The New Start Screen shows thumbnails for recently used documents.
Thumbnails have the following downsides:
1) Easy to shoulder surf
2) Horrible data density
It would be nice to have an option to disable Thumbnails on the Start Screen by either:
Reverting to the old start screen which was compact and usable
- or -
Providing a textual list of recent documents which could also benefit from additional information (modified date, pathway, etc) and so make use of the screen effectively.
Operating System: All
Version: 18.104.22.168 release
Last worked in: 22.214.171.124 rc
enhancement request. status --> NEW
There is also a privacy issue. Please see AskLibO:
The proposal of Trevor concerning a list of recent documents with more information is also a nice one.
(In reply to comment #2)
> There is also a privacy issue.
Yes, the privacy issue can be serious.
And it confuses some lesser-savvy users.
And it slows down startup time or time-to-task if you don't want to use a recently used document.
And it encourages new users to not understand proper directory structures and file organization.
And it annoys some of the conservative users.
Really, it is amazing to me something this sweeping and dramatic would be added without any option to control it at all. To be a world-class program, LO needs to consider all types of users in all types of environments. And that means having flexibility for configuration. There is currently no reasonable workaround.
Unlike the first posting, I don't think it should be an "-or-" but an "-and-".... user should be able to turn it off completely, but also having an additional option choice for a textual listing would be nice (although the listing is already available under the "File" menu, so it is probably redundant).
I think that maybe you can workaround the issue by manually editing the registrymodifications.xcu in the user profile in order to disable thumbnails in the New Start Screen.
I use the portable version of LibO from winPenPack.com and after upgrading from 4.1.x to 4.2.x and migrating my user profile (which comes from 4.1.x) I've noticed that thumbnails in start screen do not show up at all.
If I reset the user profile in 4.2.x the thumbnails show up again and I've identified that the file which triggers the on/off is registrymodifications.xcu
I'll do further testing to understand which code line can be deleted in 4.2.x xcu file to turn off the thumbails.
probably the .xcu from 4.1.x misses some information that 4.2.x needs to show the thumbs
this is very good news. I keep fingers crossed that you will be able to solve this issue.
Until now I was on the save side because my production system was 4.1 but now have to very carefully with what shows up when I am with a client.
I would be deeply grateful if this bug could be fixed as soon as possible. Please integrate an option that allows to disable the new start screen. Effectively, I cannot use version 4.2 (or later) due to these privacy issues. I would be always in danger that my clients could see something they should not. Sorry, but this is extremely annoying.
(In reply to comment #6)
> I would be deeply grateful if this bug could be fixed as soon as possible.
> Please integrate an option that allows to disable the new start screen.
> Effectively, I cannot use version 4.2 (or later) due to these privacy
> issues. I would be always in danger that my clients could see something they
> should not. Sorry, but this is extremely annoying.
There are two partial workarounds I can think of:
1) You can clear your recently used history after opening each document or maybe just after each session.
2) You can launch the LO component you want directly, without going through the "main menu" screen.
Neither is very convenient and it is very unfortunate that someone added this ridiculous preview screen without considering all the ramifications.
not being able yet to understand how to reproduce the tweak of .xcu file explained in comment 4
anyway I just wanted to let you know that in 4.3.x it will be possible at least to selectively delete some documents thumbnails from start center.
(In reply to comment #8)
> anyway I just wanted to let you know that in 4.3.x it will be possible at
> least to selectively delete some documents thumbnails from start center.
> see: https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/ReleaseNotes/4.3#GUI
Actually that's not much helpful here. The feature is about deleting
recent documents from the list - but that is some pretty much
different thing. I want to get rid of the thumbnails, but I still
want to keep my recent list. Thumbnails and recent list are two
independent things, that should not bbe mixed here.
Created attachment 100600 [details]
with this .xcu thumbnails are disabled
as said before in my LibO 126.96.36.199 under Win7x64 the thumbnails in start center are completely disabled
I don't know why this happens but it seems related to something inside the registrymodifications.xcu
feel free to inspect and see what's causing this behaviour which - if reproducible - could be used as a tweak for users who wanna get rid of start center thumbs.
that file should be put inside the user profile folder
Yes, you can completely disable the thumbnails by setting the amount of recent documents to 0:
* Tools -> Options -> Expert Configuration
* Find /org.openoffice.Office.Common/History, property "PickListSize"
* Choose [Edit], and change the value to 0, [OK]
* [OK] in the Expert Configuration
* [OK] in Options
The only bug that is there now is that the Start center is not refreshed when you update this value - so you have to either restart LibreOffice, or open & close Writer again to see the recent documents gone.
Does setting PickListSize affect only thumbnails display or are you just setting the recent file list to zero?
If its just setting recent file list to zero then the solution is just a hack, disabling a useful feature to hide an undesirable addition.
(In reply to comment #12)
> Does setting PickListSize affect only thumbnails display or are you just
> setting the recent file list to zero?
> If its just setting recent file list to zero then the solution is just a
> hack, disabling a useful feature to hide an undesirable addition.
I was going to ask the exact same question. Simply disabling the recently used text list is NOT the solution to this problem and if that is what is saying, then the title of this enhancement and priority should be reverted back to what it was.
Many of us use the recently used documents list and like it a lot. We don't want to lose that feature just to get rid of the opening screen recently used documents "preview gallery".
I did not see this noted and just want to add this additional point about the Start Center display of the documents in the right hand pane.
In the United States the HIPPA law carrys severe penalties for medical and sensitive data being in a position that those without rights to view it can.
In other words, those that are using the current version of, and the proposed "fix", are in danger of violating HIPPA code if they use the LO Start Center.
(In reply to comment #14)
> I did not see this noted and just want to add this additional point about
> the Start Center display of the documents in the right hand pane.
> In the United States the HIPPA law carrys severe penalties for medical and
> sensitive data being in a position that those without rights to view it can.
I do not understand what is different here from whatever document you are editing; you are not obliged to show your screen to all persons around.
Please do not change the version number, it shows the oldest version in which the bug has been observed.
Best regards. JBF
> (In reply to comment #12)
> I was going to ask the exact same question. Simply disabling the recently
> used text list is NOT the solution to this problem and if that is what is
> saying, ....
that's a temporarily workaround for those who wanna absolutely get rid of start screen thumbs. it's not the final solution, since it has downside effect of turning off the recent document list
> ... then the title of this enhancement and priority should be reverted
> back to what it was.
I agree. I reverted the title to the original description.
(In reply to comment #15)
> I do not understand what is different here from whatever document you are
> editing; you are not obliged to show your screen to all persons around.
A user will probably not remember all the documents he/she has been working on recently. If there is someone in their office within visual range of the monitor and that user starts LO, it will expose actual document content for others to see, not just a list of document names.
Another example- imagine your laptop connected to a projector for a meeting with dozens of people watching and you open LO, forgetting that it is going to show actual content of your recently used documents.... or you forgot that you had been working on a sensitive document a few days before and WHAM- everyone can see a part of it now before you fully open the document they are supposed to see.
It is simply a very bad idea for LO to do this and give the user no way to persistently turn it off. Should I make a sample screenshot that will illustrate the danger, or does everyone understand the issue?
I would like to turn off the thumbnails as well.
There's a workaround that disables the thumbnails on the start screen, but doesn't affect the list of the recent documents (PickList):
Résumé of #19
Work with 4.3.0x
setting this part allow to no more shown thumbnails etc ..
(often under linux /usr/lib64/libreoffice)
<object class="sfxlo-RecentDocsView" id="all_recent">
Give a way to user to setup it on or off.
(In reply to comment #20)
I can confirm this is an excellent workaround and does, indeed, work (in 4.2.3, Linux). As a bonus it is global (so it will affect all users). Great suggestion until something more friendly comes along!
*** Bug 82179 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Does the modification of startcenter.ui only stop the images from being shown, or does it also prevent them from being created?
Also where are these images stored? I want to delete them.
The thumbnails are stored inside the file
in the lines that contain the text
Neither the change in startcenter.ui nor setting PickListSize to 0 removes these entries.
The file can be edited with Wordpad (Windows) and the offending lines manually removed.
The change in startcenter.ui does not prevent new items from being created. Setting PickListSize to 0 does.
Setting PickListSize to 0 can also be done by editing registrymodifications.xcu.
Go behind the last line of Common/Drawinglayer and before the first line of Common/Cache/Writer. Insert there this on one line:
<item oor:path="/org.openoffice.Office.Common/History"><prop oor:name="PickListSize" oor:op="fuse"><value>0</value></prop></item>
Setting to enhancement.
Since 4.3.2 builds, commit
document derived thumbnail views are not generated nor held in the per-user registrymodifications.xcu, rather generic LibreOffice branding icons are used as place holders in the StartCenter thumbnail view panel.
All talk about security is basically FUD.
For folks with legitimate security concerns, would recommend you simply set a password for your document.
And if you are HIPPA constrained environment, you're already doing that right?
In answer to OPs original request for enhancement, as mentioned you can suppress the Recent Documents list and associated thumbnails by setting from Expert Configuration the value PickListSize to 0--or simply reduce it from its current maximum of 25. As in comment 10.
The tweak to StartCenter.ui as in comment 19 comment 20 only disables the drawing of the Thumbnail views panel--the thumbnails are generated and recorded for each document to registrymodifications.xcu as base64 encoded images.
(In reply to V Stuart Foote from comment #25)
> In answer to OPs original request for enhancement, as mentioned you can
> suppress the Recent Documents list and associated thumbnails by setting from
> Expert Configuration the value PickListSize to 0--or simply reduce it from
> its current maximum of 25. As in comment 10.
Unfortunately, that doesn't address the issue for those who don't want the thumbnails but do want to retain the text listing. A simple new option in export configuration to suppress just the drawing of the thumbnails would address the issue nicely (even if a bit hidden).... and it requires no UI changes either.
> The tweak to StartCenter.ui as in comment 19 comment 20 only disables the
> drawing of the Thumbnail views panel--the thumbnails are generated and
> recorded for each document to registrymodifications.xcu as base64 encoded
And that is exactly what it seems most people are asking for- a way to suppress displaying the thumbnails (and without losing any other functionality in the process).
I agree with your moving it away from "major", and one could reasonably argue it should be considered an enhancement.
Created attachment 114811 [details]
StartCenter without Welcome screen and thumbnail view pane
Over to UX-advise
Agree it would be a worthwhile UI/UX enhancement to provide option of not showing the Welcome screen and thumbnail view pane--and provide a minimalistic launcher bar for those that prefer to not see the thumbnail views.
If we were to suppress the Thumbnail views panel in StartCenter, guess the UI would work best then if we simply shrink the StartCener to current extent of the sidebar launchers.
Attached mockup of StartCenter launcher bar when welcome screen and thumbnail views are turned off.
What if LibreOffice is started maximized or in an environment where it would be better if LibreOffice did not try to enforce a maximum window width (such as tiling window managers)?
One way to cope better with this would be to either have only a sidebar and then a blank space on the right (perhaps this is the easier to implement?). Another way would be to center the options, instead of making a tall sidebar. Something like the old start screen. http://pclosmag.com/html/issues/201209/images/page13/image03.png
Agree that there should be a mechanism that the recent documents list appears in the start center but doesnt display the thumbnails.
(In reply to Jay Philips from comment #29)
> Agree that there should be a mechanism that the recent documents list
> appears in the start center but doesnt display the thumbnails.
We do sorta already have that- since one can get to it from File-> Recently Documents. I like the mockup Foote provided. But I know what you mean- listing them in the large area, just without the thumbnails. Another interesting thought is that the option to display or not display thumbnails could be in that new "Recent Files" menu as the first entry with a checkbox next to it... something like "(*) Display recently used document thumbnails"
(In reply to crxssi from comment #30)
> We do sorta already have that- since one can get to it from File-> Recently
The bug report is about the start center, so the menu bar isnt really relevant.
> I like the mockup Foote provided.
Stuart's mockup didnt make sense to me as it would be better to show the empty welcome screen rather than shrinking the windows to just fit the size of the button column, because clicking on a module in such a state would have the window size at that size, so a user would have to resize it to do any type of work.
> But I know what you mean-
> listing them in the large area, just without the thumbnails.
Yes just not showing the thumbnails fixes the primary issue trevor mentioned "Easy to shoulder surf". About "Horrible data density", being able to switch from the present icon view to detailed view, like what is found in file managers.
> interesting thought is that the option to display or not display thumbnails
> could be in that new "Recent Files" menu as the first entry with a checkbox
> next to it... something like "(*) Display recently used document thumbnails"
I doubt there would be enough users interested in disabling the thumbnails to warrant it being in the 'Recent Files' menu, but if it had to go into the drop down, it would have to be the last entry. I'd assume this option would be present in the Tools > Options dialog.
I have to join in to ask something related to this topic:
We are indeed looking for a way to disable *creation* of these thumbnails in registrymodifications.xcu, without setting the PickListSize to 0.
We are editing sensitive data, and we chose to keep it on encrypted storage to keep it private. The LO user profiles currently reside on the server (NFS-mounted home).
First there is the fact that these thumbnails indeed added some considerable server load. It looks like every time a new thumbnail is created, the complete file is read from the server and written back, and with each file being around 2-3MB this adds up quickly with 100+ users.
But more important, we are obliged to make sure that these profiles do not contain any sensitive data. We're not talking about "shoulder surfing", we're talking about deliberate attacks. So we will set the PickListSize to 0 for now, but I am looking for a better solution.
Can someone help?
I just submitted a patch to gerrit to address this bug:
I would be happy about comments/reviews.
(In reply to Andreas Heinlein from comment #32)
> But more important, we are obliged to make sure that these profiles do not
> contain any sensitive data. We're not talking about "shoulder surfing",
> we're talking about deliberate attacks. So we will set the PickListSize to 0
> for now, but I am looking for a better solution.
> Can someone help?
Simply sign the document, no thumbnail will be produced.
Pierre Sauter committed a patch related to this issue.
It has been pushed to "master":
tdf#74834 Expert Configuration option to disable thumbnails in StartCenter
It will be available in 5.2.0.
The patch should be included in the daily builds available at
http://dev-builds.libreoffice.org/daily/ in the next 24-48 hours. More
information about daily builds can be found at:
Affected users are encouraged to test the fix and report feedback.
Option is available in Expert Config (search for RecentDocsThumbnail).
The shoulder surfing concern (see downside #1 in description) still exists and still unpleasant for me too. I recommend reopening this ticket.
(In reply to Nil from comment #37)
> The shoulder surfing concern (see downside #1 in description) still exists
> and still unpleasant for me too. I recommend reopening this ticket.
No, it is Resolved Fixed that there will be no GUI based control for this. Rather it is deemed a rarely used configuration that belongs in Expert configuration.
Tools -> Options -> Advanced: Expert Configuration
Thumbnails are not generated when RecentDocsThumbnail value is set false, the count of Thumbnails/documents listed is set by History "PickListSize"
In Expert Configuration search for "RecentDocsThumbnail" click edit to toggle true|false. And also to not have any icons/previews search for and set "PickListSize" to 0 from its default of 25.
Created attachment 128550 [details]
Thumbnail icon and document filename still remains - see attached .png
If "PickListSize" is set to 0, 'File|Recent Documents' is also set to 0 so the user loses all 'recent document' references.
Sorry, forgot to add the version info:
Build ID: d54a8868f08a7b39642414cf2c8ef2f228f780cf
CPU Threads: 4; OS Version: Windows 6.2; UI Render: default;
Locale: en-US (en_US); Calc: group
*** Bug 105621 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Thumbnail icon and document filename still remains like NoOp, me too, I tried it but the same result.
Is there any possibility that I can configure my system to becom a piclist with filenames instead of thumbnails?
Thanks for helping :-) hans
LO: Version: 188.8.131.52
CPU-Threads: 4; BS-Version: Windows 6.2; UI-Render: Standard; Layout-Engine: neu;
Aerea scheme: de-DE (de_DE); Calc: group
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64; Version 10.0.14393 Build 14393; Lenovo T430s and same System at DELL Vostro.
*** Bug 106873 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
I still believe that this problem is not resolved
* Listing document contents or even file names at startup is a serious privacy issue - as comments say - for many users.
* The only option to prevent that is the shrinking the "Recent documents" list to 0 length.
I would like to have my privacy and to have recent document list in the menu.
It can be very unpleasant when a member of a company accidentally notices the name of an other company. I consider it to be a kind of information leakage.
All the concerns here could be addressed with a simple clickable icon in the start center like browsers have it that would hide any listing of names / icons. All concerns with a few minutes of work would be resolved.
A hope you change your minds! We need this very much!
(In reply to Nil from comment #44)
> I still believe that this problem is not resolved
This issue is resolved fixed (comment 35) with the ability to disable document thumbnails available as an expert configuration setting.
Suppressing the Start Center thumbnail views or MRU doccument name listing while maintaining the menu MRU is a different issue.
You are welcome to open a new RFE ticket, but be aware we already WONTFIX'd bug 95739 for which providing a view of MRU other than thumbnails would facilitate a mode suppressing MRU on the Start Center.
The content of attachment 100600 [details] has been deleted