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Excel Preview Picture

How to change a property setting in Excel, so you can see Excel Preview pictures when opening files. These instructions are for Excel 2003, Excel 2007 and Excel 2010.

For later versions of Excel, see Picture Preview - Excel 2016.

Excel Preview Picture showing

Preview Pictures in Excel

When you're opening files in Excel, you can see a list of files in the selected folder. There are a few options for viewing the list, including Details, List and Preview.

Usually, if you click on an Excel file, while using the Preview option, a message appears -- "No Preview Available."

This article explains how to change one of the property settings in a file, so you can see its Preview picture, when opening files.

preview not available

Excel Preview Picture Video

To see the steps for turning on the Preview Picture setting in Excel 2010, you can watch this short Excel video tutorial. Written instructions for Excel 2010, Excel 2007 and Excel 2003 are shown below the video.

Open Property Settings in Excel 2010

The first step in changing the Preview Picture setting is to open the Properties dialog box. The following instructions are for Excel 2010, and there are instructions for Excel 2007 and Excel 2003 in the sections below.

To open the Property dialog box in Excel 2010:

  1. On the Ribbon, click the File tab
  2. Click the Info category
  3. At the right, click the drop down arrow for Properties
  4. Click Advanced Properties

    Advanced Properties

Open Property Settings in Excel 2007

To open the Property dialog box in Excel 2007:

  1. On the Ribbon, click the Office Button
  2. Click the Prepare category
  3. At the right, click Properties

    Properties Excel 2007

  4. In the Properties bar, click Document Properties, and click Advanced Properties

    Advanced Properties Excel 2007

Open Property Settings in Excel 2003

To open the Property dialog box in Excel 2003:

  1. On the File menu, click Properties

    Properties Excel 2003

Change Preview Picture Setting

The Properties dialog box is the same in all three versions of Excel, so follow these steps to change the Preview setting:

  1. In the Properties dialog box, click the Summary tab
  2. At the bottom of the tab, add a check box to Save Preview Picture, and click OK

    Properties Preview Picture

Use Preview Picture Setting

After the Preview Picture setting is turned on for an Excel file, you can see its picture in Excel's Open window, while using the Preview option.

NOTE: The preview shows the worksheet that was active when the Excel file was last saved.

Excel Preview Picture showing

You can also see the preview picture in Windows Explorer, if you select the Thumbnail view.

Thumbnail view

In the screen shot below, you can see the thumbnails for Excel files and Word files, in which the Preview Picture setting has been turned on. For the other files, without that setting turned on, the normal icon for the application is showing.

Excel Preview Thumbnails

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Last updated: November 13, 2023 12:22 PM