Addon:Graph View

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Please use carefully on data that is backed up, and help make it better by reporting any comments or problems to the author, or issues to the bug tracker
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

The larger the number of people in the Family Tree

The longer the chart will take to appear eg: about 7000 people takes 10 minutes.

Some options only appear in newer versions of Gramps 5.x.x

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.

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
  • "V" - Go to active person
  • "Go to bookmark" - 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. You can use <Ctrl+F> to make search entry active.
  • "🔍" - Search - typing shows "Persons from current graph:" (who are being display) and "Other persons from the database:" (who are not being displayed)
  • "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.

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)
    • Show tags (checkbox unselected by default)
  • Themes
    • Person theme:
      • Default
      • Image on right side
      • Image on left side
    • Home person color: #000000(default)
    • Font: - shows the default that can be changed by selecting from the
      • Pick a Font dialog
  • 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)


  • Interactive.
  • The view redraws in response to changes made to a person or family.
  • The active person is highlighted.
  • Clicking a 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.
  • Ability to show both ancestors and descendant trees (adjustable from the Graph View toolbar.
  • The view can be panned by using mouse click and drag. Select the background of the tree and drag the mouse to pan the view.
  • A right mouse click on a person or family node shows the person or family editor as appropriate.
  • Right click a family to add or delete a spouse or child.
  • Save the dot file for a later printing. This will save a .gv file and a svg file. You must select a .gv file.
  • Bookmark a person from the view and manage them using the Go to bookmark button.
  • Ability to 🔍 Search... current family tree graph and total family tree database as well as any saved bookmarks.
  • Right click an empty section of the view to choose the type of connecting Lines type, options are Direct, Curves, Ortho
Right click menu shown when selecting an empty section of the chart.
Right click menu shown when selecting a Person on the chart.
Right click menu shown when selecting a Family (node) on the chart.


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


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.

Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE)

These packages are not available for Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE). You can download these as .deb files from launchpad and install them in the usual manner. You need the Binary packages shown at the bottom of that pages, except for the development libraries.

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


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


  • 8054#c44291 - Test code for Printing.
  • 9806 Subprocess on [GraphView] can generate a memory issue
  • 8054 Better label positioning in Graphview