Mac, Roots Tech, & Choices

Let me introduce you to a brand new Mac user. Me! I have been using my MacBook Pro for about a month now. So far I am very happy with it. I do not know of one person who has migrated to a Mac and not been happy with it. That says a lot, I think.

I have been busy learning as I go. I have a "cheat sheet" of links I need to explore still, that the salesman gave me when I purchased my Mac. I am sure I will learn much more with those links.

Of course, like many others, I have been wrapped up with all the Roots Magic excitement, trying to keep up with the live streaming, and tweets, etc. I listened in to the recently live streamed program hosted my Laura Prescott. She did a wonderful presentation, very informative.

The problem I have is that Laura introduced me to another family tree program to consider for the Mac. I was already having a difficult time trying to make a decision. I previously had been aware of several programs, Family Tree Maker for Mac, Reunion, and even Roots Magic. Roots Magic can be used on a Mac if you purchase Fusion, which will run WIndows based programs on the Mac. I had been using Roots Magic to make my "as perfect as I can for me," family tree. I have Legacy, Family Tree, and Roots Magic now. I hate the thought of giving up any of them really.

I can not afford to try them all by any means and I am having a very difficult time choosing just one program. Laura Prescott stated in her presentation that she loves and uses TNG, the Next Generation. This one was new to me. I have heard of it, but didn't know anything about it. This program has now been thrown in the mix of what program shall I choose? Like I needed to add any...

I tweeted that I wish a company who is attending RootsTech would just sent me one of their programs, it would be so much easier for me than trying to make a decision on just one of them. Of course, it was just a tweet, and really just a comment. I have been driving myself crazy this week with this dilema.

As of yesterday I thought I had narrowed the decision down to two different programs, but now I am back to three. Thanks Laura! :-) I am happy to have all the choices available to me now though, and not later. Of course I have no patience and really wish I had a program on my Mac NOW!

I have no idea what is going to help me make a decision, nor how long this is going to take. I can go by price, whether there are updates, renewals each year, performance, wonderful source templates, looks, ease...I can go one. Maybe I have to make a list for each one, with the good and the bad for the program? 

I am actually amazed about how confused I feel over something as simple as choosing a family tree program. I suppose it is because I want this to be the very last time I change programs for many, many years. Maybe I am being unrealistic though.

So, you see? If I could just get a program in the mail, I would just use that specific program. Knowing this isn't likely to happen however, I will continue my analysis of these programs and hope to make a decision sooner than later. Of course I welcome all comments!

Thanks for stopping by! 

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts! 

 Copyright © 2012 By Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved


  1. Greetings Cheryl,
    I understand your frustration with choosing family history software for your Mac. I was a Legacy Family Tree user for over 10 years and loved it. Then I got a Mac, and loved it far better than a PC, and will never go back to a PC. I didn't like having to partition my hard drive so that I could run Legacy.
    I am currently using Family Tree Maker for Mac. It's ok. I like it better than MacFamilyTree. Of course, I wish Legacy would make a version of their software for the Mac, but that' not likely to happen.
    Once you decide on a family history software programme for your Mac , let us know how you like it.

  2. Welcome to the Mac community. I switched about 4 years ago. I'm on my second iMac, plus I have a 13 inch MacBookPro. I was using The Master Genealogist (version 6, I think) when I switched. I considered sticking to that, but I'd badly messed up my database. Since I needed to start over, I decided to look at alternatives. I settled on Reunion, but I periodically look at RootsMagic since I really like they way it handles sources. Now that I'm used to the Mac, though, I find the look of most Windows programs too cluttered. I guess I just like the more simplistic aesthetic of most Mac programs.

    I'm not 100% percent it's still true, but when I took a look at TNG, it wasn't a really genealogy program. It was a very powerful and flexible way to create genealogy websites using data you stored in another program. Again, it could have changed over the past few years.

    FYI, Reunion contains functionality to create a website, and it's simple to do. But it's nowhere near as fully functioned as TNG.

    Good luck making your decision! I know it's not easy.

  3. Congratulations! I love my MacBook Pro to death. We have been an Apple/Mac family since my husband started buying home computers in the 1980s. I use Reunion and like it, but I have never investigated or used any of the other Mac-compatible genealogy programs, so I'm not sure which program would be best for you. I agree with Joan on the uncluttered look and feel of Reunion. The source feature is only OK - I tend to use "Free Form" and just input the citations (following Evidence Explained format) the way I would type them into a regular document.

  4. You'll enjoy the Mac so much, Cheryl. I switched 7 years ago. I have used Legacy with Parallels (which partitions the disk to a full Windows side) because I did not like any of the Mac based genealogy programs as well as Legacy. I still prefer the Windows programs to the Mac ones (very depressing, frankly). I do wish someone would develop a robust Mac program.

    All that aside, I don't think it matters which program you select. There will always be that one feature you miss that another program has - but RM and Legacy are both good programs. If you like FTM for Mac, use it. It's simpler than running a Windows program on the Mac. If you don't like it, then pick one of the others. Just jump. The program is a tool to do the work you want to do.

    Finally, TNG is only for managing a genealogy website. You can use it as your primary software IF you want your research online.

  5. Hi Cheryl, welcome to the Mac world! Glad to hear you love it. I know what you mean about decisions. I use Reunion for Mac and while the interface is a bit plain, it's flexible enough to do what I need it to. Still, at times I've thought about trying something else. Did you know there's a program called Crossover that will allow you to run RootsMagic without having to install Windows like you do with Parallels or Fusion? That might be worth looking into. I saw Laura's presentation too and was impressed by the website she created with TNG. I've heard it has a rather steep learning curve, though, and right now I'm not ready to put everything online. When that time comes, though, I think TNG will be the way to go. So I don't know if this helped or not, but good luck with your decision!

  6. Cheryl, I have used PAF for MAC long ago then went to Reunion. I love what I see on Roots Magic but time has not allowed me to play with it yet. I saw the presentation on FTM for MAC last week. Nah, I would rather stay with Reunion or Roots Magic. Congratulations for coming on board.

  7. Thank you all so much for your input! I truly appreciate and enjoyed reading all of your thoughts. Just this morning I purchased Family Tree Maker Mac2. I am excited I purchased something! It has been a long week of this. More later! Thank you all again!


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