Discover the best genealogy software, mobile apps and online tools with our Genealogy Tech Tools eBook!

Master the latest digital tools and strategies! This guide helps you identify and use the newest and hottest genealogy tools and gadgets to uncover, preserve and analyze your ancestry.

Free Genealogy Software Demos to Test and Compare

By Family Tree Editors Premium

Ancestral Quest 12

Price: Free demo; Full program, $29.95

Manufacturer: Incline Software

Platform: Windows

Biggest draws: Compatible with Personal Ancestral File (PAF) and expands on PAF’s capabilities; fields to record DNA test results; many reporting options, including pedigree charts with sources and notes; PDF output; research logs

Drawbacks: Poor family view, add-on needed for a wide selection of graphical charts

Read our review | Free demo version 

Branches Family Tree

Price: 30-day free trial; Standard, $14.95

Platform: Windows

Biggest draws: Google Earth-style interface, ease of use

Drawbacks: no wall chars, imprecise GEDCOM file creation

Read our reviewFree demo version

Brother’s Keeper 6.2

Price: Free demo; $45 with manual, $20 upgrade

Platform: Windows

Biggest draws: charts and reports, to-do lists

Drawbacks: navigation, no HTML descendant report

Read our review | Free demo version 

Family Historian 3.1

Price: Free demo; Standard, $69.99

Platform: Windows

Biggest draws: navigation by graphical family tree, automated source citations, customizable charts

Drawbacks: price, no letter-size pedigree charts, awkward steps for documenting sources and creating Web reports

Free demo version

Family Tree Builder 7.0

Price: Basic, free; Premium (up to 2,500 names, 1-year subscription to a Premium Family Site, all-in-one charts, smart matches merging, unlimited maps), $75 per year

Manufacturer: MyHeritage

Biggest draws: Currently under review

Drawbacks: Currently under review

Try it online

Family Tree Builder 6.0

Price: Basic (unlimited offline family file plus up to 250-person, 250MB online tree), free; Premium (up to 2,500-person, 500MB online tree), $75 per year; Premium Plus (unlimited tree size and storage), $119.40 per year

Manufacturer: MyHeritage

Biggest draws: ease of use, photo management, charts, online tree publishing, support for 36 languages

Drawbacks: reports, source documentation

Read our review | Try it online

Genbox Family History 3

Price: 30-day free trial; Standard, $29.95

Platform: Windows

Biggest draws: Wide selection of printed reports, including excellent narrative reports for creating a book with a place-name index; many options for publishing your family history online; ease of use

Drawbacks: Overwhelming array of graphical chart options could benefit from some streamlining

Read our review | Free 30-day trial 

Heredis Mac X.2

Price: Free trial; $69 download

Platform: Mac

Biggest draws: Nifty graphics, 3-D family tree

Drawbacks: Slow GEDCOM importing

Free trial version

Legacy Family Tree Deluxe 7.0

Price: Free standard version, $29.95 download, $39.95 on CD with printed manual, $21.95 upgrade from version 6

Manufacturer: Millennia Corp.

Biggest draws: Ease of use, research guidance, charts and reports

Drawbacks: Pedigree view doesn’t show exact dates and places

Read our review | Free Standard Version

MacFamilyTree 5.1

Price: Free trial; Standard, $49

Platform: Mac

Biggest draws: Easy setup, attractive interface, fast GEDCOM imports

Drawbacks: No family group sheet

Free trial version 

Reunion 10

Price: Free demo; Standard, $99 or $54.95 upgrade

Platform: Mac

Biggest draws: improved interface; intuitive ease of use, navigation and data entry; extensive and contextual help files; drop-and-drag multimedia, places and sources; souped-up web publishing; full iOS integration

Drawbacks: new web searching isn’t integrated into program itself, relying on your browser; some features are hard to find; no PDF output

Read our review | Free demo

RootsMagic 6

Price: Free trial, $29.95, $19.95 upgrade

Manufacturer: RootsMagic, Inc., (800) 766-8762

Biggest draws: Ease of use, data entry, documenting sources, reports

Drawbacks: Nothing major

Read our reviewFree trial

RootsMagic 4

Price: Free trial, $29.95, $19.95 upgrade

Manufacturer: RootsMagic, Inc.

Biggest draws: Ease of use, documenting sources, charts and reports

Drawbacks: Nothing major

Read our reviewFree trial

The Master Genealogist Gold 7

Price: 30-day free trial; $59 download, $69.95 on CD

Platform: Windows

Biggest draws: Unlimited flexibility and customization; unique power-user features

Drawbacks: Steep learning curve

Free 30-day trial

Personal Ancestral File 5.2

Price: free download, $8.25 on CD with PAF Companion

Platform: Windows

Biggest draws: Ease of use, excellent help files, price, foreign language versions, well-designed print and Web reports, good graphical charts with PAF Companion

Drawbacks: Reports don’t include alternate personal names; FamilySearch is no longer upgrading PAF

Try it online