If you’ve ever looked through a folder of Excel and Word files on your computer, you’re probably familiar with their icons. Generally, the icon for each file type is the same. Meaning that, visually, all the Excel documents look the same and all the Word documents look the same. You can change that to give them a bit more personality by automatically making the icon for each one unique.
By default, when you’re browsing a folder full of files, it looks something like this:
With a few minor tweaks, your file icons could look like this:
Your documents’ icons could be thumbnails of the actual content of the document making it quicker and easier to open up the documents. Here’s how you do it.
To Save Individual Documents with Thumbnail Icons: If you want to save a thumbnail for just one document, open up the document. Go to the “File” tab, click on “Save As” and then select “More Options”:
Before saving, check the box for “Save Thumbnail” and you’re done!
That setting will be saved to the document in the future, so it will save a thumbnail going forward.
But what if you want to save the thumbnail as the default option going forward? That’s possible, too, but it’s in a weird place.
Open up a Word or Excel document. Head back to the “File” tab again, this time clicking on “Info.” There’s a small drop down arrow next to “Properties” that you need to click on to get to the “Advanced Properties.”
Once you get in there, click on the “Summary Tab” and click on the box for “Save Thumbnails for all Word Documents” (in Excel, it will say “Excel Documents” but the process is the same):
Once you check that box, all new documents you save going forward will have thumbnails automatically created for them (checking that box won’t affect already existing documents). And now your Windows Explorer view will look much nicer and you’ll be able to work quicker now that you have more information at your disposal to determine contents quickly.