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Genealogy Software - RootsMagic

   A  few weeks ago I wrote on two Mac software packages for keeping your genealogy data.  I got a little behind last week, so today, I’m looking at RootsMagic.  As I discussed in my previous blog, my evaluation of the software is based on two of my personal criteria…source citation and reports.  

   RootsMagic has recently announced an implementation of their software using MacBridge.  MacBridge allows PC software to run on your Mac without having to load Windows (Yeah!).   When I click on the RootsMagic icon it opens like any other Mac software package.  However, it looks like what it is, a PC software package.  That comment has nothing to do with its capabilities and I don’t mean to sound like a Mac snob, but if you’re used to Mac apps, it isn’t pretty.   I used a GEDCOM from Ancestry to move my data into RootsMagic.  

   Using the same procedure with all of the software I tested, I navigated to Thomas, selected death, and looked at the format for the sources already there.  It provided the original footnote (long) the short footnote and the bibliography entry.  I really like that feature. 


   To type in my new footnote, I used a template, it told me what to type in and showed me the three entries on the right creating them as I typed.  I also uploaded an image of the death certificate.  It coached me through the process and I was very happy with the result.


  I then went on to the report feature.   Under the reports drop down menu I selected “Narrative”  and “Register.”  I then clicked “Sources” selected footnotes and got the report I wanted.  I have the same problem here as in Reunion, since the document is saved as an RTF document, but for now I can get around that the same way…with an older copy of Pages.  (This is not a RootsMagic problem, but a word processing issue.)  The one problem I had was the inability to select which sources I want to print (same problem as Family Tree Maker).  Because the GEDCOM was from Ancestry, all of the census records attach to birth and as you can see from the image, I got less than one quarter of the page as the report, and more than three quarters as footnotes.  I checked with a couple of friends who use RootsMagic to see how to select which footnotes to print, but no one could tell me.  I wrote to RootsMagic Support and they responded quickly, but the answer was…you can’t do it.  They asked if I would like to suggest that for a future update and I said yes, and sent an image of the Reunion screen which asks if I want to “Exclude from Footnotes.”   I really do want to keep all my sources, but don’t want them all to print!

  Overall I like the capabilities of the software and I’m going to spend some more time with it. One of the features I haven’t used is the ability to interface with FamilySearch Trees and that is something I am very interested in.   RootsMagic also lets you create HTML output for your website (a feature I use in Reunion) or a sharable CD (which doesn’t require the recipient to have RootsMagic software.

    Next time I’ll look at Legacy Family Tree.  (Notice I didn’t say next week, because I’ll be on the way north to visit family for Christmas.)

   If I don’t blog between now and the end of the year, I would like to wish all my readers a very Happy Holiday.  

   Happy Hunting!


I have finalized the dates for the 2015 Dublin Research Trip.   The trip will begin on Sunday, October 18th and run through Sunday, October 25th.  

© Donna M. Moughty 2007- 2017