Family Historian 7 review

Nick Peers reviews the new version of popular genealogy programme Family Historian 7

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Family Historian is the ultimate ‘power tool’ for experienced genealogists.

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Almost six years after the last major release of the software, Family Historian 7 arrives with a spring in its step and the focus very much on its existing users, with most of its changes based on customer requests.

There are too many to list here, but two areas receive the most attention.

First, much is made of Family Historian’s new integrated word-processing features, allowing you to introduce formatted text as well as tables, embedded source citations and other elements into your text fields and notes, all of which are then replicated in reports, books, web pages and more.

The feature is accompanied by a new floating Note Window with word-processing controls front and centre, together with useful additions such as autotext, search and spellcheck tools.

You also get a Research Notes option, which basically provides a series of pre-formatted templates for planning, logging and setting tasks.

For me, however, the real gamechanger is a new focus on source-driven data entry.

Various new tools – including data-entry assistants – are designed to encourage you to work directly from sources.

The real gamechanger is a new focus on source-driven data entry

The tools are effective and allow you to record sources consistently and link them to relevant individuals, but it’s a shame that the assistants are added individually as plugins.

Family Historian 7 doesn’t make things easier for newcomers, but if you’re prepared to put up with the learning curve (all excellently documented) then you’ll be able to unlock one of the most customisable tools out there.

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For existing users, the upgrade is a no-brainer: there are too many improvements and useful new features to ignore, and owners of version 6 receive a 30 per cent discount. Recommended.