Research, charting and editing your family history requires long hours of sifting through old documents with family members and searching online. Genealogy software organizes sources, notes and connections so you can create reports and beautiful family charts with generations of information. Mac users are known for having an eye for design. This translates to many of the genealogy programs for OS X. The interfaces on these programs are sleek, simple and well designed. With them, you can customize and create a wealth of reports and charts displaying your heritage.
We've gathered and compared the best genealogy software for Mac, like Family Tree Maker 3, RootsMagic through MacBridge and Heredis. For more about genealogy software for Mac, check out our articles to make your research and data entry easier.
Before purchasing any genealogy software, it's best to consider what you already know about your family. If you know very little about your ancestry, look for software that connects to research databases and other genealogists. On the other hand, if you already know a significant amount about your family or just want to digitize your records, look for strong reporting and citation options.
Reporting & Publishing
Strong reporting and publishing features give you multiple options for starting and sharing your family research. The best genealogy software connects you to research databases and imports your findings into the program. Eventually, you'll find enough information to create web pages, printable charts and reports based on the information you find in your research. You'll want to look for a wide range of publishable options to create the best visual representation of your family. The best genealogy software provides pre-designed templates and backgrounds for reports. The easiest way to create extensive reports is to find a software that uses your information to generate reports automatically.
Listing & Notes
Listing and organization features pertain recording your various family members. Once you have a large group, other features connect or allow you to connect the dots between people. Look for flexible data-entry options that allow you to enter a slew of traditional and non-traditional relationships, like adoption, foster or stepchildren.
You'll likely find a wealth of materials in family photos, documents and sources. Working with so much information can be overwhelming. Many Mac genealogy programs provide catalogues for your sources, multimedia and individuals. If you do a majority of your research online, look for programs that import and export your research.
Citation & Organization
The more you learn about your family, the more records and sources you'll accumulate. Look for genealogy software that helps you manage your sources and citations with ease. Even if you're a beginner with no interest in citing your sources, organization features like a to-do list help you keep a tally of what tasks you need to do and the priority levels of each.
Help & Support
As your family tree grows, you'll likely have questions along the way. Look for genealogy software with an easy-to-navigate help section within the software so you can get answers to your questions quickly. Some of the software we reviewed has user forums and blogs with information about genealogy or the software itself. As many companies go paperless, so do their support methods and user manuals. Most of the genealogy software we looked at offer a print or PDF copy of the user manual full of tips, tricks and how-to sections.
The best genealogy software for Mac should be easy to use and integrate with your computer system. It should also help you research your family line, create citations and organize sources. Once your research is in place, you should have a variety of beautiful charts to choose from so you can be proud to share your family history.