Tech Tuesday – RootsMagic Part I

I received a complimentary copy of RootsMagic at the FGS conference last week and just started playing with it. I am very familiar with Family Tree Maker and have used it for several years. Already I have a question. Maybe one of my readers will be able to answer them. If not, I have the business card of the gentleman I spoke to at FGS2011 and will be happy to email him.

I uploaded my Gedcom and began investigating the toolbar under the person’s name that has Pedigree, Family, Descendants, People, and WebSearch. Now, I can search and find documents for my people but how do I get those into RootsMagic? Just save them to my computer and then import? Do they not merge automatically somehow like does with Family Tree Maker?

Here are some of the features that were explained to me at FGS2011 that I thought were fantastic.

  • Print on demand books. These do not need to be printed at a specific location like’s do.
  • Share feature which allows you to select multiple people at a time to link a record or citation to. This will come in handy when I need to link a census record to multiple people!
  • You can have more than one database open at a time.
  • You can drag people from one database into another.
  • RootsMagic To Go. Users can create a full copy of RootsMagic on a flash drive and take their database with them.
  • Shareable CD or flash drive. This allows a user to create a file on a CD or flash drive and give it to a family member to view. The process puts a copy of RootsMagic on the CD or flash drive so the family member can view the database as read-only.
  • You can have multiple databases open at once!
  • They have free tech support via phone, email, and message boards.
  • They do webinars.
  • They have a RootsMagic blog.

Watch for future posts about my experience with RootsMagic. So far I like what I see.

Have you used RootsMagic? Do you prefer it over other programs? Why or why not?


Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of RootsMagic at the FGS2011 conference to test.

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11 thoughts on “Tech Tuesday – RootsMagic Part I

  1. Check out their webinars when you can. They’re available on the web site. I started using RM4 two years ago and I’m still discovering new tricks and features thanks to those webinars.

  2. Nettie

    Been using RootsMagic/FamilyOrigins since it was written. There is a forum of help topics. Drop and Drag is a constant feature from one database to another and many, many more ways to do Genealogy than FTM ever had.

  3. RickK

    You can’t merge information from into RootsMagic like you can with FTM.
    In my opinion that’s one of the advantages of FTM.

  4. No, you can’t merge with like you can with FTM, but you CAN merge with (new)FamilySearch once the database is live instead. The main thing I like about RM4 (and the reason I transferred all my FTM data to RM4) is how easy it is to enter citations. Keep working with it … I think you will come to love it too!

    • Jennifer Holik-Urban

      Yea I also found out the later version of FTM will not export to be able to go into RM4. I think I’ll be putting my client work into RM4 from now on because the reports are so much better. Plus my clients can buy RM4 and make shareable CDs for their family of the work that was done. I have a current client who is loving this idea because the end result will be a book. He can put the CD with the book so people can see the tree and docs associated with things rather than having them in a book. Plus it is more cost-effective. In the end I will still use both FTM and RM4. At least for the moment.

  5. I just wrote about my decision (finally) to purchase RootsMagic instead of 3 others I tried — so I’ll be learning right along with you!

    • Jennifer Holik-Urban

      HI Lisa,

      I read your post. Lots of great information there. I’m using RootsMagic and Family Tree Maker. I think all my client work will go into RM because of the RM to go option. I have one client who thinks that is the best thing! Will I ever just stick with one program? Who knows but for now this will work.

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  7. I started using Roots Magic early this year. While I’ve not had a chance to get fully into using it, yet, I really like it. Can’t explain it but for me it seems to be more user friendly than FTM.

    • Jennifer Holik-Urban

      There are more features that make it easier to use than FTM. For now I’ll keep using both but RM may win out in the end.

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