Find Your Slides & Office Files Faster By Saving a Preview Image

How to show a preview image for Powerpoint & Office files

If you are anything like me and have to wade through a lot of PowerPoint or other Office files to find what you’re looking for, being able to see a preview of what is actually in the file can be super helpful. Think art gallery versus card catalog. (If you’re not old enough to know what a card catalog is you can find out here.)

For a little context, here is what a pile of PowerPoint files look like without the preview image.


And for comparison, here is what they look like with a preview image. Much nicer don’t you think?

Personally, I prefer having this super helpful visual cue, so I always want to make sure to save a Preview Picture. Fortunately, it is a super-duper quick and easy thing to do.

How to Save a Preview Picture for Your PowerPoint Files

(This also works for Word and other Office files)

  1. From the File menu, go to Info » Properties and click Advanced Properties

  2. On the Summary tab check the Save Preview Picture box.

  3. Click OK and after saving you should see your preview image the Windows File Explorer.

NOTE: I’ve found that the preview image might not display if your file is in a folder being synced with a file storage service like Dropbox, OneDrive, etc.

Published by Mike Taylor

Born with a life-long passion for learning, I have the great fortune to work at the intersection of learning, design, technology & collaboration.

5 thoughts on “Find Your Slides & Office Files Faster By Saving a Preview Image

  1. I concur wholeheartedly, being a very visual learner etc. For the life of me I have not been able to find a way to set “save preview” as a default for all PowerPoint files. Have you by chance???


    1. I’m not 100% certain if this sets it as the default but it is on for me in any new presentation. I turned in on this way.

      Click on the File tab.
      Click Info in the left menu.
      On the far right, you will see the properties list.
      Click on Properties (there is a small down arrow next to it), and then click Advanced Properties from the menu.
      Click the Summary tab.
      Check the box to “Save Preview Picture”


  2. Great article! I actually know of a PowerPoint add-in that allows you to index your presentations and automatically generates these previews for each slide, making them searchable. Check out the tool here:
    They have a free trial so you can determine if it’s the right solution for you.


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