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Windows Vista Explorer – Detail Pane vs Preview Pane

Besides the new user interface design in Windows Vista Explorer (My Computer Explorer), there are some new features as well. One of these is allows Vista users to easily customize the file explorer visual appearance (display layout).

If you’ve a luxury wide-screen display, you can turn on all visual layouts offer by the Windows Vista version of Windows Explorer, i.e. search pane, details pane, preview pane, navigation pane, and the classic menu bar.

The new Windows Vista Windows Explorer allows users to easily customize its visual appearance - the search pane that provide Vista renowned search capability, the navigation pane to navigate through the Windows Vista file system hierarchy, the preview pane to give a rather high resolution playback on supported video file, music file, pictures, text file, web pages, etc.

Vista Windows Explorer – Detail Pane vs Preview Pane
Detail Pane
Low resolution, static preview is only available if a supported item is selected, such as PDF document, XPS document, Microsoft Office document, Folder (semi-preview of folder contents), picture, video, etc.
Content preview is not available if an item selected is web pages, pure ASCII text file, etc.
Preview Pane
Provides a rather high resolution, dynamic preview of a supported item, which most of them are multimedia related files, such as pictures, music and video (including Windows Media Player interface for on-demand playback capability), pure ASCII text file (display the contents of a log file, txt file, etc), saved web pages, etc.
Content preview is not supported if an item selected is folder, PDF document, XPS document, Microsoft Office document, etc.

The detail pane is pinned to the bottom of Windows Explorer, similar to a footer of modern web page design [ such as WalkerNews.net theme that is coded by Tracy Ou :-) ]. As its suggests, the detail pane display attributes of the selected item, such as file size, rating, tag, pixels, comments, subjects, contacts, date modified, etc. On top of that, detail pane also display a low resolution preview of a selected item. You can also double-click the file type icon or preview to open, play, or execute the selected item.

The preview pane is like the sidebar of WalkerNews.net, which is set to appears at the right-hand side of Windows Explorer or My Computer Explorer. Unlike detail pane, the preview pane is able to present Vista users with a rather high resolution playback preview of a video file, music file, ASCII text file, offline web pages, etc.

How to customize Windows Vista Windows Explore layout
How to re-enable menu bar of Windows Explorer in Windows Vista?
  1. Referring to the complete set of Windows Vista keyboard shortcut, press Windows + E to open Windows Explorer or Computer Explorer in Windows vista
  2. Click the Organize drop-down menu button (locate at top-left corner in a default setup)
  3. Click the Layout sub-menu and select to turn on or enable classic menu bar, preview pane, detail pane, navigation pane, and search pane (only available to disk device).

Press Windows + E to open up Windows Explorer or Computer Explorer in Windows Vista, click on the Organize drop-down menu button, locate the Layout sub-menu, and choose the available pane to customize your own Windows Explorer visual apperance.

Custom Search

  1. Walker 07-07-07@23:48

    The preview pane is actually able to preview PDF document and all Microsoft Office documents!

    I didn’t realized that when I wrote this post, which was caused by my less responsive hardware running Vista at that time being!

    So – make sure your computer is above Vista recommended hardware specs and have the respective software installed (Adobe Reader, Microsoft Office, etc) before using the Preview Pane!

  2. Vista Preview Pane VS Detail Pane Revisited – Walker News 09-07-07@22:45

    […] two months on May, I’d wrote about Windows Vista Explorer Preview Pane VS Detail Pane, but there are some mistakes in that post. To turn on or enable Windows Vista Explorer Preview Pane […]

  3. Amirz 24-06-08@16:04

    you need preview handler to enable file previews in Vista preview pane. just google it. Only office 2007 and Xml paper speification have preview handler for office and xps, but otherwise you can use Preview Configure tool to associate .doc and .xps with IE (activex) preview handler to get preview in Vista if you are using Office 2003 and IE7 as well as WDS preview pane in Xp

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