Monday, October 17, 2011

It's Magic!

RootsMagic, that is. It really did seem like magic as I saw the names from my old program appear on the RootsMagic screen.

I've been using PAF (Personal Ancestral File) since I began searching for my ancestors. I have been perfectly satisfied with it. It's easy to use and I can record all the information I've found that documents the lives of my ancestors. Keeping track of them has been easy as I click through the pedigree chart and change between that view and the family group screen. But I knew PAF was at a dead end. I knew there would be no more updates, no more improvements, and no easy connection between my database and to make finding duplicates of my ancestors easier. I knew it was time for a change.

When I talked to others about what program they used many of them not only recommended RootsMagic; they raved about it. When it went on sale a month or two ago, I bought it. (And have just now had time to install it.)

After installation this evening I viewed the brief tutorial and then created a file. The program asked me if I wanted to begin typing new information or import information from another program. I chose import and told it where to find my PAF file. Truly, it looked like magic as I saw my family's names appear in the RootsMagic screen between blinks. Fast and efficient.

All of this is not to say that I like RootsMagic. At least not yet. I may come to like it, maybe even love it. But at the moment it's too new for me to feel comfortable with it yet. I need to learn how to maneuver through it, explore it's capabilities, and learn how to best put it to use. I've already noticed several advantages but there are other aspects of it that seem cumbersome.

Change is sometimes hard. Blogger is making enough changes without my putting myself through the adjustment to a new genealogy program, but I knew it had to be done. At least I can rely on PAF while I learn the ins and outs of RootsMagic.

Do you use RootsMagic? What's great about it?


  1. Oh Nancy,
    Hold me back! Once I get started on how I love Roots Magic, well, where do I start. First the author Bruce Buzbee has visited our area several times; gives his time in giving free classes!
    Just using the New Family Search feature make it worth every penny spent. Have you enabled it? It has to be turned on manually. Just in case you haven't select Tools>File Options from menu, open the Family Search section and check "Enable Family Search Support" I have the Personal Historian and just ordered the Reunions software.

  2. I also use RootsMagic, and have been for the past year. I LOVE IT! I can't use the New FamilySearch feature yet (I'm not LDS), but I can't wait until I have access. I highly recommend that you take a look at the free webinars on the RM website. There is a lot of awesome information in them. For example, you can color code the different lines of your family tree. You can also drag a person from one tree and drop them into another tree!

    (I also have Personal Historian, which is awesome, and Family Atlas, which I haven't used yet, but it's on "the list.")

    I think it won't take long before you are in love with RM too.

  3. Renée, thanks for the directions for enabling the NewFamilySearch feature. I'm sure I'll get used to the program and will probably love it, too. Just not yet....

    Jenny, thanks for your suggestion to watch the webinars. Someone else recommended them, too. I'm sure they will be a help.

  4. RootsMagic has a whole set of webinars that will help you learn all the ins and outs:


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