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Windows 7

Preview Files from Explorer Via the Preview Pane

SUMMARY: Open the Preview Pane in Explorer windows to show the contents of graphics, text files, and more.

When opening Explorer folders in Windows 7, you might find it convenient to display the contents of text files, XML files, graphics, and other selected files without having to open them in an external editor or viewer. Thus, Explorer comes with a Preview Pane that can appear on the right side of windows.

There are multiple ways to turn this feature on or off in an Explorer window:

Previewing files in Windows Explorer via the Preview Pane

* Near the top-right of the Explorer window, underneath the search box is a button you can click to toggle the preview pane. See the screenshot to the right for an example.

* Click the "Organize" button. Select "Layout", then check "Preview Pane".

Opening the Windows 7 Explorer Preview Pane via the "Organize" button

* Or just press Alt + P.

This tip was written for Windows 7 RC. Screenshots and information are subject to change between this and the official release of Windows 7.

Return to the Windows 7 page.

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The MalekTips website was created in 1998 by Andrew Malek of Envision Programming. The page's goal is to freely disperse computer-related tips, hints, and informative articles. Tips are organized to be easy to find, and are presented clearly, in easy-to-understand language. MalekTips also provides information and links to public-domain, open source, freeware, shareware, and commercial software available for download.