Add attachment preview handlers for Outlook 2007 in Windows XP

Outlook 2007 comes with attachment previewers for a few file types, such as txt, but nothing for common attachment types like zip files, pictures, videos, web pages.  Outlook 2007 running on Vista comes with more because Vista has attachment previewing inbuilt.  I found a tool written by Gil Azar, which he in turn uses some code written by Stephen Toub in MSDN Magazine, that adds attachment previewing for the more common types.

This isn’t a difficult installation, but know that it is written by one person who made it available and so there isn’t any real support, but when I found an installation issue and emailed Gil with information of what I did to fix it, he promptly replied.

  1. Download the J# 2.0 redistributable package from MS.
  2. Download the previewer installation file from Gil’s website.
  3. Install the J# package.  No reboot is necessary and you shouldn’t have to exit any programs.
  4. Exit Outlook if it is running and install the previewer.

One bug I have found is that if you try and run a file from within a previewed zip file whose type isn’t registered in Windows, you will get an error (such as a file with no extension).  Outlook won’t crash or anything, but you will have to save the zip file to disk in order to do something with the unknown file type.

These are the combined (Gil’s and Stephen’s) file types it will preview:

  • PDF – This handler uses Adobe Reader’s ActiveX control
  • SWF – This handler uses Adobe Shockwave Flash’s ActiveX control.
  • HTML/HTM/XML – This handler uses Internet Explorer’s ActiveX control.
  • ASF/WMV/WMA/AVI/WAV/MPG/MPEG/MP3/MIDI/AIFF/AU – The same, but with Windows Media Player’s ActiveX control.
  • ZIP/GADGET/MSI/RESX/SNK/KEYS – Not implemented natively, but only forwards interface calls to Stephen Toub’s managed preview handlers.
  • CS/VB/SQL/JS – Like the previous group, not natively implemented, but added to a wrapper.

3 thoughts on “Add attachment preview handlers for Outlook 2007 in Windows XP

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *