Tips For Choosing The Right Family Tree Software 

By July 16, 2017Genealogy Software
Family tree software

Whenever you’re working on a project that involves handling of a large amount of data, it is recommended to use a software program to make the process easier and less time-consuming. The same stands true for a genealogy or family research project. If you’re ready to know more about your ancestors and create your own family tree, you should consider using family tree software.

Family tree software programs are computer programs, available both online and offline, which are used for creating a family tree. There is a large variety of family tree software programs available today. Some of them provide basic family tree templates while there are others that allow you to enter large amount of family data, including photos and other diagrams. The choice of a family tree software program depends on your needs. Therefore, whenever choosing family tree software, it is important that you work out your needs and expectations and then choose the software that best fulfills them.

In this article, we are listing some tips which you can use to select the best family software for your family tree project.


1 – Determine the OS You Will Be Using

The first consideration of choosing the right family tree software is to determine the type of OS that you will be using. There are several family tree software programs available, each with specific OS compatibility. We are listing the names of genealogy software programs that can be used on a Windows or Mac computer. Review the list and choose the software program that is compatible to your device’s OS.

Genealogy Software for Windows

  • Ancestral Quest
  • Family Tree Maker
  • Family Historian
  • Legacy Family Tree
  • RootsMagic
  • OneFam (December 2017 Release)

Genealogy Software for Mac

  • Family Tree Maker for Mac
  • iFamily for Leopard
  • Reunion
  • MacFamilyTree 7
  • GEDitCOM

Genealogy Software Online

  • OneFam (Free)
  • Ancestry (Paid)
  • Geni (Paid)
  • MyHeritage (Paid)
  • Famicity (Paid)


One key thing to consider with online applications is what happens if you decide to leave. Many of the paid subscriptions block access if you do no pay the subscription. This can mean that memories are lost and not shared with family. Always check with providers what happens if you fail to subscribe or renew your subscription.


2 – Determine the Device You’ll Be Using 

It is also important to know if the software you want to buy supports data entry from a handheld device or not. Various software programs, such as Archives, Brother’s Keeper 7.0, Heredis 2015, and Family Historian, don’t offer phone support. Therefore, it is always a good idea to check the features list of the software before purchasing. Understanding whether you will be using a desktop computer or mobile device from the start will be a big factor in your family tree software decision.


3 – Determine the Printing Capabilities of the Software

If you want to print and share the charts and family tree diagrams that you have created with your family and friends, choose a software program that supports printing. There are several genealogy software packages that offer this feature, including OneFam, Family Tree Maker, Geni, Legacy Family Tree, and Family Historian.

Systems such of Geni offer basic printing while OneFam or Family Tree Maker allows comprehensive chart and report making. OneFam even offers sync between mobile, web and desktop versions, making it as versatile as you get.


4 – Determine the Publishing Capabilities of the Software

Many people use the terms ‘publishing’ and ‘printing’ interchangeably. It is important to understand the difference between the two. With publishing, you can share your research and your family data online with anyone you want. On the other hand, printing is about printing your family tree and charts and diagrams in a hard copy format.

Genealogy software programs that allow online publishing of researched data includes:

  • OneFam
  • Family Tree Maker
  • Family Tree Heritage Platinum 9
  • Heredis 2015
  • Legacy Family Tree
  • Ancestral Quest
  • Family Historian 6
  • OneGreatFamily


5 – Determine the File Import Features

Often times, genealogists are required to use several software programs to create a detailed family tree. When working on such projects, it often becomes necessary to use data between the two programs collaboratively. To avoid the hassle of manually entering all the data, you should consider choosing a family tree software program that allows you to import and export data to the programs you’re using. The most common format for import/export of family tree data is GEDCOM. OneFam for example enables you to import (or Export) GEDCOM files created in other software directly into your account, getting you up and running in minutes.


6 – Backup Up Family Tree Software

An often overlooked feature by beginners, understanding how to back up your family tree data is essential. Many family tree software programs enable you to export a file which can be saved to an external device or uploaded to an online storage platform such as Dropbox. In addition, we have software such as OneFam which enables desktop software to backup online, ensuring your data is never lost. This can also provide additional benefits such as syncing between desktop, web, and mobile. Again, which ever family tree software you choose, it’s important to fully understand the features you require and which are available in your chosen software.

These are some of the tips that you can use to choose the right family tree software for your family tree project. It is recommended that you compare the features offered by several software programs before making the final decision. This way, you can ensure that you’re choosing the best available software to record your family history.

7 – Can OneFam Help?

OneFam offers you its free private and secure platform to build your family tree. Create your tree using our mobile software for Android or IOS or use our online web version in minutes. Simply sign up, start adding family profiles and even invite family members to collaborate. Together your family can add events, stories, images, videos and audio messages. Imagine being able to leave a voice message for your daughter on her first birthday or create a video interview with your grandparents detailing their lives. Memories can be relived for generations and shared with all the family. Even upload private media and share with just some family members.

If you have any questions, why not contact us using our chat feature.


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