Article from "The PULP"
Newsletter of H.U.G.E. (Hartford User Group Exchange Inc.)
September 1997, Vol. 15, No. 9 © 1997, (founded in 1981)
Reviewed by Gene Frechette
My first view of Reunion was at MacWorld Expo-Boston 1995. There, in the middle of the booths, was a decedents chart hanging from the ceiling and calling me to come take a look. I had seen ads for Reunion and was ready for a program with more functions and flexibility than PAF but was not sure what to get. One look at that massive chart plus a tour through the program by the staff, and I was hooked.
This program is easy to use. The function controls are located on the menu bar and button palette for easy access. It even has a manual which you can read. Before I started the process of converting my files from the prior program, I read the manual through. After all, I had invested a lot of time in both the gathering of data plus doing the initial entry, and I wanted to make sure it would transfer properly. Instead of being a dry collection of instructions, I found it well structured, written in clear English, and filled with helpful examples and clear explanations of what it would [and would not] do. The program comes on one disk and does not take up much space on your machine, allowing you more room for data.
Part of the ease is Reunion's use of your existing word processing program for reports and notes. While you cannot access more that the basic functions of your word processor from within Reunion, you can write your information outside the program and copy it in, retaining the styles and formats you have been using. Each individual record has three notes fields, each capable of 32,000 characters, giving you a lot of room for information. Beyond the extensive note functions, several of the reasons for which I purchased the program are:
- Instead of being limited to ten generations in the charts, you can have up to 99 generations in the decedents and 35 in the pedigrees.
- The charting portion of the software shows you how it will look and the number of pages required, plus lets you customize the format by dragging names around. If you have a color printer it will assign colors [customizable] by generation to provide a clearer picture. If you have access to wide carriage prints, you can take advantage of the larger paper in your charting.
- Ability to import pictures for use in documents and reports.
- Ability to customize data fields to accommodate the information I have been tracking.
- Fully compatible with Gedcom format for import/export.
... I have 4.0 for the Mac. 5.0 is due out shortly. Help is available by phone or through e-mail on-line with mailing addresses on CompuServe and AOL. One of the human touches in the manual is the suggestion that, instead of driving yourself crazy if you do not understand something, contact the company for the answer. My questions have been answered promptly.