Genealogy requires long hours of searching online and sifting through old documents with family members. Once you have piles of sources, what do you do with them? Genealogy software creates a family history database at your fingertips. The top genealogy programs like Family Tree Maker 3, RootsMagic through MacBridge and Heredis, connect to genealogy searches, organize what you find and map out family trees based on the information. Once you organize your sources, you can create reports and family charts with generations of information.
Mac users are known for having an eye for design, and it shows through in the genealogy programs for OS X. With them, you can customize and create a wealth of reports and charts displaying your heritage. The best programs provide pre-made and customizable templates for anything you want to publish. In addition, the interfaces on these programs are sleek and simple to mirror the minimalist design of other OS X programs. For more information, check out our articles on Mac Genealogy Software to make your research and data entry easier.
Mac Genealogy Software: What to Look For
In its essence, genealogy software's job is to store, organize and chart the family history you have. We ranked software based on features that make the job easier. Before purchasing any genealogy software, it's best to consider what you already know about your family. If you're just beginning to research your family, look for software that connects to online databases. 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
The best genealogy software connects you to research databases and imports your findings into the program. When you have enough information, you can create web pages, printable charts and reports based on 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.
Listing & Notes
Listing features allow you to connect various family members to each other correctly. Once you have a large group, other features connect or allow you to connect the dots between people. Families don't always follow the nuclear model. The best genealogy software should make it easy to list multiple marriages, divorces, adoptions, step-relationships and more.
Notes and media help your family tree feel more alive, but working with so much information can be overwhelming. When you add details about your family or add images to their profile, you'll need to keep them organized and easily accessible. Many Mac genealogy programs provide catalogues for your sources, multimedia and individuals.
Citation & Organization
The more you learn about your family, the more records and sources you'll accumulate. Genealogy requires a dedication to finding and recording proof. The claims, notes and stories about your family history will need proof to back them up. This proof comes in many forms such as old newspapers and certificates. Look for genealogy software that helps you manage your sources create citations to find them later. 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 level for each.
Help & Support
As your family tree grows, you'll likely have questions along the way. The best genealogy software has an easy-to-navigate help section within the software so you can get answers to your questions quickly. Some of the software we reviewed links to user forums and blogs with information about genealogy or the software itself. As more 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.
Genealogy software for Mac should be easy to use and integrate with your computer system. It should also help you research, organize and chart your family history. 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.