Why there is still room for a new leader in the genealogy software industry

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Ok, so which genealogy software program do you use?

In the last 10 years I have used Family Tree Maker 2-5 & 10, PAF5 and Legacy 2-5. I am now considering making another switch. Why? Well if you've been reading my blog, you'll know that I want to write a family history using a narrative descendancy report as a basis. This led me to discover that Legacy 5 didn't support "real" endnotes/footnotes. I waited for Legacy 6 to be released in September only to discover that it still didn't.

Investigations into other software revealed that the features weren't really as equal as you might think. Most of these applications are quite mature and you'd think that there would be little difference between them. That is true to a certain extent when you look at the basic features. But for those of us that are a little more advanced with our record keeping there are quite a few differences.

A search of the internet revealed that all comparisons of genealogical software are outdated. So the table above is my summary of some of the more *important* features and which programs have what. You'll see that no program has everything, even the supposedly all-encompassing The Master Genealogist.

Timelines - show a variety of historical event timelines to put your ancestors into their social perspective
Real Endnotes/Footnotes - create endnotes/footnotes that your word-processing program can recognize
Book Reports - allow you to print more than one report at a time with a single table of contents and/or index
LDS Support - report on ordinance data (such as missing ordinances, import TempleReady updates)
Correspondence Log - track your correspondence
Witnesses - allow you to add witnesses to an event, including allowing your ancestor to be a witness
Gensmarts support - integrate with the Gensmarts research suggestion tool, by making suggestions for individuals that exist in your database and importing the results
IGI Search - allow you to search the IGI and other online databases for individuals that exist in your database without leaving your genealogy software, import the results
Source Wizards/Templates - provide source citation templates (Mills/Lackey) to ensure that your source citations are correct and complete

Anyway, I hope that this helps you decide which program suits your needs.

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