Before opening, we can preview many types of files, but we cannot normally preview PDF files. Here we have the answer to this question; Yes, we can preview PDF files before opening them, by adding thumbnail previews. If your PDF file is lost among many other PDF files, then previewing each file would save you a lot of time, rather than opening each file, which is a very time-consuming and boring task.
PDF Thumbnail and Preview not showing in Explorer
While we do not get such an amazing feature pre-installed in any version of Windows, we can avail of this feature by using some of the free software out there. Hardly any of the free PDF Readers offer this feature. But there are two freeware that we know of, which will let you add thumbnail previews to your PDF files. Let’s check them out.
Preview PDF files, add Thumbnail Previews to PDF Files
1] Microsoft PowerToys
If PDF Thumbnail and Preview are not showing up in File Explorer, then worry not as you can use PowerToys to preview PDF files, add Thumbnail Previews to PDF Files in Explorer.
- Download, install and use Microsoft PowerToys
- Open File Explorer add-ons section
- Turn the toggle on for Enable (.pdf) previews
- Restart Explorer or your computer
- You will start seeing the preview for PDF files in Explorer.
2] PDF Preview
PDF Preview is basically a free Windows Explorer add-on and a PDF viewer application. It automatically adjusts Windows Explorer settings that enable the previewing of the PDF files in the Preview Pane. After installing this application, you would see very quick results as you would able to preview a PDF file in the preview pane and thumbnail view too. To enable previewing with this software what you need to do is, set PDF Preview as the default application for opening PDF files.
- It installs PDF Preview add-in for Windows Explorer, Microsoft Office, and Microsoft Outlook, and automatically configures itself to preview a PDF file in the Preview pane of Windows Explorer or in the Reading pane in Outlook.
- The software also includes a PDF icon previewer to preview PDF documents in their respective thumbnail icons. Your system default icon for PDF file type will be replaced by the thumbnail icons.
The other features of this application are:
- Full preview in preview
- Supports up to 86 different languages
- Good Quality Graphics
- Also available for Windows 64-Bit.
Click here to download PDF Preview.
3] PDF-XChange Viewer
PDF XChange Viewer is a free PDF viewer that automatically previews PDF files in Windows. This software also installs as an add-on for Windows Explorer. As compared to PDF Preview, this software has a really nice interface and it also shows the document controls in the Preview Pane. The preview generated by this software is really fast and nice. The accompanying PDF viewer application also works fine and it can perform many operations with a PDF file.
The basic features are:
- Thumbnail Preview
- Full Preview in Preview Pane with document controls
- Good PDF Viewer
- Easy to use interface
- Much More…
Click here to download PDF-XChange Viewer. The software is available in PRO and Free versions. The free version performs its tasks well and can fulfill the demands of a normal user.
If you know of any other such, please do share in the comments for the benefit of others.