Display a thumbnail of Word and PowerPoint files in Windows Explorer

I like to see a thumbnail of the first page of a Word document or the title slide of a PowerPoint slide deck in Windows Explorer.

With Microsoft Word, you can check the Save Thumbnail checkbox in the Save As dialog box to create the thumbnail:

In Microsoft PowerPoint, this feature is a bit more hidden. You can find it in the Advanced Properties: Click File > Info, click on the Properties heading on the right-hand side and click Advanced Properties:
In the dialog box, click on the Summary tab. There you can check Save preview picture:
Now save the file and the thumbnail will be visible in Windows Explorer.


Quick Word Tip: Using a Style Separator

In an article on MakeOfficeWork.com, I learned that you can apply 2 paragraph styles to 1 paragraph using a Style Separator. I would love to have known about this feature before as I had quite a few occasions where I wanted to use only part of a heading to appear in a Table of Content (TOC).

The trick is to press CTRL+ALT+ENTER between 2 paragraphs with a different style. This will change the paragraph break of the current paragraph to a Style Separator, merging the current paragraph with the following paragrah without merging the paragraph styles.

Example: using this technique for a paragraph with style Heading 1, followed by another paragraph with another style:
generates the following TOC:


Word 2010 and 2007 (and 2003 for that matter) can coexist

As a training professional, I typically have more than 1 Office version installed on my machine. While Office 2010 and 2007 in general can coexist nicely, with the exception of Outlook, there is an annoying aspect with Word: when switching from one version to the other, you get a dialog box that is asking you to “wait” while the Setup process is “configuring” Word:

Thanks to this post on Herb Tyson’s Word Bible Blog, I finally got rid of this annoyance. The trick is to add a special value to the registry: add the DWORD NoReReg to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Word\Options with value 1.

With a command prompt, you could do this as follows:

For Word 2003, use HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Word\Options