Just when I was ready to call RootsMagic the best all-around genealogy software program, Millennia Corp. raised the bar with an upgrade to Legacy Family Tree. Maintaining its position in the top tier of genealogy programs, the Legacy 5.0 Deluxe Edition introduces several welcome new features:
• Geo Location Database: Search 3 million place names around the world for the county or region where a town is located.
• US County Verifier: Legacy alerts you if the US county entered in a location field didn’t exist at the specified date.
• Descendant view: Along with family, pedigree, chronology and index views, this gives you one more way to look at your data.
• Foreign-language reports: Now you can create reports in Dutch, French, German, Norwegian and Spanish.
• Calendar Creator: Make your own calendars with a picture for each month.
A well-balanced program
These latest enhancements arc icing on the cake for a program that already excelled in just about every area:
• Organizing your research: It’s important to record where you find family information, so you can compare sources’ re-liability when contradictions arise. Legacy makes this simple with its Source Clipboard, which lets you cite a source with a single mouse-click.
Legacy also will help you plan future research. You can create both general and individual to-do lists and then print all tasks for a specific person or for a library or courthouse you plan to visit.
• Printing reports: Legacy produces many outstanding printed reports. All of its charts can be saved in PDF format, which is ideal for e-mailing and viewing with the free Adobe Reader (visit <www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html> to download this utility).
Well-designed family group sheets and pedigree charts show you key data at a glance and help you see where you need to focus your research.
If you want to print a narrative family history, you won’t find a better tool than Legacy. The program embeds codes for the table of contents and index within the report, so you can edit the document in your word processor before printing, without fear of fouling up the page numbering.
In addition to a personal-name index, your book can have a location index. You can opt for the traditional format with the smallest jurisdiction first (for example, “Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts”), but I recommend putting the largest jurisdiction first (for instance, “Massachusetts, Suffolk, Boston”). This makes it easier for a reader to see at a glance the geographic areas covered by your book.
• Designing graphical charts: Legacy’s attractive picture report shows a family tree with photos of up to four generations. For more graphical family tree charts and other reporting options, pick up the Legacy Charting Companion add-on program, or order Genelines for Legacy to print a variety of timeline charts. Each program costs $19.95 as a download or $24.95 on CD-ROM from Progeny Software (800-565-0018, <www.progenysoftware.com>).
• Adding multimedia: Legacy can do basic photo editing, such as adjusting brightness, sharpness and contrast. And it lets you attach picture, sound and video files to individual, event and source records. You can include photos in printed reports and view an individual’s pictures as a slide show. Or print a photo album with up to 30 pictures per page.
• Creating Web pages: Legacy produces well-designed Web pages in several styles. The pages can include all your notes, plus a special index so your site will be included on GENDEX <www.gendex.com>, a huge index of genealogy Web sites.
A new favorite?
Legacy and RootsMagic are both so good, it’s hard for me to pick a favorite. Roots-Magic (downloadable at <www.rootsmagic.com>) has a less-cluttered screen. But Legacy has place indexes for narrative reports, a timeline report and a customizable questionnaire for research. Plus, you can print reports in several languages.
Legacy 5.0 requires Windows 95 or higher. You can download the free Standard Edition from <www.legacyfamilytree.com>. Although this edition doesn’t have all the new features found in the Deluxe Edition, Millennia has made several improvements. The Deluxe Edition costs $19.95 to download or $29.95 on CD-ROM with a manual. (You can upgrade from version 4.0 with a $14.95 download or $21.95 CD-ROM.)