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Free Genealogy Software Demos to Test and Compare

By Family Tree Editors Premium

Ancestral Quest 12

Price: Free demo; Full program, $29.95

Manufacturer: Incline Software

Platform: Windows

Biggest draws: Compatible with Personal Ancestral File (PAF) and expands on PAF’s capabilities; fields to record DNA test results; many reporting options, including pedigree charts with sources and notes; PDF output; research logs

Drawbacks: Poor family view, add-on needed for a wide selection of graphical charts

Read our review | Free demo version 

Branches Family Tree

Price: 30-day free trial; Standard, $14.95

Platform: Windows

Biggest draws: Google Earth-style interface, ease of use

Drawbacks: no wall chars, imprecise GEDCOM file creation

Read our reviewFree demo version

Brother’s Keeper 6.2

Price: Free demo; $45 with manual, $20 upgrade

Platform: Windows

Biggest draws: charts and reports, to-do lists

Drawbacks: navigation, no HTML descendant report

Read our review | Free demo version 

Family Historian 3.1

Price: Free demo; Standard, $69.99

Platform: Windows

Biggest draws: navigation by graphical family tree, automated source citations, customizable charts

Drawbacks: price, no letter-size pedigree charts, awkward steps for documenting sources and creating Web reports

Free demo version

Family Tree Builder 7.0

Price: Basic, free; Premium (up to 2,500 names, 1-year subscription to a Premium Family Site, all-in-one charts, smart matches merging, unlimited maps), $75 per year

Manufacturer: MyHeritage

Biggest draws: Currently under review

Drawbacks: Currently under review

Try it online

Family Tree Builder 6.0

Price: Basic (unlimited offline family file plus up to 250-person, 250MB online tree), free; Premium (up to 2,500-person, 500MB online tree), $75 per year; Premium Plus (unlimited tree size and storage), $119.40 per year

Manufacturer: MyHeritage

Biggest draws: ease of use, photo management, charts, online tree publishing, support for 36 languages

Drawbacks: reports, source documentation

Read our review | Try it online

Genbox Family History 3

Price: 30-day free trial; Standard, $29.95

Platform: Windows

Biggest draws: Wide selection of printed reports, including excellent narrative reports for creating a book with a place-name index; many options for publishing your family history online; ease of use

Drawbacks: Overwhelming array of graphical chart options could benefit from some streamlining

Read our review | Free 30-day trial 

Heredis Mac X.2

Price: Free trial; $69 download

Platform: Mac

Biggest draws: Nifty graphics, 3-D family tree

Drawbacks: Slow GEDCOM importing

Free trial version

Legacy Family Tree Deluxe 7.0

Price: Free standard version, $29.95 download, $39.95 on CD with printed manual, $21.95 upgrade from version 6

Manufacturer: Millennia Corp.

Biggest draws: Ease of use, research guidance, charts and reports

Drawbacks: Pedigree view doesn’t show exact dates and places

Read our review | Free Standard Version

MacFamilyTree 5.1

Price: Free trial; Standard, $49

Platform: Mac

Biggest draws: Easy setup, attractive interface, fast GEDCOM imports

Drawbacks: No family group sheet

Free trial version 

Reunion 10

Price: Free demo; Standard, $99 or $54.95 upgrade

Platform: Mac

Biggest draws: improved interface; intuitive ease of use, navigation and data entry; extensive and contextual help files; drop-and-drag multimedia, places and sources; souped-up web publishing; full iOS integration

Drawbacks: new web searching isn’t integrated into program itself, relying on your browser; some features are hard to find; no PDF output

Read our review | Free demo

RootsMagic 6

Price: Free trial, $29.95, $19.95 upgrade

Manufacturer: RootsMagic, Inc., (800) 766-8762

Biggest draws: Ease of use, data entry, documenting sources, reports

Drawbacks: Nothing major

Read our reviewFree trial

RootsMagic 4

Price: Free trial, $29.95, $19.95 upgrade

Manufacturer: RootsMagic, Inc.

Biggest draws: Ease of use, documenting sources, charts and reports

Drawbacks: Nothing major

Read our reviewFree trial

The Master Genealogist Gold 7

Price: 30-day free trial; $59 download, $69.95 on CD

Platform: Windows

Biggest draws: Unlimited flexibility and customization; unique power-user features

Drawbacks: Steep learning curve

Free 30-day trial

Personal Ancestral File 5.2

Price: free download, $8.25 on CD with PAF Companion

Platform: Windows

Biggest draws: Ease of use, excellent help files, price, foreign language versions, well-designed print and Web reports, good graphical charts with PAF Companion

Drawbacks: Reports don’t include alternate personal names; FamilySearch is no longer upgrading PAF

Try it online 

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