Document Previews: Necessary but Tricky in Some SharePoint Installations

Thumbnails and previews are a very useful aspect of FAST Search for SharePoint. This feature makes the results of a search query visual, allowing users to recognise the right content faster! Here’s an interesting post from Beyond Search on this topic – it should be noted that document previews is in fact a FAST Search for SharePoint feature, as opposed to SharePoint 2010 Search as implied by the piece. Comperio’s Enterprise Search consultants work with customers to understand user needs, whether it’s visual previews or contextual search, and blends these needs with business goals and technical capaibilites to deliver an effective search strategy. Learn more at

Users find laundry lists of results a necessary but sometimes hard to use way to pinpoint needed information. Users looking for a PowerPoint presentation want a way to spot presentations without browsing, opening, scanning, and repeating the process. One feature of SharePoint is its document thumbnail and preview function. Instead of a list of text results, SharePoint can display search results with a thumbnail image of the document. Users can quickly identify a document type, which allows a research task to be accomplished more quickly.

There is, however, one challenge in some SharePoint installations. According to the document Office Web App & FAST Search Document Thumbnail and Preview scenarios, many users found document previews and thumbnails to not show up in FAST search results for SharePoint 2010. Microsoft acknowledges:

“Document Previews do not work with Claims Based Authentication and is a known limitation with the Product.”

Microsoft’s knowledge base article provides a number of ways to resolve the problem. But what does a SharePoint administrator do when a third party application is part of the mix? The SharePoint licensee needs immediate access to deep expertise with both SharePoint and FAST search to ensure that system performance and functionality are maintained at a high level.

Comperio, one of the world’s leading firms in FAST search engineering and consulting, can resolve preview issues quickly. Comperio’s engineers have in-depth experience with both SharePoint and FAST search. If you want to tap document previews using Microsoft’s native functions or employ third party software from firms such as BA Insight (, Comperio delivers. Comperio combines experience and technical expertise for leveraging FAST search within SharePoint. For more information about Comperio, visit our website at

via Jennifer Shockley, June 22, 2012

Beyond Search


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