Tuesday Tip: Quickly Preview Files with Windows Explorer

by Tony Rushin

Last Thursday was the AALA (Atlanta Association of Legal Administrators) Winter Social at Murphy’s in Virginia Highlands.  It was a typical top-notch AALA event and a great opportunity to catch up with friends and meet new people.  Betsy Wells, the Firm Administrator for Friend, Hudak & Harris, was kind enough to thank me for the tips we send and shared that she uses the Snipping Tool all of the time.  When I told her I was responsible for writing the next Tuesday Tip, the following conversation took place:

Betsy: “Do you know what you’re going to write about”?
Me: “I have some ideas but nothing solid yet.”
Betsy: “Do you use the Preview Pane in Windows Explorer?”
Me: “I don’t use Internet Explorer, I use Chrome.”
Betsy (patiently): “No, not Internet ExplorerWindows Explorer.  For checking folders and files.”
Me: “Oh.  What’s the Preview Pane?”
Betsy: “It’s in the upper right of Windows Explorer and lets you quickly preview files to help you find the one you’re looking for.  I was showing it to an attorney in our law firm the other day and he said, ‘This is great.  Please send this out to the entire firm.’  Here (checking her phone), I’ll forward you the email I sent.”
Me: “Thanks!  I’ll definitely check it out.  Sounds like a great tip – the simple tips are usually the best.”

I did check it out and it is a great tip.  And simple.  However, you may be asking yourself, “What’s Windows Explorer?”  The good news is that you’re in it every day and don’t even know it.  Just open up a folder and you’re in it (you can also click on Start à All Programs à Accessories à Windows Explorer).

I tested the Preview Pane on my Temp folder.  It gets cluttered over time:  95% of the files are trash but 5% are worth moving to a permanent folder. Here’s what it looks like:

The blue arrow is pointing to the Preview Pane icon. I simply click the icon to enable it, resize my window and below is what I see:


As an aside, this is a photo my parents sent a few weeks ago of their side yard.  They live in the northwestern part of Pennsylvania on 17 wooded acres with a trout stream in the back.  It’s a little bit of paradise… as long as you’re okay with an average of 138 inches of snow each year!

Okay, back to the Preview Pane.  Simply move the cursor up or down and the Preview Pane shows you an image of the file you’re on.  I used it to quickly delete unwanted files and move (plus rename) some files, like the photo above.

Thanks again, Betsy!  I think this is a great tip and when I showed it to David & Richard they both liked it and immediately thought of productive ways to use it.  What do you think?

Tony Rushin Headshot

Tony Rushin: In his role as VP of sales & marketing, he is responsible for hiring, managing and coaching the sales team and always staying on top of (and meeting) the needs of clients. Under his leadership, the company has steadily grown each year.

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