Exporting Data

Exporting allows you to share any portion of your GRAMPS database with other researchers as well as to enable you to transfer your data to another computer. Currently, GRAMPS can export data to the following formats: GRAMPS database (grdb), GRAMPS XML, GEDCOM, GRAMPS package, Web Family Tree, and GeneWeb.

[Note]Export is saving a copy

When you export, you are saving a copy of the currently opened database. Exporting creates another file with a copy of your data. Note that the database that remains opened in your GRAMPS window is NOT the file saved by your export. Additional editing of the currently opened database will not alter the copy produced by the export.

To export data, choose FileExport. This will bring up the Export assistant. Its pages will guide you through the format selection (see Figure 3.1, “Export assistant: format selection”), file selection, and format specific export options (see Figure 3.2, “Export assistant: GEDCOM options”). After a final confirmation page, the export will be performed according to the choices you have made. At any time, you can click the Back and revise any selection, and then go forward to redo the export.

Figure 3.1. Export assistant: format selection

Shows format selection page of an Export assistant

Exporting into the GEDCOM format

GRAMPS allows you to export a database into the common GEDCOM format. It provides options that allow you to fine tune your export (see Figure 3.2, “Export assistant: GEDCOM options”).


Since different languages use different characters, it is important to tell a GEDCOM file what character set is used. The two formats traditionally accepted are ASCII and ANSEL. Since all ASCII characters are valid ANSEL characters, GRAMPS does not provide an option for ASCII.

Because ANSEL is not commonly used, some genealogy programs will accept ANSI (more commonly know as ISO-8859-1) and Unicode character sets. Only select ANSI or Unicode if you know any program that attempts to read the GEDCOM file will understand these character sets.


The filter allows you to export a limited amount of data, based on the criteria you select.


While GEDCOM is a standard, not every program implements it in the same way. This can lead to data loss. GRAMPS can reduce the data loss in some cases. You can tell GRAMPS what program is the target, and GRAMPS will customize the exported file for that program. If your program is not listed, choose the "GEDCOM 5.5 Standard".


Allows you to select a statement to describe your Copyright claim.

Do not include records marked private

Check this box to prevent private records from being included in the exported file.

Restrict data on living people

Check this box to limit the information exported for living people. This means that all information concerning their birth, death, addresses, significant events, etc., will be omitted in the exported GEDCOM file. If you choose this option, you will be given additional options to limit further the data on living people. For example, you can choose to substitute the word "Living" for the first name; you can exclude notes; and you can exclude sources for living people.

Sometimes, it is not always obvious from the data if someone is actually alive. GRAMPS uses an advanced algorithm to try to determine if a person could still be alive. Remember, GRAMPS is making its best guess, and it may not always be able to guess correctly all the time. Please double check your data.

Reference images from path

Check this box to tell GRAMPS to use the specific path for your images when writing image references in GEDCOM.

This option allows specify where your image files are located. This is useful when you are transferring your GEDCOM file from one computer to another. It tells the program that is importing the data where your images are.

Figure 3.2. Export assistant: GEDCOM options

Shows GEDCOM options page of an Export druid

Export into GRAMPS formats

GRAMPS database (grdb) export

Exporting to the GRAMPS native format will simply make a copy of your data under another name. Exporting to this format can also be useful if you have directly opened an XML or GEDCOM file and would like to save it as the grdb file.

GRAMPS XML database export

Exporting into GRAMPS XML format will produce a database compatible with the previous versions of GRAMPS. As XML is a text-based human-readable format, you may also use it to take a look at your data.

GRAMPS package export

Exporting to the GRAMPS package format will create a compressed file that contains the database and copies of all associated media files. This is useful if you want to move your database to another computer or to share it with someone.

Export to CD

Exporting to CD will prepare your database and copies of all media object files for recording onto a CD. To actually burn the CD, you will need to go to the GNOME burn:/// location, which can be accessed by navigating through Nautilus: After exporting to CD, select GoCD Creator in the Nautilus menu. Your database directory will show up. To burn it to the CD, click the CD icon on the Nautilus toolbar, or select FileWrite to CD in the Nautilus menu.

If a media file is not found during export, you will see the same Missing Media dialog you encounter with GEDCOM export.

Export into other formats

Web Family Tree

Exporting to Web Family Tree will create a text file that can be used by the Web Family Tree program. Export options include filter selection and the ability to limit data on living people to that of their family ties.


Exporting to GeneWeb will save a copy of your data into a popular web genealogy format. To find out more about GeneWeb and its format, visit http://cristal.inria.fr/~ddr/GeneWeb/en/.

vCalendar and vCard

Exporting to vCalendar or vCard will save information in a format used in many calendaring and addressbook applications, sometimes called PIM for Personal Information Manager.