Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Saving a Workbook with a Preview.

Saving a Workbook with a Preview

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 10, 2016)

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. Choose Properties from the File menu. Excel displays the Properties dialog box for your workbook.
  2. Make sure the Summary tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Summary tab of the Properties dialog box.

  4. Select the Save Preview Picture check box at the bottom of the dialog box.
  5. Click on OK to close the Properties dialog box.
  6. Click the Save tool on the toolbar, or choose Save from the File menu.

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 (3351) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) 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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