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Family tree software comparison

for programs costing between $20.01 to $100.00(£15 and £80)

Here at Software Selection we are impartial as we have no allegiance to any manufacturer or retailer. If you look at the sites of the software authors and sometimes the retailers you will find that they are comparing the software they want you to buy with older versions of the competitor software to put their own in a better light. Often they will miss out the best points of the competitors software as their own cannot compete thus making theirs look better than it really is.

On this page we have attempted to present an impartial assessment of what you can expect to achieve using different means to create your family tree. The old adage "you get what you pay for" is very appropriate when making a purchase of any software but beware of hidden pitfalls when using free services on the internet. The free services are usually quite basic and sometimes you might unwittingly find you are submitting your families personal details to an online database, although we stress that the services recommended on this comparison page do give the option to keep details private.



This table offers the following table of features as a guide to help you choose the right genealogy software for your needs Roots Magic 4 Family Tree Maker 2006 My Heritage Click to see details of Family Historian Software Family tree Maker 2010 Family tree Maker 2011
Software title RootsMagic Edition 4
Family Tree Maker 2006 Family Tree Builder 4
Family Historian v4 Family Tree maker 2010 Family Tree maker 2011
Most recent edition 2009 .Aug 2005 2009 May  2009 September 2009 September 2010
Operating System W95-V7 W98-Vista W98-v7 W98-V7 WXP-V7 WXP-V7
Evaluation Rating
Complexity (1-5) 3 3 3 5 3 3
users Suitable for beginners in computing and genealogy Suitable for beginners in computing and genealogy Suitable for beginners in computing and genealogy Suitable for beginners in genealogy Suitable for beginners in genealogy Suitable for beginners in genealogy
Privacy

Roots Magic Family Tree Maker 2006 Heritage Family Tree Family Historian v3 Family tree maker 2010 Family tree maker 2011
Data Storage Privacy Home Computer Home Computer Home Computer/Online Home Computer Home Computer Home Computer
Instructions
Getting Started Guide - Printed no no no 48 pages Deluxe & Platinum only Deluxe & Platinum only
Getting Started Guide - On disc no yes no yes yes yes
Main Manual - Printed Available separately Available separately no Available separately Available separately Available separately
Main Manual - On disc &printable no no downloadable
Printable
Yes 200 pages no no
On-screen Help yes Excellent yes Excellent Excellent Excellent
Data Storage/Sources

Roots Magic Family Tree Maker 2006 Heritage Family Tree Family Historian v3 Family tree maker 2010 Family tree maker 2010
Multiple dates for a single event yes yes no yes yes yes
Space for sources Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Attribute a single source to multiple records yes yes yes yes yes yes
Add multiple sources to a single event yes yes yes yes yes yes
Automatically assign a source to fields as they are keyed no no no yes no no
Create/Edit a list of Sources/Master Sources yes yes yes yes yes yes
Create/Edit a list of Repositories yes no yes yes yes yes
Report of sources and where used no yes yes yes yes yes
Data Entry and Working with Data

Roots Magic Family Tree Maker 2006 Heritage Family Tree Family Historian v3 Family tree maker 2010 Family tree maker 2010
Automatic Detection of Duplicate Person Entry no no no no no yes
Colour code people to help navigation in tree yes no no no no no
Create/Edit standard list of place names/occupations etc. yes no Place names only Places, Occupations, + more Place names only Place names only
Notes
Allow notes against individuals yes yes yes yes yes yes
Allow separate notes no no yes yes yes yes
Create a Source for Notes no no yes yes yes yes
Link separate notes to multiple persons no no no yes yes yes
Research

Roots Magic Family Tree Maker 2006 Heritage Family Tree Family Historian v3 Family tree maker 2010 Family tree maker 2010
Produces blank forms for manual research yes no no no no no
Automatic Internet Research for Records Ancestry, Rootsweb, Family Search Ancestry yespremium only
no yesAncestry  yesAncestry 
Create Map Coordinates and link to Microsoft 3D Maps yes no yes no yes yes
Create a 'To-Do' list yes no Excellent Excellent yes yes
Charts/Diagrams

Roots Magic Family Tree Maker 2006 Heritage Family Tree Family Historian v3 Family tree maker 2010 Family tree maker 2010
Diagrams are part of main program yes yes yes yes yes yes
Overall layout of Charts (Out of 10) 3 4 3 8 6 6
Ancestor Tree/Pedigree yes yes yes yes yes yes
Standard Pedigree yes yes yes no yes yes
Descendants yes yes yes yes yes yes
Hourglass yes yes no yes yes yes
All Relatives Diagram/All-in-one no yes yespremium only
yes no no
Extended Diagram/All-in-one no no no
no yes yes
Everyone Diagram no no no yes no no
Fan Charts no yes yes no yes yes5 designs
Add Extra Images to Diagrams no no no yes no yes
Display Names/Facts in Different Colours/Fonts no no no yes no yes
Expand/Hide Branches no no no yes no no
Click and drag on diagrams to add relatives no no no yes no no
Allow repositioning of people in diagram yes Limited on Descendant chart yes yes yes yes
Click and drag to rescale charts to fit paper no no no yes no no
Prevent boxes printing over page joints no yes no yes yes yes
Save and edit customised charts yes no no yes no no
Synchronised charts no no no yes no no
Chart Design Templates no yes no no no no
Display Relationships on Diagrams/Charts no yes no yes no no
Print a numbering system on Diagrams/Charts no no no no yes yes
Show same generation cousins as one level on charts yes Descendant chart only no yes Descendant chart only Descendant chart only
Decorative box borders (colour) Colour only yes no yes yes yes
Decorative page borders (colour) no yes no no yes yes
Choice of Colours for text/boxes/lines/background yes yes no yes yes yes
View/Edit individuals data by clicking on diagrams no yes no yes yes yes
Statistics no yes no no yes yes
Multimedia Facilities

Roots Magic Family Tree Maker 2006 Heritage Family Tree Family Historian v3 Family tree maker 2010 Family tree maker 2010
Add Photos to Individuals yes yes yes yes yes yes
Edit Photos in Program yes yes no no no no
Link Individuals to parts of a photo no no no yes no no
Categorise and sort photos no no no no yes yes
Add Sound yes yes yes yes yes yes
Add Video yes yes yes yes yes yes
Reports/Publishing

Roots Magic Family Tree Maker 2006 Heritage Family Tree Family Historian v3 Family tree maker 2010 Family tree maker 2010
Narrative /Register Reports Good Excellent Good Excellent yes yes
Create PDF documents from Reports yes yes No * No * yes yes
Family History Book Publishing Excellent Excellent no Good yes yes
Preview before Publishing yes yes no Good yes yes
Create publishers files from Diagrams no PDF No * Bitmap, JPEG,PNG, TIFF and more * yes yes
Create Merged Documents no no no no no Smart Stories™
Create Ahnentafel report/book yes Detailed Report Book Format Outline Report yes yes
Create Historical Timeline Reports Family Only yes no no Family & National(USA bias) yes
Edit & Add Historical Timeline Events no no no no no yes
Include Family Events in Timeline Reports no no no no no yes
Create web (HTML) browser-based versions of reports for CD or internet publishing no Limited to creating PDF documents from reports & diagrams yes Limited to creating HTML files from reports no no
Create a website to publish on the internet yes Yes On Ancestry server only no Yes Advanced yes yes
Create website for publishing on a CD no no no Yes Advanced no no
Publish a read-only copy of program and family file on a CD yes no no no no no
Import/Export Features

Roots Magic Family Tree Maker 2006 Heritage Family Tree Family Historian v3 Family tree maker 2010 Family tree maker 2010
Import from a Gedcom file yes yes yes yes yes yes
Export to a GEDCOM file yes yes yes yes yes yes
Import and attach to existing file yes yes yes yes yes yes
Import and check for duplicates No (poor) yes ? Yes (good) yes yes
View/Compare two open files yes yes yes yes yes yes
Export part of a tree to a GEDCOM file yes yes yes yes yes yes
Utilities/Backups
Back up directly to CD yes yes no no yes yes
Use Program from a Memory Stick
yesProgram and data
no no no no no
Backup service on remotecomputer no Yes $9.95/year no no no no
Store Contact details for living individuals in tree yes yes yes no no no
Extras
Collaboration with relatives no no yes no no no
Free Trial/Subscriptions no Yes - 14 day Ancestry.co.uk no no Yes - see packs for duration Yes - see packs for duration
Price
Amazon UK (support - none) Awaiting details Awaiting details Download only from Author £47.13
no support
not available from Amazon not available from Amazon
My History (support - good) £24.90 from £12.45 Download only from Author £35.50 + 1 p&p
Full Support
From £11.95 + 1 p&p
Full Support
From £23.95 + 1 p&p
Full Support
S&N/Genealogy Supplies (support - ??) £27.45
including p&p
not available from this outlet Download only from Author 36.95
including p&p
Awaiting supplier details £22.45
including p&p
TWR Computing (support - good)
(Free delivery)
£20.50
Free delivery
anywhere in the World
£11.95
Free delivery
anywhere in the World
Download only from Author £35.90
Free delivery
anywhere in the World
£19.95
Free delivery
anywhere in the World
from £19.95
Free delivery
anywhere in the World
USA - My History US (support - good)
(free delivery)
$29.95 from $14.95 Download only from Author $55.95 From $29.95 From $34.95
Price Direct from author £25.50 not available from publisher Free - £54.00 £35.90 £19.95 £24.95

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Last updated 6 October 2010

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