Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Printing Graphic Thumbnails.

Printing Graphic Thumbnails

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 12, 2014)

If you work with graphics quite a bit, you are probably already familiar with the term "thumbnails." These are smaller versions of your graphics, printed on a single page, that allow you to get a "birds-eye view" of all your graphics. Many graphics programs and desktop publishing programs include a thumbnail feature that allows you to automatically print your overview. Unfortunately, Word does not include this feature, but you can add such a feature with a macro. The following VBA macro creates a set of thumbnail images from the contents of a single directory:

Sub Thumbnails()
    Dim Directory As String
    Dim FType As String
    Dim FName As String
    Dim ColCount As Integer

    Directory = "d:\temp"
    FType = "*.jpg"

    ChDir Directory
    FName = Dir(FType)
    If FName <> "" Then
        Documents.Add
        ActiveDocument.Tables.Add Range:=Selection.Range, NumRows:=1, _
          NumColumns:=5
        Selection.Tables(1).Select
        Selection.Cells.HeightRule = wdRowHeightAuto
        With Selection.Rows
            .Alignment = wdAlignRowCenter
            .AllowBreakAcrossPages = False
            .SetLeftIndent LeftIndent:=InchesToPoints(0), RulerStyle:= _
              wdAdjustNone
        End With
        Selection.HomeKey Unit:=wdLine
        ColCount = 1
    End If

    Do While FName <> ""
        Selection.InlineShapes.AddPicture FileName:=FName, _
          LinkToFile:=False, SaveWithDocument:=True
        Selection.ParagraphFormat.Alignment = wdAlignParagraphCenter
        Selection.TypeParagraph
        With Selection.Font
            .Name = "Arial"
            .Size = 10
            .Bold = True
        End With
         Selection.TypeText Text:=Mid$(FName, Len(Directory) + 2)
        Selection.MoveRight Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=1
        ColCount = ColCount + 1
        If ColCount = 6 Then
            Selection.InsertRows 1
            Selection.EndKey Unit:=wdLine
            Selection.MoveRight Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=1
            Selection.InsertRows 1
            Selection.HomeKey Unit:=wdLine
            ColCount = 1
        End If
        FName = Dir
    Loop
End Sub

In this macro, all you need to do is change the line specifying the Directory variable to reflect the directory in which your graphics are stored. You can also change the graphic file specification by changing the assignment of FType (currently it is set to return all JPG files in the directory). When you run this macro, a new document is created and the macro starts building a table with five columns and however many rows are necessary to print your graphics. The macro will print about 40 or so thumbnails on a piece of paper, depending on the settings you use in your default template.

There is a caveat to using this macro—you should be aware that your document size will grow very, very fast. While the graphics are shown in a small (thumbnail) size in the document, behind the scenes the graphics are maintained at their full size. If you have lots and lots of graphics being processed, then the document size may become unwieldy and you could end up with very sluggish response times from your system.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8023) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Printing Graphic Thumbnails.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Pixels in a Text String

Determining the length of a text string is easy, but figuring out how many pixels are represented by those characters is ...

Discover More

Inserting the User's Name in a Cell

Need to understand who is using a particular workbook? There are a number of ways you can find out, as discussed in this tip.

Discover More

Getting Rid of Everything Except Numbers

Got some numbers and letters mixed up in the same cell? You may need to get rid of those letters so you are left with just ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Moving Images Behind Text

When positioning images in a document, you may want them to appear behind text, so that the text shows up over the top of the ...

Discover More

Pictures Move on their Own

Insert some pictures into a document and you may be in for a surprise—they don't necessarily stay where you put them. ...

Discover More

Turning Off Borders for Data Series

Don't want a border to appear around a data series represented in a Microsoft Graph chart? You can easily control the ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 7 - 1?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.