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XY Family Tree 7.1

Free family history app offering some unique tools and features

by Nick Peers

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License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 10, Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8, Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows Vista (64 bit), Windows XP
Requirements:
Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 04 February 2017
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 2076
Developer: Brian Jones
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XY Family Tree
Look out for some unique features hidden in XY Family Tree's neat, unassuming interface.

Finding the right family tree builder for your genealogical needs can be tricky. If all you want is the core functionality of being able to build your tree, navigate it and record information about each ancestor, then you’re spoilt for choice, even when shopping in the freeware market.

On the surface, XY Family Tree looks and acts a lot like other basic family history programs, but behind its pleasant, relatively user-friendly interface lies some clever and unique features. You will pay a price for these features in the complete lack of support for recording facts/events about the people in your tree, but there’s a workaround that works reasonably well.

Unique features include a clever Kinship navigation tool that allows you to browse your tree by relationship – click this and you can see a person’s aunts and uncles, or even distant cousins simply by clicking the appropriate button to select from a list.

Another interesting note is that XY Family Tree doesn’t support families as such: everything is individual-centric, so you can’t record shared data like marriages. Despite this, the comprehensive view of a person’s immediate relationships as found on the Family tab means you won’t miss it.

We also like the use of Associates, which allows you to record specific relationships in a person’s life along with details about it. You could record a close connection between nephew and aunt, for example, but you can also record relationships with non-family members too.

We mentioned that you can’t record events or facts about a person – XY Family Tree offers two alternatives. The first is a rather basic Notes tab with three fields for recording both public and private information, while the second is to simply record these facts via their source material – switch to the Links tab and you can add links to any files you like, from photos and documents to audio clips or Word documents. You then record information about these, ensuring any fact you do record is immediately backed up.

Less impressive tools are the Map tab, which relies on you inputting a direct line to an online map in the Notes tab, and the ability to share your tree online via a rather functional, unattractive web site. You’ll need to donate for this feature (donating also gives you more options when printing too). Nevertheless, XY Family Tree has enough to make it worth testing with a GEDCOM copy of your existing research file.

Verdict:

It may not be as feature-packed as the paid-for heavyweights, but XY Family Tree is well worth checking out thanks to a number of interesting and unique features.

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

Windows 10 October 2018 Update (build 1809)

Free Full Commercial Software

This is the latest version of Windows October 2018 Update. it's a media creation tool that can be used to upgrade an existing installation of Windows or create installation media for another PC. Just make your choice after launching the tool and it'll do the rest.

What was new in Windows 10, when it was released? The OS brought back the Start Menu, though with a Windows 8 twist: live tiles keep you up-to-date with the latest news while also providing an easy way to launch apps. (Don't worry if you prefer the Start Screen, it's still there and you can boot into it if you prefer.)

Apps now work much more like regular desktop programs. They have minimise, maximise, restore and close buttons, and can be resized (to a degree) and organised however you like.

If you've still lost track of a program in the mass of open windows, a new Task Spaces feature can help. Click its taskbar button and you'll see thumbnails for everything running now, a little like OS X's Mission Control - just click something to switch to it.

Better still, Task Spaces also supports virtual desktops. Add extra desktops as required and it'll display thumbnails of each one, making it easy to identify whatever you're after and switch to it.

There's also smarter snapping, new customisation options, and even a bunch of experimental additions to the command prompt.

Fall Creators Update brings a whole host of new features for Windows 10. See the Microsoft Blog for more information.

The Windows 10 ISO here will give you build 1809 which is the October 2018 Update.

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