Software

Genealogy Software Review: Legacy Family Tree

I have decided to write software reviews of all of the leading genealogy programs available today for Windows, Macintosh, Linux, Android, and Apple iOS, as well as cloud-based genealogy programs. This is the second article in the series: Legacy Family Tree, one of the more popular genealogy programs for Windows. I will later review genealogy programs for other operating systems as well.

I have also created a Windows Genealogy Software Comparison Chart showing the major features of each program reviewed so far. The Chart may be found at http://wp.me/p5Z3-FG.

Legacy Family Tree is one of the more popular genealogy programs available for the Windows operating system. Its popularity is caused by three major factors: it is powerful, it is easy to use, and it contains most all the features that serious genealogists demand. However, it also works well for genealogy newcomers. If you are looking for an easy-to-use genealogy program for a Windows PC, Legacy Family Tree absolutely should be on your list of programs to consider.

(+) A Comparison Chart of Genealogy Software for Windows

The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.

Genealogy Software for Windows Comparison

A side-by-side comparison of all programs reviewed to date: RootsMagic and Legacy Family Tree

Changes for Family Tree Maker Support When Used with Windows XP

Anyone using Family Tree Maker as their genealogy program probably has already seen this warning that now pops up when you launch the program:

We’re making updates that may impact your Family Tree Maker experience. Starting in October 2014, Ancestry Web Search within Family Tree Maker software will have reduced functionality or may not be supported by Microsoft Windows XP, Microsoft Windows Vista or Internet Explorer 8 or 9. Moving forward, Microsoft Windows 7 or 8 will be required for Ancestry Web Search functionality to work properly.

That can be jarring to anyone who uses Windows XP, Vista, or Internet Explorer version 8 or 9. However, I cannot blame Ancestry.com, the producers of Family Tree Maker. I think it is a wise move. I suspect many users of Family Tree Maker will disagree with me, however.

Windows XP was released in August, 2001. That’s 13 years ago. Windows XP has now been replaced three times (Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8), not counting the minor updates along the way. Windows XP is now three major releases out of date. In other words, it is ancient.

In fact, Windows XP was supported longer than any other operating system ever produced by Microsoft. Now the end is here.

Coming Up: Reviews of Genealogy Software

I am planning to write and publish reviews of all the more popular genealogy programs. That will include current genealogy programs for Windows, Macintosh, Linux, Android, and Apple iOS (used on iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch mobile devices) as well as cloud-based genealogy programs that are available on the World Wide Web. The reviews will be published roughly once a week or so, depending upon my travel schedule and the time available. If you are thinking of upgrading to a new program, you may be interested in these reviews.

The first review has been published today: RootsMagic, a very popular genealogy program for Windows. You can read that review at http://blog.eogn.com/2014/08/10/genealogy-software-review-rootsmagic.

Genealogy Software Review: RootsMagic

I have decided to write software reviews of all of the leading genealogy programs available today for Windows, Macintosh, Android, Apple iOS, and cloud-based genealogy programs. I will start with RootsMagic, one of the more popular genealogy programs for Windows. I will later review genealogy programs for other operating systems as well.

RootsMagic also offers optional useful apps for both Android and Apple iOS (iPad and iPhone). I will write about the Windows version now and about the Android and Apple iOS apps separately when I start reviewing genealogy apps for mobile computers.

RootsMagic is best known as a genealogy program for Windows that features a user-friendly interface. If you are looking for an easy-to-use genealogy program for a Windows PC, RootsMagic absolutely should be on your list of programs to consider. Despite the simple user interface, the program also offers most all the features demanded by experienced genealogists: a good system of recording source citations; unlimited people in the database, facts/events, notes, sources, and more; many different types of printed reports; support for international character sets through Unicode integration (allowing for use of umlauts, accents, and other characters found in European alphabets); automatically checks for duplicates as you add people, alternate names to make it easy to find a person by their maiden or nick names; the ability to add links pointing to websites that contain information about the people, sources, places, etc. in your database; multiple relationships, such as adoptions, foster parents, etc.; DNA information; ability to add history, latitude and longitude for each place; user-defined fact types; private events that you can suppress from printing or exporting; save reports to PDF format; save reports to your favorite word processor in RTF format; print color coding in pedigree charts, group sheets, box charts, narrative reports, wall charts, ahnentafel, descendant list, and timelines; a built-in help system; a date calculator, a relationship calculator, a Soundex calculator, and much more.

Genealone 1.3 Has Been Released

The following announcement was written by David Nebesky, the producer of Genealone, a product that allows you to build your own genealogy website:

I am pleased to announce that Genealone (http://www.genealone.com) has been updated to version 1.3.

New features:

  • Sources and citations including list of sources for repetitive use
  • New page with event details including citations from sources
  • Editing and merging sources in Administration interface
  • New built-it event types: residence, occupation, confirmation, immigration, emigration, naturalization
  • Unmarried partners have been added, same sex partners are allowed
  • New religion field in person edit form

The Future of Second Site, a Program for Publishing Genealogy Data

Yesterday’s announcement that Wholly Genes Software would discontinue development and support of The Master Genealogist (TMG) has created all sorts of questions. Some of the questions concern the future of Second Site, a popular program used to publish genealogy data on the World Wide Web. Until now, Second Site has been a program that extracts data from TMG and then builds gorgeous-looking personal web sites that show a person’s or family’s family tree. Now that TMG is going to slowly go away, what should users of Second Site plan on using for their web publishing efforts?

John Cardinal, the software developer of Second Site, answered that question today with a brief statement. Essentially, he said that Second Site would continue as a viable product; he will keep the present capability to import data from TMG but will also add the capability of importing data from a GEDCOM file. You can read his statement in the comments section following the TMG announcement at http://blog.eogn.com/2014/07/29/the-master-genealogist-to-be-discontinued.

I see this as great news.

The Master Genealogist to be Discontinued

Sad news! The following announcement was made today by Bob Velke, the owner of Wholly Genes, Inc.:

I am sad to report that the decision has been made to discontinue The Master Genealogist (“TMG”).

While thousands of TMG users appreciate the program’s many powerful features that are unmatched in other software, the market for those advanced features has proved to be insufficient to support the infrastructure that is necessary to support it and continue development. A variety of my own health issues have also contributed to this decision as I have fewer opportunities to focus on the things that would be necessary to develop and market the program.

There is every reason to believe that TMG will continue to work for existing users for the foreseeable future but official support will end at the end of 2014, although we may release some more bug fixes (but no new features) before that. In the interest of those who may want to communicate their data to family members or upgrade to the latest release, we will continue to sell the full product and updates through September with the understanding that product development has been discontinued.

Uploading Your Content To Wikimedia Commons Just Got Easier

Does your genealogy society, historical society, or local museum want to share their holdings with the public? Wikimedia Commons has been available for some time for that purpose. Best of all, Wikimedia Commons is a free service for all: free to the organization that uploads information and free to anyone who visits. However, uploading holdings to Wikimedia Commons has been a somewhat complex task in the past, requiring a significant amount of technical expertise. That has now changed. Minimal technical expertise is now required, thanks to some new software tools available.

Remove Text Formatting When Copying-and-Pasting

Have you ever copied some text from a web page or a document and then wanted to paste it as simple text into another application without getting all the formatting from the original source? It can be a problem. Simple copying-and-pasting of formatted text often inserts extra “garbage characters” into the output. In fact, there is a simple solution. Simple, that is, if you know about it.

The problem arises when copying and pasting formatted text from one application to another. It doesn’t always work as you’d expect. For instance, you might copy a few lines from a web page and then want to paste it to Facebook. Surprise! All sorts of “unwanted characters” may appear. The same might happen if you are copying text from a word processing document or from a PDF file and you wish to paste it into an email message.

The unwanted characters typically are formatting commands built into the originating program. The problem is that not all programs use the same formatting commands. For example, what might be a command to “use bold text” in one program could insert curly braces {} into the receiving program.

One-Click Publishing of an eBook Directly from Google Drive

Genealogists, engineers, teachers, and thousands of others have an interest in publishing books. Traditional publishing methods have made it difficult to publish your own book, but modern technology is changing the process dramatically. Publishing a book is becoming easier and easier almost daily. A new service called Liberio provides simple ebook creation and publishing straight from Google Drive. Best of all, Liberio is available free of charge.

Publishing your own books is now only a push of a button away. The ebook you produce can be read on almost any computer, tablet, Kindle, iPad, Android smartphones and tablets, or any similar device used as an ebook reader.

Relative History, a Windows 8 Genealogy App, is Now Available

Software developer Philip Colmer has released a beta version of Relative History, a Windows 8 genealogy app. The beta version allows users to test some of the editing functionality that is being added to the app. The release supports the adding, editing and deleting of media, source and repository records as well as source and repository citations.

Quoting from the description in the Windows Store:

Create a Family Tree Chart in Excel

Microsoft has created a free template to create a five-generation family tree chart. It has space for each family member’s name and title. There’s very few “bells and whistles” in this template. There is no automatic importing of data or anything else. Simply download the template and manually enter the data. You can then print a very nice-looking five generation chart.

It is free and is available at http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/family-tree-chart-TC001021967.aspx.

Virus False Positives: How Can You Be Sure?

Almost every time I write an article about some web site or perhaps about a Windows program that can be downloaded and installed on your computer, I will receive at least one email message or other report from someone saying something like, “I downloaded it but my anti-virus program says it has a virus.”

My response usually is, “Well, maybe…”

In many cases, the claim of a virus is a so-called “false positive.” That is, the anti-virus program reported a virus that isn’t really there. In fact, there is no virus at all, but the anti-virus program thinks there is. All anti-virus programs will occasionally report “false positives.”

How do you determine the truth? Actually, there are several ways.

FamilySearch Introduces Two New Mobile Apps

FamilySearch has released two new mobile apps that will make it easy to take your ancestors with you. With FamilySearch Tree and FamilySearch Memories you can add memories and sources of your relatives on the go. Everything you add will sync with FamilySearch.org, so information will be accessible from any device and will be preserved for future generations. Both apps are free.

FamilySearch Tree

Paperless for Windows and Macintosh

Remember when everyone talked about how we would someday become a paperless society? Now it seems like we use paper more than ever. Let’s face it – everyone still uses paper. Getting rid of paper in your life is one of the greatest joys imaginable. Digitizing everything makes life easier as everything can be found quickly by every-word searches. Going digital saves space, cuts clutter, and also reduces frustration. It’s also easier to make backup copies of digital files than it is to make backup copies of paper.

Genealogists are especially susceptible to clutter and filing problems. We often collect photocopies of birth certificates, marriage certificates, deeds, census records, and much, much more. We soon encounter issues about how to file all this information and, even more important, how to retrieve what we want at the moment we need it.

Most of us can benefit from better organization of paper documents. However, the problem is not limited to genealogy purposes. Almost all of us end up with piles of paper – bills, receipts, financial and insurance statements, medical prescriptions, and more.

Major Update of the MyHeritage Mobile App Released

The folks at MyHeritage have released major new update of the company’s mobile app for managing photos and also for managing your family tree on-the-go. It also allows you to research historical records, wherever you are. Now you can see all the photos in your tree.

New Versions of MacFamilyTree and MobileFamilyTree Are Now Available

Major updates for the popular genealogy applications MacFamilyTree and MobileFamilyTree for iPhone and iPad have just been released. The new versions are available free of charge for customers of version 7. New customers can obtain a 50% discount for a limited period of time. During the promotion MacFamilyTree is just US$ 24.99 instead of the regular price of $49.99. MobileFamilyTree for iPhone and iPod sells for just US$ 6.99 instead of the normal price of $14.99.

I have both products and must say they are full-featured programs. Both are very easy to use and have perhaps the nicest user interface of any genealogy programs I have used.

Click on the image to view a larger version

MacFamilyTree 7.2 and MobileFamilyTree 7.2 include completely overhauled reports, enhanced printing and the new Interactive Family Tree for more comprehensive and faster navigation through your family tree. The new version also features a brand new FamilySearch summary page as well as numerous other tweaks.

Office Online versus Google Apps: Facts and FUD

The computer world seems to be moving “to the cloud.” In other words, computer users today are less apt to install programs in their own computers. Instead, they often use programs that are stored on massive file servers in the Internet and require no installation. Many of these new cloud-based programs are available free of charge although some do cost money.

Word processing and spreadsheets have long been two of the the most popular uses for computers. The programs traditionally have been expensive to purchase and even more expensive to update as new versions with additional features have been released every two or three years. Today, many people, including myself, are using online word processing, spreadsheets, and other applications.

PaperLater – a Self-Made Newspaper of Questionable Value

I must admit that I wrestled with my conscience for a bit before writing this article. It is an interesting application of technology but I wouldn’t use it. It contradicts my firm beliefs about wasting paper and other natural resources. However, here is the info, just in case you might be interested.

Click on the image to view a larger version

UK-based Newspaper Club has announced its PaperLater service. It allows users to set aside web articles of their choice to be incorporated into a print newspaper that is later delivered to their door. You can use this service to collect articles from this newsletter as well as from other web sites. The articles are combined, printed on paper, and the resultant “newspaper” is mailed to you by old-fashioned “snail mail.”

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