I suppose it is the ‘geek’ in me that caused me to upgrade my RootsMagic genealogy software from version 5 to version 6 within minutes of the newest version being announced. I also felt that for the upgrade price of only $19.95, there was little risk of my being disappointed. And, RootsMagic 6 does not disappoint.
The download and installation of RootsMagic 6 was completed very smoothly and to only 5 – 10 minutes. All of my various family files held in RootsMagic 5 were converted to the new version at the same time, without any data or media links being lost.
I use multiple genealogy database software products – Family Tree Maker, Legacy and my mainstay, RootsMagic. There is something about each of the products that I particularly like. Family Tree Maker allows me to automatically synchronize my database information with my ‘public’ family tree on the Ancestry website. Legacy has an interface that I find really helpful, especially for someone visually oriented like myself. RootsMagic however offers, for me, the best overall product especially with the emphasis I have learned to place on source citations. I find citing sources in RootsMagic easier which means I don’t skip completing them and I save time that can be spent on other activities (read ‘research’).
In a ‘nutshell’, here is a summary highlighting some of the improved features or new features offered in RootsMagic 6:
- County Check Explorer allows the user to check for historically correct geographic location descriptions covering the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom, and includes links for further information about the locations. Location information is linked to the FamilySearch wiki and historical maps checking is linked to the Newberry Library. As an example, for some family historians differentiating between Upper Canada, Canada West, or as it is known today, Ontario is important when describing where an event took place. This feature provides linked access to the information to get the historical place names correct.
- Webtags allows the user to link a web page to a person, place, source, or research log item. For example, you could link a Find-A-Grave memorial page to a death or burial place for a person in the database. A useful tool although I really doubt that I will go back and ‘webtag’ all of the thousands of facts I have entered and cited sources for in my database.
- Timeline View Edit was the feature that I was most excited about when I upgraded to RootsMagic 6. In version 5, I could view the timeline for a person that included their personal events and the events of their family. Now in version 6, I can edit and add to those facts while working within the timeline view and without having to go back to the ‘edit person’ screen. A gazetteer function has also been added that I know will be useful.
- Find Everywhere is a feature that allows you to search throughout the database for any references to words or phrases. RootsMagic 5 had a similar feature but it was really restricted to people only. In RootsMagic 6, this feature has been expanded to included people, places, sources, citations, research logs and notes, as well as media. This is definitely an improvement I will use to filter my information when trying to assist those from whom I receive inquiries.
- Online Publishing has been available previously. RootsMagic software has offered the ability to create static web pages that could be used to put a family tree online as a big or small part of a personal website. RootsMagic 6 takes this to a whole new level by offering free website space to registered RootsMagic 6 users through http://www.my.rootsmagic.com. The web pages created in RootsMagic 6 are no longer quite so static and most importantly, for those of us (okay, me) who do not yet speak HTML, it is easy to use. These RootsMagic user sites are not currently indexable by search engines such as Google or Bing but that is a likely option sometime in the future. The family tree information currently will only be available to people with whom you share the website URL.
These are great benefits for RootsMagic fans and for only $19.95 for the upgrade, well worth it. If you haven’t used RootsMagic, the full version price for RootsMagic is only $29.95 or, even better, take the free RoosMagic Essentials for a test drive before making any financial commitment. I doubt that you will be disappointed.
For a more completion demonstration of RootsMagic 6 watch the free webinar conducted by Bruce Buzbee at http://rootsmagic.com/Webinars/.