Gramps

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by Don Allingham
This is where you review the Unix (Linux and FreeBSD) versions of Gramps. Please go to the Gramps for Windows page to review the Windows version, or to the Gramps for the Mac page to review the Mac Version. Gramps is an Open Source project written in Python and is free. This is where you go to help with the development of Gramps. The Gramps project has a blog and a Reddit. See also Gramps Portable.

Free • Unix • Full Featured • Builds Website
http://www.gramps-project.org/
Overall572.92 out of 52.92 out of 52.92 out of 52.92 out of 52.92 out of 5 2.92
201752.79 out of 52.79 out of 52.79 out of 52.79 out of 52.79 out of 5 2.79
2016123.01 out of 53.01 out of 53.01 out of 53.01 out of 53.01 out of 5 3.01
Earlier402.88 out of 52.88 out of 52.88 out of 52.88 out of 52.88 out of 5 2.88

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57 Reviews of Gramps     RSS 2.0 RSS     Showing 1 - 20                   Add Your Review

Gramps Review by Petrus,  Jul 10, 2017

4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

I empathise with the frustrations expressed in many of these reviews. I’ve been working with computers since the 1980s and teaching adults and children how to use programmes for all of that time. The lesson I take from that experience is that the people who write instruction manuals all know how to use the software and have lost the ability to predict where and how novice users will fail. Read the manual and encounter your first brick wall…

So it is with the online help for Gramps. Attempting simple actions turn into days of frustrated fiddling, until the light shines and you finally make a note of how to do THIS THING! If you can remember how you did it, of course. The documentation is a reference for competent users, not a how-to for novices, and words do have different meanings to people. For example, “family” in my country means children. In Gramps, it means a relationship between adults, to which children can be attached. That little mental block took a day to figure out, after which the floodgates opened. And who woulda thought that FILTER meant SEARCH?? Obvious when you know, but… that’s the point.

A suggestion to new users: download the on-line help sections as .pdf (there’s a button) and print out the section helpfiles at home. Then read them carefully, BEFORE doing anything. Don’t be fooled in to thinking you can get away with just concentrating on the highlighted important bits: the real information is often innocently hiding in a little sentence stuck in the middle of a lot of other words.

After entering databases with 500+ individuals, I’ve finally gotten to the point of being able to enter, edit and link entires, merge other databases and export information - but it isn’t intuitive at any step of the way and I learn more each time I use the programme. It is a very powerful programme and it really is worth persevering with. Courage! And sincere kudos to the developers.

Two thoughts: 1. Is it possible to automatically display AGE with names; 2. “Alternative marriage” seems a clunky way of dealing with non-marrage partnerships, or even the good old common law marriage. An editable function for that selectable list of relationships would be a big help (even just being able to add one local option to the fixed menu wouldn’t break the database structure).

Biggest Pro: Hugely powerful, with good report options.
Biggest Con: No “How-to” material for first users: bland and confusing GUI. Merge functions have unintended consequences.

Gramps Review by YAY,  Mar 18, 2017

3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

I think GRAMPS is great other than the fact that the instructions aren’t very clear. I am having trouble figguring it out but like for most things I’m guessing it will just take time.
Also, I’m not sure if it’s something I did, but I can’t every see any siblings when I go to charts. It has it from the view of a specific person, but I would like to have it from an outsider’s view.

Biggest Pro: You can be very detailed…
Biggest Con: once you figure out how>

Gramps Review by Hugh,  Mar 3, 2017

Not Rated

I really am a glutton for punishment , another hour wasted and I haven’t worked out haw to enter my first person.
That with 2 windows open one is the instructions, how to confuse book.

Biggest Pro: free
Biggest Con: the instructions are as clear as a bucket of mud.

Gramps Review by Hugh,  Feb 27, 2017

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

I have just wasted 3 hours trying to start my tree. No luck, just utter confusion.
As for the manual. Why use 1 word when 20 will do.
It is totally illogical and not user friendly.

I am quite sure that Gramps is a good programme if one is prepared to spend days and weeks learning how to use it. I suspect most people will give up.
What a pity.
This programme needs a major re write, suggest the authors have a look at other genealogy software where it only takes a minute to start using the software and entering data.

Biggest Pro: its free and open scource.
Biggest Con: Not user frendly and hard to learn.

Gramps Review by Hugh,  Feb 26, 2017

Not Rated

I am a long standing user of Linix.

I just downloaded Gramps as I was getting fed up with the rip off pay for programs.

First impressions.

It seems, extremity complex. All other programs ease you in gently with an opening page where you can enter your name, your fathers name etc. so you can learn on the job, so to speak. No here.

Not sure I want to spend hours trying to learn this program. But will try.

Biggest Pro: free
Biggest Con: far to complex no easy start.

Gramps Review by DukeTate,  Dec 24, 2016

2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

It has a lot of bugs. GUI is not intuitive. There is no menu consistency between different screens.

Gramps Review by rstuff,  Oct 30, 2016

2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

I had the same issues as sambram. The documentation is hard to understand. The examples are tiny and not marked to indicate what the documentation is trying to tell you. The software is not intuitive. I could not find a discussion forum for it. It may be able to do a lot of great stuff if you can figure it out but what a pain. I would like to see it succeed but I am sticking with PAF for now.

Biggest Pro: open source
Biggest Con: non intuitve, documentation, no user forum

Gramps Review by sambram,  Sep 30, 2016

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

I tend to agree with others that this software is “unusable”. I initially entered my tree by importing a .ged file from MyHeritage. Apart from over 40 errors about unreadable lines with no explanation, Gramps appeared to import a lot of my data OK, including spouses and dates and places of marriages. However trying to enter a spouse with a data and place of marriage using Gramps menus proved impossible for me to fathom. I could enter a spouse, and separately enter an event called Marriage with a date and place, but could not get Gramps to list the spouse and the marriage details in the same way as the imported data from MyHeritage. this leads me to conclude that Gramps stores them as separate unrelated data items? In any case, the help is useless, since it says that next to the Family lable there is an [Add] button or [+], when in fact there is only a [-] (minus) button. I eventually found the Add Partner button on the (Mac) top menu bar, but even this does not have the functionality described in the Help files.
I’m sure this is a powerful tool, but… (a) is its data structure compatible with other tools so that imported data is represented in the same way as in-tool entered data? and… (b) I get the feeling after an hour or two plugging away that the best way to enter data is to use another tool (e.g. MyHeritaage) and import to Gramps using .ged flles…. Or (hey) I could just use another tool.

Biggest Pro: looks powerful
Biggest Con: impossible to use with any confidence I am doing it right.

Gramps Review by rci,  Sep 29, 2016

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

this has to be the most UN-intuitive program I’ve ever seen. Whoever maintains this dinosaur needs to think……. the very first thing a person needs is a way to start a family tree but instead of naming a file and starting to fill in the info on the person you’re starting with, it takes you on some round about journey that isn’t clear nor intuitive. The help file isn’t very helpful either. Linux needs a genealogy program but this one needs to be rebuilt or rearranged or something to make it usable…..

Biggest Pro: free
Biggest Con: how do you get started ???

Gramps Review by Gail T,  Aug 21, 2016

4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

Works really well, no installation issues both Gramps 4.2.3 and Gramps 5.0.0-alpha1. For those of you reviewing I suggest mentioning what version you tried as older version do suck a bit.

Biggest Pro: Free, wide range of reports and addon
Biggest Con: Workflow could be improved, too many clicks (So do yourself a favor and install the 3rd party “Form Addon’s”

Gramps Review by J T Waterfield,  Jun 20, 2016

Not Rated

So I tried this after the Windows version (which didn’t work, see other review). I’m sorry, I reckon I’m pretty good with software, but this just proved impossible to set up. I’m full of admiration for those who build and maintain software that is good enough for others to use, and I’m sure this is as good as lots of people report, but it just isn’t going to work for me.

Biggest Pro: Free?!
Biggest Con: Couldn’t get it installed.

Gramps Review by Martin H. Watson,  Jun 15, 2016

4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

Mark Twain said something like “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”

6 months ago, as a total novice genealogist but with a lifetime in IT tech support behind me, I looked at GRAMPS and thought it looked slick but bewildering. I put it to one side and started using ‘My Family Tree’ by Chronoplex, which was simple, and easy for me to input my limited data, 90+ records. 6 months later I was finding it a bit limited, and wanted greater customisation, and web publishing options. I imported my GEDCOM data into GRAMPS and after just an hour, experimenting with it, and generating reports and HTML pages, populated with my own real data, I am stunned. It will take a long time for me to fully understand and exploit all the functionality, but I am totally converted to GRAMPS. Remember to keep a initial GEDCOM file, so that when you are fully familiar with it, you can start again from the GEDCOM file, after trying lot of experiments. If you’ve tried it before and not liked it, try it with your current GEDCOM data file. I never give 5 stars to any review unless it comes with free beer. 4/5 is as good as I ever give.

Biggest Pro: Free and sophisticated, and well worth persevering with.
Biggest Con: Hard on beginner genealogists and/or those with limited IT knowledge, but one day, you see the light. Wow!

Gramps Review by Ben Weston,  Apr 20, 2016

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

I migrated my family tree from Family Tree Maker to Gramps recently and I have become very impressed with it. At first it felt a bit clunky but after a very short while I started to appreciate its depth and power. It is very flexible and now I have learnt the basics using it is very straightforward. I am quite a light weight in the world of genealogical research but I get the feeling that Gramps is suitable not only for relative novices, such as myself, but also contains features that will satisfy serious researchers.

Biggest Pro: The ability to tailor the views of almost every screen using gramplets.
Biggest Con: Takes a while to discover all its features and how to access them (thanks be to Google).

Gramps Review by Dawn Dove,  Feb 21, 2016

Not Rated

Well after reviewing the web for a couple of days I thought to load Gramps and give it a whirl..After 5 hours I have given up.
Consistently locked my file and secondary pop windows are hidden behind the main screen. Not intuitive for this old dog although I grew up with DOS and have upgrade my knowledge for 20 years.
This may be a great program but I ended up wiping off my system.

Biggest Pro: sorry too frustrated to give a thumbs up.
Biggest Con: Wanted a simple family tree on digital to give to kids.

Gramps Review by Peter,  Jan 26, 2016

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

Gramps is a very sophisticated full featured genealogy software programme, with many more features and capabilities that what I have seen in commercial products. For example, sources are managed at three levels (citation, source and repository) and places are managed in a hierarchy structure (town, county, state, country). Reports and charts are very good. The Gramplet plugins bring more features.
Best of all, it is open source, so your data is not locked in come proprietary file format.

Biggest Pro: lots of functionality for the serious genealogist
Biggest Con: all those functions can make it difficult to learn

Gramps Review by Peter,  Jan 15, 2016

4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

Started somewhere with version 2.x and upgraded continuously to current version. No problems, no data losses. Has lots of possibilities to enter sources and media as well as graphical and text reports and web sites of your family tree.

Biggest Pro: Free, runs on Linux and Windows, very flexible
Biggest Con: takes time to find out/discover all the possibilities and ways of working

Gramps Review by Mathieu,  Jan 11, 2016

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

To benefit from this soft, you must be well organized for your photos and sources management. But when it is, Gramps greatly helps to work your trees.

Biggest Pro: Freedom Software; Sources management
Biggest Con: GUI using many popup-windows requires a screen of great size

Gramps Review by Colin,  Dec 21, 2015

3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

Neither intuitive nor easy to learn.
I am sympathetic to open source software, but this really does feel like its been cobbled together by a committee who set out to design a horse and came up with a camel.
I finally gave up when I bought a new computer and tried to load my backup into the new download of Gramps. It was really hard to find out how to do this basic task. While I managed it in the end, as far as I was concerned, that was the end. Software this difficult to use has no place on my computer.

Biggest Pro: Free. Does the job
Biggest Con: Difficult to learn. Not at all intuitive

Gramps Review by Doug E,  Dec 19, 2015

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

I agree. Incomprehensible. It is supposed to have “shared events”. Input an event, such as a family reunion, then try to share the event among the six participants. Good frickin’ luck. And if it is in fact easy, why is there no procedural help? The help file, in the form of a Wiki, is essentially useless in identifying the steps that one would go through to do something as elementary as this. One would think that a piece of share/free ware written by code jocks could have clear, algorithmic, step-by-step help for some common actions. If such step-by-step descriptions do exist, call me stupid, but I could not find them.

Biggest Pro: Really complicated
Biggest Con: But at least it was free.

Gramps Review by Ralph,  Nov 10, 2015

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

Originally started with Cumberland Family Tree which had a simple interface, used other programs like Legacy and Heritage. Gramps is superior software and the fact that I can easily write plugins is even better. This is a serious program with alot of features. A learning curve is there but worth it.

Btw the person who says it crashed..I never had the program crash, perhaps something with your PC

Biggest Pro: Serious program with a lot of features.
Biggest Con: UI can be a little confusing

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