Editor's note: A newer version of this product is available. The manufacturer lists the new version as offering the following features: family documentation; publishing and six main views. We will evaluate, rank and review the new version of this product when we next update the Genealogy Software reviews.
You can dig deep into your family history and organize your lineage with RootsMagic, our Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award winner. This genealogy software stores and organizes a large volume of data such as marriage dates, health information, burial dates, occupations and religion. You can attach photos, sound clips and video to any person, family, place, source or event. It has 60 predefined and customizable categories for family facts. This genealogy software has similar features as higher-ranked products, however, its interface isn't as polished.
RootsMagic genealogy software is convenient in that 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. GEDCOMs, PDFs, RTFs, JPG and PNG files are all compatible with RootsMagic, so you can use and produce sources in a variety of formats.
With reports and charts, you can show off your research and organize the family connections you've already established. The best genealogy software has flexible features that publish charts and reports online and in print. With RootsMagic, you can publish six types of CSS-styled websites: pedigree charts, group sheets, combo pedigree chart and group sheet, descendant narrative, ancestor narrative, and alphabetical narrative.
For physical copies, RootsMagic makes read-only CDs for sharing data. For organizing and displaying your research, you can create books with narratives, notes, charts, images, source information, a bibliography, index pages and a table of contents. There aren't themed templates for publications. However, you can create customized headers, footers, margins and fonts. You can also personalize charts with color, text, images and shapes. Beyond documentation, you can print mailing labels and organize birthday lists to keep in touch with relatives. All the documents are compatible with JPG, EMF and other image-file formats.
RootsMagic makes it easy to document media, a great quality if you have mountains of family photos to record. This genealogy software can store images, sound clips, video and documents. You can also configure RootsMagic to upload items directly from your scanner. It has a basic image-editing function to adjust sharpness, brightness, contrast and orientation so you don't need a separate photo editor. Though the interface looks outdated, the multimedia functions make up for its plain look.
This genealogy program has data-entry, sourcing and management tools that typically come with this software. It offers nearly 400 templates for managing source documentation about people, facts or family trees. Sources can be copied, memorized, merged and listed, and you can apply more than one source to each 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. RootsMagic genealogy software allows you to work with more than one database of information at once. Genealogy software often handles large amounts of information, so it's best to separate different families into different databases. When you find people who fit into both groups, you can drag and drop people between databases without losing track. The family links on RootsMagic automatically generate and keep track of your changes.
It has a robust search function as well, which is helpful to find the information you need quickly. When a typical database reaches over 2,000 names, you'll want an easy way to find specific ancestors. Maiden and nicknames can make searching and listing confusing, but you can apply searches based on name, record number, date, place and note. There is also a search and replace for quick entry changes.
RootsMagic has support outside and inside the program. The help menu pulls up a searchable manual with an index and chapters about different tasks and abilities the software has. RootsMagic TV and webinars are available online for more in-depth learning about this software. Although the webinars are longer lessons, both formats cover similar issues about research, sourcing and publishing family history documents. On the website, you'll find that users and tech support actively participate on the message boards. Tech support is readily available on these boards or by telephone or email.
RootsMagic can support a range of file types such as GEDCOMs for family trees, PDFs for documentation and JPEG for images. With all those materials, you can create some impressive charts and reports about your ancestry. This program can import and export your work from other genealogy software, but you won't be able to download items directly from the internet. This adds an extra step in your research process and is a common feature in most genealogy programs unseen in RootsMagic.
RootsMagic can handle a hefty database with over 2,000 names. You can search for relatives based on birth date, location and alternative names.
You can import sources from other genealogy software, but not ancestry websites.
This is a good basic application for printing, charting and generating reports if you have a huge family.