Gramps 4.0 Wiki Manual - What's new?

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This section gives an overview of changes since Gramps version 3.4. These changes are also detailed later in this manual. Users of Gramps version 3.4 are encouraged to review this section to be sure to take advantage of these new features.

Before you upgrade


Creating an archive alone to safeguard your data might not be appropriate before upgrading. In the unlikely event that Gramps 4.0 corrupts your database, it could also corrupt the archive. An export as outlined in this section is recommended.

Before you upgrade, make sure your family tree data is secure. The best way to do this is:

  1. Start Gramps 3.4
  2. Open your family tree
  3. Export the family tree to the gramps xml format or the gramps xml package format (which includes your photographs and other media files associated with your family tree data). Export your tree via menu Family Trees->Backup....
  4. Close this family tree and repeat the above steps for any other family trees you have
  5. Keep the resulting file(s) in a safe place

For more information, please review Backing up a Family Tree.

After properly safeguarding your data, proceed to install Gramps 4.0. Use your operating system's regular installation process to do this. It is also best to uninstall Gramps 3.4 before installing Gramps 4.0, or make sure you install Gramps 4.0 in a different location.

After you install Gramps 4.0, you can open your existing family trees and continue working. In case of problems (e.g., after a complete system upgrade), use the backup file(s) created above to recreate your family tree(s).


Once you open a family tree in a newer version of Gramps or using a newer operating system, you generally should not try to open that database using an older version again. As always, the gramps xml format is the format to use for the interchange of your data in such cases. There are tools to repair broken databases, but they are for expert users, so avoid needing them by following the steps above before you upgrade your OS or Gramps.

Visible changes to the core

Changes visible after the migration: interface, data.

New Look and Feel

Gramps now uses GTK 3 to create the interface, so you need to set a GTK theme with the GTK theme switcher that supports GTK 3. If Gramps looks ugly after installation, this is because you use an old GTK Theme. Try out some GTK 3 themes to see which one gives you a beautifull Gramps experience.

Plugins changes

Everything about the plugins: import/export, gramplets, views, reports, tools.


A huge restructuring happened for narrative website (these changes might also happen in a point update on 3.4). It should overall be much more stable


Fan Charts

In the Charts category, you will see two new core Charts: Fan Chart and Descendant Fan. These are two Charts that give you a good overview of a family tree. The Fan charts shows the principal parents of every individual. The Descendant Fan shows you all children, all their families, and then so on to see the entire descendant tree.

The Fan Charts are powerull, use the Configure button in the toolbar to investigate some posibilities:

  • colored filtering via filter sidebar
  • Gradient coloring to give extra information
  • Print to output (pdf, printer) from the toolbar



Under the hood changes

Technical stuff

Python 3 support

Gramps supports Python 2.7+ and Python 3.2+ starting from 4.0. We advise to use python 3.2 if possible. To support both versions, some code now runs slower on python 2.x.

Code reogranization

Gramps now has completed the code reorganization, making the code structure of Gramps much more cleaner.

Python based install

Gramps has deprecated the use of autotools for installation, and now uses a python based installation.

python build
python install

See the INSTALL and README file for details. This means that once you installed gramps, you can use the code as a standard python module, eg:

from import Date

to use the date computations as used by Gramps.

Command Line Interface


Further info

More informations.



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