When will the program-code of Libre Office allow preview of ODT-1.2-files in Windows (File-)Explorer Preview Pane without having (newest) MS Word installed?

My System is Windows 10, beneath Apache Open Office (4.1.3) and since few days Libre Office 5.0.3 is MS Word 2007 installed. I cannot see previews of my ODF/ODT-1.2-files in Windows (File-)Explorers Preview Pane, what I find quite annoying. I am coming from Apache OpenOffice and have now Libre Office installed because it delivers an additonal trick to it, since the files can be stored as “Microsoft Word 2007-2013 Open Document”- format, what isn´t possible with Apache Open Office. But that also is no sufficient solution.
The problem is, that only ODF 1.0/1.1 -files are previewable with Windows Explorer, if You do not have the newest MS Office or MS Word installed, which since Office 2013 or 2016 is capable of handling ODF 1.2-files:

After - without success in form of previewability - having tried some manipulations in the Apache Open Office manifest.xml - files, which are found with windows explorer-search, it seems to me the manifest.xml-file of every single odt-Dokument (which is a zipped xml) in ODF 1.2-format is the problem based on the program-codes of Apache OO and Libre Office.

Momentary the only semi-“solution” for previewability without newest MS Office installed seems to be, to store the files in ODF 1.0 or 1.1 -format or - in my case (having ms word 2007 installed) - to store them (beneath odt-1.2-format additionally) in “Microsoft Word 2007-2013 Open Document”- format with Libre Office. ODF-1.0/1.1-files and (in my case) “Microsoft Word 2007-2013 Open Document”-files are previewable then. But the problem with this is, that I would have to treat each of my about 2000 ODT-1.2-files (produced since 2013) this way, what isn´t possible and that - if doing so with a smaller number of my latest ODT-1.2-files say of the last month, it would change the “last change”-time-attribute of those files, which I need to stay in original forms and row in Windows Explorer for my orientation and my work-process, cause I have to be able to see, when and how I changed the content of those text-files.

Before finding that not really satisfying semi-“solution”, I found a profound discussion of the whole problem here:
107602 – framework: Implement ODF document preview for Windows Explorer

I could and can preview and navigate through Open Documents in ODF/ODT-format 1.0/1.1 with Windows (File) Explorer in its “Preview Pane” also without any Microsoft Office beeing installed. I think Libre Office- and AOO-communtity should solve that issue without forcing users to install newest MS Office or forcing them not to use Windows. I guess its just a small code-bug.

As I understand the discussion at AOO-bugzilla https://bz.apache.org/ooo/show_bug.cg… , especially at the end (comments 16 and 17), there may be a bug in ODF-1.2 code relating to the code-created manifest.xml-files under ODF 1.2-format? The problem came into existence assumably with OpenOffice 3.4, see also [Issue] OpenOffice 3.4 files and Windows 7 preview pane (View topic) • Apache OpenOffice Community Forum

Okay, so all that is actually missing, would be a LO- or AOO- standalone preview-handler for ODF-1.0/1.1 and 1.2-files?
As question in reply to:
If you have a working preview “before installing MSO 2007”, then that must be some other software (not OOo/AOO/LO) that offers that preview. OOo/AOO/LO don’t and didn’t provide this functionality.

The feature you refer to is not implemented in LO for any version of ODF (or other files), including ODF 1.0/1.1.

Specifically, the article at AOO Bugzilla you pointed to, talks about ability to navigate through documents in Explorer preview pane, as opposed to viewing thumbnail preview of first page saved inside the document.

LibreOffice does include a component named Windows Explorer Extension that allows the thumbnails preview. However, this have never had ability to navigate through documents. Also, it shows thumbnails correctly for ODF 1.2.

Also, there is a component named ActiveX control. Its purpose is to enable embedding of LO into other applications’ frames (specifically, IE). In theory, it could be extended to work with Explorer, but actually it is deprecated and will be removed in a future version of LO. As the decision is to remove the functionality of embedding into other applications, I doubt that the feature you ask for is going to happen (unless someone new decides to take development and maintenance, because there’s no incentive among existing members of development community).

Hello Mike,
firstly I do not mean thumbnail-preview of first page but the file-preview-function in (File-)Explorer Preview Pane, which has - if it works - the capability of navigating through the whole document-text of a previewable file. And this preview and navigation works for ODT-file with ODF1,0/1.1-Version, but not any more with ODF-1.2-formatted files/documents. You can control the also with LO given capability of preview and navigation by storing ODT-files with LO in the 1.0/1.1-format.

And secondly do I not speak about Internet Explorer or any web-brower-extension or web-browser function, but only of the Preview Pane of regular Windows (File-) Explorer, so of Preview Pane as part of the regular Windows OS, which is part of it at least since Windows NT, if I remember correctly, so the described lack of previeability and “navigability” of ODF-1.2-files exists for all Windows OS-Versions, while all ODF-1.0/1.1-files will be previewable and navigatable in Preview Pane of WExplorer

That means that I do speak of exactly the same lack of functionality as discussed in the linked AOO-bugzilla-item. LO and AOO do here have or produce the identical problem with ODF-1.2-files (but no problem with ODF-1.0/1.1-files) for Windows (OS) Explorer Preview Pane.

@Ballroom: yes, and I expressed in my answer that I understand your issue. But I told you that there was never such functionality in LibreOffice/OpenOffice; and most probably won’t be for foreseeable future for reasons described above.

The ability to preview ODF1.0/1.1 comes from installed MS Office, which is able to open these files since version 2007 SP1, and provides the preview in Windows Explorer. If you deinstall MS Office, the preview will also go.

@mikekaganski: Hello Mike, both of Your statements are not correct unfortunately: First is Windows Preview Pane capable to give a preview and navigation for ODF/ODT 1.0/1.1-files WITHOUT any MS Office installed, as I can assure You, cause I hadn´t it installed, whwn preview even under Win10 worked for my older odt-files, which were created with older AOO-versions until 2012 (in ODF-1.0/1.1-format) and secondly therefore at least Open Office had this functionality with WExpl.

As every ODT/ODF-1.0/1.1-file can be previewed and navigated through by Windows (File) Explorer Preview Pane, it depends upon the startdate of first Libre Office Version or more exactly, upon if the first LO-version formatted Open Docs in ODF-1.0/1.1-format, if Libre Office once also had that functionality. I think Libre Office- and AOO-communtity should solve that issue without forcing users to install newest MS Office or forcing them not to use Windows. I guess its just a small code-bug.

I have to correct one of my sentences above (in my first comment today): I used “Open Office” until 2012, if also I already (can have) used “Apache” Open Office before the end of 2012, I am not sure.

As you seem to fail reading the topics that you mention yourself in your question (i#107602), saying that in 2009, as well till 2016 (i.e., latest version), OOo and AOO haven’t had the function, I cannot help but tell you that my knowledge as LO developer isn’t sufficient to know what’s known to you. I can only hope that this link may help you to identify SW that previews on your system without MSO.

Hello Mike, thanks for Your link (with Your suggestion to use another program than windows explorer, namely opus directory, I guess? ). In my system MS Office doesn´t need to be installed to have preview pane working for ODF-1.0/1.1-format. I had - before upgrading to win 10 - a Win7-system with Office 365 2013 and then 2016, whereas Office 365 is terminated meanwhile. In fact I installed MS Office 2007 in March 2017 only for the purpose to get WinExplorer preview of my numerous ODT 1.2 -for-

matted files, which came into existence since about End of 2012. But that did not help. Before and after having installed MS Office 2007, I could and can preview and navigate through ODT Documents in ODF-1.0/1.1 format (but not in 1.2-format). See also [Issue] OpenOffice 3.4 files and Windows 7 preview pane (View topic) • Apache OpenOffice Community Forum . As I understand the discussion at AOO-bugzilla 107602 – framework: Implement ODF document preview for Windows Explorer , especially at the end (comments 16 and 17), there may be a bug in

… ODF-1.2 code relating to the code-created manifest.xml-files under ODF 1.2-format?

PS: Before I installed MS Office 2007 in March 2017, my MS Office 365 2013/2016 had been terminated about one year ago. Directly before installing MS Office 2007 my Windows Explorer Preview Pane had already full function for ODF 1.0/1.1-formatted (means: old) ODT-files, but not ODT 1.2-files.


To read the i#107602 correctly, you should first read its title and initial description: they say “Implement ODF document preview for Windows Explorer”, “The current explorer extensions … do not support the preview of ODF documents within the Windows Explorer preview window”. That’s from 2009, and say about 3.1 (see OpenOffice.org - Wikipedia).

Then, comments 1 and 2 confirm it, and comment 3 says that v.3.2 doesn’t have it also. Comment 5 (from a user) says about existing preview, but comment 6 clarifies that it only has preview if MSO is installed. Comment 10 (form 2016) confirm the absence of the preview, and note that it’s OOo/AOO Bugzilla, and not LO, so no ODF 1.2 there.Comment 11 further clarifies that this is with Win10!

In comment 13, orcmid (one of project leads) misunderstands the problem, saying about thumbnail preview that works since 3.2, but comment 14 clarifies things for him (which he accepts in comment 15), but he says that there’s no possibility to add this yet not existing feature. Comment 14 says also, that 2 computers without MSO only shows thumbnail preview!