16 Reasons Why Legacy Genealogy Software is Better Than Family Tree Maker!

Want to know what the differences are between the two best genealogy programs? Do they really differ that much? Well, read on as I explore 16 reasons why the Legacy genealogy software program is actually far better than Family Tree Maker.

Legacy Genealogy Software and Family Tree Maker

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My first choice was …

I must admit that when I first started to trace my family history and I was looking for a genealogy software program I decided upon Family Tree Maker.

The reason for this decision was simple!

Like many others I had become familiar with the Ancestry website through the many adverts that I saw on TV.

My local library also had a subscription to this site and so I used it to create and build my tree.

Back then the Family Tree Maker program would give you webhints that came from Ancestry, and so it was only natural for me to purchase this program.

Ancestry were the producers of Family Tree Maker but since December 2015 this was no longer the case.

Family Tree Maker Webhints from Ancestry

But there was a better option …

I realized when I first started to review the genealogy software programs that were on offer that even though Family Tree Maker was the most popular it certainly wasn’t the best.

That title belonged to Legacy!

And that is why I decided to write this post so that I could show you the many reasons why this is the case.

Check Out My Legacy Review

16 Reasons Why Legacy Is Better:

Want to make the switch?

You may have already purchased and used Family Tree Maker but are contemplating making the switch to Legacy.

And that is quite alright as there are many people who have been in your position.

Through comments given by people who have made the switch Legacy has come up with the top 9 reasons that Family Tree Maker users are now Legacy user.

Credit:   Legacy Genealogy Software

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1. Many Different Views of a Family


There are 7 different views that you can choose between to display your opened family file. And you are also able to have two family files open at the same time.

This helps when you want to compare information between the two and to see if there are any differences.

Multiple views within Legacy

Family Tree Maker

You only have one view of your family file while you work on it.

Also, you are not able to have more than one file open at a time.

This means that to compare to files you either have to close one file and then open the other, or have two programs open at the same time.

This second option may sound better but you still have to switch between both programs in order to compare the two family files.

2. Can View More Than Two Parents


The highlighted Parents button will clearly show you whether an individual has more than one set of parents.

By this I mean step-parents.

Legacy Relationships

Family Tree Maker

This situation is not so clearly visible with this program.

To be able to check this you need to go to the People menu and then select the Other Parents option to see if there are more than two.

3. Can View More Children


You have the option of whether you would like up to 10 or 15 children displayed within the family group for this program.

And Legacy does allow you up to 60 children to be added for a family.

Family Tree Maker

Your view of a family group is restricted to just four children.

So, if you do want to see the others then you need to scroll down the list. Legacy therefore does make it easier to view the entire family.

One advantage though with Family Tree Maker is that you can have up to 99 children entered in for a family.

But let’s be honest what family comes close to that.

The same though can be said with the 60 children limit for Legacy.

4. Add Sounds to Pictures


Just why would you want to link sounds to pictures within the Legacy program?

Well, by doing so you can then create what is called a narrated slideshow.

And the added bonus with Legacy is that you can record sound files within the program.

Legacy Pictures and Sounds

Family Tree Maker

You are able to input both sounds and pictures with this program but you do not have the ability to link sounds to people.

5. Quick Source Citations


A Source Clipboard can be used where store up to 5 different source citations.

The point of this is that you can easily with a click of a button assign any one of these citations to a particular event.

You are also able to create 10 of these Source Clipboards, so essentially you can have access to 50 citations straight away.

Switching between each clipboard is done by clicking the right mouse button.

And this can be done from any input window.

Family Tree Maker

There is no such quick easy feature like this.

6. Assign Source Citations While Importing


Legacy allows you to import your family history from either a standard GEDCOM file or a PAF file.

When you choose to import a file you are given the option of whether you would like to assign a source citation to all of these imported records.

Legacy Import GEDCOM Files

The advantage of this is that later on when you are reviewing your tree you can see where the information came from.

If you did not have this option you may be scratching your head to know where did it come from.

Family Tree Maker

This import ability is not available with this program.

You would therefore need to remember what records that you had imported into your family tree and attach the correct cite sources.

Could you remember them all?

7. View Your Navigation History


One great feature of Legacy that I like is that you can track your own navigation history.

What this means is that you can track the last 160 people within your tree that you have viewed.

I like this because you can keep track of where you left off last and the people leading up to this last person.

You can check through these individuals via the History List menu, or use the Forward and Backward History arrows to navigate between them.

Family Tree Maker

You are not able to do this with Family Tree Maker.

So, if you want to remember which person you last viewed then you would have to keep a handwritten note.

8. Add Bookmarks to People


Besides the navigation history feature you can also have bookmarks for individuals as well.

So, this gives you even more precision as you were as to where you left off on a person.

The limit to the number of bookmarks per person is set at 160, which I feel is more than enough.

Family Tree Maker

Again Family Tree Maker does not have such a feature.

9. Add Tags to People


Three different tags can be assigned to each individual within your tree.

And the same number of tags can be assigned to marriages as well.

What this means is that you can highlight differences between the people within your family tree.

So, for example you may want to select a group of people that only lived up to the age of 10, or maybe over 100.

Or, maybe even the people who didn’t marry.

You can then use this tagging system to print out only the people that you have selected.

Family Tree Maker

No feature available.

10. Navigating Between Different Views


The Family View and Pedigree View allow you to navigate quite easily between the different generations.

Yes, this can be done with Family Tree Maker but let me continue to explain.

Within either of these views you are able to edit any information on an individual.

Family Tree Maker

You are only able to edit information within the Family View.

Also, you can only see two generations at a time with this view.

With Legacy however you can see a couple, their parents and the couple’s children.

11. Integration with FamilySearch


FamilySearch contains collection of family records that can be accessed and viewed for free online.

It is one of the first online destinations that you will make when you first trace your family history.

Legacy is fully integrated with FamilySearch.

You are also able to print and prepare what is called Ordinance cards that can be taken to the Latter Day Saints Temple, (LDS operate FamilySearch).

Family Tree Maker

In order to do this with Family Tree Maker you need to export a GEDCOM file.

This can then be ready for the Temple but the information is not as easy to read as ordinance cards.

12. Easily Create Ordinance Reports


Legacy gives you the ability to print Ordinance reports which have or do not have Ordinance dates

Family Tree Maker

Family Tree Maker on the other hand allows the following:

  • Incomplete Individual Ordinances
  • Incomplete Marriage Sealings

13. More Information on Name Index


Within your Name Index there are eight pieces of information that can be displayed for each individual.

Legacy Has Huge Capacity

Following features within the Name Index:

  • Set to show any information that you wish within the list,
  • Either set whether you want to search people by surname or RIN number,
  • Jump to a surname starting off with a particular letter,
  • Tag or bookmark people, and
  • Customized reports can be printed from the Name Index.

Family Tree Maker

The amount of information is severely limited within this program. You will only be able to see a person’s birth and death dates.

14. Multiple Searching Options


There are many different options that you can use to search for people within your family tree. This can be done by what is called a a fill-in-the-blanks form.

So, you put in whatever information you know to bring up the person that you desire.

Legacy Searching

The great advantage of this searching ability is that you can bring up certain people that fit a certain criteria.

So, then you are then able to tag these people and create a unique report.

Family Tree Maker

Searching for someone within your family tree is carried out only on one field.

And the disadvantage with this program is that you cannot even create lists like you are able to with Legacy.

15. Greater Merging Capabilities


There may come a time when you will want to merge two separate family files together. This maybe because you have been given a file from a family members who is also tracing your ancestry.

When merging you can then compare any similarities or differences between the two.

Legacy Merging

With Legacy you are able to set comparison parameters which are then used to help define and present any possible duplicates between the two files.

There is also the option to suspend merging midway if you wish. And if you do decide to continue to merge then you are able to do so.

Keeping certain pieces of information is an option as well.

And whatever is not kept can be put into the notes field for the respective person, or made into an event, or even put into an alternate names list which you can check out later.

The great thing about this last fact is that no information is tossed aside.

Family Tree Maker

The downside with Family Tree Maker is that if there are any differences between people’s spellings or there is differences between relationships then they will not even be considered during the merging.

The other downside is that you have to choose which information that you keep.

You cannot keep information from both files that you are merging. You unfortunately have to disregard one.

16. Print Blank Forms, Reports and Sheets


You are able to print out blank Census forms, Individual Reports and Family Group Sheets.

There is also the option of printing out customized questionnaires that can then be sent out to relatives who can then fill them in.

Blank Research Logs can be printed off which can then be used to help you to research your family tree.

Family Tree Maker

You can print out blank Family Group Sheets but that is pretty much the extent of Family Tree Maker’s ability.

Granted that other reports can be printed out but the names on these reports are essentially blanked out.

There are no Census forms, questionnaires or research logs that you can print out.

What Do You Think?

If you decide to buy this software program then please come back and let me know what you think of it. I would love to hear how it is working for you.

All Round Software!

Setting a new standard in genealogy software!

Legacy Family Tree - Legacy 9

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Thank You and Please Leave A Comment

I hope you enjoyed this post highlighting why Legacy genealogy software is better than Family Tree Maker. If you have any questions or comments then please leave a comment below.

Please share with family and friends if you think this post will help others by using the social media buttons below.


  1. Robert van den Heuvel May 10, 2021
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  2. Jaran Gaarder Heggen August 16, 2017
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  3. Fred August 8, 2017
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