View Full Version : which software ??

12-02-09, 20:43
Hoping for some recommendations - please.

I've got an ancient copy of a family tree program which I need to update, but to what ??

Is there a "proffessional" program - what do most people use ........ help :confused:

One of my problems with the ones I've seen is that siblings of Spouses can't be listed only parents of spouses - I've got 2 cases of 2 brothers marrying 2 sisters and this relationship isn't clear as a result - it also hides the fact that the 2nd cousins who married later were doubly related as a result !! Anyway it irritates me that you can't add all the available information.

I've also had problems with printing out the tree - maybe due to its size ??

But not much point in printing 11 generations all on a sheet of A4 !!

Help and advice gratefully received


Glen in Tinsel Knickers
12-02-09, 20:59

Welcome to FTF.

Everyone will recommend what they use and are familiar with, whether it be a free download or a programme they have purchased.

If you want to print a tree with everyone in your file shown at once then that does narrow your options BUT.... those tree charts (known as an "all in one tree") can look messy and confusing as well as covering a huge amount of paper.

For a nice looking all in one tree then Ron and Carol at www.genealogyprinters.com are the probably the best folks to carry out the work.

Also bear in mind the download "freebie" versions of some of the commercially available programmes may have some functions disabled when compared to the "purchased" versions. As an example the downloadable versions of Family Tree Maker (FTM) don't have the full range of file export options or tree printing options (there are other disabled functions too), you can unlock a downloaded version but it costs about three times the outright purchase price anyway.

We had a poll a while ago asking what software is used by members and FTM is probably the most common amongst folks here, some people swear by it and others swear at it!!

13-02-09, 09:20
OK, here goes singing the praises of the program I use, Family Historian.

It can handle the relationships you require, I have that in my family at least 6 times, and a couple of times across generations as well just to further complicate matters.

The diagram printing is very flexible, and I do believe that someone has printed to printer that handles paper off of a roll.

The support via the Family Historian User Group Forum is excellent, thanks mainly to Jane who keeps it all running smoothly, and Simon Ord, the software developer who chips in with tips and advice.

A new version is due out in March, but I believe if you purchase it now you can upgrade for free.

13-02-09, 21:11
I agree with PeteW, Family Historian handles this type of relationship very well, my husbands family have lived in the same village since the early 1800's with the inevitable result that there has been lots of intermarrying, I found out that his first cousin is also his fourth cousin - how confusing is that? and there are lots of other wider relationships that can be tracked using Family Historian.

As Pete suggests join the User Group it is excellent.


Linda from Murton
13-02-09, 23:01
I used Family Tree Maker for the last 9 years. My current version is FTM 2005. I have always liked FTM. However when I came to upgrade I looked at both FTM 2009 and downloaded the full version of Family Historian on their 30 day free trial basis.

After FTM 2005, Family Historian takes some getting used to, but having used it for the last three days (and printed off the 204 page Get the most out of Family Historian document) I decided to purchase the licence key for the download. Its version 3 and version 4 is due out next month, but the upgrade will be free.

Why not download Family Historian 30 day free trial and see what you think. Good luck.

Safe surfing.


14-02-09, 05:54
Here is my not at all professional opinion.
I have been trying different programs for the last few years and here is my opinion.
The one I have been using mainly is Legacy Family Tree. It has a good free version and I like its user interface, the way it shows the information and I think it is easy to use. For charting The Master Genealogist works with Visual Chartform which lets you modify alamost everything in you chart, but you can do pretty much the same with Tree Draw.
Family Tree Maker is the favorite of many. It didn't work out for me.
For the last week I have been taking a look at Genbox, and I like it so far but still not sure if I like it enough to change.
For Web Site building, an excellent software is Second Site, I think.
I hope I am not making you more confused.

14-02-09, 14:40
Until fairly recently I had been using Brother’s Keeper registered version since the early 80’s and was fairly happy with it. However, charting was its downside, so over a number of years I have been testing the different programs available (without letting go of Brother’s Keeper!).

I bought FTM 2006, but found too many things I didn’t like about it. Then I purchased GenBox and spent months trying to learn how to use it and, although I think I am a fairly competent computer user, I just couldn’t get my head round it! I tried out the trial version of The Master Genealogist which is even more complicated than GenBox and seemed to throw up lots of error messages, and one or two other trial version programs. Eventually, I found Family Historian and used the 30 day trial fully working version.

I was hooked – you can use it immediately and instinctively. I love the way you can enter information when in ‘tree mode’ and it records sources really well, in as much detail as you wish. You can enter extended families as required and it shows the links really well – I actually discovered relationships I didn’t realise where there before! I took the plunge recently and finally moved over all my records from BK. I have only been using it for a couple of months, so there are loads of features I haven’t even explored, but I would recommend it to a beginner or advanced user alike.:D

Anne in Carlisle
14-02-09, 15:16
*Thinks* Hmmmm, why are all we Family Historian users so passionate about it? :p It must mean something :)


15-02-09, 15:29
Thanks for all the feedback.... As Anne says passion speaks volumes ! I'll try Family Historian - since that's what I seem to have become - and see how I go.

Thanks again