Google Drive – Previewing your files

If you have some PDFs, Microsoft files like Word, pictures, or other files which aren’t Google ones, Google Drive allows you to preview your file right within Drive.  This is useful if you want to view those documents without exiting Google Drive and having to open them in for example, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Word, or some kind of image viewing program.

To do it is simple and from within the previewer, you have further options.

To open the preview of the file, just double-click on it and it opens automatically, as long as it isn’t a Google Doc, Google Sheet, etc. Below is an example of a PDF I opened.

Previewer - 1

At the top you have various options.  Most of which you can access without actually opening the file, by right clicking on the file in your My Drive.  But it’s good that the key options are also available here.

The first options are:

Open with: open the file in an external application or a Google Add-on.

Printer symbol: Open the print dialogue box.

Arrow: Download the file to your computer.

Person+: Share the file

Three dots: Extra options

Previewer - 2

Clicking on the three dots, gives you the options to move the file, star it for quick access, rename it, or to report any abuse of the file.

Previewer - 4

On the right-hand side there are the more options:

Previewer - 3

Magnifying glass: Allows you to zoom in and out of the document.

Previewer - 5

(i): Opens information about the file (location, owner, etc)

Square with an arrow: “Pop-out” This opens the preview of the file in another tab.  Useful, if you want to continue working on other things in your Drive.

Cross: Closes the preview


Some tips

If you have PDFs which are bigger than 50Mb, they won’t open in the previewer. You’ll have to either compress them or download them to view them.

I also find that loading PDFs with a lot of pages can be very slow, so if you’re doing this, for example, in a classroom, make sure you allow yourself time for it to load before you show it.

On the side of each preview, you will see arrows, so you can flick through files that are in that particular folder.  This is quite useful with images as a quick way to show multiple ones.

Previewer - 6


eBooks now available on Drive, Forms, Sheets, Docs, and Slides:

  • Join the Google Slides Tips Google Space (for now: personal accounts only)

Baz Roberts (Flipboard / Twitter / Google+)


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