Exceptionally easy to use, RootsMagic provides extensive help throughout the program. You also can get a printed manual for $14.95; refer to the online knowledge base, message board and video tutorials; or submit questions via the program’s Web site.
As in previous versions, the Pedigree, Family and Descendants tabs make it easy to navigate around your family tree. Each screen displays a lot of information, yet remains clean and uncluttered. Family View now shows children’s birth and death places, and Descendant View also shows birth and death places. The new People tab lists everyone in your file; you can customize it to show any fields and sort the list on any column. For faster navigation, a new collapsible sidebar lets you bookmark names and return to names you recently edited.
RootsMagic opens Family Origins, Family Tree Maker, Personal Ancestral File and Legacy files directly, and even imports pictures from Family Tree Maker.
With the handy new RootsMagic-to-Go feature, it’s easy to copy the program and your family files to a flash drive so you can run RootsMagic on a computer away from home—and not have to lug around 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. The program didn’t slow down on my test file with nearly 32,000 people; users have reported excellent performance with even larger files.
Documentation is simple. Just select the template for the source type and fill in the boxes. Each field has a helpful description of what should go there. The new SourceWizard supports several standard documentation formats, including those in Elizabeth Shown Mills’ Evidence (Genealogical Publishing Co., $16.95) and Richard S. Lackey’s Cite Your Sources (University Press of Mississippi, $15). Now you can indicate whether a fact is proven, disproven or disputed; a source is original or derivative; information is primary or secondary; and evidence is direct, indirect or negative.