I just installed Gramps the other day and am rather new to it. When I go to Pedigree view, it only shows me five generations at a time. How do I change this (as in make it show more)? Or is it not possible?

  • That sixth generation will have 2^5 (32) entries, and the seventh would have 64. They would necessarily be quite small, possibly unusably so.
    – bstpierre
    Oct 18, 2012 at 23:27
  • @Luke Thanks for a question that caused me to investigate a problem that I have been "coping with" for more than a year, because I assumed the setting could not be changed. It can. See below.
    – Fortiter
    Oct 19, 2012 at 10:17
  • I am new to this program, and I can tell it still needs improvement. These are the issues I have found with version 3.3 in Linux: The principal problem is at the interface “Ancestry”, which I prefer to use as builder of the tree, rather than using “people” or “Families” interfaces. I mannaged to create a Tree in “Ancestry), begining with the most recent person, then going backwards, adding the parents; and so on. This is the way of Gramps, because it seems to me that it is not possible to create a tree begining from the oldest ancestor towards the present, because there is no way to make under
    – user1068
    Jan 3, 2014 at 13:41

4 Answers 4


With the proviso that I am still using Gramps 3.4.1 on Windows (because I use it as a Portable App) the change you want is quite straight forward.

In the Ancestry mode, select View then Configure View. Gramps configuration menu

Then move the slider to the right as far as you can cope with the necessary scrolling that results.

  • 4
    works on gramps 3.3.1-1 on a mac as well. Good answer.
    – Duncan
    Oct 19, 2012 at 10:29

Although not exactly what you are looking for (@Fortiter just provided that in his answer), you can see many generations at once using reports. That can provide context for the fewer-generation view in pedigree. Just keep it open in another window while you are navigating around using pedigree.

Reports - Graphical Reports - Pedigree Chart: The 'tree options' tab has a 'generations' field. I set mine to 10 and it worked fine. Note you can output either openDocument, svg, postscript, or pdf. You might have to play with sizes (fonts and paper) to get what you want. My first 10 generation pdf was 48 pages which does not meet your original request to see more generations at once. However you can make one big pdf (easier with svg if you have svg viewer) that can.

Another choice is Reports - Graphs - Hourglass Graph. It allows for both ancestors and descendants - since both are configurable, you can set descendants to zero and have just an ancestor chart. Graphs allow a graphviz output (in additions to jpeg,png,pdf,...) which is the underlying graphical engine (see graphviz.org). I like using that so I can tune the output the way I want. For example - prune off a branch you don't want to see is easier in the graphviz file than it is by changing my gedcom. Another example is to combine two graphs. I used this when making a tree of how I was descended from the founders of Scituate, MA. They aren't related and it was easier to combine 5 realtionship graphs than to prune most of my ancestors out of my ancestor graph. This is easier to do visually with graphviz than by changing the gedcom - especially when there are overlaps (eg 3rd cousins marry).

  • Thanks. I hadn't yet tried the reports, but they were quite useful. What I was referring to in the question was the "ancestry" tab. When I click it, it shows five generations of the graph. If I click the right arrow, it shows another generation on the right, but removes one on the left. I was wondering how to change that in the "ancestry" tab.
    – Luke_0
    Oct 19, 2012 at 2:09
  • I didn't know how to do it myself and did it the way above but @Fortiter just provided something closer to what you want. Good question. I'm glad you asked since now I know how to do it also.
    – Duncan
    Oct 19, 2012 at 10:32

A lot of software will display only four or five generations in its pedigree view, and for good reason; there simply isn't much space to display more. RootsMagic will display six generations, but don't get too excited about that; the boxes that display the sixth generation are rather small.

Gramps' "Configure View..." button brings up a dialog box that lets you increase the number of generation displayed to 9, but there is a trade-off; even on a large screen, a pedigree that large does not fit within the application window, so you have to scroll around.

To view more generations at once, create a chart. Most charting software can handle up to 10 or 12 generations or so, and the on-screen preview mode may allow for interactive exploration of your database.

  • 2
    "there isn't much space" is display dependent. With today's high density, high area displays you can fit more on the screen visibly - and slider bars then make the virtual screen even bigger and easier to navigate than via add/delete generations. So software in general should make this configurable. Fortunately (as @Fortiter's answer shows), gramps did make it configurable.
    – Duncan
    Oct 19, 2012 at 10:34
  • Whether a user scrolls around a large canvas or needs to step through multiple interlinked small ones (with redraws) is often a matter of personal preference. I can imagine use cases in which I will select one setup then the other. On the other hand, I always find using a picture in a second window as a form of index to my working file very annoying. But others will certainly differ. The only response which is always incorrect is unbending dogmatism. (Irony intended.)
    – Fortiter
    Oct 19, 2012 at 13:37

Download and use the H-tree view addon for Gramps. Follow the instructions from this link 6389

H-tree pedigree test

H-tree pedigree displays 5 generations (31 people) by default, and select the configuration icon in Ancestry mode and move the slider for "Tree Size" to "6" so that it displays 6 generations (64 people) of ancestors on screen at the same time!

Configure H-Tree

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