With more than 40 family tree software programs currently available, selection
of the "right one" can be a daunting task. Almost all programs do a good job of letting you enter
your family data and view it in a variety of formats, therefore the one
you select will largely be a matter of availability, price and your personal
requirements. Whether it is your first purchase or you are looking for a replacement
for your existing genealogy software, begin your search with a list of your
needs and goals.
Before you get too far into which program does what,
you can immediately narrow your search by determining which programs are
available for your operating system. Windows programs dominate the genealogy
market, but there are several options available for Mac, Linux and Palm users.
Genealogy Software for Windows
Genealogy Software for Macintosh
Genealogy Software for Linux/Unix
Genealogy Software for Handheld Computers
Determine Your Purpose
Do you want to create beautiful wall-sized trees? Add photos, audio and video
to your family history information? Create a family Web page
or print a Family History book? Just looking
for a basic, inexpensive program that can store names, dates and events?
Different genealogy software programs shine in different areas, so the
more you know about what you want to do, the better decision you'll make.
Top Programs for Publishing Your
Analyze Your Needs
Special requirements such as physical
disabilities, language preference, etc. can also play a role in selecting
genealogy software. Do you need a program that supports the special fields to
document rites of the LDS church? Software that offers multiple languages?
Something to work with a screen reader (for blind users)? Software which allows
you to use keystrokes rather than a mouse to enter data?
Top Genealogy Software Programs for
Features versus Learning Curve
How willing are you to take the time
to learn all of the features of a genealogy program? If
you are easily frustrated and hate to read instruction manuals, you may want to
forgo the fancy software program with all of the whiz-bang features for a
somewhat simpler program which you can become comfortable with quickly.
Top Easy-To-Use Family Tree
Sharing Your Genealogy Information With Others
If you plan to spend
a lot of time working with family members or other genealogists on your research
then you will need a program that allows you to easily read in genealogy files
created in other software programs without any loss of data. Other important
things to look for include the ability to generate a wide variety of charts and
reports and easily upload information information to the Web.
Top Programs for Sharing