Gramps 4.1 Wiki Manual - Tools

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This chapter describes the various tools available in Gramps.

Gramps tools allow you to perform various types of analysis of your genealogical data. Typically, the tools do not produce output in form of printouts or files. Instead, they produce screen output immediately available for the researcher. However, when appropriate, you can save the results of running a tool into a file. Tools present one of the major strengths of Gramps compared to the most genealogical software.

The tools can be accessed by choosing the menu Tools ->Tool Section ->Particular Tool . Alternatively, you can browse the complete selection of available tools along with their brief descriptions in a Tool Selection dialog invoked by clicking the Tools icon on the toolbar.

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Additional Tools

Starting with Gramps version 3.2 a new system was implemented to have even more tools available. This system is controlled by the Plugin Manager. The Plugin Manager can get additional Addons for you.

Common Options

  • id: = ID

Gramps ID of a central person.

Analysis and Exploration

This section contains tools which analyze and explore the database, but do not alter it. The following analysis and exploration tools are currently available in Gramps:

Compare Individual Events...

Compare Individual Events - Event comparison filter selection - dialog

This tool compares events across the selected group of people.

The people for this comparison can be chosen from previously created custom filters by selecting the Filter: drop down list, which defaults to the Entire Database. Or by selecting the Custom Filter Editor button, to create custom filters in the Person Filters editor. To run the report select Apply

From the Event Comparison Results window you can view the results or Save as the resulting table as a spreadsheet. Select Close to exit the report.

You can use this tool via menu Tools->Analysis and Exploration > Compare Individual Events....

Compare Individual Events - Event comparison results - window


Family Tree Processing

This section contains tools which may modify your database. The tools from this section are used mostly for finding and correcting errors in the data. The following Family Tree Processing tools are currently available in Gramps:

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Note

The modifications will only be performed upon your explicit consent, except for the automatic fixes performed by Check and repair Database tool.

Edit Database Owner Information...

Fig. 12.1 Database Owner Information Editor

This tool modifies any existing Researcher Information.

Select the menu Tools->Family Tree Processing->Edit Database Owner Information.... This brings up the Database Owner Editor window, where you can fill in the needed info.

  • Name:
  • Street:
  • Locality:
  • City:
  • State/County:
  • Country:
  • ZIP/Postal Code:
  • Phone:
  • Email:

This information is family tree specific and will be used when exporting your data in GEDCOM format.

Two choices are available from the right click context menu:

  • Copy from DB to Preferences
  • Copy from Preferences to DB


Extract Event Description

Extracts event descriptions from the event data by using a model :

{event type} of {Surname}, {Given name}

If event description is missing, then tool will use this event description field model.

You can access this tool via the menu Tools->Family Tree Processing->Extract Event Description...

The name format in the Event's Description field depends on the defined name format in Edit->Preferences->Display->Name format

Extract Information from Names

This tool searches the entire database and attempts to extract titles and nicknames that may be embedded in a person's Given name field. If any information could be extracted, the candidates for fixing will be presented in the table. You may then decide which to repair as suggested and which not to.

You can access this tool via the menu Tools->Family Tree Processing->Extract Information from Names....

The Undo history warning will be shown and you can either Stop or Proceed with the tool.

Fig. 12.2 Default prefix and connector settings - dialog

The Default prefix and connector settings - dialog will be shown and you can modify each of the options as required, once you have finished select OK to start the tool, a Extracting Information from Names progress box will be shown.


Fig. 12.3 Name and title extraction tool - dialog results window

Once the report finishes the Name and title extraction tool - dialog results window will be shown.


Extract Place Data from a Place Title

Fig. 12.4 Extract Place Data

This tool attempts to extract city, state/province and zip code from a place title.

The tools operates on places where all fields in the main location are empty.

You can access this tool via the menu Tools->Family Tree Processing->Extract Place Data from a Place Title...


The description must match the following categories:

New York, NY 10000

Only available for :

  • USA
  • Canada
  • Sweden
Stockholm (A) 
  • France
Paris, IDF 75000, FRA or Paris, ILE DE FRANCE 75000, FRA

The dialog allows you to preview and confirm individual changes.

Find Possible Duplicate People...

Fig. 12.5 Find Possible Duplicate People - dialog - showing Defaults
Fig. 12.6 Find Possible Duplicate People - Potential Merges - results window

This tool searches the entire database, looking for the entries that may represent the same person.

You can access this tool via the menu Tool->Family Tree Processing->Find Possible Duplicate People....

Two options are available:

  • Match Threshold: choose between Low(default), Medium and High from the drop down menu.
  • Options: a check box to enable or disable the use of soundex codes for matching possible duplicate people.

Only three buttons are present: Help brings you to this page, a Cancel to stop processing and an OK button to start processing the data.

If you select the OK button, the data will be processes in two passes.

  • Pass 1: Building preliminary lists
  • Pass 2: Calculating potential matches.

A progress bar will be shown and depending the speed of your computer and the amount of people in the database this can take some time.

Finally a Potential Merges window is presented. This window shows a list with three columns:

  • Rating: this gives you an idea of the resemblance between the two people. The higher the ranking, the higher the chance that the people are duplicates.
  • First Person
  • Second Person

If you select a row you can check the details with the Compare button or you can double-click on the selected row.

Three buttons are present: Help brings you to this page, a Close to close the window which returns you to the Find Possible Duplicate People' window and a Compare button to which brings up a Compare People window which was explain in detail in the Merge People Dialog. Here you can select with the radio buttons one of the persons and eventually use the Merge and close button to merge the data if you find the two persons are duplicates.

Selecting the Cancel button brings you back to the list.


Fix Capitalization of Family Names...

Fig. 12.7 Fix Capitalization

This tool searches the entire database and attempts to fix the capitalization of family names.

The aim is to have conventional capitalization: capital first letter and lower case for the rest of the family name. If deviations from this rule are detected, the candidates for fixing will be presented in the table.

You may then decide which to repair as suggested and which not to.

You can use this tool via menu Tools->Family Tree Processing->Fix Capitalization of Family Names....

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Undo history

Proceeding with this tool will erase the undo history for this session. In particular, you will not be able to revert the changes made by this tool or any changes made prior to it. It is recommended that you please stop here and backup your database; so that you can revert the process of running this tool.

You can choose Stop or Proceed with the tool.

If there where changes to Capitalization of Names you will be presented with the Capitalization changes window. The window shows a list of the family names that Gramps can convert to correct capitalization. In the list you will see a three columns: Select check box(es), Original Name and Capitalization Change.

Select the names you want to be changed, then hit the Accept changes and close button. Or use the Cancel button to abort changes.


You can also install the "Fix Capitalization of Given Names" tool Addon that once installed works almost identically to this tool but works for "Given Names"

Merge citations...

Rename Event Types

Fig. 12.8 Change type

This tool allows all the events of a certain name to be renamed to a new name.


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Undo history

Proceeding with this tool will erase the undo history for this session. In particular, you will not be able to revert the changes made by this tool or any changes made prior to it. If you think you may want to revert running this tool, please stop here and backup your database.

The Change Event Types window is presented. This tool will rename all events of one type to a different type.

  • Original event type: fill in the text field or use the drop down menu and select an original event type
  • New event type: fill in the text field (you can create a complete new type here) or use the drop down menu and select a new type

The example shows a renaming of the Birth event to a Baptism event.

Finally use the Cancel or the OK button.

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Renaming events

Once completed, this cannot be undone by the regular Undo function.

Reorder Gramps ID

This tool Reorder Gramps ID will change all the elements in the database to conform to the scheme specified in the database's prefix id's.

You can change those settings in the menu Edit->Preferences... and then select the ID Formats tab.

You can use this tool via menu Tools->Family Tree Processing->Reorder Gramps IDs.

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Undo history

Proceeding with this tool will erase the undo history for this session. In particular, you will not be able to revert the changes made by this tool or any changes made prior to it. If you think you may want to revert running this tool, please stop here and backup your database.

The window will show a progress bar.

In different steps following IDs' are reordered: Reordering People IDs', Reordering Family IDs', Reordering Event IDs', Reordering Media Object IDs', Reordering Source IDs', Reordering Citation IDs', Reordering Place IDs', Reordering Repository IDs' and finally Reordering Note IDs'.

In a next step unused IDs' are searched for and assigned.

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Custom IDs'

If you customized your IDs', all those setting are replaced by the default setting. So take care before you use this tool!

Sort Events

Fig. 12.9 Sort Events

Events appearing on the Event tab on a Person or Family Editor are not sorted in any particular order other than the order that the events were added. The reason for not enforcing any particular ordering, particularly ordering by date, is to allow for the situation where an event was known to have happened but the exact chronology is not. Importing or merging data from an external source can lead to extra events being added to, but out of sequence with, the existing set of events of a person or family.

Events can be manually re-ordered by drag & drop or by use of the re-order buttons on the Events tab. Either way, an event can be moved up or down in the list of events and Gramps will remember the new order when the changes are saved. The new ordering will be used wherever events are shown elsewhere in Gramps, such as on a report.

The order of all events on a tab can also be changed by clicking a column title. For example, clicking the 'Date' column header will sort all the events in date order. However this way of sorting events is temporary and changes to the event order are not preserved when the window is closed.

The drag and drop approach to sorting events is fine for moving a small number of events but is not practical for large scale changes. The Sort Events tool has been designed specifically for this purpose, re-sorting all events in the database or just those associated with a targeted selection of people chosen by using a filter.

The first option on the Sort Events dialog window is used to define the range of people who's events are to be sorted. The first choice in the list is to apply the sorting to all people in the database. Alternative choices are to apply sorting to ancestors and descendants of a chosen person or to a range of people selected by a custom built person filter. After choosing who the sort should apply to, the next thing to consider is how the events should be sorted. The first option is to sort by date. This is probably the most likely choice, but other event attributes can be chosen too. The final choices are whether to make the events sorted ascending or descending and whether to apply the sort to family events that the selected people belong to as well.


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Undo history

Proceeding with this tool will erase the undo history for this session. In particular, you will not be able to revert the changes made by this tool or any changes made prior to it. If you think you may want to revert running this tool, please stop here and backup your database.

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Sorting events

Once completed, this cannot be undone by the regular Undo function.

Family Tree Repair

Check and Repair Database

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Warning

The Check and repair Database tool performs automatic fixes.

This tool checks the database for integrity problems, fixing the problems it can. Specifically, the tool is checking for:

  • Broken family links. These are the cases when a person's record refers to a family while the family's record does not refer to that person, and vice versa.
  • Missing media objects. The missing media object is the object whose file is referenced in the database but does not exist. This can happen when the file is accidentally deleted, renamed, or moved to another location.
  • Empty families. These are the family entries which have no reference to any person as their member.
  • Parent relationship. This checks all families to ensure that father and mother are not mixed up. The check is also made that parents have different gender. If they have common gender then their relationship is renamed to "Partners".

Rebuild Gender Statistics

Rebuilds gender statistics for name gender guessing...

Rebuild Reference Maps

This tool rebuilds reference map tables (References items on editors).

Rebuild Secondary Indexes

This tool rebuilds secondary indices.

Remove Unused Objects...

This tool will search your database for pieces of information which are not connected to anything else, and then allow you to edit and attach the information or remove them.

Fig. 12.10 Unused Objects - dialog


Utilities

This section contains tools allowing you to perform a simple operation on a portion of data. The results can be saved in your database, but they will not modify your existing data. The following utilities are currently available in Gramps:

Media Manager...

Fig. 12.11 Final confirmation window

This tool allows batch operations on media objects stored in Gramps. An important distinction must be made between a Gramps media object and its file.

The Gramps media object is a collection of data about the media object file: its filename and/or path, its description, its ID, notes, source references, etc. These data do not include the file itself.

The files containing image, sound, video, etc. exist separately on your hard drive. These files are not managed by Gramps and are not included in the Gramps database. The Gramps database only stores the path and file names.

This tool allows you to only modify the records within your Gramps database. If you want to move or rename the files then you need to do it on your own, outside of Gramps. Then you can adjust the paths using this tool so that the media objects store the correct file locations.

If you click the Forward button (or using the keyboard shortcut Alt+F) you will get a window with three radio buttons:

  • Replace substrings in the path: Selecting this radio button will bring up a Replace substring settings window where you can type in any string in the Replace text field and the With text field. At any time you can click on the Cancel button or the Back button. Clicking the Forward button will bring up the Final confirmation window.
  • Convert paths from relative to absolute
  • Convert paths from absolute to relative


Not Related

Fig. 12.12. Not related

This report will find people who are not related to the selected person.

You will get a Not related to '...' window which shows a list of all the people that are NOT related to the selected person.

This list gives you:

  • Name
  • ID
  • Parents
  • Marker

With the right arrow button and down arrow button you can collapse or expand the list. Double clicking on a person will bring up the detailed person edit window or family edit window.

If you select a person you can use the Marker text field: 3 choices are possible: blank (you can fill in whatever suits you), TODO, and NotRelated. With the Apply you can apply the selected marker to the person. This marker will then show up in the right hand side column.


Relationship Calculator

Fig. 12.13 Relationship calculator

The Relationship Calculator when opened will list all people connected, but not necessarily related, to the person selected in the People view. You simply select the individual you wish to relate and the relationship will be shown in the lower panel. Only blood relationships will display (except for husband-wife relationships). Currently "in-law" relationships cannot be displayed.

Basically, any two people are related if they have an ancestor in common. One of these individuals may actually be an ancestor of the other - such as a great grandparent. Even in the cases of aunts and uncles, you still can calculate the relationship by searching for the common ancestor. In this case, the father or mother of the aunt or uncle will be a grandparent to the nephew or niece.

Basically, siblings (brothers and sisters) are only one generation down from the common ancestor. Cousins (also called "first" cousins) are two generations down from the common ancestor. "Second" cousins are thus, three generations down from the common ancestor - and so on. But when the two people are in different generations, the relationship becomes an aunt or uncle, if that person is only one generation down from the common ancestor. The reverse of an aunt and uncle is a nephew and niece.

After that, everyone is considered a "cousin", but to indicate that they are not in the same generation we use the word "removed" to indicate the number of generations different between the two. For example, my father's "first" cousin is also my "first" cousin but "once removed" (one generation difference between us). My fathers "first" cousin is my own child's "first cousin twice removed" - two generations different.

A full text list of all blood relations and their spouses can be viewed using a Kinship Report.


Verify the Data...

Fig. 12.14 Verify the Data

This utility allows you to verify the database based on the set of criteria specified by you.

For example, you may want to make sure that nobody in your database had children at the age of 98. Based on common sense, such a record would indicate an error. However, it is not a consistency error in the database. Besides, someone might have a child at the age of 98 (although this rarely happens). The Verify tool will display everything that violates your criteria so that you can check whether the record is erroneous or not. The ultimate decision is yours.

Select this via the menu Tools->Utilities->Verify the Data... you will get a Data Verify Tool window. The window has four tabs; General, Women, Men, Families. Those tabs show a list with criteria and a input field where you can alter the criteria value. In the lists below I show some workable values.

General

  • Maximum age: 90
  • Minimum age to marry: 17
  • Maximum age to marry: 50
  • Maximum number of spouses for a person: 3
  • Maximum number of consecutive years of widowhood before next marriage: 30
  • Maximum age for an unmarried person: 99

The first check box: Estimate missing or inexact dates causes the tool to accept a baptism date if a birth date is not known, and to accept a burial date if a death date is not known. In addition, starting in Gramps version 4.1.0, it also causes the tool to accept "inexact" dates (i.e., any "legal" Gramps date which is not a fully-specified one (with an explicit day and month and year)).

The second check box: Identify invalid dates will check if the dates are invalid.

Women

  • Minimum age to bear a child: 17
  • Maximum age to bear a child: 48
  • Maximum number of children: 12

Men

  • Minimum age to father a child: 18
  • Maximum age to father a child: 65
  • Maximum number of children: 15

Families

  • Maximum husband-wife age difference: 30
  • Maximum number of years between children: 8
  • Maximum span of years for all children: 25

If you are OK with the criteria click the Run button (or hit Alt+R and you will be presented with a Data Verification Results window.

Depending on your criteria and your data a list will be shown. Some possibilities of findings are listed below. But there are others.

  • Disconnected individuals (ones with no parent or spouse or child or sibling)
  • old/dead father
  • marriage after death/ before birth
  • large year span for all children
  • early/late marriage
  • young/unborn mother
  • husband and wife with the same surname
  • same sex marriage/ female husband
  • ...

To show how handy this Utility is, here two examples from real data:

The warning showed 'female husband': checking the data I found a family with father : Anna Roelants. Luckily in the Description I read: The marriage of Adam Roelants and Cornelia Crabbe. It was clearly a typo: Anna i.s.o. Adam. Without this Tool it would be very hard to find.
The warning showed 'late marriage': checking the data: male person °1738 female person °1756 : marriage X 1804 [Gregorian Calender] : Everything seemed to be OK: so they (re)married at the age of 66 and 48 years! The warning showed up because the General criteria was set to 60.

On the bottom of the window four buttons are available to make a selection easier. Those are Mark all, Unmark all, Invert marks, and Hide marked.

Double-clicking on a row will give you a possibility to view and or edit the data.

With the Close button (or select the keyboard shortcut Alt+C) you close the Results window.

With the Help button (or select the keyboard shortcut Alt+H) you will get to this page.

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Difference between Verify the Data tool and the Check and Repair Database tool

The Check and Repair Database tool detects inconsistencies in the database structure. The Verify the Data tool, however, is detecting the records that do not satisfy your particular criteria.


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