Did you know that there are several ways to export your tree from Family Tree Maker to Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets?
This article gives you step-by-step instructions on how to export a spreadsheet of all (or some) people in your tree with their birth, marriage, and death dates nicely formatted.
Simplest Way To Export Family Tree Maker To Excel
Family Tree Maker is an excellent product, but they don’t make some of the features easy to find. That’s the case with exporting to a spreadsheet.
We’re going to walk through getting to a spreadsheet that looks like the picture below.
You can also exclude details such as marriage date or bring in more detail such as place names. We’ll get to that in the next section on some advanced customization.
For now, let’s focus on a basic export to get used to the feature.
Step 1: Open the tree you want to export
Step 2: Click the Publish button in the top ribbon
The Publish button is toward the right end of the top menu.
You probably know that this lets you create charts and books. It’s also the key to exporting to a spreadsheet!
Step 3: Choose “Person Reports” in the left pane.
The left pane contains a lot of great publication types. Many of these will format the data in a way that isn’t great for a spreadsheet.
We want a type that produces a list. That’s the next step.
Step 4: Choose “List of Individuals Report” in the main window
Once you’ve changed the type, several report options are provided in the main window. The last option is the “list of individuals” report.
When you select this report, some explanatory information is presented in the right pane.
Step 5: Click “Create Report” in the right pane
Step 6: Use the right pane to choose the persons to include
The default selection is to include only the extended family of whoever is highlighted in the family tree.
I usually toggle this choice to “All Individuals.”
You can now click the “Generate Report” button at the bottom of this pane. I’m not sure if you need to, but you may as well
Step 7: Export to CSV
Here comes the magic hidden step. When you right click anywhere in the main window, you are presented with a long list of options.
Choose the option labelled “Export to CSV”.
Don’t worry if you don’t know what that means. It’s basically a list of the details in your tree separated by commas.
Step 8: Click “OK” on the option box
A pop-up box displays various options that you could change. But you can keep all the defaults.
Click “OK” here.
Step 9: Choose where to save your new file
A window pops up to let you save your file on your computer.
Step 10: Open the file with your spreadsheet application
You now have a file with an extension of “.csv”.
Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, and other spreadsheet applications know how to handle this kind of file.
If you’re using Windows, your computer will probably automatically open the file in Excel. If it doesn’t, then launch Microsoft Excel and open the file within the running application.
If you prefer Google Sheets, you can upload the CSV file to your account.
Do you want more customization?
I usually want location details in my spreadsheet. That isn’t on offer through the simple report we used here.
If the basic list doesn’t suit you, check out the next section.
How To Export A Customized List From FTM To Excel
Customizing the detail isn’t much more complicated. It just takes a few more clicks.
The first three steps are the same as in the previous section.
Follow those steps, but then move on from step four here. We’re going to choose a different report than before.
Step 4: Choose “Custom Report”
This report lets you choose what details appear in the final spreadsheet.
Now we’ll explain how to do so.
Step 5: Open the customize box
Look for the customize icon in the right pane.
It’s the first icon in the ribbon under the title “Custom Report Options”. We’ve marked it in this picture.
The default included items are name, birth, marriage, and death details. This includes location data.
Step 6: Remove full facts
Do you want to get rid of all marriage details?
Of course, you can bring all these details into the spreadsheet and remove the columns there.
But you can also prevent the marriage facts from being included.
To do so, select the marriage item in the list and click the X button.
Step 7: Manage the formatting in your chosen facts
You may want to edit how the chosen facts are formatted.
Let’s start with the birth fact by selecting it in the fact list.
Click on the “birth options” button beneath the fact list.
This pops up a formatting box.
Step 8: Experiment with your choices
I usually remove the “description” from the details.
It may take a bit of experimentation to get what you want.
Don’t pay too much attention to the sample box. It may look like location and date details will be mushed into the same column in your final spreadsheet.
We can ensure in a later step that this doesn’t happen.
Step 9: Use the right pane to choose the persons to include
The default selection is to include only the extended family of whoever was highlighted in the family tree.
I usually toggle this choice to “All Individuals”.
You can now click the “Generate Report” button.
Step 10: Export to CSV
When you right click anywhere in the main window, you are presented with a long list of options.
Choose the option labelled “Export to CSV”.
Step 11: Choose “Export data as columns”
The default option is to export the data as columns.
This option ensures that dates and places aren’t dumped into the same column.
Continue with the steps in the previous section from Step 8 onward to get your desired spreadsheet.