Preview PDF Attachments in Outlook 2007

Note: If you are working with Outlook 2010, please click here.

On its own, Outlook 2007 can't preview PDF (Adobe Acrobat) attachments. Adobe has released the free Adobe Reader 8.1, which allows you to preview PDF attachments in Outlook 2007. It's a very useful feature, and is easy to set up.

How do you know if you need to install this? In Outlook 2007, select a message that has a PDF file attached to it. In the Reading Pane, you will see something like this:

Outlook 2007 can't preview PDF file attachments yet.

Follow these steps to download and install Adobe Reader. In minutes you'll be able to preview PDF file attachments.

Download and Install Acrobat Reader

This is all standard stuff. Go to the Adobe website, and search around until you find a link or button that says "Get Adobe Reader" or something similar.

Click that and follow the instructions that appear to download and install the latest version of Adobe Reader.

Note: One thing to be aware of is that you will probably have to close your web browser and Outlook and perhaps other programs while you install Adobe Reader. So don't do this while you are in the middle of something important.

Once you finish installing Adobe Reader, restart Outlook 2007. Select a message that includes an attached PDF file, and look in the Reading Pane. You should see something like this:

Outlook 2007 is now able to preview PDF file attachments.

You preview the file the same way you would any other previewable file attached to a message. That is, you click the icon for the file in the Reading Pane.

Note: You can also preview the attachment by opening the message in a separate window and clicking the icon. That can increase the amount of screen space available for the preview and make it easier to read.

The preview PDF file appears in the Reading Pane like this:

Previewing a large PDF document.

And there you have it.

While previewing a PDF, you can scroll through it with the mouse or arrow keys on the keyboard. You can also use the arrows at the bottom of the preview that let you walk through the document page by page.

This is a great, free addition to Outlook 2007's abilities, and I strongly urge you to install it.

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