Gramps 4.0 Wiki Manual - Main Window

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Elements of Gramps main window.

Main Window

When you open a Family Tree database (either existing or new), the main Gramps window is displayed (Fig. 3.1):

Fig. 3.1 Gramps Main Window

The main Gramps window contains the following elements:


  • Menubar: The menubar (Main Menu) is located at the very top of the window (right below the window title) and provides access to all the features of Gramps.


  • Toolbar: The toolbar is located right below the menubar. It gives you access to the most frequently used functions of Gramps. You can set options that control how it appears by going to the menu Edit ->Preferences . You can also hide the toolbar entirely by going to the menu View ->Toolbar.


  • Navigator: The navigator is located at the left of the window and allows selection of the different categories.

See Categories of the Navigator

Display area

  • Display area: The area in the center of the Gramps window is the display area. What it displays depends on the currently selected View. We will discuss Views in detail below.

Bottombar and Sidebar

  • Bottombar: The bottombar is located below the display area.
  • Sidebar: The sidebar is located to the right of the display area.

The Bottombar and the Sidebar allow gramplets to be displayed alongside a view. (Details to be provided, based e.g. on GEPS 019 and Gramps bar, with references to Filters, Filters and Sidebar and bottombar)

Status Bar and Progress Bar

  • Status Bar and Progress Bar: These are located at the very bottom of the Gramps window.
    • The Progress Bar is located in the lower left corner of the Gramps window. It displays the progress of time consuming operations, such as opening and saving large Family Tree databases, importing and exporting to other formats, generating web sites, etc. When you are not doing these types of operations, the Progress Bar is not shown.
    • The Status Bar is located to the right of the Progress Bar. It displays information about current Gramps activity and contextual information about the selected items.

If Gramps detects a minor error, or wishes to notify you about an occurrence within the program, then Gramps may display a warning button, as shown below. This button is only displayed for 180 seconds, so if you see it you should immediately click on it if you want to see the messages.

Fig. 3.2 Gramps Main Window showing Warning button

If you click the warning button, then a dialogue box appears showing the last 20 messages received. More details

Fig. 3.3 Gramps Main Window showing Warning messages

More serious problems cause an error dialogue to appear which will describe the actions you should take.

This page's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. Please help improve the Gramps Wiki as a useful resource by updating it.

The Navigator, Toolbar, Sidebar and Bottombar can be individually turned on or off by options in menu View. If the Sidebar is not displayed, then the Search bar is displayed instead.

Fig. 3.4 Gramps Main Window showing Search Bar

Switching Views and Viewing Modes

This page's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. Please help improve the Gramps Wiki as a useful resource by updating it.
Fig. 3.5 Sidebar view mode

Gramps comes with number of different Categories as standard. New Categories may be made with plugins you download. There are two different Viewing Modes. You can tell at a glance which Viewing Mode you are in: If you see icons listed vertically in a sidebar at the left of the window, you are in the Sidebar Viewing Mode (see Fig 3.5).

When you are in the Sidebar Viewing Mode, you can select the Category you want by clicking one of the sidebar icons.

Or you can also use the keyboard shorts CTRL+P and CTRL+N go to previous or next category.

As mentioned, a category can contain different ways of presenting the data, called a View. If there are several views, you can switch between the views on the toolbar as each view will have an icon button. You can also switch via the menu View, or by pressing CTRL+<number>, where <number> is the view you want in this category.


Column Editor

Column Editor

The Column Editor is available in all Views and works the same way in each.

Fig. 3.6 Column Editor Dialog

By default, the View List, displays several columns of information about the repective category. You can add or remove columns to and from the display by calling up the Column Editor dialog from the menu View -> Configure View... or click on toolbar Configure View... button and then checking or unchecking the boxes listed. You can also change the position of a column in People View by clicking and dragging it to a new position in the Editor (drag and drop). Once you have made the changes you want, click OK to exit the Editor and see your changes in the People View.


Fig. 3.7 Filter Controls Displayed

Genealogical databases can contain information on many people, families, places, and objects. It is therefore possible for a View to contain a long list of data that is difficult to work with. Gramps gives you two different means for controlling this condition by allowing you to filter a list to a more manageable size.

These methods are Search and Filtering.

A search will search the text displayed in list, whereas filters display people whose data match the criteria of the filter. Search is a simple but fast method of searching the columns displayed on the screen. Typing the characters into the Search box and clicking the Find button will display only lines that match the text.

Alternatively, you can enable the Filter sidebar, which will be displayed on the right hand side of the display. When the filter sidebar is displayed, the Search bar is not displayed. The Filter side bar allows you to interactively build a set of filter rules that can be applied to the display. The filter is applied based on the rules and the data, not on the screen display.

Searching vs. Filtering

Searching only searches for exact text matches. If the date displayed is "Jan 1, 2000", a search of "1/1/2000" will fail, but a filter of "1/1/2000" will match.

When Gramps opens a database, no filtering is in effect. In People View, for example, all people in the database are listed by default.

Sorting columns

Fig. 3.8 Sort Column

Clicking once sorts in ascending order, clicking again sorts in descending order. The Column Editor dialog can be used to add, remove and rearrange the displayed columns.

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