Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. 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: Displaying Thumbnails and Full-Size Images.

Displaying Thumbnails and Full-Size Images

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated September 7, 2021)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


Bob has some graphic images that he's captured in GIF format. He would like to display the image in his Word document as a small thumbnail, but then have the image display full size if someone clicks on the thumbnail.

We've seen this done on Web sites before, but not in Word documents. That doesn't mean it can't be done; it can be. Basically, you just need to use the same procedure that you would use in a Web page:

  1. Insert two copies of each image in your document, one full size and one thumbnail size.
  2. Convert the thumbnail image into a hyperlink that points to the full-size image.

Each of the skills necessary to complete these two steps (resizing graphics, adding hyperlinks, etc.) has been covered in other issues of WordTips. The only drawback to this approach is that you end up with two copies of each graphic in your document, which means that your document can get rather large.

You could, of course, put each full-size image in its own document and only put the thumbnails in your main document. Thus, if your main document included five thumbnail graphics you would end up with six documents—the main one and five documents each containing a single large graphic. When you set up the hyperlinks on the thumbnails in the main document, they would link to the individual graphics in each of the other documents.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10973) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Displaying Thumbnails and Full-Size Images.

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. ...

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