GCstar can be used with other softwares. It requires collection conversions. Export allows you to use your collection in another software. While Import do the opposite, so you could use a collection generated with another software with GCstar.


| Top |

Plugins are described in the same order as the one they should have in Export and Import menus (sub-menus of File). If one of them is not present, user may know why thanks to Dependencies item in help menu ?). It will open such a window:

Plugins dependencies

Items in the list are Perl components which are used by import and export plugins. Plugin using a non-installed component won’t be available. Within previous example, Tellico import plugin could not be used (and would not be present in Import menu) because of missing Archive::Zip component.

Once the Perl component has been installed (way to do that depends on operating system), there is no need to reinstall GCstar. Closing and launching the application will be enough to make the plugin available.

Some plugins are specific to some kind of collections or will behave differently with different ones.

Export collections

| Top |

In File menu, there is an Export submenu. It contains some items. Each one being for a different export method.

CSV export

This first one creates a CSV file. In such a file, there is one line for each collection member. The information are separated by a user selected character (or string).

The first option is to include or not the columns names in the output file. It can be useful to have them if you wish to open the file with a spreadsheet program.

You can also select the delimiter. And if it occurs in values, it will be replaced with something that can be configured to avoid confusions.

Fields to export must also be selected. And of course, order matters. Another option is available to copy pictures in a sub directory and having relative pathnames in generated file.

HTML export

This is used to generate a HTML page containing all items from current collection with their pictures. When creating such a page, a directory is also created to stock all pictures. If this page has to be consulted from anywhere else (as from a web server), user needs to copy also this directory. Its name is displayed in a dialog box once exportation has been performed.

Some templates are provided. They let user create different kind of pages with different features and styles. The templates available depend on the current collection type.

Some options can be customized for this export. They are in dialog box displayed when it is activated. You can select if some Javascript will be used or not. If activated, you will have some dynamic stuff.

Once you have exported a collection to html it is possible to print the output using a number of external programs. The simplest is to load the html into a browser and print from the browser.

It is also possible to manipulate the html output to create other kinds of printouts. The program html2ps, a part of the ubuntu collections, can output files with headers and all sorts of useful information.

To create a booklet of a collection, you can use a2ps to create a booklet that can be printed to a duplex-capable printer, or using gv, you can print first the front sides and then the back sides of the duplexed sheets.

First “Export” the collection using one of the html templates. To carry out the next step you have to have a PDF virtual printer defined in cups. To print a booklet to the virtual PDF printer, you use html2ps to create the booklet:

 a2ps -=book -PVirtual_Printer gcstar-dvd-booklet.html 

where Virtual_Printer is the name of the PDF printer and gcstar-dvd-booklet.html is the name of the file that you supplied to the “Export” command from within gcstar.

Virtual_Printer is the name of the PDF printer I have setup in cups.

Depending on the way I have setup html2ps, the output is more or less informative.

By setting the following as $HOME/.html2psrc:

@page {

          margin-left: 1.5cm;
          margin-right: 1.5cm;
          margin-top: 2cm;
          margin-bottom: 2cm;


@html2ps {

        header {
          left: $T;
          right: "Page $N";
          alternate: 1;
        footer {
          right: $D;
          alternate: 1;


I have created a page format for “letter” size paper with minimal margins (anything less prevents the headers and footers from appearing) and including the useful information of the Collection name on each page, plus the page number and the date on each page. The Collection name and page as well as the date alternate between odd and even pages to give the illusion of professionalism.

Now my wife can browse the movies on paper and mark the ones that are of interest. Then she can access the database on her laptop and lookup the cast, genre and other details.

A note about html2ps: it does not obey all html document conventions. It does not grok CSS style-sheets, and it does not obey <tr width=”n”> directives. Formatting has to be imbedded in the tables to be reflected by html2ps.

SQL export

SQL export is used to create a file containing insertion queries into a table. The user have to specify the table name and some settings.

With these settings, some instructions can be inserted on the file beginning. There is a DROP instruction and a CREATE one.

Then, user can choose if the pictures have to be copied in a directory. This one will be created in the same directory as the SQL file one.

Clicking on the button below these options open a window. Fields to be exported (and their order) need to be set by the user.

.tar.gz export

With this item, a unique file, a .tar.gz archive, is created. It will contain the list but also all pictures. It can be useful if you need to move your collection from a machine to another one.

Tellico export

This plugin may be used to create a collection that can be read by Tellico, a collection manager for KDE.

Collection is created as an XML file. This file contains also the pictures. These collections are supported by this plugin: Movies, Video games.

XML export

The XML export uses some templates to generate the file. First choice let user select where this template can be found. It can be manually entered in the text area or loaded from a file. GCstar comes with various predefined models (depending on collection type) that can be useful.

A template contains three sections defined as follows.







In HEADER section should be present all things that will be on top of the file only once. It could include the main tags opening, the DTD definition and so on.

The ITEM part contains everything related to one collection item. So it will be repeated as many times as necessary.

Finally, the FOOTER section is for final stuff.

In the ITEM section, some special things can be used. Something like ${name} will be replaced with corresponding field from the collection member. The available fields depend on the collection type.

All coma separated values or values lists can be used in a loop. The syntax is this one:

[LOOP field]


field being one of previous ones (without ${ and } ). All the text included in this section will be repeated as many times as needed. Each time the loop iterates, it will replace $$ with current value. Here is an example for a movie collection. If you provide this in your template:

[LOOP actors]

And you have a movie with actor list being “John, Edna, Paul”. The generated file will contain:


Another feature is the SPLIT section. Its syntax is:

[SPLIT value=field sep=char]


field can be each ones within the item information (not only the comma separated ones). char is the character that will be used as a separator. In text included in this section, special values can be used: $0, $1,... They correspond to each part of the original field.

To have an example, we consider this template:

[SPLIT value=director sep= ]

Separtor used is white space. If in a movie, director is “John Doe”, the file will contain these information:


Import from other softwares

| Top |

GCstar can be used with collections created from other softwares. You can use one of the predefined importation modules for this. Collections can be imported within current one, or in a new one that will be created. This can be selected through an option in the importation dialog box. Here are the different kinds of importation.


This plugin import collections of books generated with Alexandria, a book collection manager for Gnome. You could let GCstar goes into default location for the collections generated by Alexandria or specify an explicit path.

Ant Movie Catalog

This plugin can be used to import a movie collection generated with Ant Movie Catalog. Simply select your .amc file and everything will be done (including pictures importation).


Many softwares have a feature to export list in CSV format. It can be imported into GCstar through this module. User has only to specify which separator is used and fields that are on each.

Does not work in Windows version...

DVD Profiler

This plugin can be used to import a movie collection generated with DVD Profiler. It doesn’t import the native format but the XML version. So you need first to convert your list in XML format through this software.


This let the user import a movie collection created by GCfilms GCstar’s precursor.


This will just open a GCstar’s collection. This is useful to merge two collections in one. Open the first one and then import the second one with Add to current collection checked. The two collections should be of the same nature.

Names list

With this plugin, a name list can be imported. This list will need to be in a text file with one name on each line. Then the user may choose which website can be used for information retrieval.

Sometimes the search will return many results. A check box can be used to select the behavior of GCstar in such a case. If checked, the first result will always be used without the user’s intervention. If left unchecked, the user will need to select a result manually from a list.


This import plugin deals with files that have been generated through corresponding export plugin. It is a compressed archive containing the list itself but also pictures.


This plugin may be used to import a collection generated by Tellico, a collection manager for KDE.

It manages both collection format used by Tellico: .tc files and XML files. It will only import collections that contains movies or video games.

en/conversions.txt · Last modified: 16/11/2012 01:48 by

Should you have a problem using GCstar, you can open a bug report or request some support on GCstar forums.