How to preview a file in Dropbox Paper

Updated Feb 12, 2024
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The information in this article applies to all Dropbox users.

Previews allow you to to view a snapshot of a file or link without opening it. You’ll see a file preview if Dropbox supports your file type and:

  • You paste a link to the file into a Paper doc 
  • You drag and drop a file from your file system into a Paper doc 
    • If you drag and drop a file from the web, Paper will write the file name with a link to the file
  • You insert files manually

How to customize previews in Paper docs

If you’ve added an Illustrator, PDF, or Powerpoint file into your Paper doc, you can customize how the file previews in Paper.

To customize the preview of the Illustrator, PDF, or Powerpoint file you’ve inserted:

  1. Click the existing preview of the file.
  2. A toolbar will appear at the top of the preview. Click the four rectangles icon on the left.
  3. From the gallery, select what you’d like to display in your preview.
  4. Click Add to doc.
  5. To select which part of the file displays, click the new preview. 
  6. From the editing toolbar that appears at the top of the preview, select the Select display area icon. 
  7. Click and drag to select the area you’d like to display. 
  8. Click Select.

How to add a caption to a preview in Paper docs

To add a caption to a preview:

  1. Click the preview image to select it.
  2. Click Write a caption at the bottom of the image.
  3. Type your caption.

What can I preview in Paper docs?

Paper supports all file types that you can preview in Dropbox, and:

  • Adobe XD
  • Airtable (if you paste an Airtable embed link, we'll preview the Airtable base or view)
  • Facebook
  • Figma
  • Framer
  • Gist
  • Github issues in public repositories
  • Google Calendar
  • Google Docs
  • Google Drive
  • Google Maps
  • Google Sheets
  • Google Slides
  • Instagram
  • InVision
  • Lucidchart
  • Marvel
  • Pastebin
  • Pinterest
  • Prezi
  • SlideShare
  • Soundcloud
  • Speaker Deck
  • Spotify
  • Trello
  • X (formerly Twitter)
  • URLs
  • Vimeo
  • XKCD
  • YouTube
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