Addon:Graph View

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Unless otherwise stated on this page, you can download this addon by following these instructions.
Please note that some Addons have prerequisites that need to be installed before they can be used.
This Addon/Plugin system is controlled by the Plugin Manager.

Feature is slow in larger Trees

The larger the number of people in the Family Tree, the longer the chart will take to appear.
e.g.: a test with about 7000 people took 10 minutes.
This can be adjusted by changing the number of generations to be shown.

Graph View - addon - In action showing both ancestors and descendant trees (Gramps 5.1.x version)

Graph View is an interactive Charts Charts category view addon that presents a navigable ancestors and descendant tree using the current active person as a starting point. Clicking another person in the family tree will make that person the active person and will redraw the family tree based on them.


From the Charts Charts category view select the Graph View icon or select View > Graph View from the menu.

In general the Graph View is:

  • Interactive, the view redraws in response to changes made to a person or family.
  • The active person is highlighted.
  • Clicking on another person will redraw the family tree based on that person.
  • Clicking the active person will show the parent family of the active person, thereby allowing previous generations to be shown.
  • A right mouse click on a person or family node shows the person or family editor as appropriate.
  • Able to show both ancestors and descendant trees (adjustable from the Graph View toolbar).
  • Graph view can be panned by using mouse click and drag. Select the background of the tree and drag the mouse to pan the view. Also you can use mouse scroll button to pan view in any place of view.

Graph View Toolbar


Graph View has a smaller toolbar of its own with the following options (from left to right):

  • +(Zoom in) button - Zoom in the view.
  • -(Zoom out) button - Zoom out the view.
  • 1(Zoom to original) button to reset the view to the default size.
  • (Zoom to best fit) button to fit the current family tree graph in the display
  • (Go to active person)
  • Go to bookmark button - Center view on selected bookmark - also shows "Bookmarks for current graph:" (who are being display) and "Other Bookmarks:" (who are not being displayed) - along with two buttons to "Add active person" to bookmarks and "Edit" the bookmarks.
  • 🔍 Search... - typing shows "Persons from current graph:" (who are being display) and "Other persons from the database:" (who are not being displayed) as well as any saved bookmarks. You can use Ctrl + F to make search entry active.
  • Generations - setting to change the generations shown for Ancestor 3 generations by default and Descendants 10 generations by default.
  • Spacing - changes the vertical(5 default) and horizontal(2 default) spacing between the generations.
  • All connected - Show all connected persons limited by generation restrictions. Works slow, so don't set large generation values. ( Limited to 1000 persons, if your family tree has more than that you get the Incomplete graph warning and only the first 1000 connected persons are drawn.)

On main Gramps Toolbar

On the main Gramps Toolbar you also have:

  • (Print) button that does not print but instead allows you to save the currently displayed Graph into a dot format file for a later printing. This will save a .gv file and a svg file. You must select a .gv file. (Gramps Print -SVG does not show photo)
  • * (Configure Options) button with option shown in the next section.

Configure Options

Select View > Configure... from the menu to change the settings on the following four tabs:

  • Layout
    • Show images (checkbox selected by default)
    • Show avatars (checkbox selected by default)
    • Highlight the home person (checkbox selected by default)
    • Show full dates (checkbox unselected by default)
    • Show places (checkbox unselected by default)
    • Placeformat:
      • Default
      • Full
    • Show tags (checkbox unselected by default)
    • Time Direction:
      • Vertical: Top to Bottom
      • Vertical: Bottom to Top
      • Horizontal: Left to Right
      • Horizontal: Right to Left
  • Themes
    • Person theme:
      • Default
      • Image on right side
      • Image on left side
    • Path color to home person: #000000(default)
    • Font: - shows the default that can be changed by selecting from the
      • Pick a Font dialog
    • Avatars style:
      • Custom
      • Dark Default
      • Light
      • Cartoon
Graph View Avatars

Choose the Custom Avatars style adds 2 more popup menus:

  • Male avatar: File selector
  • Female avatar: File selector
    • Active person border size: 3(default)
    • Person border size: 1(default)
  • Animation
    • Show animation (checkbox selected by default)
      • Animation speed (1..5 and 5 is the slower): (default is 3)
      • Animation count (0..8 use 0 to turn off): (default is 4)
  • Search
    • Search in all database(checkbox selected by default)
    • Show person image(checkbox selected by default)
    • Show bookmarked first(checkbox selected by default)

Context menus

Graph view has three context menus that allow the following

Empty section

Right click menu shown when selecting an empty section of the chart.

Right-click an empty section of the Graph View to offer the following display options:

  • Show images - Display thumbnails or avatars
  • Highlight the home person - set the background of the Home Person to green
  • Show full dates - format the birth and death date as only the year or as the complete date
  • Show places - show or hide birth and death places
  • Show tags - show color markers on tagged Persons and Families
  • Show animation - after redraws, wiggle the Active Person to draw focus
  • Lines type - choose the style of lines connecting People and Families
    • Direct
    • Curves
    • Ortho
  • About Graph View - this help wiki webpage

Person node

Right click menu shown when selecting a Person on the chart.

Right-click a person (node) to show a context menu offering the following options for the indicated person:

  • Edit
  • Copy
  • Delete

  • Tags
  • Spouses
  • Siblings
  • Children
  • Parents
  • Related - shows people sharing an event

  • Set as home person
  • Show path to home person - changes the view to show how these two people connect to their common ancestor
  • Add to bookmarks

  • About Graph View

Family node

Right click menu shown when selecting a Family (node) on the chart.

Right click a family (node) to add or delete a spouse or child.

  • Edit
  • Remove

  • Tags
  • Spouse
  • Children

  • About Graph View


Before Graph View can be used you will need the following installed:


These are already installed if you are using the Gramps All In One installer eg: GrampsAIOxxxxx.exe


All of these should be available in common Linux distributions.

For example,


Packages Goocanvas/PyGoocanvas as libgoocanvas3 and python-pygoocanvas.

Note: As of May 2020 the required packages for Debian Testing are gir1.2-goocanvas-2.0 and libgoocanvas-2.0-9 from the official repositories.

Please make sure to download these for the proper architecture, like amd64 for 64-bit PCs (Intel included).


Try package goocanvas2-devel.


You may need to install typelib-1_0-GooCanvas-2_0 as mentioned in issue 8076.


You can see related issues at bug tracker.

See also

  • Addon:AvatarGenerator - allows you to add and remove one or several images for a selected set of filtered people.