Windows Explorer in Windows Vista features a lot of enhancements over previous versions of the operating system. Among my favorites and one that I have found very useful, is the Preview Pane - a view available under the Organize menu option in the top tool bar of the Windows Vista Explorer. As with most menu options there is a small down arrow to the right of the selected tool. Clicking the down arrow exposes Layout Options - among these are the, Details Pane, the Preview Pane and the Navigation Pane.
The image below reflects the expansion of the Organize menu and the selection of the Preview Pane. The Preview Pane provides a scalable preview area to the right of the main file selection details pane. The Preview Pane is a great way to see a more detailed view of selected items and it works with pictures, documents and media files. A Windows Vista user may preview files without having to open the associated program like, Windows Photo Gallery, or Windows Media Player, or even Microsoft Office Word. I have scaled the Preview Pane in the pictured example to enlarge the preview area - clicking and dragging the vertical bar between panes allows one to size and scale the preview pane and using Vista's better support for all things visual, the selected image sizes and scales with it just as it does from the Views tool in the menu bar in Windows Explorer.
One way we use the Preview Pane is to select and organize images supporting the documentation of the software we build. The Preview Pane in Windows Vista makes this process very simple and fast.
Use the Organize tool along with the Views tool in Windows Vista to create the views that best suite the task being performed. User selections will be remembered and stored for each different area in Windows Explorer - so users may always organize and view content based upon the type that it is. These views may be saved along with saved searches, too and they can save a lot of time.