. Make sure Family Tree Maker 2005 Starter Edition is installed on your Windows PC.
  2. Open Family Tree Maker 2005 Starter Edition, and then click the Open Existing button or choose Open from the File menu.
  3. In the Open Family File window that appears, locate the file that you want to convert, select it, and click Open.
  4. The program will display the New Family File window. This is because the conversion of files in .FBK, .FBC, .AFT, or .GED format requires the creation of a new working file. In the File name field, type a name for the new converted file that will allow you to distinguish it from your other ones, and then click the Save button.
  5. Family Tree Maker 2005 Starter Edition will convert your file and open it when the conversion is complete. Close the application and import your converted file into the latest version of Family Tree Maker.

Note: If you are converting an .FBC file from a version of Family Tree Maker later than 2005 Starter Edition, when the conversion is complete you will receive an alert message saying, “The file you are trying to load is from a newer version of Family Tree Maker 2005 Starter Edition and cannot be loaded. To upgrade your version, please visit our website at http://www.genealogy.com.” However, you can simply close this message — the .FTW file you saved in step 4 can still be imported into your new version of Family Tree Maker.

Converting FTM 2008-2012 files

To open a file that was created with FTM 2008–2012 in FTM 2017 for Mac, you should convert it using the Family Tree Maker File Migration Utility, which you will need to install on a Windows PC.

To find out how to download, install, and work with the File Migration Utility, please click here.

Due to the specific of File Migration Utility use for some earlier FTM versions, for a file that was created with FTM 2008 or FTM 2009, you will have to make three file conversions with the File Migration Utility:

1.    Convert your file from Windows to Macintosh (choose Family Tree Maker 2010 Output from the pop-up menu).

2.    Convert the file created in the first step from Macintosh to Windows (choose Family Tree Maker 2011 Output).

3.    Convert the file created in the second step from Windows to Macintosh (choose Family Tree Maker 2010 Output).

Important questions on conversion with the File Migration Utility

Q: Can I run this tool on my Mac?

A: This application can be run only on a Windows PC.

Q: Will I lose any data in my tree when I convert it?

A: Because of formatting changes, Family Tree Maker 2008–12 files that are converted to Mac files will not include saved charts, reports, or books.

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