Gramps 3.2 Wiki Manual - What's new?

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This section gives an overview of the changes in version 3.2 since 3.1. All these are present in the rest of the manual. So you need not read this section. Users of 3.1 are advised to go over the changes so as not to miss any new possibilities.

Before you upgrade

As always, before you upgrade, make sure your family tree is safe, so keep an extra backup. The best way to do this is

  1. start Gramps 3.1
  2. open your family tree
  3. export the family tree to the gramps xml format or the gramps xml package format (includes your media files). This is via menu Family Trees->Export, then making sure you export all data, so do not restrict the data in any way.
  4. keep the resulting file in a safe place

More: Backing up a Family Tree, note that creating an archive might not be appropriate in this case. In the unlikely event that Gramps 3.2 were to corrupt your current database, it could also lose the archive.

After this you can install Gramps 3.2. Use a package manager to do this. Otherwise, remove Gramps 3.1 and install Gramps 3.2, or make sure you install Gramps 3.2 in a different location.

After you install Gramps 3.2, you will be able to immediately open your old family trees and continue working. In case of problems (eg after a complete system upgrade), you might need to use the backup file created above to recreate your family tree in the exact way it was before upgrade.

Warning 1: On Mac OS X via portage and on Win 7 64 bit, attempting to open a Gramps 3.1 database with Gramps 3.2.0 gives the error shown below (should be fixed in version 3.2.1), so backing up your data is not an idle warning! Should you have forgotten to backup, reinstall Gramps 3.1 to open this family tree and create a gramps xml file after all. The error ticket: [1].

Database Corruption

Warning 2: Once you open a family tree on a newer operating system, the chances are big you cannot open that database anymore on an older OS (e.g. installed on the same computer). As always, the gramps xml format is the format to use for the interchange of your data between computers. There are tools to repair broken databases, but they are for expert users, so avoid needing them by doing a backup before you upgrade your OS and Gramps.

Visible changes to the core

Views in categories

In Gramps 3.1, every category in the sidebar had one view. In Gramps 3.2, a category can have multiple views. Eg, the person category now has a listview and a treeview. You can switch via the View menu and via view buttons on the toolbar.

View configuration

The new toolbar, section with views, and a configure view button on the right

Configuration of a view in 3.1 is via different mechanism. In 3.2 a move is made to one place to configure a view: the Configure View dialog. This can be accessed via a toolbar button, see the Fig. Most views make use of this in 3.2 (Pedigreeview is not converted yet).

Change columns

All the views showing lists now have their column editor available from the configuration dialog. Otherwise the functionality is the same: drag and drop columns in the desired order, enable those you want, and click apply.

More: Column Editor

New and updated views

People list view

Fig. People ListView

A view containing a list of all people is now present. This has an advantage when you work with filters and want clear order not based on the name. Via the column editor you can order the columns in any order you want, eg birth date as the first column, giving a nice overview of all people born in the same period.

One disadvantage is that name grouping is not taken into account like this. So if you use the grouping feature to order the name Safina under Safin, these names are now mixed in the people list view.

More: People Category

Geographic view


A view using OpenStreetMap or Google Maps to show where people lived. Combined with the filters, this allows you to see where a group of people was born, where they lived, where they died, ... .

The view can also be used to add places to your family tree with correct latitude and longitude, or link existing places to a correct latitude and longitude. It speaks for itself that this view is only useful if all your places have correct geo-coordinates (note that you can use a the expert third party Place completion tool if you have many places without coordinates that need to be given a latitude and longitude)

Obviously, a fast internet connection is needed to use this view.

More: Geography

Place tree view

A start is made of a new view that organizes your places in a tree structure, so first country, then state, ... . This view will evolve further in future releases.

More: Place Tree View

Fan chart view

Fig. Fan Chart View

If you know the fan chart gramplet, you will know what this view does. It is part of the Ancestry category, and is a good way to know what pieces of an ancestry need further research.

More: Fan Chart View


An extra hidden view is present, the Html view. This view is present because it forms the basis of the GeoView. You can unhide it via the Help->Plugin Manager. Gramps is not a web browser however, this view is not an attempt to add a web browser to Gramps, it is only the minimal functionality needed to have GeoView functional. Some people might find it useful however.

The engine of Html is webkit (if installed) or gecko (if installed) via python bindings.

More: HtmlView

Event view

An extra column has been added to the Event view to display the main participants of the event.

More: Event View


Gramps 3.2 now also stores a list of visited families, events, ... . So now you can use on eg the family view the forward/backward button to visit previously selected families, just like 3.1 could do on the person views. The Go menu holds the history of previously selected items.

Plugin changes

New infrastructure

The plugin mechanism of Gramps has been updated. It is now possible to hide all plugins you do not need. This includes export/import plugins, tools, document backends (pdf creation, odf creation), and the views you see in the main window. Yes, all views are now plugins.

This gives the user the option to remove options they don't need, making navigation faster and saving resources. Eg: You don't use the Pedigree View? Hide it in the Plugin Manager, and it will not be present anymore. You don't use vcard export? Hide it in the Plugin Status, and it will not be offered anymore.

You can now add new functionality to Gramps by installing third-party plugins (called "addons") directly from inside Gramps. The plugin system of 3.2 already has a lot of downloadable content, see 3.2 Addons. In Gramps, go to the menu -> Help -> Plugin Manager and select the "Install Addons" tab.

More: Plugin Manager

New and updated plugins

  1. As almost with every release, the narrated web site has received more options
  2. Some reports have received the option to output in another language than the language you use Gramps in.
  3. Improvements on Individual complete report and Detailed descendant report.
  4. Styled notes are now supported in most output forms, eg in ODF output and in the web report

Under the hood changes

It's all about speed

Many under the hood improvements have occurred that should improve performance enormously.

  • Using Gramps in CLI mode no longer loads GUI code.
  • plugins are no longer loaded by default.
  • New listviews. Eg: Insert of a person in a 30000 people family tree took 4sec on 1.4Ghz PC in 3.1, Now it is done in milliseconds.

Migration to better code layout

The code is slowly migrated to a different directory structure, strictly making a division between genealogy code, gui code and cli code. The aim is to allow in the future an independently packaged genealogy library to access the Gramps family trees in other projects.


  • Gramps still supports python 2.5 and pygtk 2.12. In other words, for example Ubuntu 8.04 can still run version 3.2. A specific effort has been done to make this possible. The next version will probably increase the requirements.
  • libglade has been removed, as it will be deprecated in the future, and replaced by gtkbuilder.
  • For GeoView to work, python bindings to webkit or gecko (gtkmozembed) must be present. Packagers are recommended to make webkit a dependency if webkit is stable on their platform.

Further info

See the 3.2.0 roadmap and the change log.

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