Tags in Gramps

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For people using gmail or thunderbird, tags will not be something new. Instead of classifying emails into folders like in Outlook (Windows) or Evolution (Linux), emails are classified by assigning tags to them. So instead of having a disjoint N:1 classification (a email can be in one and only one folder, and a folder can contain many emails), in gmail or thunderbird there is a N:M classification (a email can have several tags, and a tag can be applied to several emails)

Likewise, when you have a big tree, you might want to make subsets of the tree, and these subsets might be overlapping. For example, the subsets of your fathers family and your mothers family, some subset of your family that emigrated to Australia. The idea is to assign a different tag to each subset: Paternal, Maternal, Australia and ToDo for example.

Markers are like the folders for emails. A person can be given at most one marker. Tags are thus like multiple-valued markers.

Tags and filters both create subsets of the tree. However they have practical differences in usage. Specifying your fathers family using filters is an easy thing; there are already filters based on some logics that do it. On the other hand, specifying the people that emigrated to the USA is harder, while for the famous people in your family it is simply impossible as there is no logical rule. Tags are much more practical here. However filters have the advantage of being dynamical. If you add an ancestor of your father in the database, it will be automatically added to the filter. On the other hand, tags are statical. When adding a famous person in the tree, you have to explicitly tag them as FAMOUS.

  • The most immediate object that comes to mind are the individuals, and that is also the most useful. However, other objects could be tagged:
    • Places: For example "places to visit",
    • Source: For example "sources in german",
    • Notes: For example "notes in progress", or "notes in german",
    • Media: For example "Picture belonging to Uncle Alfred".

Tags are available to use with all primary objects. Those objects can be tagged individually in their object dialog. In the category list view is possible to select also more than one object and tag them at the same time with Tag button, which opens Organize Tags dialog. You can add, edit , delete tags in this dialog. These affects in whole family tree. Also reordering of tags is possible.

Deleting wipes out total

Deleting a tag in Organize Tags dialog removes it from all objects, not only from those selected in view.


By adding a new tag or editing a tag is possible to define a color value of it. In the list view of category the rows are colored according the color of the in alphabetical order first tag of a row eg. object

See also