Genealogy Software Review: Heredis 2015

Genealogy Software Review: Heredis 2015

• Price: $29.99 ($19.99 upgrade) • Manufacturer: BSD Concept • System requirements: Windows Vista or higher. Mac version also available. • Biggest draws: slideshows, wall charts, free website for your family tree • Drawbacks: documenting sources, viewing an ancestor’s life events, reports   Ease of Use...

Price: $29.99 ($19.99 upgrade)
Manufacturer: BSD Concept
System requirements: Windows Vista or higher. Mac version also available.
Biggest draws: slideshows, wall charts, free website for your family tree
Drawbacks: documenting sources, viewing an ancestor’s life events, reports
 

Ease of Use

Heredis has a detailed user guide, four video tutorials and an online forum. But when you click Help or press F1, the program opens the user guide to page 1.
 
Four tabs offer multiple ways to view your data. Under the Family tab, Immediate Family clearly summarizes your data on four generations in a vertical format. The Lineage tab shows five generations and makes it easy to navigate through your family tree.
 
But this family tree program from France has several quirks. If you enter a date as 4 Dec 1879, Heredis changes it to April 12, 1879. You have to enter the month first. No view shows all of a person’s life events with complete dates and place names. The program and reports usually show only one or two levels of a place name. For example, Moorhead, Clay, Minnesota, appears as Moorhead or Moorhead (Clay). In Family Group Data view, hover your mouse cursor over a place to see the full name. A circle, an X and a cross replace the words Born, Married and Died on pedigree charts.

File Management

You can have multiple family files open at once. Heredis is missing some key data fields, including Publisher and Citation Detail for source citations. So when you import a GEDCOM from another program, publication information gets lumped in the Repository field and page numbers end up in the Comments field. Person sources and date ranges such as “from 1893 to 1897” are lost altogether.
 

Charts and multimedia

Heredis lets you create attractive family tree wall charts. You can choose from ancestor, descendant and hourglass charts in many styles and with several options to customize them.
The new Photo Tool lets you do basic image editing. You can identify faces in group photos; the faces are automatically added to each person’s gallery. You can create slideshows with music, though there’s not a way to share them.
 

Documentation and publication

Heredis has only a few general source templates. Most other genealogy programs have many more templates to help you cite different kinds of sources. Heredis templates lack fields for publisher and citation detail and the program doesn’t support person sources.
 
You can create several reports. Family group sheets can’t include sources and the Print Minor Events option, still showed me only birth, marriage and death. Narrative (book-format) reports don’t use a standard numbering system, but they can include sources.
 
Heredis makes it easy to publish your family history free on Herds Online. The well-designed family sites let others find a name in your tree and see the person’s details and family tree with sources, timelines and maps. Photos show up as small images with links to contact you for larger ones. You can also publish separate photo albums on your family site. You can’t create HTML reports for a website outside Heredis Online.
 

Searching

Heredis lets you search on multiple criteria to find someone in the family file on your computer. A new feature lets you search for your relatives in sites such as Heredis Online, Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org and MyHeritage.com.
 

The Verdict

Heredis excels at creating beautiful slideshows, wall charts and websites, but it has some quirks and weak support for documenting sources. It’s not the best all-around program for most genealogists, but those with French ancestry may appreciate the ability to publish a family tree on a site that gets a lot of traffic from French genealogists.

 
 
 From the December 2015 Family Tree Magazine

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