Gramps 5.1 Wiki Manual - Navigation

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Please update or expand this section.


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.

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.

See also

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.

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Please update or expand this section.


Using the Charts 22x22-gramps-pedigree.png Category

Timeline Pedigree View - 3rd Party Addon for Chart Category - context menu example

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 ViewCharts 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.)

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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 ViewCharts 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 built-in Views of the Chart Category are introduced in the Categories reference section. Some are described in greater depth in articles listed at the bottom of the View’s introductory section.

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.

Using Gramplets

Fig. 8.1 Dashboard Category view - with example Gramplets shown

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.

The text based Gramplets tend to have names hotlinked for navigation while the graphical ones may use contextual menus.

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.

Setting the Active Person

The Active Person is expected to be the contextual focus of actions, reports and edits.

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.

Hotlink Navigation

Normally, simply clicking on the hotlinked name of a Person will select that person and shift this Active Person contextual focus.

Fig. 8.2 Relationships Category view

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.



Contextual Menu Navigation

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 STOCK_EDITEdit button instead of a hotlinked name.) This facilitates quickly editing Persons around the Active Person without the disorientation of a shifting focus.

Fig. 8.3 Context menu on the Person editor

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.


Using history-based Navigation

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Fig. 8.4 Example of the history based navigation tools

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.

Bookmark Navigation

Gramps Go-Home48x48 win.png

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.

Fig. 8.5 Organize 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.


Notes as Navigational Shortcuts

Fig. 8.6 Notes Editor - Linking text

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. 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 officiants, 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.


Finding records

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Finding People

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.


Fig. 8.7 Find people list view using Interactive search type ahead - example

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.

Using the Clipboard

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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.

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Warning

Clipboard storage is persistent within a single Gramps session. Closing the Clipboard window will not lose the stored records. However, exiting Gramps will.

If you do need to save items between sessions there is a Third-party Addon Collections Clipboard Gramplet that does.

Fig. 8.8 Clipboard - dialog - Showing Context menu (right click) example


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.

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Tip

Some objects show a link icon in the left column. This indicates that dragging such selection will produce a reference to an existing object, not copy the object itself. For example, the media object file will not be duplicated. Instead, the reference will be made to an existing media object, which will result in the local gallery entry.


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.

Main Menus

Fig. 8.9 Menubar - Main Menu Overview - No Family Tree Loaded
Fig. 8.10 Menubar - Main Menu Overview - Family Tree Loaded
Fig. 8.11 Menubar - Main Menu Overview - Family Tree Loaded showing "Active" and "Windows" menu entries in use

The MenuBar shows the available Gramps Menus that change and appear depending on the Category used eg: Edit / View.

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Please update or expand this section.



Family Trees

Fig. 8.12 Menubar - "Family Trees" - overview example
  • 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.


  • Abandon Changes and Quit... -
  • Quit... -


Add

Fig. 8.13 Menubar - Add Overview



Edit

Fig. 8.14 Menubar - Edit Overview
  • Undo -
  • Redo -
  • Undo History... - Open the Undo History dialog

Additional menu options dependent on Category view will appear here.


  • 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.


View

Fig. 8.15 Menubar - "View" - overview example
  • 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.


Go

Fig. 8.16 Menubar - Go Overview
  • 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.
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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
addresses Bug Report: 11341 on 24 Sept 2019

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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).



Bookmarks

Fig. 8.17 Menubar - Bookmarks Overview
  • 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


Reports

Fig. 8.18 Menubar - Reports Overview
  • 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)


Tools

Fig. 8.19 "Tool >..." Menubar - Tools Overview


Windows

Fig. 8.20 Menubar - "Windows" - overview example
  • Windows - This menu provides quick access to opened windows you are working on.


Help

Fig. 8.21 Menubar - "Help" - overview example
  • 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 the "Tip of the day" dialog.
  • 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.

Toolbar

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Please update or expand this section.



Fig. 8.22 Manage databases - icon on toolbar (Same as using menu Family Trees ->Manage Family Trees...)


Fig. 8.23 Connect to a recent database - icon drop down on toolbar menu Family Trees ->Open Recent...


Fig. 8.24 Tip for the Tools button of the Dashboard category toolbar



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