How do I convert the the RAW FamilyTreeDNA.com Family Finder Autosomal and X DNA result files into another sites format like Ancestry.com's or 23andMe's format?

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There is a growing need to do this as many third party utilities, including currently GEDMATCH.com (potentially permanently) in the very near future, may require it to not be in this multi-part format that FamilyTreeDNA.com uses.

What methods (whether it be a application or a procedure) are available to convert this data format so we can use the results in these utilities?

  • Have you seen Dick Eastman's blog post blog.eogn.com/2016/03/18/gedmatch-suspends-ftdna-transfers ? GEDMatch's action is not related to FTDNA's format, but, rather, privacy issues raised by FTDNA.
    – bgwiehle
    Mar 18, 2016 at 14:34
  • 1
    @bgwiehle Yes I am very much aware of it and that it is not related to the format.. both parties are being very vague about details and it seems very polarized discussion. So to remove the politics from it I did not include that in the question intentionally to remove the opinions.
    – CRSouser
    Mar 18, 2016 at 14:42

2 Answers 2


This is an extended walk through of the original high level walk-through (no screenshot and only for windows) posted by Steven Frank's Blog for Windows PCs of a way how to do this to convert it to 23andMe's Build 36 version with extended detail and screenshots.

  1. Login to your FamilyTreeDNA enter image description here

  2. Download the Build 36 Autosomal and X DNA RAW Files enter image description here

  3. Unzip the files using 7-zip, Winzip or some other unarchiver.
  4. This will leave you with two files On Windows:

    • ffo-HEX String.csv (Autosomal)
    • xo-Hex String.csv (X Chromosome)

    On Mac:

    • Kit#_Autosomal_o36_Results_DownloadDate.csv
    • Kit#_XChromosome_o36_Results_DownloadDate.csv
  5. Open the X Chromsome file in a spreadsheet program like Excel or Sheets or even a text editor like Notepad++ and select all but the header / label rows (in MS Excel shift + control + end) and columns and the control-c (copy) the selected area into the clipboard. (Note this is about 17000 or so rows)

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  6. Open the Autosomal file in another sheet or instance and go to the very bottom of the data and find the first blank row (note: this is about 700k rows). Paste the clipboard (ctrl-v) here. enter image description here
  7. Save as a Tab Limited File with a filename like ftDNAHack.txt enter image description here
  8. Compress the file with a .zip extension. enter image description here
  9. Login to GEDMatch and go to 23andMe upload enter image description here
  10. Fill out the required information, choose your file and upload. enter image description here
  11. Wait for the GEDMatch RAW file upload process to finish. enter image description here
  12. Wait for the Kit to be Tokenized so you can do matches. enter image description here
  13. Once processing is complete, use GEDMatch like normal.

I want to append to the answer that GEDMATCH now supports FTDNA's format (both b36 and b37). And there is no need for conversion. But if you really need the conversion between the formats there are plenty of tools:



Please note that these tools just convert data to be the same format. It doesn't mean that conversion tools will make FTDNA kit for example looking the same as 23andMe because of different SNP positions in chips which are used by each company. So converted kit is OK for services like Gedmatch but can be not accepted by other 3rd party services, which rely on particular list of SNPs

Also FTDNA offers transition from AncestryDNA™ or 23andMe© to its internal format for free.

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