A Windows user would know that Explorer, the default file manager, has native support only for some limited file formats such as JPG, GIF, BMP, etc., and has thumbnail preview capability only for those. Earlier I had reviewed a great shell extension called SageThumbs that extends Explorer support to over 162 file formats. But, even that application doesn’t enable you to view thumbnail of compressed archives files. This is where a little app called CBX Shell comes handy.
CBX Shell is a tiny shell extension that enables Windows Explorer to show thumbnail of images in RAR and ZIP archives. This helps a user in identifying the archive contents without even extracting it first. Awesome, right?
Once installed, you should be able to view thumbnail preview of RAR and ZIP files just like a normal image file in Explorer. The only downside of this app is the limited format support. Right now it has support only for ZIP, RAR and comic book archive file formats CBZ and CBR, which are basically renamed ZIP and RAR files.
CBX Shell functions perfectly straight out of the box, though you have the option to limit format support from the app’s settings window.
CBX Shell has thumbnail support for JPG, GIF, BMP, PNG, TIFF and ICO. It cannot display thumbnails of encrypted archives, which is expected. It also does not display images that are larger than 32MB, and damaged archives. Other than that, it works great. No lagging or error.
CBX Shell is compatible with both 32-bit and 64-bit editions of Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. Hit the link below to download it now.
Download: CBX Shell [900 Kb]