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Disappearing or blank thumbnails in task panes


PowerPoint 2003 doesn't display images in one or more task panes. For example, it may not display thumbnail images for available template designs or slide layouts. You can still click on the area where the template or layout should be and apply it, but without being able to see what you're applying, this isn't very useful.


There isn't one. But here are some things to try, things that've worked for others.

Quit PowerPoint before performing each step, then restart it and test. If you find that your thumbnails come back, let us know which step "made the magic".

And another ... disable unnecessary startup programs. Here's how:

And another ... is something hogging the processor or memory?

Use Task Manager to determine this:

Stuff to keep an eye on:

Does the problem always occur or does it sometimes appear and sometimes not?
Does it seem to occur after you've run other programs?

No joy?

If none of these suggestions helps, we need your help. We're trying to collect information that'll help Microsoft reproduce the problem so they can track it down and eliminate it.

Please copy/paste the following into Notepad, answer the questions, then paste the results into a post or reply on
The PowerPoint Newsgroup

Windows version and service pack level (right-click My Computer, choose Properties, then click the General tab)

Computer (from the same dialog as above). Please mention whether this is a laptop, desktop, tablet or other.

Video info (click the Hardware tab in above dialog then click Device Manager. In Device Manager, open Display Adapters. Doubleclick the display adapter, go to the Driver tab and give us the name that appears at the top of the dialog box plus the Provider, Date and Version info)

PowerPoint version and SP level (start PowerPoint, choose Help, About Microsoft PowerPoint; the version, build and SP number if any appear on the first line of the About Microsoft PowerPoint dialog box)

Log-in privileges (user, guest, administrator, other)

What add-ins are loaded? Don't trust what you see in Tools, Add-ins.

First off, what's on the menu? If there's something other than File, Edit, View, Insert, Forrmat, Tools, Slide Show, Window, Help, you probably have an add-in loaded.

See What add-ins are loaded?
Once you see the messagebox that lists installed add-ins, press Ctrl+Shift+C to copy the info then in your Notepad document use Ctrl+V to paste the info in.

Also check for add-ins listed in the registry. Close PPT. Go to Start|Run and type


and click OK.

In the registry, look in


Another way to gather most, if not all of this information is to start PowerPoint 97-2003, choose Help, About Microsoft PowerPoint, then click "System Info...". Or start PowerPoint 2007, click the Office button, choose PowerPoint Options, click Resources, click About, click System Information. Then:

This will store all of your system information in one file that you can doubleclick at any time to view. No need to start PowerPoint or wait for endless refreshes.

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Disappearing or blank thumbnails in task panes
Last update 07 June, 2011