Friday, 27 April 2012

RootsMagic 5 Essentials Review

I guess I'd best not publish screen shots of the software in case this breaks any copyright rules!!

However, a quick glance down the comparison website I mentioned in my earlier post does show RootsMagic 5 in a favourable light! Since I have easy access to the 'Essentials' version of this via the free CD that comes with my monthly Family Tree magazine, I thought this would be the most logical one to start with!

Having installed the software, my first impressions are favourable! Each tab in the window has a 'hover' information pop-up and from this, without even typing in anything, I can see that there is provision for creating notes linked to a person or to the family and you can also create a source for just a person or for a family ..... this should be useful when linking Census information to a family.

Creating a person is very easy and only the gender, date of birth and death is entered at this point. It is quite easy to then add subsequent facts such as a marriage and enter source details for a marriage.

It is very tolerant about entering dates in different formats; for a number of people, at the moment I only have some dates as 'circa Dec 1904' for instance and it is quite happy with these.

It is easy to add more than one marriage for a person. John's grandfather had a marriage before he married John's grandmother. This spouse died in childbirth, and unfortunately the daughter she gave birth to died at birth and infact, both deaths are recorded on the same Death Register page.

You do have to keep your wits about you though to notice where it shows you that another marriage partner exists by looking at on one of the tabs near the top of the screen.

It copes well when entering the details for John's great-grandmother whose surname was 'Benjamin' on her son's birth certificate but was 'Bingmann' at her earlier marriage. It also appears to allow you to set up a fact, like a Census entry, and share it between lots of people. However, this feature can't be tried in the Essentials version; it is only available in the full version.

The reporting features are quite good, although some are only available in the full version, as is the feature to generate webpages from the data. Nevertheless, all sources that you enter are cited in the indexes of the reports so everything is self-documenting.

As the first piece of software I have attempted to look at, I am quite impressed with it.

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