Tips & tricks for searching the Gramps documentation

It can be hard to find documentation on a feature in Gramps. There are a few methods built into Gramps & the wiki that may not be intuitive. In addition, I have developed a few techniques that have helped me.

Let’s share some of those… one tip per reply please. It encourages refinement suggestions be on point.

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When searching the wiki, I tend to use my phone.

Most phones have keyboard settings for creating a predictive text keyboard shortcut. I’ve
created one for restricting my Google searches to a narrow set of Gramps wiki pages. It suggests “” any time I type “gp”.

So I can do the site specific Google search ‘xml tools’ in very few keystrokes.

If you need to discover the Official Term to use in your Google ‘site’ search, refer to the Visual Guide to the Gramps Interface & the Gramps Glossary.

The Gramps Glossary is slowly (over the last couple years) being enhanced as a way to cut down on obscuring detail in wikipages.

The plethora of pages that explained Core Concepts had become a maintenance nightmare.

Rather than repeat something like how to change the Home Person (and explain the concept & purpose of a Home Person) each time it is mentioned in the manual, we can just link Home Person to the Home Person Glossary term.

People familiar with the concept don’t have to wade through excessive/redundant detail when workflows use a standard step. But looking at the glossary term will give new users easy lookup of a short definition, which also has drilldown links to the detailed introduction and usage.

Categories (at the bottom of each wiki page) give quick access to indices of subject matters.

Each “How do I…?” tutorial article has a How do I… category link that lists other tutorials. (At least, the ones that have been categorized!)

Note that we are trying to sub-categorize by language. We’re still working on alternatives to globally suppress page suggestions related to outdated Gramps versions. (Those older pages are left active to support users that have found reasons to not upgrade Gramps.)

Most add-on Gramplets have a wikipage dedicated to explaining the Gramplet use & idiosyncracies. And the Help button for the Gramplet opens a browser directly to that page.

But the Help button is ONLY visible when the Gramplet has been torn free (detached or undocked) from the Dashboard, sidebar or bottombar.

Note that a few developers add a ‘help’ icon button in the body of their Gramplet. Also, the Third-party add-on list also links to the documentation and include more than just Gramplet type add-ons.

The built-ins are more difficult to find. There’s no similar collated list.

Use the image management in MediaWiki to find illustrated documentation.

Pages that are illustrated (with the dialog or icon related to what you are doing) tend to be more introductory. When you click on an illustration, MediaWiki generate a page that includes a hotlinked list of pages that are illustrated with the image.

Use the screenshot gallery to find pages that use illustrations related to the feature. Look at the filterable thumbnail table of illustrations.
Individual icons are used less frequently as illustrations for the manual. But you can use the iconset and Icons to find pages illustrated with specific buttons.

Finding the Help page for a Tool isn’t as easy as for Reports or Gramplets. (Every Report has a Help button in the options dialog. Grampets have a Help button when detached/undocked from the sidebar/bottombar/dashboard.)

Some of the tools don’t even pop-up a dialog before performing their task. So there is no obvious place for a Help button from the Tools menu. (The Tools Selection and Reports Selection dialogs might be future location for a Help button.)

Although there is an indexed page of built-in Tool documentation, Gramps does NOT have a visible indicator for which menu items are addons. So it is hard to know whether to check built-in Report list or add-on list of Tools in the Wiki Manual. A collated alphabetical list of built-in (with add-ons as of June 2021) Tools linked to their Help pages has been posted in the forum.

DuckDuckGo is another alternative to Google and may be better for targeting your search. Besides the site: parameter for limiting the scope of the search, there is a inurl: parameter that does not exist in Google’s query. It is far from perfect … but it helps.

Add this link to your bookmarks for a general search of the wiki:
DuckDuckGo search of the wiki

DuckDuckGo copy’n’paste parameters for searching in the 5.2 manual:

my search phrase inurl:Gramps_5.2

DuckDuckGo copy’n’paste parameters for searching the Addons:

other search terms inurl:Addon:

DuckDuckGo copier/coller les paramètres de recherche dans le manuel français:

ma phrase de recherche inurl:Fr:Manuel