Generating Web pages

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GRAMPS 2.0.6 introduced the Narrative Web generator. The new tool provides considerably more functionality than the older web generator. Instead of using HTML templates to customize the pages, CSS style sheets are used.

More information is now displayed about each person, along with information about sources, places, and media objects. Introduction pages can be added to provide additional information, such as family history.

Selecting the output

Genealogy records can generate a lot of files. Many web servers have a difficult time with many files in a single directory. The Narrative Web Generator strives to keep the number of files per directory to a managable level. To do this, a hierarchy of directores is created. The generated files names are not intuitive, but are unique per person. Subsequent runs will geneate identical file names, making it easy to replace files.

By default, the output files are written to the specified directory. Because of the number of files and directories that are created, it may be difficult to transfer the files to an external web host. To aid in this, you may directly create a gzip'd tar file to more easily upload the data. This is the format that should be used if you would like to take advantage of the free genealogy page hosting at the GRAMPS web hosting site.

To select the gzip'd tar file, select the Store web pages in .tar.gz archive option.

Applying a filter

Like the previous web page generator, and most of the other GRAMPS reports, you can control what is included in the output by choosing a filter. Several default filters are provided for you, but you are free to use the Custom Filter Editor tool to create your own.

Any person matching this filter who is not excluded due to the privacy rules, will be included in the output. The default filter includes all people in the database.

Applying a style sheet

GRAMPS provides five built in style sheets for your web page. Each of these style sheets produces a unique look for your pages. The generated style sheet is named "narrative.css". You may edit this file if you wish to further customize your site.

If you make modifications to your style sheet, you need to be aware the regenerating the pages with the same output directory will overwrite your changes to this file. To prevent this from happening, make sure you choose No style sheet for subsequent runs.

Character set encoding

Because of GRAMPS internationalization ability, the default character set for the HTML pages is UTF-8. This provides support for virtually all characters.

The Apache web server is sometimes misconfigured to override the character set specified in an HTML page. This causes problems with the UTF-8 character set generated by GRAMPS, distorting characters on the screen.

If your web server is misconfigured and you do not have priveledge to fix the configururation, you may solve this problem by overriding the default character set to match what your web server may be expecting.

Copyright notice

International copyright law reserves all rights to your data. You own the data, and people must get your permission to use it. In genealogy, however, sharing data is a common ideal. It this case, you may wish to grant the user more rights.

While the default for GRAMPS is to place a notice indicating that all rights are reserved, we give you the option to place your site under one of several of the Creative Commons licenses. With a Creative Commons license, you grant user's certain permission to use your data without requiring them to contact you directly for permission.

See the Creative Commons web site for more information.

Controlling page generation

Three additional pages can be generated by the web page generator. The Home page is a page that will display an image and a whatever text you wish. To enable this page, choose a Media Object from the Home Media/Note ID menu on the Page Generation tab. If the media object contains an image, the image is displayed at the top of the page. If the Media Object contains a Note, the Note's text is used for the text of the page. A second page, the Introduction page, works similarly. Just choose the Media Object in the Introduction Media/Note ID menu.

If you choose to include a contact page, The researcher information stored in the database is displayed, along with the information specified in the Publisher contact/Note ID menu. Please use this page with caution, since you may consider your contact information to be private.


Privacy of personal information is an important issue on the web today. GRAMPS tries to give you control over the information that is presented.

GRAMPS provides two options to control the privacy of your information. If you select the Do not include records marked private option, any data that is marked as private will not be displayed on the generated site. If you select Restrict information on living people, GRAMPS will attempt to determine which people have the potential of still being alive, and will omit these people from the database. Some countries have laws that indicate that a certain number of years must pass after someone's death before information can be published. The Years to restrict from a person's death option allows you to specifiy how many years a person must be deceased before the information is included.

Please note that it is your responsibility to double check all information in the pages for any privacy information. GRAMPS cannot be held responsible for any privacy issues.

Adding custom code your pages

If you are not interested in customizing your pages, you may skip the section.

The previous web generator allowed you to customize your pages using HTML templates. Your data would be substituted for certain markers in the code.

This method proved to be too cumbersome for most users. The Narrative Web Page Generator introduces a simpler mechanism. On the Page Generation tab, you may specify text (including HTML code) that will be inserted into each page.

To create this code, you need to create a Media Object marked as an internal note. To create this, add a new Media Object from the Media View, and select the internal note option. You may then enter your HTML code.

Two div sections are added to the page - userheader and userfooter. The corresponding HTML code is inserted into the HTML page surrounded by div markers. You can customize your style sheet to provide additional formatting and positioning information to control these sections.

More Info