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jGnash FAQ



What happened to transaction categories?

Commercial personal finance applications such as Quicken® use categories to help track spending and income. jGnash uses Income and Expense accounts instead of categories for tracking where your money comes from and where it goes.

Can I use multiple currencies?

Yes! The Tools|Currencies|Add/Remove menu will let you add additional currencies.

After adding new currencies, simple create new accounts that use the new currency. When creating a transaction between accounts with different currencies, a field for the exchange rate will be enabled.

How do I add Securities / Stocks to my Investment and Mutual Fund Account?

First, you need to have created your stocks/securities. Tools|Commodities:Create / Modify

When creating the securities, make sure you specify them as Securities, not Commodities. Otherwise, they will not show up when you try to add them to your Investment or Mutual Fund account. The scale field must be filled in and the prefix field should be filled in. The scale will general be the same scale as the currency the securities value is reported in. In most cases, a scale of 2 will work fine. For the prefix, the currency prefix of the reported value should be used.

After creating your securities, you can go back and modify the existing account or select the securities when creating a new account. Use the Securities button in the dialog to make changes.

At this time, there is do difference between Investment Accounts and Mutual Fund accounts... only an extra level of detail.

If you are using a version of jGnash older than the 1.8.4pre series, you cannot use a Mutual Fund account. Either change to an Investment account or update to the 1.8.4pre series or newer.

Tips & Tricks

Mathematical equations when entering numbers

jGnash allows the use of simple mathematical equations when entering numbers for transaction values.

For example, you can enter the following:

2 * 1.06

This will automatically be calculated as 2.12

Allowable math operators are:

| + - * - ( )

OpenGL for JSE 5.0

A command line flag has been added to enable OpenGL when running under JSE 5.0.

This will improve UI performance.

This is experimental, so your results may vary

To enable, add -opengl to your command line

Text Antialiaising for JSE 5.0

jGnash automatically detects if you are using JSE 5.0 and enables antialiaising for text display.


What is required to run jGnash?

Any operating system with a 6.0 or new Java runtime.

See http://java.sun.com/j2se/ or http://java.com to download a Java VM for your system.

How do I install jGnash?

jGnash does not make use of an installation program. The jGnash executable JAR file only needs to be saved to your system at a prefered location.

If you are using a Windows computer, you may want to consider downloading the EXE version of jGnash for better integration.

How do I run jGnash on a Linux/*nix system?

Execution may vary depending on the operating system, but for most all unix based systems, the following will work

java -jar jgnash_bin.jar

How do I run jGnash on Windows?

On most Windows systems with a properly installed JVM, you should be able to double click on the jar file, and/or create a shortcut to the file.

Some compression programs have a nasty habit of automatically associating JAR files so that they are opened with the compression program instead of allowing Java to execute the file. If you are experencing this type of problem, try running jGnash from a Command Prompt window using the following command.

java -jar jgnash_bin.jar
javaw -jar jgnash_bin.jar 

with jgnash_bin.jar being the executable file that was downloaded. Make sure that the java or javaw executable is in your path.

Also, consider downloading the EXE version for Windows instead of the JAR file

How do I run jGnash on OSX?

Running jGnash on OSX

What is a JAR file?

A JAR file is a ZIP file with a special directory and file embedded that tells the Java virtual machine how to run the program automatically. It can be uncompressed using most all ZIP applications. For normal operation of jGnash, it is not necessary to unzip the file.

How do I compile jGnash from source?

Please see Source Code


jGnash does not remember my preferences and last file opened?

You should see an error at the console or command prompt that looks similar to the following

Sep 15, 2003 9:08:56 PM java.util.prefs.FileSystemPreferences$3 run
WARNING: Could not create system preferences directory. System preferences are unusable. 

This problem occurs primarily on older Linux installations. Although jGnash preferences are stored within your home directory, it may be necessary to run a Java application as the root user after the installation of the Java runtime. This will create a .java directory in /etc. After this directory has been created, jGnash should run without errors.

It takes too long to display reports

  • The first time the report sub-system is initialized, all installed fonts are cataloged. The more fonts you have installed on your system, the longer it will take to load the first report.
  • OSX is known to take a long time to display reports. If you are willing to help profile the report code on OSX, please contact the author.
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