Now you can dig deep into your family history and organize your lineage with RootsMagic, our TopTenREVIEWS Bronze Award winner. This genealogy software functions like a database, and it can store and organize a large volume of information and small details such as marriage dates, health information, burial dates, occupations and religion. Overall, it has 60 predefined fact categories, or you can add your own. Additionally, you can attach photographs, sound clips and video to any person, family, place, source or event. This genealogy software can do just about everything our higher-ranked products can; however, its interface doesn't look very current and it has less multimedia integration than other products.
RootsMagic genealogy software is highly compatible and portable. It can import PAF type files to and from FamilySearch. In terms of portability, it can run directly from a flash drive with RootsMagic To-Go. You can also perform web searches right through the application without having to copy and paste names and dates because the software will pull the data for you.
RootsMagic also provides numerous reporting options, and all reports save as a PDF or an RTF files for word processing applications. This genealogy software can create all common report types, including pedigree charts, family group sheets, box charts, Ahnentafel, duplicates lists, source lists, address lists and much more. It can even print mailing labels and organize birthday lists.
This genealogy software can also create a variety of wall charts like ancestor, descendant, hourglass, timeline and freeform charts. RootsMagic can create and export charts up to 100 feet wide. Supported file types like JPG, EMF and other image file formats work best with RootsMagic. You can customize charts by color, and you can drag and drop items into a chart or add text, images and shapes.
For many families and pedigree researchers, the sharing of information is one of the most important aspects of genealogy software. Many years of research can culminate into printed books or a series of books for sharing with the family and relevant libraries. For this reason, many genealogy applications facilitate the process of creating printed documents. RootsMagic can create customized headers, footers, margins and fonts, and books. It has a tool called RootsMagic Publisher that can create books with narrative, notes, charts, images, source information, a bibliography, index pages, a table of contents and more. This genealogy software can create up to six types of CSS-styled websites: pedigree charts, group sheets, combo pedigree chart and group sheet, descendant narrative, ancestor narrative and alphabetical narrative. It can also create read-only CDs for sharing data.
Though other products may sacrifice multimedia elements to make the interface more attractive, RootsMagic has good tools for organizing media relative to an entry. This genealogy software can store images, sound clips, video and documents such as Word or PDF files. You can also configure RootsMagic to upload scanned items directly from your scanner. It has basic image editing function such as adjusting sharpness, brightness, contrast and orientation and doesn't need a separate photo editor. Though the interface suffers some aesthetic blows, the multimedia functions make up for its plain look.
This genealogy software has just about all of the data entry, sourcing and management tools we were looking for. It offers numerous sourcing tools, including nearly 400 SourceWizard templates, and source documentation for any person, fact or family. Sources can be copied, memorized, merged and listed, and you can apply more than one source to one entry. You can also create your own source templates.
When working with a large volume of detailed information, organization and search tools are extremely important. With RootsMagic genealogy software, you can easily work with more than one database of information at once. You can even drag and drop people between databases. When you move new people into a different database, the family links automatically generate and you can store and search by alternate names. You can apply searches based on name, record number, date, place, note or other field. There is also a search and replace for quick entry changes.
For extra insight from professionals and hobbyists, you can join a local user group or read comments posted by users and technical support on their message boards. Currently there are quite a few local user groups, including groups that get together regularly in states like California, Idaho, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Minnesota. The only thing we would like to see is contact information that is easier to find. For example, if you click on “support” on their website and then “contact support,” it does not give you contact telephone numbers. You have to go to “company” and then “contact us” to find technical support telephone numbers. RootsMagic genealogy software posts quite a bit of useful information in the support section of their website, and you can contact them for technical support by telephone or email. When you purchase the software, it also comes with a printed document to get the most out of RootsMagic.
We found RootsMagic easy genealogy software and we did not have to consult the help files to figure out how to perform basic actions such as adding people or attaching media files to an entry. It's simple to switch between views and clickable information finds related information to speed up the process of moving through a family line. Though we found the interfaces of some other genealogy applications more visually appealing, we still thought this software was easy to use and well organized.
In many ways, this genealogy software is highly competitive and can perform most of the same functions as other applications. They have evolved to include features to satisfy modern expectations such as DNA data storing and website creation. We like that it can work with common genealogy file types such as PAF and GEDCOM for compatibility and easy importing of existing research. What keeps RootsMagic at its number three spot is the minor lag in multimedia tools and negligible aesthetics in regards to the interface, not overall functionality.
RootsMagic exports and imports an impressive range of file types for documents and media. You can also create standard and customized charts with the powerful multimedia tools.
RootsMagic isn't overly concerned with looks. We found the interface plain and has a dated look.
This is a good basic application for beginning genealogy, especially if you want options for printing, charting or generating reports.