Review: RootsMagic 7 Genealogy Software

Review: RootsMagic 7 Genealogy Software

• Price: $29.95 ($19.95 upgrade) • Manufacturer: RootsMagic, (800) 766-8762 • System requirements: Windows XP or newer; runs on Mac OS X with MacBridge for RootsMagic 7, $14.95 • Demo/trial version: a free version, RootsMagic 7 Essentials, has many of the full program’s core features...

Price: $29.95 ($19.95 upgrade)
Manufacturer: RootsMagic, (800) 766-8762
System requirements: Windows XP or newer; runs on Mac OS X with MacBridge for RootsMagic 7, $14.95
• Demo/trial version: a free version, RootsMagic 7 Essentials, has many of the full program’s core features
Biggest draws: ease of use, data entry, documenting sources, reports, publishing your tree online
Drawbacks: nothing major 
 
Ease of use
Exceptionally easy to use, RootsMagic provides extensive help throughout the program. You also can purchase a printed manual for $14.95. 
 

Pedigree, Family, Descendants and People tabs make it easy to navigate around your family tree. Most functions are arranged logically in the main menu and toolbar, but don’t overlook the media gallery in the Lists menu.

As you enter place names, CountyCheck alerts you to counties, provinces and states that didn’t exist on the date of the event in question.
 
The new NameClean tool finds and corrects problems and inconsistencies in people’s names. Another new tool, PlaceClean, finds and corrects similar problems with place names.
 

File management

RootsMagic directly opens Family Origins, Family Tree Maker (2006 and earlier), Legacy, Personal Ancestral File and The Master Genealogist files.
 
The handy RootsMagic-to-Go is a separate utility program that lets you copy the program and your family files to a flash drive so you can run RootsMagic on a computer away from home without having to lug a laptop. You also can create a shareable CD with a read-only version of RootsMagic to show off your work to family and friends. A free app even lets you view your RootsMagic files when you’re on the go. Now, you also can include media files when you back up or restore a family file.
 
Charts and multimedia
You can create highly customizable wall, timeline and box charts, as well as photo trees. While RootsMagic doesn’t offer the fanciest charts of any genealogy software (Family Tree Maker is better), they’re fine enough for a family reunion or gift.
 
When you have a photo that shows several people, it’s easy to add the picture to each person’s media album. You can also select a picture and see every person it is linked to. A handy new feature lets you drag and drop pictures onto a person’s media screen.
 

Documentation and publication
For documentation, select the template for a source type and fill in the boxes. You can keep research logs for people, families, events or places.

 
Report options include family group sheets, pedigree charts and narrative reports. In addition to the usual name index, reports can include a place index.
 
RootsMagic 7 expands and improves Publish Online, a feature introduced in version 6 that makes it easy to post your family tree online for free with photos, sources and notes. Now sites are created in a format that Google and other search engines can index. That’s a major improvement and means that people can find your site when they Google your ancestors’ names.
 

Searching

Using the powerful RootsMagic Explorer, you can search your file by multiple criteria, such as a name and any fact’s date.  Find Everywhere searches not only people, but also notes, sources, research logs and more.
 

New in this version, RootsMagic automatically searches record databases on <www.familysearch.org> and <my

heritage.com> for people in your family file. A light bulb next to a person’s name in your file indicates a possible match.

The verdict

Still my choice for the best all-around genealogy program, RootsMagic 7’s automatic online searching and improved online tree publishing make it a worthwhile upgrade.
 
 
 
From the May/June 2015 Family Tree Magazine 

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