EMF and WMF Thumbnails and Preview in Windows File Explorer

EMF and WMF Thumbnails and Preview in Windows File Explorer

A few weeks ago I was browsing through some old clip art folders containing Windows Meta File (WMF) images and noticed that I couldn’t view thumbnails for these images in Windows File Explorer. This made it difficult to find what I was looking for in folders containing hundreds of images. I searched online for Windows Shell Extensions that would enable thumbnails for these files, but the ones I found didn’t work for some reason. So I decided to write my own thumbnail and preview handler shell extensions for WMF and EMF (Enhanced Meta File) images.

I saw it as a nice opportunity for me to play with the new release of Microsoft Visual Studio 2015 on Windows 10, and also to get myself familiar with using GitHub.

As you can see in the screenshot above (taken on Windows 10), after installing the extension, you get thumbnails for WMF and EMF images in Windows File Explorer. You can also enable the Preview pane from the View tab above for a larger preview on the right of the selected image. So far I’ve tested the extension on both the 32-bit and 64-bit editions of Windows 7, 8 and 10.

If you are interested in using this extension, you can download the setup packages below. The C++ source code is available on GitHub. It’s provided under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Public License, so you are free to use, modify and share it. Suggestions for improvements and bug-fixes are welcome.

Download: WMFPreview Releases on GitHub