Genealogy software programs are very helpful in keeping our family data organized; a program that helps us print out charts and reports. Here are a few of many to choose from:
- Personal Ancestral File
- Family Tree Maker
- The Master Genealogist
- Ancestral Quest
- Roots Magic
- Family Historian
I recently had guest author, Bob Larson, do a review of Family Tree Maker 2009. I had several emails that either agreed with his articles or disagreed. Personally, I use PAF (Personal Ancestral File); main reason was it was FREE and easy to use. But, I know many who love and prefer other software programs. It is up to the genealogy researcher to look at all the programs available, and decide which one will work best for them. If they feel a program has pros or cons that they wish the developer would include or delete, they should call, write or email that particular company. Writing a review and posting it on a blog is another way to voice your opinion.
How does one decide which software program to use? There are many websites that do review on the individual programs. I have included a couple review sites:
Mark Tucker of ThinkGenealogy has a slideshare, “10 Things Genealogy Software Should Do.” He presented this to the BYU Family History Technology Workshop in March 2008. As researchers, such as Mark Tucker, express their ideas and concerns to those who develop these products, we hopefully will reap the benefits of a useful genealogical tool in our research endeavors.
Another thing I would highly recommend is try the trials most software programs offer. Download the trial and use it for a day or so. Make a list of those things you like; those things that give you trouble. Compare how different programs allow you to print charts and reports.