Genealogy Software That Helps You Write Your Family HIstory

By Sunny Jane Morton Premium

Your genealogy software can make your family history book easier to put together. Enter or import your family data into programs such as the ones listed here, and get automated help creating your book or other project.

Family Historian 5: Create charts, family websites, family tree CDs and DVDs, custom reports, books and booklets; automate source citations; and incorporate multimedia sources. Imports from GEDCOM. Runs on Windows 7, Vista and XP. $46.50 after free 30-day trial.

Family Tree Maker 2012 and Family Tree Maker for Mac 2: Create charts, reports, timelines, maps and biographical summaries. Incorporate images; and generate contents page and an index. Print or export to a PDF or word-processing program. Sync data easily with an online tree or import from GEDCOM. Use 2012 version ($31.99) with Windows XP, Vista, or 7. Mac version ($55.99) syncs with iPhone or iPad; compatible with Mac OS X 10.5 or later.

Heredis for Mac (2.0) or PC: Create customized charts, indexes, reports and illustrated books; you can export to your word-processing program (but not to PDF). Import from GEDCOM files; synchronize with iPhone or iPad. $39.90, free trial available.

Legacy Family Tree 7.5: The Standard Edition creates charts, reports (with pictures) and websites. It also will create source citations and bibliographies. The Deluxe Edition adds publishing features including indexes, contents page and other front matter formatting; interview and chronology reports; PDF creation; and source citations based on Evidence Explained! by Elizabeth Shown Mills. Compatible with Windows Vista and 7. Imports from GEDCOM, PAF and Ancestral Quest. Standard Edition free, Deluxe Edition from $29.95.

The Master Genealogist v.8: Creates charts and reports with endnotes or bibliography. Most publication features are in the Gold Edition, which creates books with contents, footnotes, indexes and bibliographies. Outputs reports to PDF, RTF or ASCII files; Gold Edition offers additional options. Imports from Family Tree Maker, Personal Ancestral File, all GEDCOMs and some other programs. Use with Windows 2000, XP, 7 or Vista. Silver Edition from $34, Gold Edition from $59; free trial available

Personal Historian: Use to organize and publish a biographical or autobiographical writing project. Create headers, footers, cover pages, front matter and a people index. Version 2 offers additional customization, footnotes, editing and index features, and free technical support; and saves to PDFs or word processor. Use with Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2000. Import from RootsMagic, Personal Ancestral File (PAF) 5, Legacy 3 and later, GEDCOM, Family Tree Maker 16 and earlier. Essentials free, version 2 $29.95.

RootsMagic: Create customizable charts, family group sheets, narrative reports, individual summaries, scrapbooks, Ahnentafel reports and source lists. In version 5, create custom family history CDs and websites; publish books with notes, photos, bibliography, index, cover and front matter; and save reports as PDFs (with Adobe Acrobat) or to a word processor. Use with Windows 7, Vista, XP and 2000. Imports from Family Tree Maker 16 and earlier; PAF 2.x and later, New FamilySearch (optional full LDS support in version 5), Family Origins 4 and later, Legacy 2 and later, GEDCOMs. Essentials is free, version 5 $29.95.

Reunion 10: Create attractive charts, reports, Register or Ahnentafel reports, slide shows. Create fully-formatted custom content that opens in word processor with source citations. Integrate multimedia. Integrate content with iPod, iPad, iPhone. Post reports online. Import from GEDCOMs. Requires Mac OS X 10.5 or newer. $99.95.

From the May/June 2013 Family Tree Magazine