With Preview, you can view your files in any Box application without downloading them to your device. Preview currently supports most file types, so you can easily access your content from any browser supported by Box.
On Twitter and LinkedIn, when you paste a public Box link to content, a miniature share card of that content replaces the link’s URL. Private Box links on Twitter and LinkedIn do not display miniature share cards.
- Previewing Files
To preview an item, click the item's name. It opens directly within the Box interface. When an individual follows a shared link to a file, by default the file previews within the the Box interface, rather than downloading or displaying within the native application.
This is a typical Box Preview screen:
- File name and parent folder. View the name of the file you are previewing, the name of that file's parent folder and the time of last update. Click the name of the parent folder to navigate back to it. If there's a shared link icon (), you can click it, and Box automatically copies the link to your clipboard so you can quickly share the file with others.
Primary file actions. From here you can do the following (note that some actions may be limited based on your permission level):
- View avatars of the people who have recently edited, commented on, or viewed the file
- Click the ellipsis (...) to access a menu from which you can select a wide range of actions, such as moving it, renaming it, locking it, downloading a PDF version of it, and more.
- Open the file
- Download the file
- Create a shared link to the file
- Open the Share window to invite someone to collaborate on the file
Information about the file. Here you can:
- Click the bubble icon () in the side navigation to open or close the Activity panel. In this panel, you can view version history, file comments, view and assign tasks, and write comments associated with the file.
- Click the details icon () in the side navigation to open or close the Details panel. In this panel, you can view or add a wide range of information about the file, including classification, file access statistics, and basic file properties (dates created and modified, size, owner, uploader, and so on).
- Click the metadata icon () in the side navigation to open or close the Metadata panel. In this panel, you can view or add a range of metadata attributes associate with this file.
- More information on metadata in Box.
- A list of recommended apps. Icons in this sidebar give you one-click access to the applications you most commonly use with Box. In this way, you can quickly share the file you're previewing with Slack, send it to DocuSign, and so on. The applications that display in your recommended apps bar vary, depending on how you most commonly work in Box. More information on recommended apps.
Finally, you can change your view of the file, and move between files within the containing folder. To do this, hover over the file. A toolbar displays at the bottom, with controls for zooming in and out, rotating the image file, and entering full-screen mode. And left and/or right arrows also display on either side of the preview window. Click an arrow to preview the next or previous file in the folder.
Previewing Video Files
Video preview is available only to Business level Box accounts, and above. Free or personal users can preview video files owned by these accounts.
When you preview video files, you can use keyboard shortcuts to perform basic actions. Preview also supports closed captioning in videos, and for accessibility it works with screen reader programs such as Mac's VoiceOver.
What File Types are Supported?
To learn about the file types supported through Box Platform APIs, please see our developer documentation.
To see a full list of supported file types and fonts, please see our File Types and Fonts Supported in Box Content Preview article.
Is There a File Size Limit for Preview?
Preview is limited to files sized 500MB or smaller. Video files are the exception; these can be up to 3.5 hours long. However, videos exceeding 2.5 hours can encounter problems when previewed or streamed.
Video preview without Box login using Public shared link is only limited up to 1 hour.
Preview is limited to viewing Excel sheets of fewer than ~100 columns and ~100,000 rows, or you can use the Excel online previewer., which allows viewing files of up to 5MB.
What Resolutions does Box Preview Support for Video Previews?
Both 480p and 1080p previews are supported. When you preview a video, you can use the settings gear to adjust the resolution. Only Business Plus accounts, or higher, can modify the quality of the previewed video.
My File Doesn't Display Properly
Preview displays most documents without issue, but we cannot guarantee perfect accuracy. If your file doesn't display properly in preview, use the file's native application to open it.
- Excel preview does not follow time information in the original file. When previewing Excel documents in Box, the time-related functions (for example, TODAY() or TIME()) do not display accurately. This is because Excel date and time functions are dynamic, while the previewed document is static. Box preview obtains and displays the date the file was previewed. A static version of the time/date is displays in the previewed document, based on the time the preview was generated.
- While Box enables you to preview files in the current version of Excel, Box does not support previewing older versions of most Excel file types.
- You cannot preview password-protected files.
- Hyperlinks now work in PowerPoint files in Box preview on either the Web, or mobile applications for newly uploaded documents. If links are not working, try re-upload the document.
- Videos embedded in Powerpoint files do not work in Preview.
- Business accounts are limited to a video resolution of 480 pixels in Preview.
- Animations and page transitions in PowerPoint do not work in Preview.
- Adobe PDF Portfolios are not supported by Box Preview.
- Small sized file (1-byte) cannot be previewed on the web app.
- For dynamic time fields, preview displays UDT time rather than the user's local time.
- Box does not support the previewing of PowerPoint files containing charts, tables, or graphics embedded from LibreOffice. To preview these files, download and view them locally.