Pros / The software’s syncing tools let you share and edit your family tree using most popular mobile devices.

Cons / Heredis can’t use DNA test results as sources.

 Verdict / Heredis has a few quirks, but it also has a slick look and easily accessible features to help fill in your pedigree chart.

For more than two decades, Heredis has developed one of the best genealogy programs for Mac and PC. This visually appealing software has the essentials with a logical layout. Within the main page, there are large, clear icons for the most commonly used tools in genealogy, such as sourcing and adding new members. It provides a range of fields to enter information, and it only takes a few clicks to add media or link individuals. However, Heredis does have some flaws, some of which stem from the fact that it is originally designed for French users.

This ancestry software works closely with online sources. Heredis connects to its own genealogy search, Heredis Online, in addition to popular genealogy search sites like FamilySearch, Ancestry and MyHeritage, and you can share your genealogy findings online or directly to other devices using a USB flash drive or external hard drive. When we imported GEDCOM files, Heredis correctly recognized the data. However, some information was misplaced, so we had to re-enter it into the proper data fields. We also needed to reassign some family connections and our primary individual, or the first entry we connected all family members to, as this status was moved to another person.

Every family is different, so it's important to find family tree software that can list different types of blood and marriage relationships. The more accurately you enter data about your family history, the more accurate your published materials will be later. Heredis lists common child statuses like legitimate, illegitimate or adopted. You can also find less-common listings for people, including same-sex couples, unmarried and childless. By adding these descriptions to individuals, you give the software additional information, filling in the gaps so it doesn't prompt you to add a child for a childless person later. One of the newer features available in other genealogy software is the ability to cite DNA reports and attach them to family members, but, unfortunately, Heredis lacks a tool for inputting DNA test data into the program.

To save time, Heredis can anticipate the name of a location or person before you finish typing. This is useful once you have a large database with common names. However, the software favors French spellings and adds accent marks automatically. This proves frustrating when the software generates the wrong name or spelling. You also have to be careful when selecting locations. Often, the first choice isn't the most obvious. For example, if you enter "Brooklyn," the first pop-up is Brooklyn, New Zealand instead of Brooklyn, New York.

Heredis brings a lot to the table in terms of design. The publishing section provides bright, colorful themes for your charts. There are 45 themes available for your charts and 25 that you can apply to reports. When you design a chart, it imports your family data automatically. The charting features are widely customizable. You can apply text editing and change the color and style of each family tree node.

Heredis doesn’t stop at charts and printouts; it can transfer your tree’s footnotes and sources to a Microsoft Word document automatically, so you can create a book about your ancestors and descendants. You can also create a website about your work through Heredis Online. This software uses simplified genealogical terminology so you can share your research with people of all experience levels.

The program has an array of source categories, including records, publications, correspondence, inscriptions, media, online or CD-ROM sources, and name lists like census or passenger lists. When adding sources, this genealogy software provides fields for name, author, type of document, URL and email. Once you've entered this information, Heredis formats the sources into accurate and correctly formatted citations.

Using this family tree maker, you can sort digital sources into several categories in the source index so they are easy to find later. The index is centrally located and easily accessible, and you can sort information by surnames, given names, occupations, places, sources and media.

The source tools in Heredis are fast and thorough, but the software is missing some useful tools like a Soundex calculator seen in other programs. A Soundex system encodes last names phonetically and the calculator gathers these matching names, making it easier to group individuals with similar last names. Heredis also lacks a to-do list to help you organize your research, an especially useful tool when tackling a large family database.

Support for Heredis is mainly available online; the in-software support is non-existent. Any menu or help options in the software point to the manual, updates or support options on the website. There are no options for reaching customer support via phone or email. The user forums on the company's website are a good place to find constructive help and research tips. The website has videos, data sheets, sample files and FAQs to answer your questions. You can find 97 pages of help content in the Mac and PC manuals, which are available online in a printable PDF format. The latest software updates to Heredis are available in the website's support section as well.

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Summary

Heredis is advanced enough for professional and academic genealogy projects but simple enough for a first-time user to start mapping their family history. In Heredis, you can spruce up your family tree charts with the help of well-designed templates and customization options. And for any unconventional relationships you may dig up in your family history, the variety of relationship types means fewer tangles or special notes down the line. While Heredis has a few quirks and lacks some helpful tools, these are not necessarily deal breakers.

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