At its core, genealogy software helps you start tracing your family line with electronic assistance. Software can be basic or full featured, but all titles have basic features to create a visual family tree and fill in data about relatives and ancestors, as well as tools to help you track down leads on your family history. Software makes the daunting tasks of organizing data more manageable. Sharing tools help you send and trade information with others, and compatibility with Genealogical Data Communication (GEDCOM), a standard genealogy information format, can help you incorporate data from online sources.
We found the best reviews of genealogy software at Family Tree Magazine and its website. Seventeen titles for Windows and Mac are reviewed in depth, and readers are invited to add comments to an active user forum. TopTenReviews.com posts reviews of genealogy software, though some reviews are of outdated versions. The discussion is not particularly detailed but is appropriately critical and does a good job of summing up pluses and minuses. Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter is also a helpful source for reviews, news and tips. Dick Eastman has been running this popular enthusiast site since the early days of genealogy software.