ArcCatalog - The Preview Pane

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The Preview Tab

The Contents Panel is just one of the three view panes available in ArcCatalog, the pane which allows us to interact with several files at once in order to copy, delete, rename, and some other actions.  Another pane view is the Preview Pane, a view that allows us to look at what a spatial file looks like (the points of a point file, the polygons in a polygon file, the image of a raster file, etc) or what is in the attribute table or other data table.  We can't change the data we are looking at, we are just previewing it.  

The Preview Pane in ArcCatalog
The Preview Pane allows us to look at spatial files, examine their associated attribute tables, and look at the contents of other data tables.  Data cannot be changed from this view, only examined.