Does anyone here use a Chromebook for genealogy...

Does anyone here use a Chromebook for genealogy? Pros and cons to a PC?

You have to look at how much space is on a Chromebook. From what I am told, some genealogy software won't run on a Chrombook because it's too large and takes up too much space.

It’s not just space needed for genealogy programmes. Most programmes required Mac or Windows which most Chromebooks do not use.

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If you're only looking at Ancestry, a Chromebook is fine. If you're doing what I do-- running a genealogy program, creating and printing family tree books, and photoshopping old pictures-- they're inadequate.

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works good for me, but I don't run genealogy software.

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I have a PC, Chromebook, and a tablet. I use the PC for running the program and linking to Ancestry; but I use either the Chromebook or the tablet when I just want to be able to view the tree via Ancestry for reference purposes when I'm away from home and my PC.

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A Chromebook will not run a lot of PC software (most, in fact). Certainly the size and price is attractive. If you think you might ever want to run any of the major genealogy software packages I would stay away from a Chromebook.

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Flash drives are good also, been doing mine since 2004.

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Google will release Crostini sometime this year which will allow the Chromebook to basically run Linux making it capable of using Windows based software. No time frame yet but the Pixel book has been shown running it. It won't be a full PC as such but will be lightweight and useful. Whether or not so e of the gen software will be too heavy is yet to be known (I use FTM)but don't discount the Book yet....

How does "basically run Linux" make it capable of using Windows based software?

Chrome OS is built on a Linux core. What they are working on through Crostini is called "containers" which will allow Windows programs (and maybe other apps) run within the Linux base, which LInux has been doing since the beginning. There are quite a...#

Thanks for your informative reply, William.

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My computer tech said Chrome is not as good as a Windows PC

"Good" is pretty subjective, a matter of opinion. If it does what you want, it is good. So, it depends on what you want it to do.

Chromebooks aren't intended to take the place of a PC. You need a PC and/or laptop to run programs. But the Chromebook is a great, portable supplement for accessing documents, etc. (via apps) and surfing the web. That's why I still have a PC, along with my tablet and Chromebook.

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Codeweavers have a Crossover version that runs on Chromebook. This is a Windows Emulator that allows the running of quite a lot of Windows programmes on it. I don't have a Chromebook but do have a MackBook and it runs my Windows FH programmes fine. See

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Chromebooks are great if everything you do is online. That's basically what it's for. Not for running software, not for creating document's and saving them local - at least not many. Its not much use unless you are connected to the internet.

I use it daily, offline. The Google Docs, Sheets, etc. are available offline. Yes, it works best online but its not a toy anymore. And, I have some great software on it. You don't have to be online to use it. Also, it's become the preferred choice for most schools because of cost and the better security it offers for students.

I work offline with the Google suite all the time. Docs, Sheets, Slides, now the Calendar and GMail are accessible offline. Check your facts first, please.

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I have always used a Windows PC for Genealogy and everything else. I usually buy a new one every 3 years, just to keep up with changes. For Genealogy, I run Family Tree Maker,, Evernote, Dropbox, GOOGLE drive and Microsoft office. When Win-10 came out, I didn't like it and decided to keep my Win-7 machine for a few more years and to try a Chromebook for mobility. I purchased an Acer-15. Now I only use my PC for backing up Ancestry to FTM and syncing Evernote, GOOGLEdrive and Dropbox, and making backups of the same. I did away with Microsoft office and use GOOGLE sheets & Docs for everything. I can access all of my files on GOOGLEdrive and Dropbox on their WED pages. I can still use []) I use GOOGLE Doc's to write my Blog and Blogger to make posts. I use the Chromebook exclusively for my Facebook Genealogy groups and Gmail for all of my e-mail. GOOGLE Photos gives me all the storage space I need for photo's and LastPass handles all of my passwords. GOOGLEKeep stores all of my notes. Every one of the WEB services I use on my Chromebook, including bookmarks, are there when I open my PC, because I use the Chrome browser there as well. When my PC really needs to be replaced I will spend the minimum needed to do my syncing,backups and running FTM.

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I have one of the chrome book for my online work, I stored much on Google Drive anyway. Far superior battery life and lightweight. I leave Photoshop for my PC, but there are plenty of “apps”that can do most of what I needed to do on a Chromebook.

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We tried one at work a few years ago. We couldn't save documents locally to the Chromebook and had to use Google and Google docs. I find Google docs limitung. If you want to save anything locally (genealogy photos, censuses, etc.) it is not possible.

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I save things offline locally every day and you can open a Word document, an Excel spreadsheet, a PowerPoint in Google Drive with no problem--as well as.pdf. Your comment does not reflect the changes made in the OS since you tried it. The changes coming this year should make the OS even more of a competitor with the others--Windows and Mac. I still use PC's to do my gen work but this Book for my daily work.

I also open Excel docs on a Google drive, but it doesn't work quite the same. I use Google drive for storage, love the flexibility of accessing it everywhere. I download files to work on them, then back them up on Google. I haven't opened Word on Google as I use a lot of Word's power with stylesheets, formatting, etc. Not sure if Google is up to that. However, I'm always open to exploring more.

There are formatting changes because, yes, Docs is not as robust as Word. I'm not sure it ever will be because, from what I've read, Google is trying to keep the Suite and the OS useful but lightweight not turn it into a powerhouse processing program.

I have read that there is also a Word free online that will work on a Chromebook?

Sounds right, but I don't work online that way--trust issues for me....

Just thinking that I sometimes want certain documents to look sharp and professional.

That's when I use a PC for a "heavyweight" program. I've used Windows from its beginning--through all versions and I've come to not like the bloat and lag of W10. My wife's laptop takes several minutes to load up (and it's new) and the same with our ...#

I am buying my Chromebook today and you have given me tons of ideas and things to learn! Thank you !

Mine is the Asus C302C. It has the 360 hinge that allows it to be a laptop or tablet. It's one of the highest rated Books. Do some research before you buy.

Do you think the touchscreen is a valuable addition? I'm trying to decide if I would be better with one or not. I know the touchscreen ones are a bit more expensive.

It depends how we use MS programs. I need a lot of its functions and flexibility that Google docs doesn't have. As I have used it in business it carries over to my personal uses.

I bought an iPad Pro....with its little keyboard/ is pretty awesome too....

Mine was $499. The touchscreen is useful for drawing, games and more. I like the screen size of mine also. Go somewhere and put your hands on one to see if you like it.

Thanks, I'm disabled and have to depend on ordering online. If it's like a normal tablet, I may just prefer touchscreen after all. Screen size is not an issue as one can usually zoom in like on android I'm assuming.

Check the available slots also for SD cards etc. I have a dongle they Amazon that holds more than one size and lets me connect HDMI and USB. We've been watching Netflix and Vudu in our RV from my Book with it. Makes it useful for presentations also. Remember it uses USB C not the usual connector.


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Type "chromebook" into the group search box and you will see several very informative threads to help make your decision.

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