Tips for large databases

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Large data files, what to do, and what not

Loading the file

For small files, you can work on GEDCOM or GRAMPS XML format. This works great. However, these formats are completely in you computer memory, so for larger files, they become slow, and might bring your computer to a standstill.

Therefore, you should only handle large files by the GRAMPS GRDB format. You do this by creating a new GRDB file, and importing the large file into it. This can take a long time! Do it in the evenings. If you enable transactions in menu Edit->Preferences, the importing of data will be much faster

Default view: bookmarks and active person

As there are many people, loading the person view might take some time. See the performace results: GRAMPS Performance.

You can circumvent this load time, by going to the relationships view before opening the grdb file. This will open the active person and his family extremely fast, independent of the amount of data you gathered.

You can add bookmarks to common people, or in the branch you are researching. This allows to change person in the relationships view without the need to activate the person in the person view first.

Avoid general filters

Filters go over all the data looking for the people who satisfy your query. Try to avoid this on large files.

For name searches do the following:

  • click in the person view on a person. Now start typing the family name of the person you need. The view will automatically go to the family name
  • for more detailed search, click CTRL-F first. This will expand all nodes and allows to search more specifically.

Please contribute

If you more tips for large databases, please share them