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Family History Monthly (UK), Sept 2000

Reunion 7 for Macintosh

Review by David Tippey

Reunion is by far the best family history program for the Macintosh. It's been so successful that it's even spawned Generations, a PC version. Reunion's popularity is largely due to the fact that it's simple to operate, while its American default settings can be easily customised to meet British researchers' needs.

Now, over a year after the launch of version 6, a new edition has been released with more than 80 different features. Prominent among them are the improved user-support facilities, including a searchable electronic manual that can be accessed while the program is running and a context-sensitive help system. Almost every window in the package features a help button that opens the manual at the relevant page.

The data-manipulation functions have been improved as well. You can collate references to the same person or merge duplicate entries that have been imported with GEDCOM files... You can also open two family files at once, which is extremely useful if you want to compare two datasets without merging the files. The addition of a user assignable button bar [QuickBar] allows you to move easily from one part of the database to another.

The charting software has been integrated within the main program, which means it's much easier to move boxes and edit their contents. Instead of cutting and pasting pictures into charts, you can now use the Get Picture facility to add illustrations. You can display your ancestors on a fan pedigree--a diagram that shows a core individual surrounded by his or her forebears. Although these charts don't help your research, they do look nice framed.

Although Reunion doesn't come with flashy packaging and piles of CDs, you do get a versatile, user-friendly program. The new features make a vast difference to the way it works, and I would recommend anyone with an earlier version to upgrade...