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Automatically generated thumbnails in a file browser ( Konqueror shown )

As a preview picture , picture preview , miniature picture (short miniature , from Italian " miniatura ") or thumbnail ( English for "mini picture" or "preview picture"; actually "[the] miniature view" and originally "[the] thumbnail") are small digital graphics or Denotes images that serve as a preview for a larger version.

Technical details

The use of thumbnails can have different reasons. Small images (possibly with image compression ) have a shorter loading time than large ones due to their smaller file size, which is particularly important on the Internet . The loading time of a website is often directly dependent on the images it contains, because images almost always represent the largest part of the data volume on a page. If a page does without large images in order to improve the loading time, this can be ensured by using preview images ensure that the visitor does not miss any detail in the appearance of the website. The visitor can use the preview images to decide which of the images he would like to view in full size. In most cases, a simple click on the preview images is sufficient, and the original image is then shown on a new page or in a lightbox . Most of the preview images are also compressed .

Another reason for using thumbnails is to save space. Many pictures can be accommodated in a very small space. The visitor can quickly get an overview and enlarge individual images if necessary. In this way, the limited space on a page can be used effectively and the attractiveness can be further increased through interactivity .

With increasing computing power, preview images are already generated automatically by search engines , image processing and image management programs as well as modern user interfaces such as Windows , KDE and GNOME .

Copyright regulations must always be observed when using preview images.

Web links

Wiktionary: Thumbnail  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Thumbnail - Entry in Duden 2020
  2. Thumbnail entry with the translator Beolingus of the TU Chemnitz
  3. Marcel Bisges: Legal admissibility of the use of preview images in the context of image search engines, JurPC Web-Doc. 127/2012, paras. 1–25, doi: 10.7328 / jurpcb / 2012278112 .