What is thumbnail? - Definition from WhatIs.com
Part of the Multimedia and graphics glossary:

Thumbnail is a term used by graphic designers and photographers for a small image representation of a larger image, usually intended to make it easier and faster to look at or manage a group of larger images. For example, software that lets you manage a number of images often provides a miniaturized version of each image so that you don't have to remember the file name of each image. A thumbnail is also used to mean a small and approximate version of an image or a brochure layout as a preliminary design step. Adobe's Acrobat viewer lets you show a sequence of thumbnails of viewable pages as a way to navigate among the pages in a document. Adobe's Photoshop lets you view a thumbnail version of certain kinds of images.

Web sites with many pictures, such as online stores with visual catalogs, often provide thumbnail images instead of larger images to make the page download faster. The user controls which images need to be seen in full size.

The term probably springs from the idea of "a picture the size of your thumbnail."

This was last updated in April 2005
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • 3D modeling

    - 3-D modeling is the use of software to create a virtual three-dimensional model of some physical object. 3-D modeling is used in many different industries, including virtual reality, video games, m... (WhatIs.com)

  • rollable display

    - A rollable display is a digital screen technology that can be rolled up like a newspaper. At CES 2016, LG demonstrated rollable screens based on flexible OLED (organic light-emitting diode) displays. (WhatIs.com)

  • freebooting

    - Freebooting is the unauthorized duplication of digital content, which is then republished and presented as original work. Online content is protected under copyright law and any duplication beyond ... (WhatIs.com)

Glossaries

  • Multimedia and graphics

    - Terms related to multimedia, including graphics, animation and video definitions and words and phrases about images and sound.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question. Find an Answer.Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Ask An IT Question

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Ask Question

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.