PROS / RootsMagic has highly customizable listing options and web hints from genealogy sites to keep large databases organized while growing.
CONS / Some tabs on the toolbar are misleading.
VERDICT / RootsMagic is good, but it is not the best genealogy software available. While it completes most tasks, the outdated interface and strange navigation keeps this program from securing a top spot.
RootsMagic genealogy software stores and organizes large volumes of data, such as marriage dates, health information, burial dates, occupations and religion. You can attach photos, sound clips and video to any person, family, place, source or event. It has 60 predefined and customizable categories for family facts. This genealogy software has similar features to higher-ranked products; however, its interface isn't as polished.
If you prefer researching your ancestry online, RootsMagic can connect you to the web for research and help. The in-app browser links you to popular genealogy websites like Ancestry, FamilySearch and MyHeritage. You can also search directly through the software on general search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. The search fields in the browser are simple and only ask for a given name, surname and a date range. Data from these sites appears as lightbulb icons next to names to show online matches. The more genealogy searches you use, the more web hints that appear in your family tree.
Our only complaint is that the layout within the toolbar is slightly confusing. The Internet tab on the toolbar doesn't connect you to web searches. Rather, it serves as an extra line of support by linking you to web publishing, RootsMagic message boards and learning centers. Instead, you can find access to web searches through the View tab.
The customizable add facts feature makes this genealogy software flexible enough to list relationships beyond the nuclear parent-child model. RootsMagic provides a long list of event types, including new marriages and adoptions. You can also add religious and civil events to a person's profile with the same tool. In addition, you can customize the facts fields or create entirely new events and facts.
The best genealogy software has flexible features that publish charts and reports online and in print. With reports and charts, you can show off your research and organize family connections. Using RootsMagic, you can publish six types of CSS-styled websites: pedigree charts, group sheets, combo pedigree chart and group sheet, descendant narrative, ancestor narrative, and alphabetical narrative.
RootsMagic genealogy software allows you to work with more than one database of information at once. Genealogy software often handles large amounts of information, so it's best to separate different families into different databases. When you find people who fit in both groups, you can drag and drop them between databases without losing track. The family links on RootsMagic automatically generate and keep track of your changes.
This genealogy program has data entry, sourcing and management tools that typically come with this type of software. It has nearly 400 templates for managing source documentation about people, facts and family trees. Sources can be copied, memorized, merged and listed, and you can apply more than one source to each entry. You can also create your own source templates.
This genealogy software is a good fit if you want a program with web features and enough storage for a huge family database. RootsMagic's interface isn't as modern as some of its competitors, but the most common tools are within a couple of clicks. However, some of the toolbar names may be confusing at first.