Make Word Docs Easy to Identify by Saving With Thumbnail Images

Preview documents before you open them

Graphic designer looking at computer screen with thumbnail images on it

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To help you identify Microsoft Word documents or templates before you open them, Word can save a preview image with a document file.

Instructions in this article apply to Word for Microsoft 365, Word 2019, Word 2016, Word 2013, and Word 2010.

How to Set Preview Images in Microsoft Word

In Word 2016, 2013, and 2010, the saved image is no longer called the preview image but rather is referred to as a thumbnail.

  1. In Word, open the document you want to save as a thumbnail.

  2. Press F12. Or, select File > Save As > Browse.

  3. In the Save As dialog box, go to the folder where you want to store the file, change the name of the document, then select the Save Thumbnail check box.

    Save Thumbnail checkbox in Word
  4. Select Save to save the document with a preview image.

Save All Word Files With Thumbnails

This feature is no longer present in Word 2019 or Word for Microsoft 365.

If you want all documents you save in Word to automatically include a preview or thumbnail image, change the default setting.

For Word 2016, 2013, and 2010

  1. Go to the File tab.

  2. Select Info

  3. In the Properties section, select Advanced Properties.

  4. Go to the Summary tab. 

  5. Select the Save Thumbnails for All Word Documents check box.

  6. Select OK.

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