Bookshelf for Evince

It’s been quite some time since I have posted about my work. Well, I guess its fair time I updated you guys about what I have been working on.

I have got a basic bookshelf working now and hopefully, just a few improvements need to be made before its ready for release. (Yay!)

Screenshot of the bookshelf view

The button to go back to the bookshelf

I think it would be appropriate to describe the usage a bit. So, when you start Evince without any document, you would be greeted with the above view. It looks very similar to the view presented in gnome-documents and some of the code from libgd has also been used. The view presents you with 20 documents you have recently opened with Evince. You can click any one to open it in the current window.

Next, I think you might have noticed the button on the top left. It is for going back to the bookshelf while viewing a document. The current document is not closed, it is just hidden from view, and will be marked in the bookshelf. Now when a user clicks on any other document in the bookshelf, it will open in a new window.

Work Done

  • Bookshelf view of recent documents is ready
  • Stored metadata and thumbnails so that they don’t need to be regenerated every time we need to display the bookshelf.
  • A button to switch between bookshelf and open document


  • Mark the currently open document in the bookshelf
  • Make the loading of documents parallel

For those who want to try it out, checkout the ‘bookshelf’ branch from the repo I have set up here:


7 thoughts on “Bookshelf for Evince

  1. Love the new design and the book shelf idea. Just a question: Has it been considered to merge Evince with Gnome Documents since the goals seem ver similar (might say identical)?

  2. The concept of bookshelf in Evince is to show in a different way the las X recent documents opened. This could be done in any application, for instance last web pages visited in a web browser, and that doesn’t make Evince mergeable with Epiphany or Firefox.

    This approach is far better than using a menu showing the last 4 documents opened. I would expect to see it in more applications.

  3. Will Evince have a search plugin for GNOME 3 for PDF’s so we don’t have Gnome Documents come up? There is nothing worse than having GD open and then having to go open Evince. Waste of time.

  4. Althought the screenshot looks much the same, the use case is very different from Documents. The main thing about Documents is the Finding and reminding methaphore that designers are pursuing within GNOME 3. Here, the bookshelf just replace the list of recent documents as Germán pointed out. Also, because of the above, Documents option to see a Document are very reduced (on purpose) with respect to Evince, where you can add/edit(soon remove and do more stuff) annotations, etc. It is this different that makes Documents and Evince two different projects. That being said, they share the Widget library (EvView and EvDocument + backends) to deal with PDFs and other type of Documents (but Documents also “reads” Office documents which Evince is never going to do)

    • Makes sense, even if I think that the funtionality could be merged into GD or that the funktions should be accessible through GD directly without having to change annoying windows. However, OSS comes at it is from people who have a vision for their software. It’s alright however it may develop.

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