Mac Genealogy Software Frequently Asked Questions

These are a selection of questions and answers that I frequently get here at

Specific Mac genealogy applications:
* FAQ – Family Tree Maker for Mac
* FAQ – Personal Ancestral File (PAF)

Migrating Between Windows and Mac or Mac Genealogy Applications
* GEDCOM Files – Mac vs PC – Working through problems you might be having in exchanging GEDCOM files with others.
* Migrating from Windows or a Classic Macintosh

Mac Genealogy Software and Unicode / UTF-8 GEDCOM Files
* Mac Genealogy Software – Unicode, UTF-8, and GEDCOMs
* Unicode, UTF-8, GEDCOM 5.5.1, GEDCOMs and Macs
* Conversion of Unicode GEDCOM Files on a Mac

Other related FAQs:
* iPhones, iPod touches, iPads, and Mac Genealogy Software – Frequently Asked Questions

Does sell or develop genealogy software for Mac OS X?
No. We try and point people to where they can purchase Mac genealogy software, but nobody associated with directly sells or develops genealogy software.

I need to contact a genealogy software developer
Please refer to the individual pages of Mac Genealogy Software for contact information of the companies involved.

Mac Genealogy Software – General FAQ

Do we recommend any particular Mac genealogy software?
Update! See the Mac Genealogy Software Recommendations post.

Here in 2012, there are several solid Mac genealogy applications (something that wasn’t always true in the past) and so I don’t necessarily recommend any specific one – it’s going to come down to your personal preference as far as the interface and what’s possible. You can refer to our Mac Genealogy Software listing to see what’s available, and all of the commercial offerings (outside of Family Tree Maker for Mac) offer a free demo of sorts for you to try. I highly recommend you devote several days to each of the major applications and try them because each has a different style and feel and what I may like, you may not.

What do most people use?
In alphabetical order, these are the ones most people use (and some pages maybe out of date):
* Family Tree Maker for Mac 2
* iFamily for Leopard
* MacFamilyTree 6
* PAW2U (Personal Ancestry Writer 2) – probably the best free application and can give the commercial applications a run for their money
* Reunion 9

There are others (see our software listing above) and I do apologize – I have not finished updating pages for all of them, but those are probably the top four applications that people use – they have the most visibility and all four have established histories within the Mac genealogy software community.

What if I want or need to use free Mac OS X genealogy software?
Personal Ancestry Writer II (PAW2U) is probably the application you want to use.

What if I just need a GEDCOM reader?
Either the PAW2U application mentioned above, or GEDitCOM II, which can function as a free GEDCOM reader/viewer. iFamily for Leopard is also very suitable and has few restrictions if you just want to view a GEDCOM file. GEDitCOM II and iFamily both support Unicode/UTF-8.

What if I’m doing Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) Work?
See our LDS / TempleReady Mac Genealogy Software page.

This page last updated: 04 March 2012