Previews are automatically created for many supported file types when you upload assets to the Widen Collective.


For Microsoft Office documents and PDF files, a preview of the first page displays in asset thumbnails in search results and on the Asset Details page. Open Quick View to scroll through all pages of multi-page Office and PDF files under 250 MBs in size.


For PowerPoint and PDFs over 250 MBs in size, full-length previews aren't automatically created, so you aren't able to scroll through all pages of those assets. Note that you'll see a "Preview Not Available" image in search results and in Quick View for PPTs and PDFs over 250 MBs in size, though an alternate preview can be uploaded.


For ZIP files, previews are created based on the way files are arranged in the folder.


For AI files, previews will display when the AI file or file within an AI project archive (ZIP file) is saved as PDF compatible.


You can also listen to previews for audio files and watch full previews of videos from the Asset Details page before downloading and sharing those assets.


A gray, checkered background displays on previews for transparent (white) assets and assets with clipping paths. The checkered background makes those assets more visible in search results, collections, and the Activity Feed.


Previews can include watermarks. The watermark is independent of any conversion format watermarks and can be the same or different than the conversion format watermark.


PDFs as previews

PDFs are used as previews for InDesign, Illustrator, PDF, and video files that have been zipped. The PDF filename must be the same as the original filename, and the PDF must be included in the same folder.


Metadata is not imported from preview files.


Preview delays

Previews show up based on the number of assets you're uploading. Previews for smaller groups of files uploaded together will display before larger groups. For larger groups, you'll want to check on the previews in a few hours.


If there's a preview delay, a default image will describe the delay.


While files are uploading, a "File is Processing" preview displays until the files have been uploaded. Previews will display after files have processed. If a preview isn't available, you'll see a "Preview Not Available" image.



Processing time

The time it takes to create previews varies depending on the file type and the number of files you're uploading. For each file, at least seven previews in various sizes are created, including at HTML5 file, which allows you to zoom in on details. Several file processors are used to create previews as quickly as possible.


A queue system is used for previews so processors can scale properly for small and large uploads. Smaller groups of files are given priority since metadata tagging and order may be needed immediately.


When uploading less than 10 files, previews for those files are placed in a high queue to be processed first. If you upload over 100 files, those a put in a low queue and processed after all files in the high queue have been uploaded.


Here's an outline of processing times based on the file type:

  • For JPEG, PNG, SVG, and TIFF files, Quick View is created upon upload and displays within minutes of upload. The ability to zoom in on these files will take more time. Note that SVG files preview as PNGs, which can cause differences in previews since SVGs are vector file formats and PNGs are raster file formats.
  • There are a limited number of processors for AI, EPS, and PSD files. Typically, previews are created in under 10 minutes but can take 20 minutes or longer if the processing load is high.
  • PDF and Office documents are first processed with an HTML5 preview. While processing, a JPEG preview of the first page is created. If an HTML5 preview cannot be created, a PDF preview will be.
  • Previews for InDesign files are applied if a PDF file is included within the top folder level. Typically, previews for InDesign files are created in under 15 minutes.
  • iBook previews are typically created in under five minutes.
  • Video preview times will vary based on the size, quality, and codec of the video. HTM5- and Flash-based previews are created. Some codecs like GoToMeeting are not supported.

Processors autoscale previews based on the load at any given time across all of our customers. If several people are uploading a large number of files, new processes are automatically brought up for all cases, except for PSD files.


Previews for unsupported file types

If a file format is not a supported file type, it will be marked as a generic binary file format. This means that the Collective could not identify the file so a preview could not be created. An alternate preview can be uploaded for unsupported file types.


If a file format is not a supported file type or if there's an issue with the file, a "Preview Not Available" image displays after upload. If a file format is a convertible (supported) format but a "Preview Not Available" image displays, there may be a delay in creating the preview.


Previews cannot be created for these file types:

  • G2M4
  • QXP
  • SIT
  • SITX
  • ZIP, except as indicated above in PDFs as Previews