Windows 7 is without a doubt the best operating system Microsoft has released to date. I find it stable, easy to use, powerful and full of useful features. The core usability of any operating system is how it organizes and allows you to find files. I did a curiousity check and at almost half a million files on my main production computer, and over 3 million files on the main archive server, finding and identifying files easily is a big task!

Here is the standard Windows File Explorer in Windows 7.

This icon in the upper right, opens the very powerful, and very useful, Preview Pane.

Click the Preview Pane icon and Windows Explorer adds an additional information pane on the right.

Select a PowerPoint file and the slides are previewed without opening the full application! The vertical scroll bar on the right takes you through each slide, including transitions and animations!

Select a PDF file and the full PDF, page-by-page is shown in the preview pane. The PDF preview adds navigation buttons in addition to the scroll bar on the right.

Select a movie file, which can be a .wmv, .avi, or quicktime/.mov (if running the 32-bit operating system) are previewed with an active timeline bar and vital stats about it in the bottom bar, such as file size and pixel size.

Select any Microsoft Office document – Word, Excel, Onenote, PowerPoint, and all show up in the preview pane.

Select an image (.jpg, .gif, .png, but not .eps, .psd, .ai) for a preview and the bottom bar with all the vital stats, such as file size and dimensiions.

When looking through dozens, or thousands, of files the Windows Explorer Preview Pane in Windows 7 is GREAT!

– Troy @ TLC