Genealogy requires long hours of research through documents and collaboration with family members. Genealogy software can help you organize piles of sources and design beautiful family charts with generations of information. Mac genealogy software is especially adept for genealogy because the platform excels at design and media.
We've gathered and compared the most popular genealogy software for Mac, like Family Tree Maker, Reunion and MacFamily Tree in our reviews. You may also want to check out our articles on Mac genealogy software and genealogy tips to make your research and data entry easier.
Before purchasing any genealogy software, it's best to consider your main mission and what information you already have about your family. If you know very little about your ancestors, look for software that connects to research databases. Or maybe you already know a significant amount about your family and just want to digitize your records. In that case, look for reporting and listing options that give you plenty of room for flexible or nontraditional relationships. Whether you're new to genealogy or a seasoned veteran with multiple database memberships, you'll want to consider the following categories we used to rank the software we reviewed:
Reporting & Publishing
Reporting and publishing features relate to what kind of data you can enter to build your family, as well as to the printable materials the software generates based on the information you provide. You'll want to look for a wide range of publishable charts, reports and graphs to give you the best visual representation of your family. We especially like seeing pre-designed templates and backgrounds for reports. The easiest way to create extensive reports is find a software that uses your information to generate reports automatically. Look for flexible data entry features that allow you to enter a slew of traditional and non-traditional relationships, like adoption, foster or stepchildren. Multiple or same-sex marriages may also be important depending on your family background. The best genealogy software works well with any type of relationship you may find in your research.
Specialized features usually pertain to research, multimedia or viewing capabilities. Some genealogy software allows you to browse online databases and directly import documents you find online. Support for multimedia items like pictures, video and even sound bites is an important quality to keep an eye out for, especially if you want to upload and store your favorite family photos along with your research. Some genealogy software for Mac provides you specialized 3D or global views. The 3D trees are a good way to visualize your family tree physically while global views let you see how far your ancestors traveled through the years.
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 like a professional might, 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's.
Regardless of your priorities, the best genealogy software for Mac should be easy to use and integrate with your computer system. The best genealogy software for Mac will help you research your family line, create citations and organize sources. Once your research is in place, genealogy software also helps you create beautiful charts you can be proud to share your family and other genealogists.
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