Preview Files from Explorer via the Preview Pane
SUMMARY: Open the Preview Pane in Explorer windows to show the contents of graphics, text files, and more.
When opening Explorer folders in Windows 7, you might find it convenient to display the contents of text files, XML files, graphics, and other selected files without having to open them in an external editor or viewer. Thus, Explorer comes with a Preview Pane that can appear on the right side of windows.
There are multiple ways to turn this feature on or off in an Explorer window:
1. Near the top-right of the Explorer window, underneath the search box is a button you can click to toggle the preview pane. See the screenshot below for an example.
2. Click the "Organize" button. Select "Layout", then check "Preview Pane".
3. Or just press Alt + P.