How to View Adobe Illustrator AI Thumbnails in Windows XP/7 Explorer

By 19th January 2012Web Design Birmingham

As a website designer its always good to be able to view the photoshop and illustrator files within windows. Adobe being adobe they want you to use their built in file viewer. That’s ok when your a new company and only have a few files. However when you have 1000s of loyal website design and design for print customers you cant afford to archive projects away as you know that you will only need to access them in a matter of days.

Any way ,  I thought it would be great if you could also see  Illustrator thumbnails in a folder.

  1. Download and open the file, (92kb)
  2. Copy aiicon.dll to C:Program FilesCommon FilesAdobeShell – if the folder “shell”  doesn’t exist create it
  3. Run AI_Thumb.reg (double click on it )
  4. You now can view Adobe Illustrator (AI)  files in Thumbnails view within Windows Explorer.
  5. When in the folder where the .AI files are, Make sure that you select thumbnails from the views drop-down, or you may still see the icon as before.