Many people like to test software before they buy – which is why software companies create Demo programs. Limitations of some sort are always placed on Demo packages (otherwise, people would never buy the full software.) Below is a comparison of the Demos offered by three major genealogy software programs for the Mac. I’m not suggesting one should buy the full program based completely on the demo, but the three are significantly different in my opinion making the differences worth mentioning.
Their demo is fully functional, except you can’t save any entries. At least that is what the website says. I bought the software from a store without testing the demo. Taking the website at its word, this is an interesting limitation. I could import a gedcom created in another software program, and give it a full test. However, if it were the first demo I tried, I would be frustrated, because I’d have to enter enough data to test it…and do it in one sitting, because I couldn’t save anything. I assume there is no time limitation on the demo – not really necessary with the ‘no save’ feature in my mind.
Also seems to be a non-expiring demo. However, you can’t import or export GED files. You can’t save charts. And printouts have a watermark on them. You are also limited to 50 entries.
Not being able to import a GED file, makes it more difficult to test. They do provide a sample "Family File" (The Kennedy family). It contains 35 entries, but with few entries that are 'outside the norm' to adequately test the software, so you will likely end up entering data to do so.
Almost fully functional 10-day demo. You’ve only got ten days to test it, the version might be an older version than the most current, and you're unable to export a GED file. Otherwise fully functional. (The website says that you also can't use the menu option to upgrade the demo to a newer version. I'd think that was common sense, but they probably have to say it.)
It comes with a sample database – the British Royal Family – with over 3000 entries which provides ample records to test all of the features. You can also import any Gedcom you already have, with no limitation on size.
Upgrade Policy Comparison
This is a much shorter comparison – and something someone might later wish they considered prior to making their initial purchase.
Original software: $100
Upgrades: $60 (based on current price for Reunion 9 Full vs Upgrade)
Original software: $50
Upgrades: $25 (based on current price for MacFamilyTree 4.5 Full vs Upgrade)
Original software: $30
(note: I round all prices to the nearest dollar.)