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ActiveX + Preview + Office + Web



ActiveX + Preview + Office + Web Plugin

Let's call it the ActiveX Plugin for short, even though it handles more than just that.

This is a meta-plugin which allows a large number of viewers to work in Opus, including those which work with File Explorer and Outlook (e.g. the MSOffice preview handlers), as well as many which work with Internet Explorer.

The ActiveX plugin comes with Directory Opus but depends on other components to actually do anything. Several come with Windows, as well as other software like Office, while additional viewers can be downloaded from third parties. Some of those viewers are also discussed on the forum, and work via this plugin.

Between Opus releases, you can sometimes download a newer version of this plugin from the plugin's web page (but this is rare these days, unless you see a post about test versions on the forum; updates usually just come with Opus).

The ActiveX plugin allows Directory Opus to view various document types within the Opus viewer pane.

The plugin will hook other programs and viewers into Opus, depending on which compatible software you have installed.

It is designed to work with the following:

  • Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc., via preview handlers which come with MS Office, or via alternative QuickViewPlus preview handlers)
  • Legacy Microsoft Office (embedding the Office apps themselves in the viewer pane; not recommended with modern Office where preview handlers work better; no longer recommended vs the top method)
  • The standalone MS Office Viewers (free, but possibly legacy; no longer recommended vs the top method)
  • Open Office (instructions, but may not work with recent versions until when/if their viewers are fixed)
  • Internet Explorer (for HTML, MHT, XML, etc.)
  • Adobe Reader (PDF)
  • PDF-XChange (PDF)
  • Fox-It Reader (PDF)
  • Sumatra (PDF) (make sure you check the extra option in the installer)
  • Shockwave Flash (SWF) (If Flash is installed)
  • Windows built-in Preview Handlers made for Explorer and Outlook (E-mails, Contacts, Fonts, etc.)
  • Microsoft XPS documents
  • Windows Media Player (but the Opus Movie plugin is generally better for movie playback)
  • Zip file contents
  • AutoCAD (DWG, DWF, etc.) (instructions)
  • 3D Object preview (fbx, glb, glbt, obj, ply, stl) (via Mixed Reality Viewer built in to Windows 10; Opus 12.10 and above)
  • DjVu (instructions)
  • SVG (instructions)
  • Quick View Plus (instructions) (views hundreds of formats) (very old versions of QVP can be used via the MultIView plugin instead; newer versions provide preview handlers which should work with this plugin; last tested with QVP 11)
  • And more...

(Related: Autodesk Inventor thumbnails in Opus.)

The plugin includes the ability for 64-bit versions of Opus to use both 32-bit and 64-bit ActiveX viewers. For example, this enables 64-bit users to view PDF and Flash files within the Opus viewer pane, even though Adobe have not produced 64-bit versions of their components.


The new configuration dialog allows you to specify which types of ActiveX controls should be used to view different files. You can also disable certain Preview Handlers entirely if you find they get in the way of other viewers which you prefer. (Some are disabled by default, for example Vista's plain-text handler.)

Word document:

Excel document:

MHT web page archive:

QuickTime .mov:



Shockwave Flash:



More Info:

For History, the Known Issues list the To-Do list and Translation Tips, please see the plugin's web page:

Cannot view Microsoft Word .doc files in viewer
Directory Opus executables and hooks
MultiView DLL could not be located
Viewer pane and .doc and .xls files
New Docs/ActiveX plugin
Activex association problem: pdfs in viewer pane
XP Preview Handlers for Directory Opus and above
For Newbies: My lean Dopus 10 power packed!
Quick View Plus
Quick View Plus
How to get Dopus to use my Vista preview handlers?
Quick View Plus
Postscript-Viewer (ps, eps) (32-bit only)
File types not supported by viewer
Cannot view Wordperfect text in Viewer Pane

Viewing Office Documents:

You need something installed that provides either a preview handler or an ActiveX control for viewing Word files.

The only things I know of which provide those and work properly these days are MSOffice itself and QuickViewPlus.

(In theory, LibreOffice's ActiveX control, which is an option during installation, can do it as well, but it has not worked properly in years unless they have fixed it recently.)

[Jan 2017: Cleaned up lots of old discussion that was not very relevant any more.]


I had some machines that did not show Excel-files in DO-preview-pane. It's a know Office-Bug (I think only 2016), so I share an easy fix for that here.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


"{00020827-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}"="Microsoft Excel previewer"

Download fix (.reg-file):

Microsoft Office Excel Preview (422 Bytes)