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We sometimes forgot the file name of a part or a drawing especially when the file name is a number. If you remember the shape you can spot it easily. It takes much time if you open and close each and every file in the folder. Here comes the options “preview” to help you. Using this option you can view the model/ drawing or an assembly without opening it. A preview space located in the “File - Open” window shows the preview of the actual model. You can zoom, pan, rotate the model in this space.

There is another way to get a glimpse of the part. Just set the view type as “thumbnail” in the “File - Open” window. This will show the “thumbnail view” of the part but you cannot zoom, pan or rotate.

Parts and assemblies are shown in the preview window by default. However for drawings you need to change the default setting in the config.pro file. You can do this using the options inside ProE/ Creo or by directly editing the config.pro file.

The command/syntax to change the setting is “save_drawing_picture_file

Below is a short video that shows how the preview option works. The video was recorded with the default config.pro loaded in ProE. So in this setting you can preview the models and assemblies but not the drawings.
Now lets change the default setting to enable preview function for drawings. To do this open ProE and go to “Tools Options” from the main menu. Now the options window opens.

In Creo go to “File → Options” and then click “Configuration editor” in the left side list to open the options window.
Now just type “save_drawing_picture_file” in the option text box (marked with a red box on the above picture) and press enter. Now you will get fours options on the value box “embed*, no, export, both”. Below are the explanations for this.

In Creo, you have use “add” button in the options window.

Embed - Creates a drawing picture file and embed with the drawing.

No - No picture is save and hence no preview will be available.

Export - Saves an image of the drawing in the working directory as .pic format. This file is used in product view.

Both - Embeds the image to the drawing as well as create a new image (.pic) in the working directory.

The preferable option here is “Embed”. So select embed in the drop down list and then apply ok. Now the preview option for drawing is active but this option applies only to the new drawings or for the drawings that are saved after this setting.
So if you “Preview not available” message even if the setting is changed, just open the drawing then then save it once. You will able to see the preview after this.

If you have multiple sheets in a drawing, you can preview the sheets by right clicking and then selecting the sheet you want. Note: You have to save the drawing in every sheets to get the preview of every sheets.

That's all for this topic. I hope this helped you.
Preview models and drawings