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When searching for files in Windows Explorer, I like to use the Preview Pane to determine if it is the file I was looking for. But with the Preview Pane on the right hand side, either the preview is squished and unreadable or I need to make the Preview Pane wider which ends up hiding a lot of search information.

Is there a way to move the Preview Pane to the bottom of the screen. I would rather see less lines in the preview and less files in the search results but be able to see (and read) all of what is being shown.

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

The preview pane of Explorer should have been already at the bottom, and it's unclear why it is showing on the right, so I hope that we are discussing the same subject.

If you want to change its placement, see this article:
How to Move / Show Details Pane At Top in Windows Vista and 7 Explorer?

This uses Resource Hacker to edit the system file "%windir%\System32\shell32.dll". This is a crucial system file required for the correct functioning of Windows, so make sure you have some means of recovering from a disastrous error, such as a recovery boot CD, and ensure that your backups are up to date.

As regarding the Preview Pane (or Reading Pane), I did find in shell32.dll two occurences of text that contained both the words ReadingPane and layoutpos="right". I changed "right" to "bottom", but haven't managed to replace shell32.dll. Maybe you can try it in Safe Mode.

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That's the Details Pane. I'm asking about the Preview Pane (select a file and type Alt-P). Do you know if Resource Hacker can move the Preview Pane as well? – Rich Bennema Oct 15 '10 at 17:03
I did a bit more hacking, as described above. – harrymc Oct 15 '10 at 19:49
Doesn't the detail panel have a preview of the picture too? By the way, the detail panel can be resized. – SgtOJ Nov 27 '10 at 18:58
I'm marking this as the answer, but given the warnings, I'm not brave enough to try it. – Rich Bennema Feb 1 '11 at 14:33

see : Modifications to Preview Pane

  1. Deleting 'Select a file to Preview' and 'no preview available' text.
  2. Always appearing any folder's preview Icon to Preview Pane.

As to whether the preview pane could be set to top or bottom, yes, but this modification of code has some re-sizing problems, and the modified code does not work properly as it is not by default 'constructed' to be the preview pane to that position.

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