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Family Chronicle Magazine, July/August 2000

Reunion 7 for Macintosh

Review by Stephen Fisher

Reunion is the most feature-rich genealogy program available for Macintosh. It contains every conceivable bell and whistle for recording and displaying genealogy data including great documentation features, HTML, numerous reports and a complete graphics package for drawing and editing family trees...

Reunion's interface uses a family card metaphor for displaying data. The family card displays basic data for each husband or unwed male of the right half of the screen along with a user-selectable summary of event data and facts such as birth, death, and occupation. A picture of the person can also be displayed. Similar data for the wife or an unwed female are displayed on the left half of the screen. Clicking on an individual's name or any event brings up a tabbed series of cards with structured fields for entering all genealogical data about that person. The tabbed cards are divided into name (the person's name), events (such as birth and death), facts (occupation, military service), notes (free-form text), and flags (for indicating the status of research). Event, fact, and flag types are limited only by the user's imagination. Reunion provides a wealth of pre-programmed options via dropdown menus, as well as the flexibility for users to create their own definitions.

Ancestors are displayed immediately above the person's name on the family card. Children are listed at the bottom. Clicking on the name of any ancestor or child brings up the family card for that individual. The interface also features a button bar running across the top of each family card which links to frequently used commands.

Reunion provides top-notch flexibility for source documentation. Users can make brief notations or memos after virtually any piece of data or attach a detailed source reference. Reunion provides a wealth of options for defining a source as well as, again, allowing users the flexibility to create their own fields. All source records include a free-form text of the source document. A preview tab allows users to see what the reference will look like when printed...

Multimedia support in Reunion is excellent. Pictures, movies and sounds can be linked to any person or family. Multiple multimedia items can be linked to any single record, or one item to multiple records...

Reunion offers a complete array of reporting options. Reunion can generate person and family group sheets, blank forms, a family history report, descendant report, register report (after the format popularized by the New England Historical and Genealogical Register), ahnentafels and tiny tafels. All can be viewed, edited and printed from the user's choice of word processing program provided it supports rich text format.

Reunion can also generate complete hyperlinked HTML web projects. Reunion's HTML output is designed around the same family card metaphor used in the program's interface. The results are very professional...

When it comes to tree diagrams and charting Reunion has no equal. Reunion can create descendant and pedigree trees, fan charts and timeline charts. All charts can include both text and pictures. The included charting functions allow complete customization of each diagram. Charts can be viewed on-screen, printed or saved as either JPEG or PICT files. A particularly nice feature is the new virtual plotter function, which can be used to generate a postscript file suitable for printing wall-sized charts on large format plotter.

Reunion is feature rich. If you must buy only one genealogy program for your Macintosh, Reunion is it.