What is a thumbnail image?

A thumbnail image is a small graphic file. These images are created from standard size images and are used in web pages. The small size allows internet users to quickly access the content of the page. Dial-up users would find it nearly impossible to make retail purchases were it not for the use of thumbnail images, and browsing pages with multiple images would simply take too long.

Thumbnail images allow more content to be shown on one screen.

In many cases, thumbnail images can be clicked, causing a larger image to be loaded at the user’s discretion. This makes web pages easy to use, preventing the user from downloading large image files that they don’t need or want to see. With a smaller images page, the user can click only on the images that interest them.

Thumbnail images are often clickable, which leads to a larger image loading on the screen.

Web pages are written in Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). Web browsers translate this text-based HTML code into a graphical display viewed as web pages. In most cases, creating a thumbnail image with an HTML editor is no more complicated than choosing to insert an image file into a web page and clicking through a few dialog boxes to create the small image of the original.

The thumbnail image can also be resized within the editor and have a custom “mouseover text” assigned to it. In this case, a small text box will appear when a surfer hovers the mouse pointer over the image. Mouseover text can describe the thumbnail, or it can say, “Click me to enlarge.” A webmaster can also choose to assign funny captions to thumbnails using the mouseover option.

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When images are created using an HTML editor, the software creates the smaller file from the larger file, using the same . For example, if the original file is a .jpg file, the thumbnail will be a much smaller .jpg file. If the original is a .gif file, the thumbnail is also a .gif file. The HTML editor will insert the newly created small image into the web page and give the user the option to link to the original larger image. This will make the thumbnail clickable.

While many people surfing the Internet are switching from slower dial-up accounts to faster Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) and cable Internet Service Providers (ISPs), thumbnails still save surfers valuable time. They also allow webmasters to fit more content on a webpage, minimizing the need for scrolling. Online retail stores and auction sites make frequent use of thumbnail images to showcase their products. Art galleries, personal photo galleries, news centers and social centers also use these small images.

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