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How to make LibreOffice show thumbnails instead of icons?

asked 2019-05-04 10:55:00 +0200

igorevgen gravatar image

Hi, I have Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS and LibreOffice 6. So, how to make Libre show thumbnails instead of generic icons? Thumbnails are specific, easier to single out, and better looking. Thank you.

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If you don't want to be considered a spammer, don't post multiple times. You won't get more answers anyway.

I assume you want thumbnails on the desktop. This depends on the desktop manager and you didn't name it. I know how to do it under KDE but Ubundu ships with other desktops by default, maybe GNOME or a Canonical-developed one.

To provide more details to your question, edit it, don"t answer it as answers are reserved for solutions.

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2019-05-04 11:05:21 +0200 )edit

Thanks for your letting me know that my question has been published. For I didn't get any positive reply from the site machine. Only "incorrect" which might cause my multiple posting. Believe me, that would haven't happened if the machine had answered me "posted" or so at once. You may kindly send the matter to developers or other concerned. And thank you for the direction. Desktop manager. OK, will try. Take care. Igor The follow-up information has been received and well noted. Thanks again.

igorevgen gravatar imageigorevgen ( 2019-05-04 11:34:41 +0200 )edit

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answered 2019-05-04 17:58:04 +0200

ajlittoz gravatar image

Apologies, I was a bit fast to comment.

A desktop manager is only responsible for the appearance of the desktop on screen. It offers an API to window managers to position elements on the desktop and won't interfere on its own with these "elements" (windows and icons among others).

The piece of software to check is the file browser: it opens windows on the desktop to display folder contents or positions icons in a special folder called "Desktop" or equivalent to give the illusion the icons are deposited directly on said desktop.

The file browser can parse file and folder contents to compute an ad_hoc icon. Here, with the KDE desktop manager, I have the choice between Konqueror and Dolphin file browser. Both of them have a menu Configure>Configure xxx. The details after that are a bit different, but you end up in a General category with a Thumbnail tab. There, you have a list of MIME types (disguised under human-friendly names) with a check box. Whenever a box is checked, the file browser will read at least a few blocks of the designated files and, thanks to plug-ins, compute a relevant icon.

The question is now: is there an ODF plugin?

Unfortunately, i'm afraid the answer is "no". Fedora distro does not provide one by default and I guess no one has developed such a plugin. To add to the difficulty, no universal plugin can exist because it has to integrate with the file browser API.

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Thank you so much for this information which I've saved. In OS Windows, the thumbnail business was a matter of a minute to sort out. OS Linux is another story. Especially, a greater lot of questions how to get rid of thumbnails rather than to create them.

igorevgen gravatar imageigorevgen ( 2019-05-05 12:55:02 +0200 )edit

To revert to standard icons, you just uncheck the box in the file browser config dialog. Getting rid of thumbnails and reclaiming disk space is another story. With Fedora KDE, they are stored in ~/.thumbnails/. I haven't checked in they are stored in the same location under MATE. ls -al is your friend to discover all the hidden files and directories in your home folder.

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2019-05-05 15:20:50 +0200 )edit

Thanks. My Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS has "File Management," already configured to show thumbnails, and that to no avail. I also checked out my Synaptic PM -- all the stuff which has "thumbnails" and "thumbnailer" in it's hard names has been installed. As for the hidden files, I guess, they are hidden from such "super-users" as me. So, let 'em be.

igorevgen gravatar imageigorevgen ( 2019-05-05 18:16:24 +0200 )edit

answered 2019-05-04 11:12:29 +0200

petermau gravatar image

This is a Ubuntu question. On my Linux-Mint system you can change your icon if you do not wish to use your supplied one. Right click the icon on your desktop, select PROPERTIES then click on the displayed icon. Find the thumbnail you want, select it and away you go.

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Petermau, I tried what you've suggested. It didn't work. Thanks anyway. Igor

igorevgen gravatar imageigorevgen ( 2019-05-04 11:39:20 +0200 )edit

I think the OP wants an icon reflecting the contents of the file, hence the name of thumbnail, just like a picture is displayed as a reduced view on the desktop. The icon is not a "static" one chosen from a library (your proposed solution) but a "dynamic" one, different for each file.

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2019-05-04 11:39:32 +0200 )edit

Agree. As per “Dictionary Of Computer And Internet Terms” (, icon – a small picture on a computer screen that represents a particular object, operation, or group of files… thumbnail (from the artists’ term thumbnail sketch) – a small image of a graphics file displayed in order to help you identify it. That way the book differentiate the terms. My question, however, has nothing to do with a desktop (on the which I keep nothing but a "wallpaper" as they call it). I mean ODT files within a folders, just that.

igorevgen gravatar imageigorevgen ( 2019-05-04 15:36:28 +0200 )edit

answered 2019-05-07 08:15:01 +0200

igorevgen gravatar image

As it's correctly said above, it's Ubuntu question. And, as far as I could get from <ask ubuntu=""> and tried myself, the official PPA is no longer maintained. It seems, the case is closed for the time being.

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And, as far as I could get from ask ubuntu and tried myself, the official PPA is no longer maintained

As far as I see, latest updates on are from end of Mar 2019, making 6.2.2 available

Mike Kaganski gravatar imageMike Kaganski ( 2019-05-07 08:26:44 +0200 )edit

Is it relevant to "Ubuntu question?" Probably I have that 6.2.2. via my regular "apt-get update." Will check it out. Thanks

igorevgen gravatar imageigorevgen ( 2019-05-07 08:43:01 +0200 )edit

Ah, sorry - when you wrote "official PPA", you meant "official PPA of a random application referred to by an Ask Ubuntu question I cited" (= "official PPA of ooo-thumbnailer"), not the official PPA of LibreOffice packaging team, which is usually most relevant "official PPA" here on Ask LibreOffice.

Mike Kaganski gravatar imageMike Kaganski ( 2019-05-07 08:47:50 +0200 )edit

Sure. And regarding Libre 6.2.2., my Terminal answered: "Most of the packages in this PPA have only experienced minor testing -- in fact it is the place to enable a wider audience to test packages before they are published into the distro proper. In general, this PPA is _not_ for the average user to install without a closer look..." and so on. Well, I'm that "average user without a closer look." :)

igorevgen gravatar imageigorevgen ( 2019-05-07 11:12:52 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2019-05-04 10:55:00 +0200

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Last updated: May 07