Newbie questions

John Reynolds gnucash at
Tue Nov 4 09:25:11 CST 2003

On Tue, 4 Nov 2003 13:03:48 +0000, "Rory Campbell-Lange"
<rory at> said:
> Hi
> I'm thinking of moving to gnucash but am keen to know a few things a
> cursory glance at the documentation and a quick run-through on a test
> install haven't answered. Sorry if these questions have been answered
> many times before.
> 1. Import and Export
> --------------------
> I've successfully imported a file from my bank's website which has a QIF
> format. Big surprise! However I have been running my (very small)
> company's accounts using Filemaker over the last 18 months and would
> ideally like to import this data which could be presented in .csv or
> .tab formats.

Currently GC will only import the following formats, QIF, OFX/QFX, and
HCBI. No .cvs

> I'd like to know how easy it is to export data to csv or something like
> that. My accountant uses Excel and I'd like to back my accounts up to
> postgres. 

No export to .cvs either. You could write an .xslt to transform the .xml
(default GC data file format) to something else. 
There is a postgres backend, but the current version does not support the
"Business" functions (customers, invoice, etc). A DB back end is being
actively worked on by the developers.

> I've had a look at the format of the gnucash data file and I'm confident
> I could at least extract my data using Perl. However I'd prefer not to
> have to reinvent the wheel!

Maybe someone will offer up something they have already done... or you
will do it and offer it back for inclusion in an "extras" folder for

> 2. VAT
> ------
> In the UK most transactions require VAT to be paid at 17.5%, which is
> then recouped by Customs and Excise. Do I have to do a transaction split
> on every VATable item to render it to a VAT account?


> 3. Dealing with imported data
> -----------------------------
> I have a personal bank account for which I would like all the data to be
> simply imported, and not be required to run a transaction against each
> entry. Is this possible to achieve?

Not sure what your asking... but remember that GC follows Double-Entry
Accounting principles. If you just want to omit certain txn during
import, I believe you can mark them and they will be skipped.

> Similarly, is it possible to define a default transaction for any
> imported data when imported to a particular account?
> Is it possible to detect duplicate data entries on import? (i.e. when I
> have data from the same dates mistakenly imported twice.)

The QIF importer does not do a great job of matching. If you can, use the
OFX/QFX option.

> 4. Fonts
> --------
> OK, this isn't a fair question! I'm running Debian testing/unstable and
> I spend my life in blackbox/xterms. The only app I use at the moment
> with a conventional gui is Firebird, which has very smooth fonts.
> Gnucash's fonts look very jaggedy in comparison. Messing around with the
> font preferences hasn't helped (in fact, the display fonts don't change)
> -- maybe the error message noting a missing library ( has
> something to do with it?

Sorry I can't help with this one. I have yet to figure out the
relationships that produce quality fonts in Linux. Fortunately I use a
distro that covers most of that for me.

> Thanks for all and any help.
> Rory

No Problem.
John R.

> -- 
> Rory Campbell-Lange 
> <rory at>
> <>
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