Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Saving a Workbook with a Preview.

Saving a Workbook with a Preview

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 22, 2020)

6

When you use the Open dialog box in Excel, you can configure what you see in the dialog box. One of the settings you can make is for Excel to display a preview of whatever workbook you select in the left side of the dialog box. (Click on the drop-down arrow next to the Views tool, then choose Preview.)

You may have already noticed that some of your workbooks do not have a preview available in the Open dialog box. If this is the case, and you want to have a preview available, you need to make sure that the workbook is saved with the preview enabled. If the workbook is loaded in Excel, follow these general steps:

  1. Click the Office button, click Prepare, and then click Properties. Excel displays an abbreviated set of properties just above your worksheet.
  2. Click the down-arrow next to Document Properties and choose Advanced Properties. Excel displays the Properties dialog box.
  3. Make sure the Summary tab is selected.
  4. Select the Save Thumbnails for All Excel Documents check box at the bottom of the dialog box.
  5. Click on OK to close the Properties dialog box.
  6. Save your workbook.

If you are using Excel 2010 or Excel 2013 the steps are slightly different, with the biggest difference being in how you display the Properties dialog box:

  1. Display the File tab of the ribbon.
  2. Make sure the Info option is selected at the left side of the dialog box.
  3. Click the Properties link near the right side of the dialog box and then click Advanced Properties. Excel displays the Properties dialog box for your workbook.
  4. Make sure the Summary tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Summary tab of the Properties dialog box.

  6. Select the Save Thumbnails for All Excel Documents check box at the bottom of the dialog box.
  7. Click on OK to close the Properties dialog box.
  8. Save your workbook.

At this point you can close the workbook. Now when you display the Open dialog box, and you have the preview feature turned on, the workbook displays a preview in the dialog box.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (6173) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Saving a Workbook with a Preview.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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Comments

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What is 6 + 8?

2020-07-23 10:32:56

Mark

Thanks Ronmio. I did eventually find it.


2020-07-22 13:19:53

Ronmio

I have no idea what the "Office button" is but, in Excel 365 (aka Excel 2019), you can get to Properties via File > Info the same way the article says for Excel 2010 and Excel 2013. The Properties dropdown will be in the upper-right corner of the window.


2020-07-22 11:52:25

Mark

I just got a link to this today, 7/22/20. It says last updated 8/1/15. I am using the 2016 version and cannot find the "Office button, click Prepare, and then click Properties" Maybe doesn't apply to 2016?


2016-07-18 09:46:34

James

Make sure you save the document after changing the properties. After saving and closing the document, give it a few monments and than the icon will convert.

Also, if the file is not on your desktop, make sure you are not using list view in file explorer.


2015-08-01 14:25:43

Molleen

Hi

I tried the tip in Exc 2013 and it didn't work

Please help


2015-08-01 09:48:34

Douglas Ellis

How do I turn on the "Preview Feature" in Excel 2013?


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