BOOKS & DIGITAL
This month’s family history inspiration
(rootsmagic.com, £49.95 Platinum Edition) RootsMagic 7 is the latest update for a faithful workhorse that usually does what is asked of it, although for this review we did not initially get off to a great start. The program refused to import a Gedcom file generated on Family Tree Maker 2014, but thankfully accepted a file that was created through Family Historian.
The main display screen is fairly basic visually but functional. A sidebar provides a relatives index, while the main display area features various options to view family information, including a pedigree view, a family group sheet and an outline descendant page. Clicking on any name opens an edit screen, allowing you to easily add or remove facts, media, a to-do list and a research log.
Although the RootsMagic chart tool available through the main menu at the top of the screen is very flexible, it isn’t perhaps the easiest facility to use when first getting to grips with the program. Additional tools include handy report and book publishing options, a facility to share data online or via CD and Soundex, date and relationships calculators. New features include the ability to compare two different files at the same time, while searches through online vendors sites for matches now include FamilySearch and MyHeritage.
The handy ‘RootsMagic To-Go’ feature allows you to run a file on another computer from a flash drive without installing the full software. There is also a RootsMagic app for tablets and mobiles, but files cannot be synced directly through the software – you need to upload updates via Dropbox or iTunes instead. While a series of data CDs (UK landowner records from the 1870s, an 1898 atlas and a heraldry encyclopaedia) that are provided with the UK Platinum Edition do not add much to the research experience, the three-month Gold subscription to thegenealogist. co.uk is certainly useful.