Choosing genealogy software can sometimes be a guessing
game; will you end up with the software you want, or be stuck with a
program that is not suitable for your needs? At least once a day I am
asked what software I recommend as the best, or what genealogy program
I use myself; instead of recommending my own favorite programs, I try
to ascertain what the individual's software needs are, and point them
to appropriate programs-the program that is best for one person is not
necessarily the best for another.
Questions like "What's the best genealogy software"
are sent to mailing lists and newsgroups, often inciting battles between
program devotees. My answer to that question is always the same-there
is no one program that is the best. The software that is best for you
may not be the best for someone else; your experience, research needs,
and software requirements determine which program (or programs-sometimes
people use more than one) will satisfy you.
Choosing software is like choosing any other product-you
have to do a certain amount of research to find the best product for
you. When choosing genealogy software, you have to keep a few things
What are your hardware requirements?
Do you have a fast computer with a large hard
drive, running the latest operating system, or do you have an older,
slower computer with a smaller hard drive?
What operating system are you using? Are you stuck
in DOS, or are you ready for Windows 98?
What is your research experience? Have you been
researching for the last 18 years, or 8 months?