Macintosh owners have fewer family tree programs to choose from than their Windows-using cousins. Luckily, two or three of the Macintosh programs are just as good as some of the genealogy programs for other operating systems. One of them is MacFamilyTree, and version 4.4.1 of the program has just been released.
MacFamilyTree is a Universal Binary program, so it runs well on both PowerPC and Intel Macs. The OS X operating system 10.3.9 or later is required. MacFamilyTree features the same kind of easy-to-use interface that Macintosh applications are famous for. It provides a crisp and clean overview of all your relations. It also excels at graphics, printing, and publishing your family tree on the Internet or on CD-ROM disk. MacFamilyTree is entirely based on the GEDCOM standard for easy exchange of genealogical data with other programs - Macintosh, Windows, and Linux programs alike.
Simultaneous editing of several trees is as easy as connecting or merging various family tree files. It's also easy to import pictures from iPhoto, using drag-and-drop features. In addition, you can upload your complete family tree, including the photos, to your .mac iDisk on the Internet with just one click.
MacFamilyTree has three major parts: Editing, Browsing, and Publishing.
In Editing, you create new persons and families, add children to the families, and define the relationship of the parents. The Drawer, containing the list of all persons in the current tree, lets you add or remove persons. In addition to this, you can open the Information window to edit the general information about events and photos of the selected person.
At the very bottom of the Drawer, you will see the usual Mac OS X search field, which makes it easy to find the persons you want to work on. From here, you can place persons such as a husband, wife, or child in the Family card by the use of Drag-and-Drop. Creating relations between people of the same sex is also possible.
MacFamilyTree makes it easy to add photos, videos, and sound recordings to your data. The program works with any QuickTime-compatible Webcam and DV-camera, such as iSight or Fire-i. You can attach photos from iPhoto or from your hard disk to a person or an event. You also can integrate video and audio files from existing recordings or from any connected or internal microphones.
The Browse Mode supports multiple options to view your data. The Family Chart, the Heritage Chart, the Descendant Chart, and the Genogram - each of them highly configurable - can provide a graphic view of your ancestors, with or without photos. Infinitely variable resizing and rotation of the view will show you views of any part of your data. A timeline gives you an overall view, and the age statistics shows you how old the persons in your family tree were and calculates their average age. The sorted list of people shows you all the persons in your tree.
Publishing is perhaps the strongest point of MacFamilyTree. You can burn your complete tree to a CD, with all information and photos included. This makes it easy to create gifts for your relatives. Finally, you can export the entire tree as an HTML file that you can publish on the Internet. You can configure how it should appear on the Internet and include the appropriate photos. MacFamilyTree automatically creates small thumbnails of your photos, which optimizes browsing it on the Internet. If you have a .mac account, your tree can even be uploaded automatically from MacFamilyTree 4 to your Internet hard disk - the iDisk - with no effort on your part and no need for particular technical know-how.
Anyone using an earlier version of MacFamilyTree will want to know that version 4.4.1 adds the following new features:
- File may be saved in UTF-8 format to make them more compatible with Ancestry.com.
- Images are copied to Documents/Pictures/Media by default to prevent data loss.
- Font sizes in the kinship report are adjustable in the options.
- Bug fixes include the resolution of several minor problems with the kinship report and also a problem when displaying thumbnails in the search view.
A demo version of MacFamilyTree is available for download on the program's web site. The demo is fully functional except that it does not save data.
All in all, MacFamilyTree is an impressive program. It is interesting to note that the three or four genealogy programs for Macintosh vary widely in their basic design and approach to recording genealogy data. Luckily, most of the programs have free trial versions that you can download easily. You may wish to download several Mac genealogy programs and use each for a bit to see which one best suits your "style."
MacFamilyTree is available in English, German, Norwegian, Italian, and several other languages. Only Mac Software, the company that produces MacFamilyTree, is based in Germany. However, all sales are made online, using a safe and secure shopping cart system that accepts payment in almost any currency. The program is then delivered immediately by a file download. As a result, Mac owners in any country can quickly and easily take this program for a test drive or purchase the full version.
MacFamilyTree costs US $49.00, but version 4.4.1 is a free update for registered users of version 4.x.
For more information about MacFamilyTree, to download the demo version, or to purchase the program via a safe and secure online shopping cart system, go to the web site's English page at http://www.onlymac.de/html/stammbaum4en.html. If you prefer another language, click on the appropriate flag on the left side of that page.