Preview PDF Attachments in Outlook 2010

Here’s how you preview PDF attachments in Outlook 2010

As you may know, Outlook 2010 gives you the ability to preview many common types of file attachments in the Reading Pane, saving you from the hassle and distraction of switching away from Outlook merely to get a look at an attachment. The feature works well for the file types that it supports.

Unfortunately, Outlook 2010 can’t preview PDF (Adobe Acrobat) attachments without some help. One possible solution is Adobe Reader, which allows you to preview PDF attachments in Outlook. It’s a very useful feature, and is easy to set up.

Note: These instructions are for the 32-bit version of Outlook 2010. If you have the 64-bit version of Outlook installed, you should go to the Adobe website and search for the Adobe PDF iFilter 9 for 64-bit Platforms, which should allow you to preview PDFs in your version of Outlook. Please note that I do not run Outlook in 64-bit mode and have not used this iFilter myself.

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

preview pdf

If you see a message like this one, you know you need to install the PDF previewer. Click the button below to do so.

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