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Preview of Word Files in Windows Explorer

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#1 HayleyGirl


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Posted 09 February 2014 - 04:09 AM

I run Win7 Pro SP1 on two computers, a Dell 8700 desktop with 12gB memory and an HP Elitebook 8770w with 16gB memory, both with I7 processors and 64 bit OS.  I'm not a gamer but instead a heavy Dragon user for reports I write and didn't like it when Dragon would slow me down while it completed some large memory-hogging task.  My question is this:  why is it that I can sometimes preview pdf  files in Explorer and sometimes (far more often in fact) cannot? And previewer is always mute with pdf files when they aren't displayed.  It never tells me it cannot or why not.   Same question about previewing Word files in Explorer, where it will simply say "this file cant be previewed" or "no preview available".   Then, when I try the Word file&folder window, those preview just fine.  However, often, the Word previewer won't work either.  It comes back with "an error in MS Word previewer".  It's hard to believe that MS would make such a visible and frequently used function so unstable.  It's not just a bad OS file, I don't believe, because both computers have the same problem yet were bought almost a year apart from one another, each directly from the mfr. And a previous Dell XPS L511z bought almost 3 yrs ago had the same problems as well.  Perhaps it's my folder settings...though I don't see how.  Help, if there is any to be had on this problem, would be greatly appreciated. 

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#2 Chris Cosgrove

Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 07:44 PM

I don't know for certain, because I don't routinely use 'Preview', but you got me thinking and I went and had a look at it.


Yes, it gives a preview of some PDFs but not others, and it doesn't give a pre-view of Word or Excel files. I always thought it was for images - so I went and looked at some of my image files. It didn't give a preview for JPEGs, PNGs, BMPs or even the native SPP files that my graphics processing software produces !  The reason I don't use it is because the tiny - 1 1/2 inch square ? - preview doesn't really give much useful information, and when you have thousands of photos of almost identical subjects on your system it really isn't a lot of help !


I know this doesn't take you much further forward but i did see a referrence somewhere in BC fairly recently that you need to have your folders, in Windows Explorer, set to large icons. You could try that. As I say, for the type of work I do a lot of - where there might be three or four thousand images in one folder - you can see why I don't use large icons. 'List' is my preferred option !


Chris Cosgrove

#3 HayleyGirl

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 08:01 PM

Thanks.  I appreciate the suggestion.  I tried large icons and it worked for Word files.  It does nothing for pdf files.  I use the function -- when it lets me-- quite a bit to see if I've done a particular report or to retrieve some basic info from a series of documents without having to open and close them, which often enough, makes the program ask me to save the Normal template for every Word file / window I open and don't edit and 4 click hassle of getting those done away with for every file / window I had to open to gather that tidbit of info from each.

#4 akjudge1


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Posted 13 February 2014 - 05:01 PM

I have Windows 7 64-bit and the preview window works in Windows Explorer without any issues.  I can preview doc, docx, xls, xlsx, pfd's, txt, jpg, gif, etc. without problems (although psd will not preview - but that is to be expected).  In fact it is rare that the preview fails...  Unfortunately I don't know why... but I may have a wild idea...


In your post, you mentioned "permissions" in passing.  Since I am the only user of this computer, I have set the folder permissions to Full Access for Everyone. However, I have a couple of Excel spreadsheets that are password protected, and I can't preview them.  If I open one of them, then save it with the password removed, then I can preview it.  So... your comment about permissions, may be something to look into.  You may want to change a folder to Full Access for Everyone (advanced sharing) then see if the preview will work for the files in that particular folder.  Just an idea...

#5 pavlone


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Posted 05 October 2014 - 07:21 AM

I have same issue, but, finally solved.
In Explorer view:
 click on "organize" then "layout" and activate "menu bar" (if is not active);
In Manu, Tools, Folder Otions, View:
Advanced settings:
confirm on: 
Show preview handlers in preview pane
then Apply and that's it.

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