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RootsMagic Family Tree Genealogy Software

Platform : Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows 95, Windows XP, Windows 98
4.1 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

Price: $39.97 & FREE Shipping. Details
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  • Roots Magic
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Product Description

RootsMagic Family Tree Genealogy Software

Product Details

  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • ASIN: B0002ZI8SO
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: May 4, 2006
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,900 in Software (See Top 100 in Software)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

I discovered RootsMagic (v3.0) fairly recently. First, some background... I'm working with roughly 2000 names, and my goal is to research and publish the data, along with personal stories. I started with Family Tree Maker several years ago, but I didn't like the lack of citation capabilities with that earlier version. So, I switched to The Master Genealogist (TMG) which provides great source management but has a clumsy interface. The newer release of TMG has not improved this. Because you spend a lot of time entering information, the interface needs to be fairly painless and transparent. So, then I looked at Legacy, GenBox and RootsMagic, which have the necessary functionality but are also easy to use. It was a difficult choice between Legacy and RootsMagic, but I chose RootsMagic because I felt that it had a slight edge in its source management and that this feature was comparable to The Master Genealogist.

Installation was easy. After I exported my old TMG database files to a single .gedcom file, I used RootsMagic to import it. It was fast and the data loaded quite cleanly. RootsMagic lets you import GEDCOM files, Family Origins database and backup files, and PAF database files. Also, for anyone working with LDS, you can create and read TempleReady files and handle ordinances.

The interface is easy to use and it provides three views: Pedigree, Family and Descendants. You can access an individual or family by selecting the name from a list and loading it into the views. To modify an individual's data or relationships, you can right-click on the name (in any view or list) to access options from the popup menu. RootsMagic provides master lists for Sources, To-Do, Addresses, Repository, Correspondence, Places, and Fact types.
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I've tried 'em all. This is clearly the best genealogy software I've used. RootsMagic is the most intuitive software on the market. My database has over 50,000 names in it and this software handles the load effortlessly and quickly. It can create very nice charts and web pages. The publisher listens to the users and continually upgrades the software to meet their needs. He stays on top of the changes being made by the LDS church's Family History library system and updates the software to work seamlessly with the library's systems.
Comment 141 of 145 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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I have a long history with this program, going back to the days when it was known as Family Origins. I started working with it about Family Origins version 5, so that means in someway I have been using the program for 8 versions total. I also have previously worked for Broderbund providing technical support for their genealogy products, which included Family Tree Maker and Family Origins at that time. I am now a programmer in my own right so I do understand the development cycle to a degree.

In all of this time Rootsmagic has internally became a much better and stronger program. Unfortunately the one thing that has not gotten better or more powerful is the user interface. I laugh when I read a review saying Rootsmagic intuitive to use and learn.

Say you are a new user, you have managed to create a blank data base and now the time has come to enter people. By default your blank database is showing a pedigree chart. A normal person would click on the chart and expect to be able to start typing. This does not happen. Ok, so at the top of the pedigree chart are 4 lines, the first blank, the other three have b:, m: and d:. It doesn't take much to think that this must be where you enter a person, so an unsuspecting user clicks in this area and nothing happens.

Then and only then do your eyes continue up to the row of buttons and the menubar, because by now you are beginning to get desperate enough to look for the Help option. On the button bar and on the menubar you see an option called 'add' and 'Add' respectively. Bingo! A file begins. Then the adventure begins when you want to begin adding facts for your newly entered individual...dialog boxes galore.
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1 Comment 130 of 140 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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I recently bought RootsMagic on the strength of its Amazon reviews to manage the webs of geneological information that I've gathered from my extended family. In my opinion, the product was useless - not for lack of features (it will let you search records, organize information, include pictures, and find relationships) but because its family tree display functions are virtually useless and because its useability and display are appalingly bad.

On the first point, the charting features (which were the feature I was most excited about) are designed to display only direct ancestors and won't display siblings, aunts, uncles etc on the family trees. If, like me, you are interested in tracking the branches of your extended family - displaying your links to cousins and great-aunts, this program is not for you. You can enter information on them, but it won't present the linkages to these people in a useful form.

My second problem is with the claims that the software is user friendly and intuative. It isn't. I'm not saying this as a limited and hesitant computer user. I'm saying this as a software product manager who uses and designs software for a living. Remember what user interfaces were like 15 years ago? Lists of text, poor or non-existant graphics, no flexibility, and certainly no drag-and-drop? Now you've got the idea. If, like me, you're entering geneological infomation from non-computerized records, the program will quickly make you wonder why your going to all the trouble. The interface is un-intuative and clunky, and your reward for your trouble is search functions (which I don't need) and family trees that don't display 90% of the people you've entered.

Bottom line, don't waste your time or money.
11 Comments 289 of 323 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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