Using the Preview feature in SharePoint Online document libraries

When you’re in SharePoint Online, opening up files can often cause new version history entries to be made based on how things are set up. This can be a major issue if people have alerts set to notify them if anything changes! To prevent that, you can use the Preview feature to quickly open the file without causing any version history changes. Here’s how that works…

When you’re in a document library in SharePoint Online, you should see a vertical ellipsis icon next to the file name. If you click on that, you should see a list of options, one of which is Preview:

spo-preview-20190807-1

What comes up is a bare-bones viewer for the file in question (in this case, Word). The nice things about this are that 1) no editing or version history changes take place, 2) you can copy text from here to paste somewhere else, and 3) it’s pretty fast to open:

spo-preview-20190807-2

If you *do* need to open the file in the client for changes, you can click the Open option to open it in the browser or client version:

spo-preview-20190807-3

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