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Create a thumbnail

Most items in ArcGIS Pro can have a thumbnail. A thumbnail is a graphic illustrating the data an item contains. Thumbnails are very helpful when exploring a new collection of items and also help you quickly distinguish between similar items that you use every day.

Thumbnails appear in the Catalog pane's item pop-up, in the catalog view's contents list, in the browse dialog box when using Gallery mode, and in the item's metadata. Thumbnails draw quickly because they are snapshots; the data isn't drawn when you see a thumbnail.

An item's thumbnail is typically stored in its metadata. If metadata doesn't already exist, it will be created for the item to contain the thumbnail; information describing the item is not added automatically.

Create a thumbnail in the catalog view

After previewing an item in the catalog view, you can create a thumbnail to help you easily distinguish the item in the future.

  1. Open the catalog view.
  2. Preview an item's spatial data.
  3. Explore the data, positioning a representative sample of the data on the Preview tab.
  4. Change or turn off the basemap, if desired, to better highlight the item's data.
  5. On the Preview contextual tab on the ribbon, in the Thumbnail group, click Create Thumbnail.

    A thumbnail is created and saved. Its final dimensions may be slightly different than the dimensions of the Preview tab to meet ArcGIS thumbnail specifications.

Create a thumbnail from a map view

When you are exploring a map, you can capture the current map view's display as the map's thumbnail.

  1. Open a map.
  2. Explore the map's content.
  3. Capture what you see in the map view as its thumbnail.
    • On the View tab on the ribbon, in the Thumbnail group, click Create.
    • In the Contents pane, right-click the map and click Properties. On the map Properties dialog box, click the Metadata tab. At the bottom of the page, click Delete Thumbnail, if it is enabled, and click Generate Thumbnail.

    A new thumbnail is created from the current map view's display.

Use a graphic file as a thumbnail

For some items, such as tables, it isn't possible to capture a thumbnail describing its data using ArcGIS. For these items, you can enclose a graphic file in the item's metadata that can be used as its thumbnail. Images must be in PNG, GIF, JPEG, or BMP format; the image file will be converted to JPEG format before it is stored within the item's metadata. The recommended image size is 200 pixels wide by 133 pixels high.

Import a file from a metadata view

You can import a thumbnail to an item's metadata.

  1. Edit an item's metadata.
  2. In the Contents pane, click the Overview > Item Description page.
  3. Click the Update button.

    The Open dialog box appears.

  4. Browse to and select the image file you want to import as the item's thumbnail, and click Open.
  5. On the Metadata tab on the ribbon, click the appropriate button to save your changes.
    • For maps, layouts, and other items stored within the project, click Apply, and save the project. All changes made since the last save will be persisted, including your metadata edits.
    • For datasets, files, tools, and other items referenced by the project, click Save.
  6. Close the metadata view.

Import a file from a map view

You can import a thumbnail to a map in the project without having to edit its metadata.

  1. Open the catalog view.
  2. On the View tab on the ribbon, in the Thumbnail group, click Import.

    The Open dialog box appears.

  3. Browse to and select the image file you want to import as the item's thumbnail, and click Open.
  4. Save the project.

Delete a thumbnail

You can permanently remove a thumbnail added through any method when you edit its metadata.

  1. Edit an item's metadata.
  2. In the Contents pane, click the Overview > Item Description page.
  3. Click the Delete button underneath the thumbnail image.
  4. On the Metadata tab on the ribbon, click the appropriate button to save your changes.
    • For maps, layouts, and other items stored within the project, click Apply, and save the project. All changes made since the last save will be persisted, including your metadata edits.
    • For datasets, files, tools, and other items referenced by the project, click Save.
  5. Close the metadata view.

For maps, you can also delete a thumbnail from its Properties dialog box.

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