Family Historian

PUBLISHER: Calico Pie [w] PRICE: £49.95

Relatively Yours 3.1

Family Historian's producers adopted a businesslike interface for their program, avoiding gimmicks. Beneath the surface are powerful features, which is probably what convinced the BBC to use it in the recent series Who Do You Think You Are? Since it was first released, Calico Pie has produced a series of free upgrades adding new features and this continues with version 2.3.

ACCESS: The businesslike interface means new users quickly access the program's powerful charting and query features

The most welcome addition is the narrative report that brings together pictures, facts and sources into readable document telling the story of a family. Like all reports and charts produced by this software there's a long list of options to control both its content and appearance. When you copy and paste an event within the program you can now carry across all the associated facts - date, place, source, etc -in a single action, which saves a lot of work.

You probably won't find the latest version in the shops, but don't let that stop you buying this superb program. Download the upgrade file, run it, and any previous version will be brought up to the latest standard -including the PDF manual.

One of the most powerful genealogy programs around - and it's refreshingly British p^ PUBLISHER: Computability Pty Ltd [w]

Like Family Historian, this Australian program doesn't follow the convention of using a pedigree chart or family group page for its main interface. Most of the screens are tabular with data clearly presented using sidebars and tabs to switch between different views. If you like colourful graphs and pie charts there are plenty, including timelines of family members, gender distribution, family members with children and maps of all the world's countries.

Data entry is logical with well-designed windows leading you through the process. While the program is good at recording facts and pictures it falls behind some of its rivals in presenting the information in charts and reports. The family charts are bright and can include pictures of individuals, but don't have the range of options for layout and design found in FH. Similarly the reports are more limited in both their content and options.

VIEW: The tables of data present a lot of information in a compact form with a sidebar and tabs to rapidly switch between views

This is a program you definitely need to try before you buy. Some will find its fresh approach suits their way of working while the graphs and charts present statistics in a new light. Others, who are used to a more graphical method of navigating around their tree, may find it frustrating.

A program that's good at recording lots of data - but take the opportunity to try it first

A program that's good at recording lots of data - but take the opportunity to try it first

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