Saving a Preview Picture in Word 2007

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 29, 2013)


Randy wonders how he can save a "preview picture" of his documents using Word 2007? He liked this feature in previous versions of Word because it let him "see" inside his documents using thumbnails in Windows. In Word 2003, Randy specified that a preview picture should be saved by using the Properties dialog box for the document, but he can't figure out where the setting is in Word 2007.

This is a case of Microsoft, in their interesting quest to make Word 2007's user interface more "friendly," actually mucking things up. The setting for a preview picture is still there; it is just much harder to find now. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Load the document for which you want a preview picture saved.
  2. Click the Office button and then click Prepare and, finally, Properties. Word displays the Document Information Panel at the top of your document, just below the ribbon.
  3. Use the Document Properties drop-down list (top-left corner of the Document Information Panel) to choose Advanced Properties. Word displays the Properties dialog box for the document.
  4. Make sure the Summary tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Summary tab of the Properties dialog box.

  6. Choose the Save Thumbnails for All Word Documents check box.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Close the Document Information Panel.

Now, to use the preview pictures you save for documents, you should make a change in the Open dialog box. Click Organize | Layout | Preview Pane. The saved preview then appears in the Open dialog box.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3895) applies to Microsoft Word 2007.

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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2014-09-12 12:29:25


this does not work for me when I am using a macro enabled word document.The "Save Thumbnails for All Word Documents" check box is grayed out so I can not select it. Is there something else I need to do if there are macros?

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