MacFamilyTree 8 grows on you (in a good way)

MacFamilyTree, the genealogy software for OS X, has grown to version 8.0. A good app continues to get better.

MacFamilyTree lets you explore your personal family history and discover your origins, your ancestors and how your family has evolved over the course of time. Version 8 assists you entering your data and researching your family tree, offers dozens of printable and configurable charts and reports, and publishes your family tree as a book or web site with a few clicks.

The user interface looks great and is easy to navigate. MacFamilyTree's graphics are elegant and impressive. Contextual menus let you access frequently used functions. You can edit several trees simultaneously, as well as connect and/or merge them.

When you first open MacFamilyTree you're asked to create, open or import a family tree (or else open the tutorial). When you start "growing" a new family tree, you start with a reference person (probably yourself; at least that's what I did). The other family data relates to the reference person and the Family Assistant walks you through setting up a file. 

The middle of the screen displays the reference person as an animated circle with an Add button. Click the Add button to select the relationship and add more family members. When you gather more family data, you can easily link other people to your tree. You end up with an index with links to many of your family members. Click on a link and you can view or edit the person's info.

There's a Media Browser in MacFamilyTree that lets you handle photos, movies, PDFs, and more with ease, attaching them as needed to people, families and events. With the browser, you can browse and access all pictures available in your family tree. The Media Browser also works as an entry point for editing individuals with linked media.

There's an integrated web-hosting service so registered customers can upload their family trees as HTML to the Internet. Views can be edited just like a DTP program and printed, and prepared for online presentations or on the screen. What's more, HTML export now includes user-selectable themes.

Fan charts are a part of MacFamilyTree. They're fully configurable and easy to edit. Standard settings give you fast results, and you can still fit the Fan charts to your needs with a few clicks. You can interactively set the number of generations. There's an adjustable fan angle from 90 to 360 and the cell size automatically increases to accommodate info for more distant generations. MacFamilyTree also handles autocoloring of generations; however, you can manually adjust the styles and print in black and white if you wish.

Both MacFamilyTree 8 for Mac and MobileFamilyTree 8 for iPhone and iPad (available separately at the Apple App Store) have been completely overhauled. MacFamilyTree 8 comes with a redesigned interface, a new Interactive Tree, new "Smart Filters,” and more.

The Interactive Tree has always been the key element of MacFamilyTree. Version 8 comes with an Interactive Tree that is more convenient, flexible and powerful. You can view up to eight generations of ancestors and descendants at once, edit persons directly from within the Interactive Tree, or add new family members.

Do you want to investigate specific groups of people only? No problem! Simply use the new Smart Filters for your search — for example "Only display men from Mayence from the paternal line for whom there is a source available" or "Display all female ancestors from the maternal line for whom I've added media.”

MacFamilyTree 8 and MobileFamilyTree 8 reliably log all changes to your family tree. If you want to know which persons, families or other entries you've modified or what exactly you've changed, simply launch the incredibly easy-to-use change log. Version 8 will show you the exact date of the modification and the details that applied prior to the modification.

Version 8 makes it easy for you to find persons or sort entries according to your needs and preferences. By alphabetical order, surname, date of birth, date of baptism, place of birth, date of last modification, number of events, labels, etc. Each section comes with a large number of sorting options to give you an even better overview. And tons of additional improvements and new features.

MacFamilyTree 8 requires a Mac with OS X 10.10 Yosemite or El Capitan. MobileFamilyTree 8 requires an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch running iOS 8 or later.

MacFamilyTree 8 for OS X is selling for an introductory price of $29.99 (a 50% discount). MobileFamilyTree 8 for iOS is available for $9.99. To synchronize the database between different devices you'll need a free iCloud user account. The app is exclusively available via the Mac App Store. Research via FamilySearch requires a free FamilySearch account. No subscription fees apply.