How to preview pdfs in Explorer?
August 4, 2008 8:30 AM   Subscribe

How do I preview a PDF file in Windows Explorer (XP Professional) without opening it?

My father is an attorney who deals with a lot of PDFs. He has set me with the task of finding a way to preview the PDFs in Windows Explorer (much like Cover Flow view already does in Leopard) without actually opening them. I work on a Mac, so my immediate response was to switch him over to Leopard - but he's a staunch supporter of Windows. I've searched high and low and have yet to find anything even remotely similar to Cover Flow on a Mac. He says doesn't need to be able to page through the files, just a quick look at the cover page.
posted by anonymous to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
From what I have read, the thumbnail feature does not work on 64bit OSs. So that may be the issue. If not, you can try this fix.
posted by B(oYo)BIES at 9:01 AM on August 4, 2008

I dunno, but I googled up this.
posted by orthogonality at 9:04 AM on August 4, 2008

If the issue is the loading time with Adobe Acrobat, maybe try FoxIt to manage pdfs? Everything is much faster with it, I've found.
posted by inigo2 at 9:31 AM on August 4, 2008

Sumatra PDF viewer is the fastest thing that I have ever came across. The startup is nearly instantaneous and then he could just look at the front page and close it before the hourglass even finishes on an Acrobat (or even Acrobat Reader) launch. Just set it as the default pdf viewer and go.

It works really well for text documents or documents made of a scanned image. It falters with some of the high-end design stuff from the Adobe programs, but you should be viewing those in Acrobat anyway.
posted by PixelatorOfTime at 10:44 AM on August 4, 2008

I don't know if you're making all those PDFs with any permutation of Adobe products that includes Adobe Bridge, but PDFs are shown (as graphics files are) as zoomable thumbnails in Bridge.
posted by aught at 11:30 AM on August 4, 2008

Adobe Digital Editions is designed for PDF library/rights management. It's fairly bare-bones and is not integrated with Windows Explorer, but it's free and will allow you to view a large selection of PDFs as thumbnails. The only problem is that you have to manually add them to the program's library.
posted by camcgee at 4:04 PM on August 4, 2008

ExplorerView is an extension for Windows Explorer, which looks like it will do what you need for $30. xplorer² pro seems to be another one, as an Explorer replacement, for the same price. I haven't tried either, but both offer a free trial period.
posted by Tawita at 5:15 PM on August 4, 2008

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