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RootsMagic 3.0

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating


The Bottom Line

Popular with novice and experienced genealogists alike, RootsMagic packs a wealth of powerful features and tools behind its simple, intuitive interface. Multiple navigation views, easy data entry, beautiful charts, custom reports, flexible book publishing, and powerful source capabilities have been enhanced in this version with integrated GenSmarts support, a tool for creating custom CDs to share with your family, and the ability to include pictures in narrative reports.


  • Simple, intuitive interface
  • View, copy and drag/drop between multiple databases
  • Customizable interface, fact types, reports and charts
  • Direct import from Family Origins (version 4+) and PAF (version 2+)
  • Shareable CD creator


  • Only available for Windows
  • GEDCOM import sometimes problematic
  • No support for languages other than English


  • Three navigation views -Pedigree, Family, & Descendants - provide multiple looks at the family tree.
  • Multiple databases can be open on screen at the same time with drag and drop between databases.
  • 60 predefined fact types (birth, occupation, etc.), custom facts and note space for each fact.
  • A number of graphical chart options, including box charts, hourglass charts and wall charts.
  • True sources database allows a source to be entered one time and reused for multiple facts.
  • Multiple report options are available, as well as the ability to create custom reports.
  • Create complete family history books with narrative, charts, photos, index, toc and bibliography.
  • Color code people on screen or print the color coding in charts, reports and timelines.
  • Add photos, sound, video and documents to any person, family, place, source, or event.
  • Integrated backup and restore, including backup directly to CD-Rom.

Guide Review - RootsMagic 3.0

Sophisticated and powerful, RootsMagic is also the easiest to use genealogy program that I have ever tested. Adding family members is very intuitive, while multiple naviagation views and powerful search features make it easy to find any individual in the family tree. Sources can be created once and reused multiple times, and a source can even be applied to multiple people at once. A Source Wizard is available to help novice researchers include the necessary information in the proper format. Excellent research planning and tracking tools in RootsMagic include a correspondence log, interactive problem list, missing information list, and "to do" lists for specific individuals, families, or the entire database. Full multimedia scrapbook, family history book and Web page capabilities round out the complete genealogy package. Version 3.0 adds the ability to backup directly to CD, a tool for creating shareable CDs complete with a read-only version of RootsMagic, and an option for adding private notes and events that can be suppressed from printing or exporting. Color coding can now be printed in most charts and reports. Best of all is the great support - if you have a question or want to make a suggestion you'll find the help you need on the RootsMagic Web site, where the software's author, Bruce Buzbee, is an active participant. My favorite for the best all-around program, RootsMagic 3.0 does an outstanding job of covering all of the genealogy bases at a very attractive price.

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