Opening placeholder files directly from apps (File Open chooser window)

Hey everyone,

Been using odrive for the past 5 minutes and I’m already loving it :smiley: It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for as I am moving all my files to the cloud. I searched for a solution which implemented placeholder files (because OneDrive removed this very handy feature) and I finally found odrive - now I can work with my cloud files just like my local files :wink:

I really love how odrive implements its placeholder files feature. But I have one suggestion - It’s not something of a dealbreaker, so I’ll just leave it here and maybe we can look forward to this in a future version of the app.

Placeholder files work just as expected when one browses the cloud using Windows Explorer. I double click a file, odrive sync that file and it immediately opens in the associated application. However, the same cannot be done from inside applications (ie, the File/Open window) except for files that have been previously synced.

In other words: applications will not (obviously, I guess) show placeholder files, and if I wanted to open a file that has never synced before, I need to open Windows Explorer and then open the file from there.

If I select ‘Show all file types’ from the File/Open window of the application then it will show all placeholders, however when I try to open a file, the application will try to open the placeholder file itself and will throw an ‘Unrecognized file format’ error.

As I said, this is not a dealbreaker to me. So, keep up the great work!

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Hi @denisgomes,

Thanks for your feedback.

You’re actually pretty close in terms of finding a way to work with files in File/Open chooser dialogs. After changing to see all file types, can you select a placeholder file and right-click on it? You should be able to see the odrive options, so you can choose to Sync it. After it downloads (placeholder file --> green checkmarked file) you should be able to open it with your application.

Granted, this still takes a couple of steps, but it’s probably still easier than breaking out of your chooser window to open a separate Windows Explorer window to that location to get your placeholder file downloaded.


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Hi Jeff,

Yeah, right clicking and selecting Sync would work. I haven’t thought of that :smiley:

…aaand while trying your suggestion I found out something even easier: instead of clicking SYNC I can click OPEN. That’ll redirect the request to odrive, and the file will become available as soon as it downloads so I can proceed opening the item directly from the application.

When using SYNC odrive will ask me if it should download the whole folder or not. I normally just want to open one or two files, so this will do :wink:

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Hi @denisgomes,
Here is some information from a previous post about this that you may find helpful, as well. Some applications, like Office, do something funky with their window, so the odrive right-click options are not available. Your open method is actually one of the workarounds mentioned ;):

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Hi @Tony,

Any update on this feature? I find odrive much better behaved that OneDrive, especially when it comes to CPU usage. But on the other hand, I find OneDrive client implementation of placeholders on Windows and macOS really nice and extremely transparent for the user.

The workaround described here does not work on command line and some apps like Visual Studio Code, Emacs, … Odrive implementation also does not work well with Explorer alternatives like Altap Salamander, Total Commander, etc

Any plans to make placeholders more transparent?