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Genealogical Computing Review, February 1995

Excerpt from the review by Larry Naukam

Reunion uses Mac to the max - the current king of the hill.

Upfront summary. While there are not as many genealogical software programs for the Macintosh market as there are for the PC/compatible side of the aisle, there are several market contenders. I feel that if a person is going to use just one program for their genealogical research, then that choice should be the software which does the most for the searcher in the greatest number of areas. The clear winner at this time is Reunion for the Mac.

..Leister Productions has for the greatest part set a standard for 1995. Why do I think that this program is currently the one to beat? It is reasonably priced (if you can afford a computer, you can afford one good program); it is elegantly designed and thought out, using the Macintosh's graphical interface on screen very well; there are easy ways of directing output to screen, disk or paper, or to databases and word processors in a wide variety of formats; and there are many little touches which make manipulating your data and information everywhere in appearance. The program has so many features that I refer you to the 400 page manual for detail. Yes, it has 400 pages, but it is very professionally written, clear, wryly humorous at times, well-indexed and illustrated with examples. There are so many features that are useful and well designed that it would take me far longer than the pages I have to describe them all. This is of necessity an overview.

The program is very visually oriented compared to some others, which look like text screens ported from an IBM program. Reunion is a 90s Mac program, not a 70s DOS one. The user can even assign colors to the boxes for the status of a child (natural, adopted, twin, etc.); s/he can mark (in bold type) direct lineage and create a relationship key which defines the status of anyone in the database to the subject person.

The package also includes the Superchart program, which allows user specified data to be presented, displayed, and printed in wide variety of formats, including color. This alone is worth the price of the program. It easily shows complex data, in color if you wish, and has proven a hit with the non-genealogists to whom I have shown it. For example, the Info box about each chart will show the user the total number of pages; page and chart size; number of horizontal and vertical pages necessary to print; the number of generations and people shown and the number of captions or pictures shown. You may also zoom from 1:1 to a 10:1 overview of the output (stepping at each zoom level). Each generation appears on screen in a different color.

I am aware that this is quite a favorable review. It is that way because the product is easy to use and navigate, useful in storing and presenting data, and has a great amount of features for the serious user, all at a fair price. There are other programs which are under development adding many of the features which Reunion already has, and some have features which are attractive for special purposes. Many persons use more than one genealogy program. At this time, though, consider Reunion as your first choice.