Thumbnail plugin for KDE desktop integration

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While has internal support in the Windows desktop integration for the system file browser, providing thumb previews of files (see source code), such a feature is completely missing in its KDE integration.

The idea here is to develop a plug-in for KDE file managers (Dolphin and Konqueror) to preview files (Open Document Format) as thumbnails. Although this could be integrated into source code, I find it better to distribute the plug-in as a KDE extension, because it is developed using only the KDE API, and so it does not need to be installed for it to work.

ODF file thumbnailer for KDE, working on KDE 4.3 Dolphin


  • the plug-in only works for Open Document Format files (the default file format since 2), not the old binary file format
  • the plug-in only creates a thumbnail when the document already has a thumbnail file (ODF files are zip files, the plug-in searches for the Thumbnails/thumbnail.png file inside it). This means that there is no thumbnail preview for Base files (or in case the ODF file has no Thumbnails/thumbnail.png, or the thumbnail.png is corrupted)
  • when the document is digitally signed, the plug-in reflects this fact by painting a signet on the upper right corner of the thumbnail. This is done slightly different from the way does it in its Windows integration:

Preview of a digitally signed file on Windows file browser

Preview of a digitally signed files on KDE 4.3 Dolphin

Notice that there is no check at all about the digital sign validity: the plug-in only looks for a META-INF/documentsignatures.xml file, which only indicates that the document is signed.

  • transparency is handled properly by removing the alpha channel (Note that although I thought it was an feature, the transparency on the thumbnail.png file is a bug: see issue). The plug-in will keep the check for alpha channel so that it can work with old files created before the issue fix.

Where to download

The plug-in has its page on

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