Gramps 3.3 Wiki Manual - What's new?

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This section gives an overview of changes since Gramps version 3.2. These changes are also detailed later in this manual. Users of Gramps version 3.2 are encouraged to review this section to be sure to take advantage of these new features.

Before you upgrade


Creating an archive alone to safeguard your data might not be appropriate before upgrading. In the unlikely event that Gramps 3.3 corrupts your database, it could also corrupt the archive. An export as outlined in this section is recommended.

Before you upgrade, make sure your family tree data is secure. The best way to do this is:

  1. Start Gramps 3.2
  2. Open your family tree
  3. Export the family tree to the gramps xml format or the gramps xml package format (which includes your photographs and other media files associated with your family tree data). Export your tree via menu Family Trees->Export, making sure you export all data with no filters applied.
  4. Close this family tree and repeat the above steps for any other family trees you have
  5. Keep the resulting file(s) in a safe place

For more information, please review Backing up a Family Tree.

After properly safeguarding your data, proceed to install Gramps 3.3. Use your operating system's regular installation process to do this. It is also best to uninstall Gramps 3.2 before installing Gramps 3.3, or make sure you install Gramps 3.3 in a different location.

After you install Gramps 3.3, you can open your existing family trees and continue working. In case of problems (e.g., after a complete system upgrade), use the backup file(s) created above to recreate your family tree(s).


Once you open a family tree in a newer version of Gramps or using a newer operating system, you generally should not try to open that database using an older version again. As always, the gramps xml format is the format to use for the interchange of your data in such cases. There are tools to repair broken databases, but they are for expert users, so avoid needing them by following the steps above before you upgrade your OS or Gramps.

Visible changes to the core


  • Formats
  • New Editor
  • New filter rules
Custom rules migration

For avoiding unwanted effects after major upgrades (eg, from 3.2.x to 3.3.x), if need, we can manually copy our custom_filter.xml from GRAMPS User Directory to gramps_version_number.


A sidebar and bottombar are available on all views except for the Gramplet View. They allow gramplets to be displayed alongside a view.

See Gramplets for more details.


Tags replace Markers. Tagging is available for Person, Family, Media and Note objects. Users can tag an object with multiple tags.


All primary objects could now be merged.

See Merging Records for more details.


A Locality field has been added to Location between the Street and City fields.

Custom rules migration

For avoiding unwanted effects after major upgrades (eg, from 3.2.x to 3.3.x), if need, we can manually copy our custom_filter.xml from GRAMPS User Directory to gramps_version_number.

New Selection Dialog in Export

When exporting your data, you now have a fine-grained control over the details of how filters can be applied. You also can now check which records are selected (and which ones are not) through this interface.

More tooltips

All fields on Editors have now tooltips.

Linking in Notes

Notes now support links to other items in Gramps. For example, when writing a note, you can put a link to a person, family, or marriage. When viewing these notes, you can quickly click on the link and bring up the object.

Links are also converted to HTML links when, for example, running the Narrative Web report.

Backup dialog

Simply select "Make Backup..." from the "Family Trees" menu item.


You can either choose to include the media or not.

Note that this is just a regular XML export, except that no data is filtered out. You can import these as usual with any exported file.

You can also define the pattern for the backup filename by setting the paths.quick-backup-filename in the ~/.gramps/gramps33/gramps.ini key file like the following:


You can use any of the following keywords in the pattern: year, month, day, hour, minutes, seconds, filename, extension.

Plugins changes


  • Pedigree view

Pedigree layout.png

More: Pedigree View

  • GeoView

More: GeoView

Automatic update for Addons

Gramps now supports a method for automatically checking for updated Addons. You can control what and how often it checks for new and updated addons.

These settings are controlled in Preferences.


  • "Image Metadata Gramplet" now works with pyexiv2-0.1.3 and above


  • Draw reports
  • Substitution Keys
  • Alternate Numbering on Descendant report 3635
  • CLI
  • Book
  • Web stuff
  • Improvements on Place report
  • StringOption separated from GUI widget 4593
  • Records report and gramplet 3220

Under the hood changes


There were three changes to the database file structure:

  1. Added a new field "locality" to the Place schema
  2. Added surnames to the Name schema
    • surnames is a list of surnames
    • prefix and patronymic are moved to the surname
  3. Replaced Markers with Tags
    • marker removed from all
    • tags added to Person, Media, Family, and Notes
  • Transaction
  • Merging
  • New DB version; and XML DTD (1.4.0) [1]
  • Improvements on Import/Export file formats (vcard, gedcom, xml)


  • python 2.6 and later


  • exif
  • pyexiv2-0.1.3, pyexiv2-0.2.2, or pyexiv2-0.3.0


  • Improvements (memory leaks) [2]
  • time for XML import
  • Speed up on gramplets (pedigree)


  • New translations: Ukrainian, Portuguese from Portugal
  • Lang selector on Detailed textual reports
  • Holidays on Calendar reports
  • Improvements on some Date handlers
  • Better translation on some addons
  • cleanup (configure, makefiles)
  • Better support for win32/64 API

Further info

See the 3.3.0 roadmap, the change log and Roadmap.

  • Additional Name Fields [3][4]
  • Tagging
  • Place handling
  • Database (XML /part of GEPS016/, transaction, merging /part of GEPS009/)
  • Sidebar/bottombar [5]
  • New Individual Editor [6][7]
  • Geography
  • Enhanced Pedigree View [8] and support 'config' on views into ancestry category 3710.
  • Substitution Keys
  • Draw reports: Ancestor3.3, Descendant3.3, Page_size3.3
  • Exporter has added control of filters and proxies; also has method for seeing intermediate results along the filtering process
  • New simple backup option on menu
  • New gramplets and performance improvements (Pedigree gramplet)
  • Url style on Note object (internal uri)
  • Automatic check for update (Addons)
  • New filter rules
  • Complete tooltips on editors and manual
  • Use language selector on detailled reports, enhancement on place report, translated holiday names, numbering system alternatives on descendant report 3635, better support for win32/mac packages, cleanup, need python 2.6 or later, new translations (Ukrainian, Portuguese from Portugal), etc ...

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