Simple Starter question about data input - how?

I’m new, OK, and I’d like to ask a question whilst my first impressions are still first impressions.

I’ve looked around the panels, read (some of) the help text, scanned this forum.

What I thought I could do, and the software would have a panel for, is to enter a bunch of details I have about people, and state their relationship to each other, an input panel like:

parent of:
Child of:
Spouse of:

All of that on a single panel would let me sit down with this hand drawn chart and spend a happy day keying in details.
As an ex database architect I appreciate the data issues under the cover in setting out all the relationships, and it will get more and more complicated - but that above would get a basic tree in place pretty quickly.

Have I just missed seeing the obvious (very possible) or am I coming at this from the wrong direction.

Any suggestions, help, brickbats etc would be gratefully received.


You will have to create at least one person in the person view. Enter the name and sex and use the event tab to add any personal events such as birth and death. Once you have the first person created I would switch to the relationship view. It will allow you to add parents, spouses, and children to that person. Clicking on a person in the relationship view will make them the active person in the relationship view and allow you to add relations to them.

Hope that helps


You could also type it all into a spreadsheet, if that’s faster for you, and then import from a csv file.

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and yet another approach…
I find the add-on DataEntry Gramplet is a quick way to enter repetitive data. You’ll have to download & install it.

Create a Source with the hand-drawn chart as the Citation.

  • I find it useful to Clipboard the Citations and Places I use repeatedly in a session. This doesn’t matter as much in a new Tree. With such a lightly populated list, you can just switch Category Views to leverage drag’n’drop. When the list becomes more heavily populated, that isn’t a workable shortcut anymore.

Start the Tree by creating that base person making certain to add Birth & Death Events that include Places and Citations for each Event.

  • I once started a Tree by exporting the person’s vCard from my smart phone’s Address book & importing it into Gramps.
  • Note that you can re-define this Citation later when you’re more comfortable with Gramps. Don’t stress about making this Citation perfect right now. So long as it is the same Citation added to each, your later corrections will flow through to everywhere it was used.

Add the DataEntry Gramplet to the Relationships sidebar and detach it (by dragging the title tab off the sidebar). As you select a different Active Person in the Relationship view, the top section updates. Choose ‘Copy Active Data’ to use that person as a template (including Places & Sources). Change the New Person to “Add as a Sibling”, revise the data that differs, and click the Add button.

Repeat with the other persons on your hand-drawn chart, changing ‘Add relation’ as needed.


And today you teached me a new approach… Great :smile:

This is whats so great about Gramps, You will always learn something new, and when you think you knnow most of it, someone comes and tell you another and maybe easier way to do something… its so great :slight_smile:


Lots of sensible suggestions, Thank you, it all makes perfect sense. I’ll export a person, and then supplement the record and re-import.

Great ideas, thanks

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A feature request was recently raised to assist new users getting started. I posited that one solution was a reworked “Welcome” gramplet for the Dashboard.

I just posted possible amended wording specifically adding sections on entering the first person and one for a new user importing their database.

Comments? More/other information?

How about posting the Raw Text being proposed in fresh discourse thread in Development? Maybe we can tweak the language a bit & add Glossary links?

It would be nice to eliminate any passive voice, comma splices & misuse of conjunctive adverbs. And re-arranging to minimize independent clauses and Interrupters should make the text more friendly for robot translation.

Here is what has been worked out so far. Most of the original Welcome was left unchanged. The sections Enter you first Family and Importing a Family Tree are new. The section Getting Started was slightly modified.


One thing I think you should add is the mention of the different Gramplets that simplify the input of data.

All the Windows that can be opened in Gramps to add information can be overwhelming for new users, so to mention some of the Gramplets, i.e. “Data Entry” Gramplet, would be helpfull…

It is so many great Gramplets, but for new users it can be difficult to understand what each do, so to give a quick notice of the ones that gives easy input option would maybe help?


5 posts were split to a new topic: Combined view bug

And double checking and trying to reproduce @LHa111 's problem I discovered a major problem. An initial person added in the Relationships view is not automatically made the active person. Have edited that section.

I also added a small section on addons. I am trying to add a link to the addon wiki page.

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Added the link to the Addon wiki page and moved all of the links as the last entry.


When testing another feature, I discovered some dependency issues. So I’ve added those to my internalized list of dependencies to consider when testing failure modes in a Gramps feature:

  • When Gramps is running, a Tree is not necessarily loaded.
  • If a Tree is loaded, it does not necessarily have a Person in the Tree (nor must there be a record in any of the othe Categories)
  • If Person(s) exist, the Active Person is necessarily set
  • If Person(s) exist, the Home Person is necessarily set
  • Filters are common to a Gramps installation, not limited to a Tree but Filter rules can refer to conditions that are unique to a Tree (they can refer to IDs, Tags & custom Types that don’t exist)
  • Gramps doesn’t necessarily verify filenames & paths are valid before trying to use them. (Particularly ugly if the Map Tile path is invalid when you activate the Geography view. Unfortunately, directory structures & network configurations are independently highly dynamic.)
  • Even if there are People & Events that could be mapped in the Geography View, they won’t get plotted unless there are Places defined for those Events and those Places have GPS coordinates.

All of these can (and DO) cause failures.

I like the Gramplets (particularly the Data Entry, Pedigree, QuickView & Deep Connections). But downloading/installing 3rd party ones & configuring the sidebar is an advanced topic.

If it was a built-in and a default gramplet (in addition to the Filter gramplet) then it’d be less complicated for new user instruction.

Would it be possible to link to the exellent youtube videos made by TechTutorials to?
They are up to date and easy to understand, that way new users that maybe not even know what a WIKI is, have something easy to relate to when they first start

The problem is this is for the new user starting Gramps for the very first time and being stumped as to the next step. @yorkshiremanII having the problem entering his first person. Jonathan Silvey could not figure out how to Import when starting for the first time. Importing gedcom files.

These two users reached out to us even before they had entered their first person. How many others struggled and then gave up?

So while all the addons are great tools, we need to get new users past looking at the Dashboard wondering what to do next. My suggested changes to the Welcome is to give the new user the next steps more overtly than figuring things out on their own.

And doing this in as fewest words as possible. The Welcome needs to be short, easy to understand.

The Feature Request was filed with the intention of making the Pedigree view the default screen with the idea that a new user would just need to click and start entering their first record which IS a great concept. Click here and get started. If only it could be that simple.

As part of the request I suggested reworking the Welcome which is were we are now.

Is the wording concise enough while still understandable? Do the steps make sense? As a new user, could this basic information get you started?

Yes, its easy enough to understand and I can not see any type errors, some sentences should maybe have some extra word in them, but its not needed to make the message clear…

Which sentences. Remember once altered, this gramplet is part of the master code and can only be changed with new releases.

Yes it can be added. Is there a better single video to point to for the newest of user?

And for the developers, @Nick-Hall, is there a technical, legal, reason why we should NOT add an outside link?