New RootsMagic 6 Software Released

SPRINGVILLE, Utah. — November 19, 2012 — RootsMagic, Inc. today announced the official release of RootsMagic 6, the latest version of the award-winning genealogy software which makes researching, organizing, and sharing your family history easy and enjoyable.  With this release comes an update to the popular “RootsMagic Essentials” free genealogy software.

Family History Made Easy

Family Tree Magazine said RootsMagic is “probably the best all-around genealogy program” and “offers a winning combination of features for both casual and serious genealogists.”

Throughout it’s 11-year history, RootsMagic has helped people research and share their family trees with innovative features such as moving people from one file to another with your mouse, a SourceWizard to help you document your work, creating a Shareable CD to give to family and friends, and running RootsMagic off of a USB flash drive when you are away from home.  RootsMagic has also received numerous awards, including the award for “Easiest to Sync” from FamilySearch for their work in interfacing with that system.

New Features

RootsMagic 6 adds many new features while making existing features even easier to use.  “This release includes something for everybody,” said Bruce Buzbee, president.  “Whether you want an easier way to share your family history with family or are looking for better tools to help you organize your work, RootsMagic 6 has something new for you.”  New features include:

  • Online Publishing – Easily share your information online, including notes, sources, and pictures.  Choose which information to include, then publish it to your own page
  • Live Timeline View – A live-edit panel on RootsMagic’s timeline view makes this one of the most powerful editing features ever!  Make corrections to your data while viewing it in context with other family members life events.
  • Find Everywhere – With a single search you can now find every  record in your file containing the text you want.  Quickly find people, families, notes, sources, places, to-do items, research logs, and more.  Then edit those found records directly from the search results.
  • WebTags – Link people, sources, places, and more to websites using RootsMagic 6’s new WebTags.
  • CountyCheck Explorer – Look up a county, state, or country from a multi-national database.  It can even show you online maps of county boundaries for that date.
  • Plus dozens of other enhancements and features

Free “RootsMagic Essentials”

RootsMagic 6 is also available in an updated, free edition named, “RootsMagic 6 Essentials”.  RootsMagic Essentials contains many core features from the RootsMagic software and the two products are fully-compatible with one another.  “Many people are curious about their family history and don’t know where to begin,” said Michael Booth, vice president.  “RootsMagic Essentials is the perfect way for someone to get started, risk-free.”  RootsMagic Essentials is available for download at

Available Now

RootsMagic 6 is now available online at or by calling 1-800-766-8762.  New users may purchase RootsMagic 6 for only $29.95.  Users of previous versions of RootsMagic and it’s predecessor, Family Origins may purchase RootsMagic 6 for the upgrade price of only $19.95.

Write Your Family History Book with RootsMagic

Writing a family history book is a daunting task. Check out this quick tip that will help you write your family history book with RootsMagic with just a few clicks!



I love the many reports that can be generated from RootsMagic. RootsMagic is a genealogy software program that allows you to organize all your family history in one place. The software offers many types of printable reports like pedigree charts and family group sheets, but my favorite is the narrative report.

Write Your Family History Book with RootsMagic Using the Narrative Report

The purpose of a genealogy software program is to organize and analyze all of your genealogical data. The good news is that while you are popping in names, dates, and places in your RootsMagic database, behind-the-scenes, your book is actually being written.

Take a look at what I mean. Open your RootsMagic database and look at your family pedigree. Highlight yourself and then click Reports at the top.

Write Your Family History Book Using Narrative Reports

Choose Narrative Reports from the pull-down menu. A pop-up window will appear asking you to choose whether your report will include all the children or just spouses, how many generations to include, and some other format options.

I typically prefer to include as many generations as I can and I like to include the children. When you add the children of each couple to your report, it may be significantly longer so be aware of that.

When you have finished, click Generate Report.

family history with RootsMagic settings

RootsMagic slurps all your raw data into sentence form. Where you once recorded “Georgia Ann Smith, born 11 Nov 1913, Allen County, Ohio,” now reads, “Georgia Ann Smith was born on 11 Nov 1913 in Allen County, Ohio.” A sentence was created using your data.


Additionally, the narrative report allows you to:

  • Change the settings to influence how the sentences are structured,
  • Add notes to the appropriate section allowing a story to develop in chronological order,
  • Add pictures to enhance your story,
  • Alter the appearance and formatting of your printed report, and
  • Save in Rich Text format and work with it in a familiar program like Word.

Adding Enriching Details to Your Family History Book

Most people would agree, the best family history books are the ones that have fun, memorable stories and pictures. You can easily do this with RootsMagic.

I have a fun story about when Grandma was born. I want to add it to my family history book. If I double click on her name from my pedigree chart, her “edit person” window will pop-up. Then, I can click the Notes column (see the green notebook icon) in the birth line, and add a note specifically about when she was born.

Write Your Family History Book with Stories

After I have finished writing the story about her birth, I simply click Save note.

Now, when I generate my narrative report, the story about her only weighing about 1 1/2 pounds at birth appears right after her name, birth date, and location.

Add special stories to family history book

Adding Pictures to Your Narrative Report

Along with the stories, adding pictures offers another level of depth to your family history story.

RootsMagic’s narrative report will currently only print one image for each person. For example, if I wanted a picture of Grandma to appear in the narrative report, I would need to add the image to her “person.”

Let me show you how simple it is to link an image. In the example below, I have double clicked on Grandma and opened her “edit person” window. Then, I clicked on the media column where the little camera icon is. Notice that the camera icon I choose was in the “person” line. This is the only place you can add an image that will then appear in the narrative report. If you were to add a photo anywhere else, the image would appear in the scrapbook report, but not in the narrative report. When you have clicked the camera icon, follow the prompts to add the image you have already scanned onto your hard drive or disk.


Now, when you run the narrative report, Grandma’s picture shows up next to her name.

Write Your Family History Book with Images

One Last Quick Tip to Write Your Family History Book with RootsMagic

If you don’t like the way your narrative report is formatted or if you want to enlarge a picture or even add additional images, here’s one last tip! Saving your narrative report in a rich-text file format will allow you to edit the report from Word or another word processing program you are more familiar with.

To save in a rich-text file format, first create your narrative report as written above. When you reach the view screen, click Save at the top left. Then, choose Rich-Text File from the pop-up window options. The program will open your narrative report in your word processor for easy editing.



If you have already been using the software for your family history, you have already started writing your family history book with RootsMagic without even knowing it! Why not print your report today and make it a special gift to yourself. It’s always a good thing to have your family history in written words! What are your favorite reports to create in RootsMagic? We would love to hear from you in the comment section below.

More Gems on Using RootsMagic

RootsMagic, FTM and the Holy Grail of Family History SoftwareRootsMagic bundle

Free RootsMagic Guides to Download and Share

RootsMagic Review: Why I Use It

RootsMagic App for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch Now Available

The folks at RootsMagic were gracious enough to allow me to share  the impending RootsMagic app with my readers in my book Turn Your iPad into a Genealogy Powerhouse.  The wait is over and now the app is available for free to everyone.  Here are all the details from their press release:

SPRINGVILLE, Utah. — December 17, 2012 — RootsMagic, Inc. today announced the official release of RootsMagic for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch; a free companion app to RootsMagic, the award-winning desktop genealogy software which makes researching, organizing, and sharing your family history easy.

Your Family Tree at Your Fingertips

“We’re very excited to bring RootsMagic right to your iPhone and iPad,” said Bruce Buzbee, president. “Not only is this one of the most-requested features from our users, but it is the perfect next step in our mission to simplify family history.” The app provides many useful features including:

  • Access your actual RootsMagic files via iTunes or Dropbox – RootsMagic for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch uses your actual RootsMagic files- no conversion needed. You can copy as many files as you want right on your device via iTunes or Dropbox. Users of other genealogy software such as PAF, Family Tree Maker, Legacy Family Tree, and others can convert their files into viewable RootsMagic files using our free desktop software.
  • Easily search and explore your family tree – Familiar Pedigree, Family, Descendant, and Individual Views help you quickly explore your family tree. You can also search for specific people by name or record number.
  • View pictures, notes, and sources – All of your RootsMagic data is available inside the app. Touch any name to see more information about that person as well as family members. All of a person’s information is there including notes, sources, and pictures.
  • Lists – Browse lists of your information and view more information about sources, to-do items, research logs, media, addresses, repositories, correspondences, and places.
  • Tools and Calculators – useful tools to assist you in your research including a perpetual calendar, date calculator, relationship calculator, and soundex calculator.

New Features and Platforms to Come

“We see this as our first step into the mobile world,” said Michael Booth, vice-president. “We’re interested in seeing how people use this app and evolving it to meet their needs.” A version of the app for Android devices will be available in the near future.

Available Now

RootsMagic for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch is free and now available in the Apple App Store. It does require the RootsMagic desktop family tree software or the free RootsMagic Essentials software to create, edit, or add to your genealogy files. More information is available at

Free Webinars for RootsMagic Users

Have you ever checked out RootsMagicRootsMagic-Webinars-Poster-Small? This award-winning software helps family historians record and share their research. Much more than just another family tree organizer, its full-bodied publishing features help you translate your research into beautifully-formatted books and charts.

Rootsmagic has announced a slew of free new webinars to help you master their software. Here’s a list of what’s coming up in February and March:

Feb 19 – New WebTags in RootsMagic 6

Feb 26 – New “Find Everywhere” in RootsMagic 6

Mar 5 – New Timeline View in RootsMagic 6

Mar 19 – Splitting and Combining Files in RootsMagic

Mar 26 – Sentence and Source Templates in RootsMagic

Apr 2 – Working with Dates in RootsMagic

Click here to register to watch a webinar live or to download any you’ve missed, including past webinars like “Getting Started with RootsMagic,” creating custom reports or using source citations with RootsMagic. There are also classes for using their sister programs, Personal Historian and Family Atlas. If you’ve never tried RootsMagic, consider downloading their free basic edition and see how it works for you.

I’m proud that RootsTech is a sponsor of the Genealogy Gems Podcast!

Free Helps for PAF and RootsMagic Users

RootsMagic, the makers of award-winning family history software, now offers free guides for users of PAF (Personal Ancestral File, the free family tree software that is becoming obsolete), FamilySearch Family Tree and their own RootsMagic software.

RootsMagic and PAF conversion“RootsMagic for PAF Users: A Quick Start Guide”  is a 16-page, full-color booklet that guides PAF users through the transition to RootsMagic. It addresses common questions and is available as a free download here.

In addition, RootsMagic hosts several tutorial videos on its own You Tube channel, Dozens of short videos are organized by the most popular and recent videos and by topic: installing and using RootsMagic; using RootsMagic with PAF; and using RootsMagic with FamilySearch’s Family Tree.

If you’re a RootsMagic user (or are thinking about becoming one), check these out.

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