Tip o’ the Week 464 – Previewing PDFs


If you spend time handling files in Windows Explorer (or File Explorer, as its now called), you’ll likely be famclip_image002iliar with the various options for clip_image004tweaking the views that you’re presented with.

If dealing with photos, particularly, it’s great to show extra-large icons clip_image006and switch on the Details pane, which will give you additional stats about any one file if you click on it – even if some of the data points are somewhat lost on a point & shoot phone camera user.

But when dealing with many pictures where you could be looking for subtle differences in multiple similar files, or if browsing documents that you want to quickly identify without having to open them all up, the Preview Pane becomes very useful.

clip_image008

It’s especially so if you resize it to be more like 50% the window width, when you may want to read the first chunk of a document rather than just see its general shape.

clip_image010Windows 10, however, doesn’t have a built-in handler to preview PDF files, so you’re forced to open them up one-at-a-time unless you install some software…

Even if you like using the default PDF viewing facility in Edge browser (or favour some other reader): in order to preview within Explorer, you’ll need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed, though it doesn’t have to be the default app to handle PDFs.

  • Start by going to https://get.adobe.com/uk/reader/ and clicking the big Install now button, having first decided if you want to allow the other guff that the publisher suggests you might wish to enjoy as well
  • clip_image012At the end of installation, you get to choose whether to have Acrobat as your default PDF app, and if you wish to stop it nagging you should you decide “No”.
  • Now launch the Acrobat Reader, and it will show you an empty list of previously opened files. Go to the Edit clip_image014| Preferences menu, and under the General settings group, choose Enable PDF thumbnail previews … and after a brief spot of installing another component…
  • Et voila!
    clip_image016
Skip to main content