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Personal Ancestry Writer Software Review
PAWriter software for Macs helps you handle a wealth of family data — for free.
Macintosh users of the free Personal Ancestral File (PAF) genealogy program, long orphaned as PAF switched to a Windows-only format, now have a place to turn — and this program, too, is free. Personal Ancestry Writer II (PAWriter) was developed by Howard H. Metcalfe "to rescue years of work already committed to PAF," he explains, while also overcoming some of PAF's limitations, particularly the number of people in a file and the length of notes. The result is a slick little program with versions that run under either the "classic" Mac operating system or the current Mac OS X. PAWriter is especially adept at creating books from genealogy files, even automatically generating an index. It also can export HTML files for Web pages.

Navigation in PAWriter is quick and easy — if a bit quirky — and you readily can switch from a family view to descendant or pedigree mini-trees. A wealth of "tagging" options lets you mark and swiftly find individuals or groups, even in huge files. A nifty census feature automatically creates a citation, complete with blanks for microfilm and roll number.

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Personal Ancestry Writer II

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