Software Review: Reunion 10

Software Review: Reunion 10

Reunion is back with its typical usability made exclusively for Mac users, but it’s better than ever. Check out how Reunion jumps ahead of the pack with this version upgrade of the fan-favorite genealogy program.

•   Price: $99 or $54.95 upgrade
•   Manufacturer: Leister Productions, (717) 697-1378, <www.leisterpro.com>
•   System requirements: Mac OS X 10.5 or newer; optional iPad or iPhone
•   Demo/trial version: <www.leisterpro.com/doc/demo/demo.php> (limit of 50 people, no import/export, can’t save charts and slideshows, watermarked printouts)
•   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

Ease of use

Always easy to use because of its true-to-the-Mac interface, Reunion gets even better with this latest upgrade. A new “sidebar” on the right replaces the several separate windows that would clutter up your screen in previous 
versions. The sidebar shows lists of people, places, sources, multimedia and more. You can drag and drop ancestors to see how they’re related to everyone else in your tree. Both the Tree and Family views are flexible in how your data are presented.
Reunion’s extensive, built-in help files (no need to go online for answers) are context-sensitive—if you’re viewing the new Contacts pane, for example, it’ll place that help page at the top of your choices. Those help pages may come in handy, as some of Reunion’s power features—such as customizing the tree view— are tucked away a bit too well.

File management

Upgrading from previous versions of Reunion is simple and snappy—even with large files—as is importing or exporting GEDCOMs and text files. Reunion also integrates seamlessly with its iOS apps, putting files on an iPad or iPhone, as well as syncing changes to your mobile device.

Charts and multimedia

Adding multimedia elements is as simple as dragging and dropping images (including those of sources) directly from websites. Also, a new feature allows for copying multimedia files to a folder for easier sharing. Family tree chart options include pedigree, descendant, fan, timeline, cascading pedigree and a new relatives chart.

Documentation and publication

Adding and assigning sources is faster than ever with the option to drag sources from the sidebar to assign to a person or event. Places now can be mapped or geocoded, and a new merge feature lets you clean up messy data entry. New report options include obituaries (this won’t work if the person is still kicking), “on this date,” events and multimedia usage. You can send to Microsoft Word, email, text files or a browser, though not to PDF. Upgraded web publishing offers a new web tree chart, linked family cards, person sheets, media pages and sources, which creates an online experience similar to using Reunion on your Mac.

Searching

Searching is ridiculously powerful and flexible (for example, you could find everyone whose name begins with Flo and has no spouse), and your hits now show up in the Results sidebar for easy reference. New with version 10 is web searching, with an updatable list of websites you can access directly from any person’s “card.” Searches open in your web browser.

The verdict

Already a favorite for Mac-using genealogists, Reunion clearly jumps to the head of the pack with version 10. Combining dizzying power and flexibility with a freshened-up interface, it’s equally suitable for newbies and power users, adding improved multimedia and web publishing to its existing strengths in data entry and navigation. If you’re still using a PC, Reunion may be the excuse you need to finally switch to a Mac.

 
 
From the December 2012 issue of Family Tree Magazine 

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