Reviews say The Master Genealogist v7 Gold is the best software for professionals or for amateurs who want to record encyclopedic details. But every review we saw indicates most users will find the learning curve daunting. In fact, you can now buy instructional books and videos in order to learn The Master Genealogist. As with most top programs, you can seamlessly import Genealogical Data Communications (GEDCOM) files, and there are some sophisticated publishing formats that you would use for academic journals. One plus is that you can record conflicting data rather than having to pick one thing to enter. TMG can run on Macs but is not specifically designed for them like Reunion 9 (*Est. $100). If you want something simple for a PC, reviews suggest RootsMagic 4 (*Est. $30) or Legacy Family Tree 7.0 Deluxe (*Est. $35).
Family Tree Magazine provides comments on The Master Genealogist v7 Gold, plus a longer review of the previous version. TopTenReviews.com publishes a detailed and granular features comparison of genealogy software, along with a short editorial review of the previous version. The individual review we found at About.com is helpful and written by a genealogical pro.
1. Family Tree Magazine
This genealogy magazine doesn't give software an ultimate ranking, but editors do discuss advantages and disadvantages to each software title. The Master Genealogist v7 Gold's drawback is its "steep learning curve."
Review: Software Guide, Rick Crume
2. Family Tree Magazine
You can find Family Tree's 2007 full review of the previous version of The Master Genealogist posted on its message board. Among the plusses noted are "unlimited customization." The reviewer says that while the learning curve is steep, it is less difficult to learn than earlier versions were.
Review: The Master Genealogist Gold 6.12 For Windows Software Review, Rick Crume, Oct. 12, 2007
The Master Genealogist 7 ranks sixth on this site's comparison chart because it's so complex. Lecia Monsen says it's a great product "if you're tackling genealogy with the discipline of a statistician."
Review: The Master Genealogist 7, Lecia Monsen
Kimberly Powell is a professional genealogist who ranks software based on her personal opinion. She calls the previous version of The Master Genealogist a good choice for serious genealogists. It offers great detail but is hard to learn. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: Genealogy Software Reviews & Roundup 2007, Kimberly Powell, October 2007