Bug 94175 - Please add thumbnail view for Writer
Summary: Please add thumbnail view for Writer
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: UI (show other bugs)
(earliest affected) release
Hardware: Other All
: low enhancement
Assignee: Not Assigned
Depends on:
Blocks: Writer-Enhancements
  Show dependency treegraph
Reported: 2015-09-12 22:29 UTC by Yan Pas
Modified: 2017-06-21 21:23 UTC (History)
5 users (show)

See Also:
Crash report or crash signature:


Note You need to log in before you can comment on or make changes to this bug.
Description Yan Pas 2015-09-12 22:29:53 UTC
Currently only Impress and Draw do support thumbnails panel (zoomed out pages on the left). It would be handy if LO Writer had support for them too, btw MS Word already has. I'm a bit surprised that I am the first who submitted the bug.
Comment 1 Buovjaga 2015-09-18 16:24:43 UTC
Let's ax ux.
Comment 2 Yan Pas 2015-09-18 16:52:48 UTC
@Beluga may I change bug state from UNCONFIRMED to NEW?
Comment 3 Buovjaga 2015-09-18 16:58:04 UTC
Maybe if you joined the design team and charmed them all :P
Comment 4 V Stuart Foote 2015-09-18 17:04:35 UTC
The Slide Pane "sorter", and corresponding Page Pane "sorter" views in Impress and Draw share the same code. It is not clear that it can be implemented for Writer in similar fashion because while drawings and slide tend to be atomic, writer documents flow from paragraph to paragraph, and pages become containers for the formatted text, tables and image frames.

None the less agree it would be a useful UI widget, just not active by default.

As always, implementing would depend on a dev interested in coding it. 

@Yan, we don't care about Microsoft's Word UI, just if it makes sense in our UI.
Comment 5 Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired) 2015-09-19 22:50:21 UTC
Hi Yan,

The slide/page pane in impress and draw are important there as it provides navigation between pages/slides and the primary means of inserting pages/slide. Writer isnt in the same boat as navigating to another page is as simple as scrolling down and inserting new pages is as simple as pressing ctrl+enter or pressing enter a few times.

The page pane is common in pdf viewers which have no editing capabilities, so the content isnt constantly flowing from page to page and then the thumbnails would have to be constantly refreshed. I've also seen the page pane in WPS and iWork, though with the ability to zoom out and see 10+ page thumbnails at a time, would it be that useful?

Agree with stuart that it is a useful UI tool for those who would be interested in using it and that it shouldnt be active by default, just like it isnt in any other word processor that has this feature.
Comment 6 Robinson Tryon (qubit) 2015-12-13 11:23:59 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 7 bmenant 2016-12-30 23:00:14 UTC
Hi there,

A relative (willing to adopt FOSS) recently asked me how to enable the Thumbnails Pane within LibreOffice. She’s preparing herself for a three years long research work; LO would be her daily tool to write a hundreds of pages paper.

At first, I thought the Navigator pane was what she’s looking for. Turned out it wasn’t; she explained why she’s really missing that thumbnails overview.

1. The way she writes stuff. Some people starts to define a fairly accurate outline of their document, by putting down sections names, chapters titles, headings, etc. Other like to write content beforehand. They write a couple of paragraphs, move it around, cut, merge, edit... and so on until it’s good enough. I guess either way is fine, it’s just a matter of how you actually think, work and write. 

In such case, certainly more than ever, one needs to go back and forth between its content shreds. Whereas the navigator pane is out of order, the thumbnails pane comes in handy.

2. The big picture. It’s hard to scan and hard to not focus too much on the details when you’re writing. Does that section is long enough compared to the previous one? Does this paragraph look too packed? How many titles are there in this page? Those instant feedbacks overview provides give important feeling to the author. 

This point makes me think of code editors and minimaps features. It’s really convenient when it comes to browse a thousands lines script. The topography the shape of the code creates helps to visually memorize location of functions.

Nevertheless, I taught her how to properly structure documents using predefined heading levels, and how the navigator reflects documents outline and provides convenient ways to edit sections level on the go. She quickly took it in. I’m pretty confident she’ll never work with word processor the way she used to.

Still, I’m sure a basic thumbnails pane would be very useful to many users, just like mini-maps have become so popular on many code editors.

Hope it’ll help,
Comment 8 Buovjaga 2016-12-31 11:56:28 UTC
Benjamin: if you want to help
- get to know the LibreOffice organization
- recruit more developers
- convince them to work on this feature

This report is already NEW with the blessing of the design team, so there is no need to defend it further.

If you accept the challenge, I can help you get started. I am available on the QA IRC channel https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/QA/IRC