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Get Preview of More File Types/Extensions in WDS 3.01/4.0 Preview Pane on Windows Xp ! RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello all, WDS natively indexes more than 200 filetypes, but unfortunately only few of them that have preview support on preview pane unless we can tweak them. In my opinion many people included me are still misunderstanding about the difference between ifilter and previewer. Ifilter only indexes file metadata properties but it can’t visually render file content preview on preview pane. From Steve guide article “Customizing The Stock Previews” (credit to him: http://wdstech.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!43D934DB9525CC66!139.entry ), In his article WDS has some previewers to preview both system folder and file content. The previewer of file contents generated by the plug-in that can be essentially anything renderable by IE. There are 3 basic plug ins for these previews by default:


    1. The keys either contain a single default value, one of two GUID’s :the Native /IE rendering{015CA7C6-DECD-40dc-AAAC-73EA9940E0F9}


    2. Office {7A35A3A8-3DEA-40e5-B2AA-21DEF91A219A} Previewer plug-ins.


    3. Another key is one without a GUID because they get mapped to a special internal previewer called the Registry Based Previewer. It’s definitely a built in WDS plug in (it contains link to dll (msnlExt.dll) in WDS directory itself).


    However In WDS 4.0 for Xp (as well as Vista), the preview capability has also been extended by hosting vista and Office 2007-only preview handler. Steve's article was actually made for previous version of WDS in the past. Also, WDS (Xp) uses different previewer with Vista version.


    But there are many file types still don’t have their own preview handlers yet, especially on Xp.


    OK, this method only extends, nor even substitute the default previewer.  However, if available for the custom file, Vista preview handler seems faster, as it a newer technology, isnt it?.


    I feel Steve’s way to customize only stock previews seems rather complicated , So I prefer a different way to add custom file that based on IE rendering (WebBrowser control/activex) with many available viewer activex plug ins such QuickView Plus (more than 300 filetypes) now. This is only based on one fact above: any file that is render-able by IE
    (native or with activex plug in) can also be previewed in WDS preview pane as well. I have decided it’s the easier and safer way to extend WDS file preview capabilty for me, especially for files that IE supports with viewer activex plug ins.


    I don’t guarantee this is always be working for all IE supported file types, to me, yes so far it is.


    Here are the tricks, so simple and easy in my opinion:


    1.   Install some IE viewer ActiveX plugins you need and configure them as default plug ins for your custom files in IE. To me, The most powerful plug in is QuickView Plus from Avantstar (www.avanstart.com) which supports more than 300 file types. 
    Other well known IE viewer activeX/plug ins are Adobe Reader (pdf), Microsoft OfficeViewer PowerPoint activeX Player (ppt), Djvu document (djvu) etc. 

    And many more…, just google about "IE viewer plug in" etc for your file types/extensions query.


    For example, I am assuming the only previewers I need here are for both DWG (AutoCAD) and PSD (Photoshop). They all are already supported by Quickview plus as well. Do the same way for other files you need, as long as they have IE viewer activex plug in installed (any).


    2.   Open Registry Editor: Start menu > Run > Regedit, then navigate to key:


    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Desktop Search\Previewers\Extension


    There are file extensions that already have preview support in WDS preview pane (.htm, .html, .doc, .jpeg, .pdf etc). Check your custom file extensions, if not already there, then add them  (e.g. .dwg/AutoCAD and .psd/Photoshop)

    Example:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Desktop Search\Previewers\Extension\.dwg


    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Desktop Search\Previewers\Extension\.psd


    There is an empty string key named (Default) in there. Then just change the string value/value data of it (Default) to {015CA7C6-DECD-40dc-AAAC-73EA9940E0F9} (remember:change value data, nor string value name). This is IE native  GUID value (as the file extension already has its own viewer activex plug in for IE).


    For other native IE files that not aready listed there (such .zip and .xps if you have IE7), you can do the same way:

    Example:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Desktop Search\Previewers\Extension\.zip


    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Desktop Search\Previewers\Extension\.xps


    (Optional, only if needed): Since Internet Explorer (as well as the previewer) always recognize/open/download the file by using its MIME/file content type (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension) than extension, make sure the MIME value is default (standard).: E.g. PSD: image/x-psd, DWG: image/x-dwg, Html = Text/html, JPEG = image/x-JPEG , Pdf = application/pdf   etc. (some 3rd party application can also change the default MIME handler value when they are installed)

    MIME and File Extension list , please see:

    http://www.feedforall.com/mime-types.htm


    or just google or live search about "MIME" query

    MIME and File Extension setting in registry:

    Location used by FindMimeFromData to find MIME type and progID from file extension:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.***

    Location used by FindMimeFromData to find application from progID:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\<ProgId>\shell\open\command

    Location used by URL monikers to find CLSIDs from MIME types:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\MIME\Database\Content Type


    See More:
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms775147.aspx


     Sometimes some files show dialog box like: "Do you want to open or save this file" instead of giving direct preview on WDS preview pane as well as IE. If it happens,  you have also to uncheck "confirm open after download" and check "browse in same window" for each supported files on Folder Options menu on Windows Explorer. You will also get Office files opened in IE as well as WDS preview pane. for Office 2007 (that uses new preview handler than old IE plug in previewer) please see some Microsoft Knowledge base about it:


    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927009/en-us


    3.   Log off/Reboot your machine. then the preview of .dwg and/or .psd, .zip and .xps (and maybe other one as your custom file types) should appear in WDS preview pane. If not, double check and try to re-index all files.

    Some previews also have activex warning bar as well as IE. (fortunately Quickview Plus not included). This annoying symptom is caused by unsigned activex behavior in Windows Xp SP2 or higher for all local zone files. Some signed activex such Quickview Plus and Adobe Reader (.pdf) not. However, you can still disable it by tweaking the system to let the activex content directly run on local zone without warning (not recommended according to Microsoft Knowledge Base).


    That’s all. Sorry for my very very bad english. However so far it is still working well to me (My Version of WDS is 4.0). Please Correct if something wrong because by giving your inputs it can be useful for all of us. Hopefully little helpful. Kindly Regards.-Amirz

    Monday, June 23, 2008 6:50 PM

All replies

  • Hi Amirz,

     

    Do you know if it's possible to access a file's preview HTML on the server side and present it in a web page?

     

    I have WDS 4.0 installed on a Server 2003 machine which is running IIS 6.0.  I have an ASP.NET application running on it which accepts a search phrase from a text box, and returns a list of matching files.  I do this by querying the WDS index programmatically using C#.  I want to also present a preview of the file, in HTML, not just a list of files.  That way, the user doesn't have to open each file to see if it's relevant.  Basically I'm tyring to reproduce the results of a search engine, such as Google, where the link is presented, followed by a short excerpt of the file, showing the relavent key words.

     

    The former moderator of the WDS Development forum posted a statement about 2 years ago that Microsoft was releasing a product that enabled this (please see http://forums.microsoft.com/MSDN/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=517459&SiteID=1), but he is no longer the moderator of this forum, and I can't seem to get any answers.

     

    Anyway, if you have any advice, I'd greatly appreciate it.  Thanks.

     

    Aaron

     

     

    Tuesday, September 2, 2008 8:22 PM
  •  AMIRZ wrote:

    Hello all, WDS natively indexes more than 200 filetypes, but unfortunately only few of them that have preview support on preview pane unless we can tweak them. In my opinion many people included me are still misunderstanding about the difference between ifilter and previewer. Ifilter only indexes file metadata properties but it can’t visually render file content preview on preview pane. From Steve guide article “Customizing The Stock Previews” (credit to him: http://wdstech.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!43D934DB9525CC66!139.entry ), In his article WDS has some previewers to preview both system folder and file content. The previewer of file contents generated by the plug-in that can be essentially anything renderable by IE. There are 3 basic plug ins for these previews by default:


    1. The keys either contain a single default value, one of two GUID’s :the Native /IE rendering{015CA7C6-DECD-40dc-AAAC-73EA9940E0F9}


    2. Office {7A35A3A8-3DEA-40e5-B2AA-21DEF91A219A} Previewer plug-ins.


    3. Another key is one without a GUID because they get mapped to a special internal previewer called the Registry Based Previewer. It’s definitely a built in WDS plug in (it contains link to dll (msnlExt.dll) in WDS directory itself).


    However In WDS 4.0 for Xp (as well as Vista), the preview capability has also been extended by hosting vista and Office 2007-only preview handler. Steve's article was actually made for previous version of WDS in the past. Also, WDS (Xp) uses different previewer with Vista version.


    But there are many file types still don’t have their own preview handlers yet, especially on Xp.


    OK, this method only extends, nor even substitute the default previewer.  However, if available for the custom file, Vista preview handler seems faster, as it a newer technology, isnt it?.


    I feel Steve’s way to customize only stock previews seems rather complicated , So I prefer a different way to add custom file that based on IE rendering (WebBrowser control/activex) with many available viewer activex plug ins such QuickView Plus (more than 300 filetypes) now. This is only based on one fact above: any file that is render-able by IE
    (native or with activex plug in) can also be previewed in WDS preview pane as well. I have decided it’s the easier and safer way to extend WDS file preview capabilty for me, especially for files that IE supports with viewer activex plug ins.


    I don’t guarantee this is always be working for all IE supported file types, to me, yes so far it is.


    Here are the tricks, so simple and easy in my opinion:


    1.   Install some IE viewer ActiveX plugins you need and configure them as default plug ins for your custom files in IE. To me, The most powerful plug in is QuickView Plus from Avantstar (www.avanstart.com) which supports more than 300 file types. 
    Other well known IE viewer activeX/plug ins are Adobe Reader (pdf), Microsoft OfficeViewer PowerPoint activeX Player (ppt), Djvu document (djvu) etc. 

    And many more…, just google about "IE viewer plug in" etc for your file types/extensions query.


    For example, I am assuming the only previewers I need here are for both DWG (AutoCAD) and PSD (Photoshop). They all are already supported by Quickview plus as well. Do the same way for other files you need, as long as they have IE viewer activex plug in installed (any).


    2.   Open Registry Editor: Start menu > Run > Regedit, then navigate to key:


    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Desktop Search\Previewers\Extension


    There are file extensions that already have preview support in WDS preview pane (.htm, .html, .doc, .jpeg, .pdf etc). Check your custom file extensions, if not already there, then add them  (e.g. .dwg/AutoCAD and .psd/Photoshop)

    Example:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Desktop Search\Previewers\Extension\.dwg


    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Desktop Search\Previewers\Extension\.psd


    There is an empty string key named (Default) in there. Then just change the string value/value data of it (Default) to {015CA7C6-DECD-40dc-AAAC-73EA9940E0F9} (remember:change value data, nor string value name). This is IE native  GUID value (as the file extension already has its own viewer activex plug in for IE).


    For other native IE files that not aready listed there (such .zip and .xps if you have IE7), you can do the same way:

    Example:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Desktop Search\Previewers\Extension\.zip


    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Desktop Search\Previewers\Extension\.xps


    (Optional, only if needed): Since Internet Explorer (as well as the previewer) always recognize/open/download the file by using its MIME/file content type (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension) than extension, make sure the MIME value is default (standard).: E.g. PSD: image/x-psd, DWG: image/x-dwg, Html = Text/html, JPEG = image/x-JPEG , Pdf = application/pdf   etc. (some 3rd party application can also change the default MIME handler value when they are installed)

    MIME and File Extension list , please see:

    http://www.feedforall.com/mime-types.htm


    or just google or live search about "MIME" query

    MIME and File Extension setting in registry:

    Location used by FindMimeFromData to find MIME type and progID from file extension:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.***

    Location used by FindMimeFromData to find application from progID:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\<ProgId>\shell\open\command

    Location used by URL monikers to find CLSIDs from MIME types:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\MIME\Database\Content Type


    See More:
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms775147.aspx


     Sometimes some files show dialog box like: "Do you want to open or save this file" instead of giving direct preview on WDS preview pane as well as IE. If it happens,  you have also to uncheck "confirm open after download" and check "browse in same window" for each supported files on Folder Options menu on Windows Explorer. You will also get Office files opened in IE as well as WDS preview pane. for Office 2007 (that uses new preview handler than old IE plug in previewer) please see some Microsoft Knowledge base about it:


    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927009/en-us


    3.   Log off/Reboot your machine. then the preview of .dwg and/or .psd, .zip and .xps (and maybe other one as your custom file types) should appear in WDS preview pane. If not, double check and try to re-index all files.

    Some previews also have activex warning bar as well as IE. (fortunately Quickview Plus not included). This annoying symptom is caused by unsigned activex behavior in Windows Xp SP2 or higher for all local zone files. Some signed activex such Quickview Plus and Adobe Reader (.pdf) not. However, you can still disable it by tweaking the system to let the activex content directly run on local zone without warning (not recommended according to Microsoft Knowledge Base).


    That’s all. Sorry for my very very bad english. However so far it is still working well to me (My Version of WDS is 4.0). Please Correct if something wrong because by giving your inputs it can be useful for all of us. Hopefully little helpful. Kindly Regards.-Amirz

    Wednesday, October 22, 2008 8:32 PM
  • Hello Aaron,

    About file's preview HTML, sorry i also dont know how to do it by using WDS/Windows Search (it seems Google Desktop Search for result in HTML/web page). If i'm not wrong WDS 4.0 (for Windows Xp/2003) already supports highlighting search results (text) in the preview pane (e.g. for Html, Pdf, etc), as It has supported new Vista only preview handlers that allow document-type specific browsing of documents in the WS preview pane in Xp/2003 as well as Vista, rather than "old" IE-based previewers in previous versions. Please read about Windows Search in Wikipedia, especially for the point about Windows Search 4.0 in Xp/2003. If you have already installed Windows Search 4.0, then you can download Vista only preview handlers for Xp (also 2003) -> e.g. for HTML, MHTML, Zip, Avi, Mp3 etc from Here (Credits to Gil Azar). Also useful to other apps such as Outlook 2007 in Xp (also 2003). You can give it a try. If yes i hope it can work for you and other people as well. Good luck

    Best Regards,


    Amirz
    Friday, October 24, 2008 3:16 PM
  • Hi AMIRZ,

    Do you know how to create previewhandler for Office 2003 or below? I saw WDS can preview office 2003 files(PPT, Excel and Word) if only install Office 2003 on XP machine.

    Thanks,
    Weipeng
    Wednesday, May 6, 2009 9:01 AM
  • hi, Weipeng:
    Office does not have preview handler before Office2007. One way you could do is to use automation to load the office document into an office application (Word, PPT, etc ...) and save it into a mht file to preview in IE. This solution needs Office2003 installed on the machine.
    Thanks.

    Wednesday, May 6, 2009 10:11 PM
  • Does WDS 4.0 provide some previewhandlers to allow the customers to preview office or other files in our application? If yes, could you give me a simple for it.

    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/desktopsearch/choose/windowssearch4/developers.mspx

    Weipeng

    Wednesday, June 3, 2009 10:51 AM
  • Windows Search and Preview Handler are 2 things. We do not provide preview handlers.
    Thanks.
    Monday, June 8, 2009 5:05 PM
  • Wednesday, July 4, 2012 4:30 PM