Friday, October 27, 2006

2006 Genealogy Software Review

Are you looking for database software to aid your genealogy research? Are you satisfied with your genealogy database software?

The 2006 Genealogy Software Review is available at

The top ten are:

1) Legacy
2) Family Tree Maker
3) Ancestral Quest
4) Personal Ancestral File
5) RootsMagic
6) Family Historian
7) Dorotree
8) The Master Genealogist
9) Cumberland Family Tree
10) WinFamily

I have my genealogy data in Family Tree Maker, and have for about 8 years. Before that, I used Personal Ancestral File. I downloaded the most recent PAF and the free versions (limited capabilities) of Legacy and RootsMagic several months ago, and have periodically played with them to determine if they would be more useful to me. So far, I haven't found a good reason to change.

I have one major problem with FTM - it will not make a true Ahnentafel with just names, dates and places. In the past, I have generated an Ahnentafel Report and then edited out the children information to create a true Ahnentafel, but it takes some time. Recently, I used GEDCOM to transfer my data to PAF and had it create a true Ahnentafel, which it does easily.

I have a major problem with all of the available genealogy software - it will not add the word processing Field Codes required for an Index when it creates a genealogy report or book in word processing format. Most of the software will create an Index in a PDF report, but that cannot be edited. I would like to create a book, using the genealogy software to add the Field codes for an Index, and be able to edit the book, and then publish it.

What software are you using? Are you satisfied with it? What would you like to see improved? Have you requested the improvements with the software developer?


Anonymous said...

RootsMagic will include the index codes when exporting to RTF. You can then use the create index feature in your word processor to create the index.

Jasia said...

I'm using Legacy 6.0 and I'm fairly satisfied with it. I started out using Family Tree Maker years ago (I think it was about the 3.0 version) and made the painful switch to Legacy about 2.5 years ago. I switched for one reason, Legacy gave me more and better searching options. My tree had gotten large enough that I needed more robust search capabilities than FTM had to offer.

I liken Legacy to Photoshop in that it is such a "rich" program (read that as "complex") that it becomes intimidating to use. But I continue to use it because of it's great search function.

The improvement I'd like to see in Legacy is the ability to use Polish fonts. I haven't written to the software maker because they are already aware of this and are working to create various language versions of the software. As I understand it, language sets are created as demand warrants and translation volunteers become available. Polish isn't in high demand and I can't volunteer so I just have to be patient.

Anonymous said...

The Master Genealogist outputs index field codes for both names and places when exporting to Microsoft Word.