"This file can’t be previewed" error in Word, Excel, or PowerPoint

Applies to: Word 2013Microsoft Word 2010Excel 2013 More

Symptoms


When you try to preview a document in the Preview pane, you receive an error message that resembles the following:

This file can’t be previewed because of an error in Microsoft Word previewer.

To work around this issue, preview the document in Windows Explorer or in a different Microsoft Office program. For example, preview a Microsoft Word document in Microsoft Excel or Microsoft PowerPoint.

For more information about this issue, consider the following scenario: 
  • You start one of the programs that are listed in the "Applies To Products" section. 
  • You click the Microsoft Office Button or the File tab, and then you then click Open.
  • In the Open dialog box, you click Show the preview pane.
  • You select a document to preview.
In this scenario, a preview of the document is not displayed. Additionally, you receive an error message in the Preview pane that resembles the following:

This file can’t be previewed because of an error in the Microsoft Word previewer.

This issue occurs because you must open another instance of the program to preview the document.