Gramps 5.1 Wiki Manual - Navigation
As long as any Family Tree database is open, Gramps is focused on a single person usually referred to as an Active Person. This allows you to view or modify the data concerning this person, his or her immediate family, etc. Navigating in the Family Tree database (i.e. moving from person to person) is in fact nothing else but changing the Active Person.
This section describes many alternative ways to navigate through the database using both the complex and the convenient interfaces Gramps provides. All these ways fundamentally accomplish the same result, but some methods of navigating will be more convenient than others... depending on what you are doing in Gramps at the moment.
- 1 Using the People Category
- 2 Using the Relationships Category
- 3 Using the Families Category
- 4 Using the Charts Category
- 5 Using Gramplets
- 6 Setting the Home Person
- 7 Setting the Active Person
- 8 Finding records
- 9 Using the Clipboard
- 10 Main Menus
- 11 Toolbar
- 11.1 Common Toolbar buttons
- 11.1.1 Manage Databases
- 11.1.2 ▼ Connect to a recent database
- 11.1.3 Go to the previous object in the history
- 11.1.4 Go to the next object in the history
- 11.1.5 Go to the home person
- 11.1.6 Add a new...
- 11.1.7 Edit the selected...
- 11.1.8 Delete the selected...
- 11.1.9 Merge the selected...
- 11.1.10 Tag the selected rows
- 11.1.11 Open the Clipboard dialog
- 11.1.12 Configure the active view
- 11.1.13 Open the reports dialog
- 11.1.14 Open the tools dialog
- 11.1 Common Toolbar buttons
Using the People Category
The most intuitive way to select an Active Person is to use the People Category. When in the People Category, just select the name of the desired person from the list by clicking that list entry. The person you have selected becomes active. The statusbar updates to reflect the change of the active person.
Using the Relationships Category
When in the Relationships Category, you can easily navigate between the members of the displayed family as follows:
Click on the underlined name of the person you want to go to and this person will be the new active person of the Relationships Category.
The name of the currently active person is not underlined.
In addition to this, Gramps provides an extensive set of keyboard navigation options. The detailed reference to the key bindings is found in the Appendix B: Keybindings reference.
Using the Families Category
When in the Families Category, you can easily navigate between the displayed families.
The Families can be used to visually compare a series of families for possible duplicates and missing data. Sorting on the different columns allows putting similarly named Partners in close proximity allowing Spouses to be compared. You can match by Given name or Nickname by temporarily changing "Name format" in the Display tab of Edit ▶ Preferences... dialog. As an example, a name format of "Given Surname Suffix" would makes the column sort on the nickname name.
Merging two families will not only combine the Family secondary objects, but also simultaneously merge the two fathers and two mothers.
The Family view's Filter Gramplet allows searching for Persons in different family roles. So you might look for Families with a father named "John", a mother named "Mary" and a child named "Thomas".
Gramps relies heavily on form-based layouts of linked list items. These imply relationships between records in your family Tree. The Charts Category provides an alternative, more visual, way of representing those relationships. The positions, shapes, and colors of containers along with their connecting lines & arrows can show an extra depth of interrelation with different factors. Containers can be simple color filled boxes, arcs, ribbons, or many other shapes.
But the Charts Category also provides an alternative way to navigate through the family tree. The benefit of this method is that you can see more than one generation of the family tree. So you can jump directly from a great-grandson to a great-grandfather without going through the intermediate generations.
Note that after changing the Active Person in the Charts Category, the Chart View is re-adjusted to the newly selected Active Person focus. When in the Charts Category, you can easily navigate between the members of the displayed family tree as follows:
To make any displayed person the Active Person focus, left-click their corresponding container. Right-clicking the container will invoke a context menu with options appropriate to contents.
The a context menu for a Person container may contain ▶sub-menus listing all spouses, siblings, children, and parents of the corresponding Person. The first entry in the context menu will usually be the name of the Person in that container. (It could alternately be an Edit option.) Selecting the Person name will shift focus in the same way as left-clicking the container. You can also change the Active Person focus to any of the spouses, siblings, children, or parents of any displayed person.
Some charts views have an obvious navigational correlation. Moving through generations intuitively matches moving to the left, right, upwards or downwards in the chart. These may have custom directional navigation buttons to allow navigation by clicking rather than dragging.
As an example, to change the focus of the Pedigree View to a child (if any exists) of the current Active Person, click the ❮ (Left Arrowhead) button to the left of the Active Person’s chart box. If there is only one child, the focus changes immediately. If the Active Person has more than one child, the ❮ (Left Arrowhead) button expands with a pop-up menu with a selectable list of the children. (For this particular ❮ (Left Arrowhead) button, the pop-up menu list of Children is sorted by that Parent‘s Marriage order, sub-sorted by Birth order. These orders can be changed globally in the Relationships category.)
Advantages of using context (right-click) menus
Direct access to spouse and siblings. Complete lists of all member of all categories, not only the preferred members.
Like containers, buttons may have alternate features accessed by right-clicking and choosing from a contexual pop-up menu.
Other buttons are less obvious aids to navigating to not People but features of Gramps. Using the Pedigree View example again, rolling over the lines between boxes shows a hint with any known basic details about the relationship and double-clicking those lines opens the editor for that Family. And double-clicking the Active Person box opens the editor for that Person. It is well worth reading the detailed documentation on each Chart View to discover these hidden shortcuts to favorite features.
The collection of Views in the Charts Category can be expanded with 3rd Party Addons using the Plug-in Manager feature of Gramps. The available 3rd Party Addon plug-ins can be found under the View column of the list of Addons table. The maintenance of a few 3rd Party Addon Views has been adopted by the Gramps volunteer team over the years. These became 'built-in' after being vetted and then included in the main Gramps distributions. Articles about using each Addon View are linked to the label Plugin/Documentation column. The quality of documentation varies dramatically for these articles.
On the Sidebar and bottombar, you can add Gramplets to expand your navigation options beyond a single generation's distance. Some examples are:
These examples provide the ability to navigate the Active Person focus with using the perspective of familial relationship... to nearby relatives, descendants or ancestors. Future Gramplets might allow navigating by geographical proximity, DNA matching or some other connection we haven't yet considered.
Setting the Home Person
One (and only one) person in the Family Tree database can be designated as the Home Person. Once the Home Person is designated, returning the Active Person focus to that person becomes a matter of a single click, regardless of which Category is being used at the moment.
To set the Home Person, first navigate to that person using any method you like. Then choose the People category and select the menu Edit ->Set Home Person. Once this is done, you can move to the Home Person from anywhere in the database by simply clicking the Toolbar Home icon. You can also choose the menu Go ->Home or select Home item from any context menu available on the right click or use the keyboard shortcut Alt+Home.
- Settings#Setting Home Person
- On the Edit Person dialog you can select "Make Home Person" from the context menu.
Setting the Active Person
The Active Person is expected to be the contextual focus of actions, reports and edits. They are the selected item in the Person view or at top of the Relationship view.
The Active Person focus may be selected directly or "navigated" to indirectly. Methods include:
- clicking on a person's listing in the Person view
- selecting the person from the Bookmarks menu
- Using history-based Navigation
- hotlink navigation
- Context menus
- Notes as Navigational Shortcuts
There is a selection highlight as a visual cue of the Active Person in the People View. In the Relationship View, the Active Person is shown in a separate section at the top. All other persons shown below have an immediate (parent, sibling, spouse, child) relationship with the Active Person. Optionally, the Status Bar may set to list the focus Object for the View Category. (The Active Person is the focus for several View Categories.)
Normally, simply clicking on the hotlinked name of a Person will select that person and shift this Active Person contextual focus.
Each Person's name in the Person and Relationship category views is a hotlink. Changing the Active Person focus in Person view appears to merely change which record is highlighted. But this also causes Gramplets contents to be updated and the Relationship, Charts & Geography views to be re-focused on the new Active Person.
Selecting a different hotlinked name in the Relationship category view causes a less subtle change. The perspective of how the family data is represented changes towards that focus. Their details move to the top section and their immediate family are re-arranged below.
However, hotlinked names in the References tab and Notes (and in some Gramplets) will merely open the Person Editor window without navigating the Active Person focus to that Person. (These links behave as though you had clicked an Edit button instead of a hotlinked name.) This facilitates quickly editing Persons around the Active Person without the disorientation of a shifting focus.
The Active Person focus can be set while in the Edit Person dialog by using the context menu (right-clicking) in the empty space of the header area. The Make Active Person option in that context menu changes the Active Person focus to the Person being edited.
Gramps also features a powerful set of history-based navigation tools. These tools are similar to those commonly used in web browsers.
They include Back and Forward items available from the Go menu, context menus (available in People, Family, and Pedigree Categories), and the toolbar buttons. They also include the list of the recent selections available under the Go menu that allows you to jump directly to any of the recent selections. Finally, right-clicking on the < Back and Forward > toolbar buttons invokes the popup menu with corresponding portion of the history. Select any item from the menu to jump directly to it.
The Home button on the toolbar is a special case bookmark. It shifts the Active Person focus to the Person currently designated as the Home Person. This is so frequently useful that this feature also has a keybinding.
Similar to setting the Home Person, you can bookmark other people from the database to simplify further navigation. To bookmark a person, first navigate to that person, then choose the menu Bookmarks ->Add Bookmark. To move to that person elsewhere in the database, choose the menu Bookmarks ->Person's name from the list of bookmarked names shown. The other categories have their own list of Bookmarks.
You can manage your bookmarks by choosing the menu Bookmarks ->Organize bookmarks... or keybinding ⇧ Shift+CTRL+D. This opens the Organize Bookmarks dialog with the list of bookmarks and the controls to modify this list.
Use the Up and Down buttons to change the list sequence. Use the Remove button to remove a Bookmark. The Help will bring you to this page, and you close the Organize Bookmarks window with the Close button.
The list of Bookmarked People can be selected through the People Category, as explained above, but is also shared with the Relationships and Charts Categories.
On a similar basis, separate lists of Bookmarks are maintained in each of the following Categories: Families, Events, Places, Sources, Citations, Repositories, Media, and Notes.
There are separate Bookmarks lists in several categories. But they are still just simple lists. Long lists of bookmarks quickly become unwieldy.
Persistent Links can be created in Notes. Use the Link Editor in Notes to organize navigation links to different types of Gramps records following to your own organization methods. Once a Note has linked text, that linked record can be used like a Bookmark. In Note Gramplets where editing is not active, clicking on the Link open the Object Editor for that link. (It requires an extra modifier in the Noted Editor: navigate to that record by holding the CTRL key and clicking on the Linked Text.) One note be used as a Linked Index to other Notes with different sets of Links.
An example of a linked note might include an obituary where all the Persons, Places or even the Events are Linked. This makes it easier to navigate to the indirectly related (or even unrelated) pallbearers, funeral officiators, or attendees.
Another note might be the transcribed bibliography for the published original research of another genealogist. As you collect digital copies of those originally cited references, the linked bibliography can be used as a Source acquisition checklist. When completely Linked, the Bibliography can be use to navigate through Sources for each citation while searching for unsupported conclusions, inaccuracies or omissions.
You may want to first apply search filters to reduce the size of the list. The search bar can be used for single term searches when the gramplets sidebar is not enabled. For more complex searches, gain access to the multiple term filter controls by enabling the gramplet sidebar (by choosing the View -> Sidebar menu) and choosing the Filter gramplet tab. Select the desired filter and click Find. For details, see Filters.
To find a record in one of the category list views, first switch to the appropriate category that provides the list of the desired records: People, Sources, Places, or Media. Select a line in the list to gain focus and then start typing the name of a person or the title of a Source, Place, or Media object that you are looking for, respectively.
Alternatively, select a line in the list to gain focus and then you may press CTRL+F to turn on the search mode textbox. However, simply starting to type is also enough to both open the box and start entering the search term.
As you type, the first matching record in the sort column of the list will scroll to the center of the list and be selected. As you type more characters, the match will be refined. As long as the search mode text box is visible, pressing the ⬇ down arrow cursor key will move to the next match while pressing the ⬆ up arrow cursor control key will move to the previous match. The box disappears after it is idle. (When there have been no keystrokes for between 5 and 15 seconds.) Without the Find box active, the cursor control keys revert to moving the records selection up and down the list.
Changing the sort column (by clicking on the header) also changes the column being matched. Finding in a different sort column works best in Flat List view modes. (People or Place category view modes with hierarchical grouped are less responsive than Flat List view that are already sorted alphabetically.)
Using the Clipboard
Not your ordinary Clipboard
Note, that the Gramps Clipboard doesn't work anything like a standard computer clipboard. It works like a real clipboard in that you drag things onto it, and drag-copy them off.
Clipboard storage is persistent within a single Gramps session. Closing the Clipboard window will not lose the stored records. However, exiting Gramps will.
For an application like Gramps the Clipboard is very important as it will help reduce repetitive data entry.
The Clipboard tool provides a temporary notepad to store database records for easy reuse during a single Gramps session eg: until you exit Gramps. In short, this is a sort of the copy-and-paste functionality extended from textual objects to other types of records used in Gramps. Clipboard makes extensive use of the drag and drop technique
To invoke the Clipboard, either choose the menu Edit->Clipboard or click the Toolbar Clipboard button or use the Keyboard shortcut (accelerator key) CTRL+B.
Clipboard supports addresses, attributes (both personal and family), events (both personal and family), names, media objects references, citations, URLs, and of course textual information of notes and comments. To store any type of these records, simply drag the existing record on to the Clipboard Pad from the corresponding editor dialog. To reuse the record, drag it from the Clipboard on to the corresponding place in the editor, e.g. Address tab, Attribute tab, etc.
Selecting a record using the the context menu (right click) will show the following three options for each record type:
- See the [RECORD TYPE] details
- Make the [RECORD TYPE] active
- Create Filter from the [RECORD TYPE] selected
- One example
- You find a birth certificate of a person. In this certificate also the witnesses are mentioned. And the birth certificate also determines a source where the information was stored. The best way is to open the clipboard and drag the source you want to work with there. Then use drag and drop to use it in new items you use.
Now you can finalize the information on the person editor screen. Drag that info also to the Clipboard.
Now you add two new persons for the witnesses (assuming you do not have them already in your database). Simply drag and drop the birth info to the witness event screen. You are then presented with the screen where you can change the role of the witness to witness for this birth event. You do the same with the other witness.
This saves you a lot of typing and possible errors.
The MenuBar shows the available Gramps Menu options.
Very abbreviated menus will be available before a Tree is loaded. They allow managing Trees; quitting Gramps; editing application-wide Preferences; enabling and disabling sections of the Graphical User Interface (GUI); and Help options.
"Import" is a Family Tree menu option that only appears when a Tree has been loaded
Gramps needs to have a prepared place to import genealogical data. Create and load a new, blank Tree to in order to import data exported from another Genealogy tool. (Such as a GEDCOM file.) Data can also be directly imported into a Tree that already has data. But make a backup first!
After a Tree is loaded, the Family Trees, Reports, Tools and Help menus will always have consistent options. But the availability of options of the other menus is context aware. Options in the Add, Edit and View menus change depending on the active Category and some menu items appear 'dimmed' when the selection objects in the view do not permit the action.
A Windows menu appears when there are any spawned windows or dialogs to be listed.
- Manage Family Trees... - open the Family Tree Manager Window
- Open Recent - a shortcut to opening a recently worked on Family Tree
- Close - backup and close the current Tree
- Import... - Bring in data from other formats.
Make a Backup before importing! There are import Preferences to mark imported data with timestamped Tag and/or Source attributes. These options dramatically slow the Import process but are helpful for the ensuing data cleanup.
- Export... - Exporting data allows you to share any portion of your Gramps Family Tree with other researchers as well as to enable you to transfer your data to another computer.
- Export View... - Menu only appears on most Views, if the displayed data can be exported. Gramps will export data on screen according your choice: CSV or Open Document spreadsheet format.
- Make Backup... - Allows you to make a Full Gramps XML backup of your currently opened Family Tree. Note some configuration and Media items are omitted from XML backups.
- Abandon Changes and Quit... -
- Quit... -
- Person - adds a Person (prim. obj.)
- Family - adds a Family (prim. obj.) - Brings up the Family Editor dialog
- Event - adds an Event (prim. obj.)
- Place - adds a Place (prim. obj.)
- Source - adds a Source (prim. obj.)
- Citation - adds a Citation (prim. obj.)
- Repository - adds a Repository (prim. obj.)
- Media - adds a Media (prim. obj.)
- Note - adds a Note (prim. obj.)
- Undo -
- Redo -
- Undo History... - Open the Undo History dialog
Additional menu options dependent on Category view will appear here.
- Tag - See Tagging
- Clipboard - The Clipboard tool provides a temporary notepad to store database records for easy reuse.
- Preferences... - Shows the Preferences dialog. That allows you to change most settings in Gramps.
- Additional menu options dependent on Category view will appear here.
- Configure... - Allows you to configure the active view. Provides options to hide, reveal & re-arrange elements.
- Navigator... - The Navigator is a sidebar container for the Navigator Category icons. When selected (default), the sidebar is shown on the left of the active View. Deselecting hides the Navigator sidebar. If all the Category icons cannot fit in the available vertical space, a hidden scrollbar will be created on the right of the sidebar and be revealed when rolled (hovered) over.
Text labels for the icons can be hidden via an option in the Display tab of Preferences. Display modes can be selected from the pop-up menu at the bottom of the Navigator sidebar.
- Toolbar - show (or hide) a split screen container for (frequently used) action icons above the Category View. The selection of action icons varies to suit the Category view.
A Third party Addon can be installed to supplement the Preferences with a Theme tab providing an option to show Text labels for each Toolbar button.
- Sidebar - Show (or hide) a split screen container for Gramplets to the right of the Category View.
- Bottombar - Show (or hide) a split screen container for Gramplets at the bottom of the window, just above the Status Bar.
- Full Screen - Expand window to use all available screen space while disabling the window dragging & resizing controls. Deselecting restores to previous size while re-enabling the window dragging & resizing controls.
- Dependent on which view is active, other option menu items will appear here that can modify how the View organizes data.
- Back - navigates the selection of the current View backwards to the previous item in your Navigation history
- Forward - navigates the selection of the current View forward to the next item in your Navigation history
- Dynamic list of the most recent 10 records (People, Families, et cetera) selected, the List is dependent on the Category view being viewed.
Known bug patch for Gramps version 5.1.1(Fixed in Version 5.1.2)
Fixes 'Go' menu selection scramble caused by recent UIManager upgrade
You can use the third party RestoreHist addon
So that a portion of the Go menu can be made to persist between restarts of Gramps. If installed then you can manually clear the stored state by finding and deleting /gramps51/plugins/RestoreHist/hist_save.ini file from the user folder (the ~.gramps folder or %Appdata% folder in Windows).
- Add Bookmark - Create a bookmark from the currently selected item eg: Person, Family etc..
- Organize Bookmarks... - Opens the Organize Bookmarks window.
- Dynamic section where the bookmarks appear
- Books... - The Books Report allows you to create a custom genealogy book containing a collection of Gramps textual and graphical reports in a single document (i.e. a Book)
- Graphs... -
- Graphical Reports... -
- Text Reports... -
- Ahnentafel Report...
- Birthday and Anniversary Report...
- Complete Individual Report...
- Database Summary Report...
- Descendant Report...
- Detailed Ancestral Report...
- Detailed Descendant Report...
- End of Line Report...
- Family Group Report...
- Kinship Report...
- Note Link Report...
- Number of Ancestors Report...
- Places Report...
- Records Report...
- Tag Report...
- Web Pages... -
- Analysis and Exploration -
- Compare Individual Events...
- Interactive Descendant Browser... -
- Debug -
- Family Tree Processing -
- Family Tree Repair -
- Windows - This menu provides quick access to opened windows you are working on.
- User Manual - Direct link to the online Gramps User manual you are viewing right now. Yes, you need an internet connection to consult the Gramps User Manual.
- FAQ - A link to the Frequently Asked Questions about Gramps.
- Key Bindings - A link to the Keybindings reference for Gramps. Also known as Keyboard shortcuts.
- Tip of the Day - Displays a dialog with a random hint about using the Gramps software.
- Plugin Manager - From this menu you can manage the built in plugins as well as any Third-Party Addons you may have installed.
- Gramps Home Page - This item opens your web browser and connects to the Gramps project web site.
- Gramps Mailing List - This item opens your web browser to the Gramps mailing list page. On this page, you can browse the mailing list archives and join the gramps-users mailing list so you can share your experiences with other Gramps user's.
- Report a Bug - Choose this item to file a bug report in the Gramps bug tracking system. (This requires you to have a registered account on the Gramps bug reporting system) (Remember, Gramps is a living project. We want to know about any problems you encounter so we can work to solve them for you and everyone elses benefit.)
- Extra Reports/Tools - A link to Installing Third-Party Addons in Gramps.
- About - This item displays a dialog with general information about the Gramps version you are running.
The Toolbar is a horizontal set of button controls located right below the menubar. It gives you access to the most frequently used functions of Gramps.
- The assortment of Tool buttons is "contextual" -- the icons shown depends on which Category view and view mode is active
- Hovering over a toolbar icon shows a tip of its function
- The Toolbar can be hidden or revealed by the option in menu View ->Toolbar.
Toolbar enhancement in the Themes Third party Addon
One of options of the Theme tab is a ☑ Toolbar Text checkbox. Selecting the checkbox causes the text labels to appear.
▼ Connect to a recent database
This ▼ button opens Family Trees ▶ Open Recent... drop-down menu from the toolbar.
The toolbar button is an alternative to the Go ▶ Back menu option, or pressing the Back keyboard keybinding. It uses the history based Navigation to shift the active object focus to the previously selected object in this category.
The toolbar button is an alternative to the Go ▶ Forward menu option, or pressing the Forward keyboard keybinding. It uses the history based Navigation to restore the active object focus shifted with the Go ▶ Back feature.
This button is only available after using the Go ▶ Back feature.
This button is only functional if the Home Person has been set.
The toolbar button is an alternative to the Edit ▶ Add.. menu option, or pressing the Add keyboard keybinding. It opens a blank Object Editor matching the object category of the current view.
The button is an alternative to the Edit ▶ Edit... menu option, or pressing the Edit keyboard keybinding. It opens an Object Editor for each selected object in the category view.
The toolbar button is an alternative to the Edit ▶ Delete menu option, or pressing the Delete keyboard keybinding. It opens a Delete confirmation dialog.
The item that is about to be deleted is identified. If multiple items were selected, a dialog appears for each. A checkbox option offers to "Use this answer for the rest of the items".
This toolbar button is an alternative to the Edit ▶ Merge... menu option. It opens the Merge dialog for that particular category of records.
Successful use of the Merge button is only possible if two (and only 2) records are selected in the view.
This toolbar button is an alternative to the Edit ▶ Tag submenu.
The button reveals a pop-up menu with the following Tag options:
Followed by a list of currently available tags that can be applied to the selected objects in the view.
Tags are used for color coding rows in list views, marker swatches on some charts, and persistent markers for filtering and organization.
This toolbar button is an alternative to the Edit ▶ Clipboard menu option, or pressing the Clipboard keyboard keybinding. It opens the Clipboard dialog without adding the selected object to its collection.
This toolbar button is an alternative to choosing the View ▶ Configure... menu option, or pressing the Configure active view keyboard keybinding.
Most Category views have a ⚙ Configurable Options. Clicking this button opens the dialog with the controls for adjusting those options.
This option opens a dialog with choices for displaying records in the View. (The dialog will also have tabs for any Gramplets which have configurable options that are active in the view.)
This is a persistent alternative to using the Reports submenus.
By presenting the available Reports in a floating dialog, room is available for describing each Report, its status and contributing developer information. The dialog also allows exploration of Reports to be more structured.
This is a persistent alternative to using the Tools submenus.
By presenting the available Tools in a floating dialog, room is available for describing each Tool, its status and contributing developer information. The dialog also allows exploration of Tools to be more structured.
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