ScionPC is free, full-featured, genealogy program from New Zealand that features an easy-to-use interface, ideal for both the novice and the experienced genealogist. The program makes no assumptions about the people being recorded. It has no checking on sex (to allow for unconventional relationships), and has no naming constraints (to allow for adopted children). The partners of a family group (or marriage/union) are referred to as "Prime" and "Partner" rather than "Husband & Wife" or "Father & Mother." Either partner can be the Prime.
ScionPC also features extensive free-form notes and source citations. In addition, external files may be attached to any person or family in the program's database. Other features include dynamic on-screen ancestor and descendant charts, extensive on-line help, as well as powerful searching and filtering. One unique feature is the program's "open" XML database file format.
One of the features that impresses me is that ScionPC does not force the user to learn another text editor or word processor in order to write notes. All reports are saved to separate files in RTF (Rich Text Format), and can be opened by most word processor. The user may use his or her favorite word processor to create or edit notes. Any desired cosmetic changes can be made, pictures may be added, formatting may be added or changed, or a "master" names index may be generated. All that is done by whatever word processor the user already has installed in the computer. The same word processor's print command can also be used to print the reports. "Book" style reports are also supported.
The use of the a separate wordprocessor strikes me as a common-sense solution. Not only does the user not need to learn still another program' commands, but most word processors are far more powerful than the simplistic text editors included with most genealogy programs. Most word processors can provide text formatting, footnotes, endnotes, indexes, tables of content, color photographs, maps, and much more. I haven't seen any text editor built into any genealogy program that has as many features as Microsoft Word, LibreOffice, WordPerfect, or any other advanced word processor.
ScionPC also will run as a "portable" application. The program can optionally be installed on a USB flash-drive and operates completely from that drive. It leaves no traces behind on any host computer. Take ScionPC and your database with you wherever you go. If you have both a laptop and a desktop computer, ScionPC solves the problem of how to keep the two databases in sync. In fact, there is only one database and it is stored on the flash drive, along with the software. Take the flash drive with you and insert it into any computer for use. Your data will always be up to date. I do suggest you make frequent backups to some other media, however. Flash drives do occasionally lose data but that won't be much of a concern to anyone who makes frequent backups.
Databases from other family tree programs can be imported into ScionPC using its GEDCOM import facility. Just export your data from your old program as a GEDCOM file and then import that file into ScionPC. ScionPC will also directly load databases created with Amiga versions of Scion.
ScionPC has no limitations, no advertising, no "nagging", no registration required, no messing with your Windows Registry, and no spyware or other anti-social "nasties." Best of all, it's completely free!
You can learn more about ScionPC or even download the complete program at http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/scionpc/.
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