Gramps 4.2 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 upgrading from version 3.4 or 4.1 are encouraged to review this section to be sure to take advantage of these new features when they start using version 4.2.

Before you upgrade


Creating an archive before upgrading might not alone be sufficient to safeguard your data: In the unlikely event that Gramps 4.2 corrupts your database, it could also corrupt the archive. A backup of your data 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 or Gramps 4.1
  2. Open your family tree
  3. Back up the family tree to the gramps xml format or the gramps xml package format (the gramps xml package includes your photographs and other media files associated with your family tree data). Backup your tree via menu Family Trees->Make 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 4.2 using your operating system's regular installation process. In most cases, this will ensure that the new Gramps 4.2 installation will not clash with your older version of Gramps. However, it may be safer to uninstall Gramps 3.4 before installing Gramps 4.2, or make sure you install Gramps 4.2 in a different location. This is always necessary if you are installing from the source code. For more information on installing Gramps 4.2, please see Downloading the latest Gramps

After you install Gramps 4.2, you can open your existing family trees and continue working. In case of problems (e.g., after a complete system upgrade), import 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.

Data Model

There are changes to the data model:

  1. New date and language fields on place name

  • A Family Tree cannot be opened in Gramps 3.4/4.0/4.1 and Gramps 4.2 without upgrade or downgrade.
  • A Gramps XML file generated by Gramps 3.4/4.0/4.1 is not identical to one generated by Gramps 4.2.
  • Gramps 4.2 is now python3 only

See detailed changes for more details on internal database.


  • Review on GtkBuilder, fix some Gtk3 warnings and move from deprecated methods
  • Change icons and buttons handling methods

New place Editor with Place name edition

New interactive search box

  1. more efficient (binary search on sorted columns).
  2. customizable (delayed by 150ms launch of search to avoid text scrambling)
  • Ability to import KML data into Geography views
  • Enhancement for removing multiple selected items from Views (action group)

Question dialog for grouped actions

  • Allow to drag a person by dragging the Family label or around Add, Edit, Share buttons.

Add drag support on more Views, Selectors and Editors.

All data from the TreeView, including non-viewed columns.

  • Add right-click API to ListModel


New Place Name editor

  • Review Alternate Place handling and edition
  • New configuration keys set by user (settings) - Places tab options in Edit > Preferences dialog

New Places item into Preferences dialog

  • New filter rule: is enclosed by

Reports, Tools, Gramplets

  • Consistency on Privacy option for reports

Standard Privacy check box

  • Consistency on "Name-format" options for reports
  • Add DeferredFilter class (a subclass of GenericFilter)
  • New textual Report : Note Link Report: Check Links on Notes are valid
  • Fix alphabetic index and toc bug in books
  • Enhancements on Style Editor
  • Enhancements on End Notes into textual reports
  • Changes on Individuals complete textual report
  • Changes on Ancestor Tree draw report: Added option Include Siblings (Under the hood but not available to user: made report ready to go in multiple directions but not finished)[1]
  • Add name-format option, and deferred translation on Records report
  • Add deferred translation on Timeline draw report
  • Enable attributes gramplet on Source and Citation Views

Enabled Attributes gramplet for Source and Citation objects

Under the hood changes

Technical stuff


  • Support python3 only. ( python2 support dropped)
  • Need GTK+ 3.10 and pygobject 3.12 or greater versions

Further information

More information.


  • Optimizations around index, Flat and TreeView models
  • More data into example.gramps: custom parent relationship, notes.
  • New test file: datetest.gramps
  • New module: gen.lib.placename
  • All importers return now an ImportInfo object that can hold information about the import.
  • Experimental gwplus (geneweb) import file format support
  • libgedcom changes ???
  • Remove fallback to md5 module, all supported versions now include the hashlib module.
  • Removed experimental HTML renderer view
  • New test scripts


  • Limit usage of markup into messages, better separation of content (str) and style (GUI).
  • New Date Handler for Japanese
  • Review on Slovenian and Czech Date Handlers
  • New translations and date handlers : implement both "traditional" and "simplified" Chinese
  • Serbian review



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