RootsMagic Essentials
RootsMagic Essentials

Best free genealogy software

RootsMagic Essentials is the free counterpart to RootsMagic 4 (*Est. $30). It shares the same upgraded, easy-to-navigate interface as the recent revamp of RootsMagic 4, and reviewers say Essentials has most of the features a budding genealogist needs to get started, including the ability to add an unlimited number of people to the database, create basic reports and save data as a Genealogical Data Communication (GEDCOM) file. RootsMagic Essentials offers strong source documentation, multimedia support and error checking. Experts say it's easy to upgrade and transfer your data to RootsMagic 4, should you need premium features like the ability to create web pages and wall charts. RootsMagic is available for Windows only.
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RootsMagic 4
RootsMagic 4

Best full-featured genealogy software

Full-featured and easy to use, RootsMagic 4 tops many reviewers' charts as the best family-tree software. RootsMagic 4 has an updated source wizard and a completely revamped interface for easier data entry and navigation. It offers a number of new features not found in the free version, RootsMagic Essentials, including built-in web searches, support for DNA test data, and web page and chart creation -- all commended in reviews. You can even store the program and data on a USB key and run it on any computer. If you're a stickler for source documentation, experts say RootsMagic can't be beaten, and this latest version of the software edges out competitor Legacy Family Tree in this regard. The program also imports Genealogical Data Communication (GEDCOM) files nearly flawlessly and has thorough reports. Free technical support is also available (you don't get such support with the free version).
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Reunion 9
Reunion 9

Best genealogy software for Mac

Reunion is the best Mac-compatible genealogy software on the market, according to reviewers. Critics say it is easy to learn and use, but note that it's expensive. This latest version is a complete overhaul of the program, with more than 100 new features, including the ability to transfer some of your family genealogy files to an Apple iPod.
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The Master Genealogist v7 Gold
The Master Genealogist v7 Gold

Best genealogy software for professionals

Reviews say The Master Genealogist v7 is the best choice if you want to record every possible detail with the most flexibility. Although this genealogy software is a powerful tool, reviewers agree it isn't the best choice for novices or casual researchers. The Master Genealogist has such a steep learning curve that you can now buy books and videos that tell you how to use it. There are two editions, with the more expensive Gold edition offering more publishing tools, such as the ability to create an index and table of contents. One bonus is that you can import data from other genealogy software, making this a good option for those who've outgrown RootsMagic or Legacy Family Tree.
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*Est. $60 Estimated Price
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1 pick including: About.com, Family Tree Magazine…

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