"Tools > Close Book" doesn't seem to do what I want, i.e., to shrink gnucash file by rolling up transactions

Jonathan Kamens jik at kamens.brookline.ma.us
Mon Nov 24 11:06:35 EST 2008

I see that recent versions of GnuCash have a "Close Book" item on the
"Tools" menu.  I was overjoyed when I discovered it today, because I thought
that finally, there was a supported way for me to shrink the size of my
>10MB gnucash file which has several years of data in it.


Alas, it appears that I was mistaken.  I tried to use "Close Book",
specifying 12/31/2007 as the closing date, and when it was done, my gnucash
file was actually larger than before.  It appears that it summarized data
for Income and Expenses accounts but not for other accounts.


It appears that "Close Book" has some sort of meaning I don't quite
understand related to running a business, which is not what I am doing.


What I want to do is collapse the transactions in every single GnuCash
account.  E.g., I have a "Liabilities:Credit Card:Discover" account where I
track charges and payments on my Discover card.  After "closing the books"
or whatever what I want to do is called, I want all of the transactions on
that account prior to 1/1/2008 to be rolled up into a single transaction,
with all the details of the individual transactions discarded.  I will save
those details in a backup copy of the gnucash file, and then the new copy
that I use every day will have only recent transactions in it.


Is "Close Book" supposed to do what I want?  If so, then how do I make it do
that?  If not, then is there any chance of new functionality that actually
collapses transactions in all accounts, rather than only in Income and
Expenses accounts?




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