MyHeritage News: Family Tree Builder 5.1 released


This week we’re pleased to announce an updated version of the most popular free genealogy software program, Family Tree Builder.

Family Tree Builder 5.1 includes all the great new features introduced in version 5.0: enhanced, better-looking family tree charts; built-in poster printing for charts, tree consistency checks, and much more. For more details about the features of Family Tree Builder 5.0, click here.

If you’re one of our many loyal users who are already enjoying Family Tree Builder (version 3.0, 4.0 or 5.0), download the new version 5.1 and install it on top of your existing version. Updating to version 5.1 will not affect your family tree data and is safe, recommended and free. The new version also incorporates many bug fixes so it is a recommended update for all users.If you’ve never used Family Tree Builder before, now is your opportunity to get started and enjoy the popular and free software that millions of people around the world rely on for building their family trees. If you are using another product, we believe you will love this new version. You can easily move over any existing family tree using the GEDCOM import or the new support for importing genealogy files of other programs. The new Family Tree Builder 5.1 runs on Windows and is free. Apologies for Mac users – the software does not support the Mac yet but we plan to address this in the future.

What’s new in version 5.1?

Version 5.1 adds a technology licensed from Wholly Genes , Inc. that makes it possible for Family Tree Builder to directly import existing family tree files from other genealogy programs you may have used before, such as Family Tree Maker (FTM, FTW, FTMB), Personal Ancestral File (PAF), Legacy (FDB), The Master Genealogist (TMG) and Family Tree Legends (FTL). Good old GEDCOM files are supported and can be imported too.

After installing Family Tree Builder 5.1, import your existing genealogy files using “Import GEDCOM or genealogy file” in the File menu. Then select “Browse” and the following window will appear, allowing you to select a file to import.

Import files list window

To make this even easier, we’ve added a new scanning tool – ideal for people who do not remember where they previously saved their genealogy files. This useful tool will search your computer for genealogy files, and present them in a convenient list, from which you can select which file to import into Family Tree Builder.

To find your family tree files, go to  “Import GEDCOM or genealogy file” and select “Scan”. The following window will appear and the tool will start running automatically, and show you the files as it finds them:

Scan tool

With the addition of these new features, Family Tree Builder 5.1 supports importing family tree files directly from other commonly used genealogy software programs. Until now, you could only transfer a family tree by first exporting it as a GEDCOM file, and importing the GEDCOM file into Family Tree Builder. But now, you can also transfer files directly, which is useful if you no longer have access to the software that produced those files, or if you wish to transfer photos referenced in a family tree file, and you found that a GEDCOM export did not preserve them.

You can download Family Tree Builder 5.1 for free from the download page.


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  • Donald GALLEY

    June 2, 2011

    Q: If I previously imported a Gedcom to 5.0, can I now somehow get the photos from the previous genealogy program without overwritting the files I now have in 5.1?

    • Ania

      June 2, 2011

      When you import a Gedcom from another genealogy program, it does not come with photos. We apologize for the inconvenience

  • Žídek Zdeněk

    June 2, 2011

    Dobrý den chci se zeptat jak převedu rodokmen z Myheritage Web site do Family Tree Builder 5.1. Děkuji za radu

  • Scott Phillips

    June 2, 2011

    Thanks for the update. Installed and appears to be running nicely! Good job and thanks again.

  • Ozana

    June 4, 2011

    To: Židek
    Na webu Rodokmen, Spravovat rodokmeny, Stažení do FTB.
    Ale pak se musíte rozhodnout zda to povedete v programu FTB nebo jen na webu. ozana[zavináč]

  • Cathleen

    June 4, 2011

    It isn’t working properly! Since I downloaded 5.1, I am unable to restore a project. This is a big issue for me since I use 2 computers. More importantly, I am buying a new computer, and I fear I will be unable to restore my project(s). I sent a support request 4 days ago and have not received a response.

  • Jack Poynter

    June 4, 2011

    There is a consistent program crash occurring in updating places, through the view/places dialog. It seems to be related to either the size of, or number of, places being edited. I am normalizing my place names in preparation for distribution of a pdf containing items of interest in my database, and normalized place names are crucial. By changing a few, then saving, I make progress until the crash re-occurs, then bring up the program again, and rechange the last set. This is very time consuming, and is highly undesirable. As it happens, I have a copy of C++ on my machine; and so when the MIcrosoft Dump reporter comes up, I am able to view the debug information. The error occurs at 005f4e44; the immediate cause of the crash is the instruction “mov edx,dword ptr [ecx]”, in which register ecx contains a zero. Again, this crash occurs consistently, with the same location, instruction, and machine state. Like Cathleen on June 4th, I have reported this to you several days ago, and have heard nothing. We understand that you have a limited staff, and that, with a new release out, you are probably inundated with bug reports (which, incidentally, proper pre-release testing will help to avoid.) However, it would be preferable for you to post on the initial page one sees a rough account of what is going on with the new release, and what actions are being taken to resolve them. It would certainly reduce the number of complaints you get, since most people are appreciative of your efforts, and just want to know what’s going on.

  • una atkins

    June 5, 2011

    What do I have to do to not get the notes “publish” it annoys me as I am only starting out and do not have a lot of info????

  • John Phillips

    June 5, 2011

    Like Una Atkins I am also starting out and am not ready to publish.
    However, I want to get other members of my family involved. Is there any way I can hive off a branch to send to them together with the installation program?

    • Ania

      June 5, 2011

      Thank you everyone for your concerns and comments, we will write direclty to each person from our Support department.

  • Jack Poynter

    June 5, 2011

    Contact established, thanks for the support.

  • Paal

    June 17, 2011


    when will the feature that makes it possible to manage the family tree both online (website) & with family tree builder? I’m talking about a full sync both ways, allowing familymembers to edit a tree online, and get the changes directly imported to FTB. When I asked support like 6 months ago I was told it would be implemented.

    With all due respect, I truely wish you guys would prioritize making it possible to get imports from the website that is actually created by FTP vs prioritizing imports from other external software…

  • Debby

    December 10, 2011

    When will you have a program for Mac?