Preview Handlers

Since Vista the Windows OS has included the concept of a Preview Handler. This is a bit of plug in code that can render a particular file type quickly. Windows Explorer and Outlook 2007 both make use of this - though any programmer can add this functionality to their program if they want to.

If you are not familiar with the Explorer Preview Pane, check out this post. BTW - you can add the preview capability to more filetypes. For example, .log is just a text file - but Windows doesn't know that out-of-the-box. See the Preview Config posting for more information.

Normally, writing these is fairly complex. I would never have attempted this until I ran across this MSDN article which really simplifies the process. Basically, one writes a dirt simple control to display the file, and then loads that up in the shell code. The library with the article takes care of the rest of the work. All-in-all writing everything here took about 3 nights (the hard part is the details - which took nights!).

Last edited Jun 28, 2009 at 12:47 PM by gwatts, version 2

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