Microsoft small business knowledge base

Article ID: 983097 - Last Review: October 12, 2013 - Revision: 5.0


When you try to preview a document in the Preview pane, you receive an error message that resembles the following:

This file can’t be previewed because of an error in Microsoft Word previewer.

To work around this issue, preview the document in Windows Explorer or in a different Microsoft Office program. For example, preview a Microsoft Word document in Microsoft Excel or Microsoft PowerPoint.

More information

For more information about this issue, consider the following scenario: 
  • You start one of the programs that are listed in the "Applies To Products" section. 
  • You click the Microsoft Office Button or the File tab, and then you then click Open.
  • In the Open dialog box, you click Show the preview pane.
  • You select a document to preview.
In this scenario, a preview of the document is not displayed. Additionally, you receive an error message in the Preview pane that resembles the following:

This file can’t be previewed because of an error in the Microsoft Word previewer.

This issue occurs because you must open another instance of the program to preview the document.

Applies to
  • Microsoft Word 2013
  • Microsoft Word 2010
  • Microsoft Office Word 2007
  • Microsoft Excel 2013
  • Microsoft Excel 2010
  • Microsoft Office Excel 2007
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2013
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2010
  • Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007
kbsurveynew kbprb kbtshoot kbexpertisebeginner kberrmsg KB983097
Additional support options
Ask The Microsoft Small Business Support Community
Contact Microsoft Small Business Support
Find Microsoft Small Business Support Certified Partner
Find a Microsoft Store For In-Person Small Business Support