The official release of Linux Mint 17 (Qiana) was made yesterday. Qiana is a long term support (LTS) version and, as such, will be supported for five years (i.e. until 2019), making this a very desirable product. Downloading and installing the new version went without a hitch but, when running LibreOffice Writer for the first time, I was disconcerted to find that there were no single, up/down arrows on the vertical scroll bar that would have allowed the page to be scrolled one line at a time. They were simple gone! Missing!
Clearly, somebody decided to remove this feature since it used to work just fine in the previous LTS release (Version 13, Maya). Now, perhaps this is desirable for some users, but for me it would have been a deal breaker. I know – I could always use the up/down arrows on the keyboard to slowly scroll through the document – but (a) we are talking about graphical user interfaces here, and (b) I have been using the vertical scroll bar for years and I am not about to change my habits.
Fortunately, as with most things in Linux, it is possible to restore this “missing” feature. However, as with a number of things in Linux, the process for doing so is not necessarily all that intuitive.
Firstly, it should be noted that this is not an issue with the vertical scroll bar in LibreOffice. The same problem occurs in Firefox. So, what’s going on?
It turns out that the functionality of vertical scroll bars is governed by the desktop theme and not by the specific application. Furthermore, it doesn’t seem to be possible to toggle the up/down arrows on the vertical scroll bar on or off. It would appear that it is necessary to change the whole theme.
However, the good news is that just about any theme – other than the default in Mint 17 – features the “standard” vertical scroll bar and, in particular, includes the single, up/down arrows.
The fix is twofold:
(1) In Software Manager, download “mate-themes” (to give a choice of desktop themes)
(2) Navigate to Control Center – Change Theme (listed in the left sidebar under “Common Tasks”) and select a pretty-coloured theme (I used Traditional Green)
Open LibreOffice and – voilà – the “normal” vertical scroll bar is now present.
Linux Mint 17 “Qiana” MATE released!
[Solved] Vertical scroll arrows in LibO