Add thumbnail previews for a wide range of image types with Sage Thumbs


If you’re like most people, you like to look at a folder full of images and see thumbnail previews rather than icons.

Windows explorer will provide previews for the most common image file types in thumbnail view, but not all of them, which is where this software can come in handy.

Sage Thumbs can add thumbnail previews to a host of image formats, such as PSD, IFF, TGA, XCF, with support for a total of 162 image formats. Best of all, it will do this in tile view, list view, detail view, and all views, not just thumbnail view.

But Sage Thumbs also provides thumbnail previews within the right-click Windows shell extension, as well as a host of functions such as one-click image format conversions, and an informational tooltip that appears when hovering over image files with the mouse.

Sage Thumbs Screenshot1Sage Thumbs Screenshot 3

The table below shows what image icons look like before and after Sage Thumbs

Before Sage Thumbs Sage Thumbs 1a
After Sage Thumbs Sage Thumbs 2a
This one shows List View, informational tooltip Sage Thumbs 3a

Here’s why I really like this program:

  • I love the collection of functions that it brings together: (thumbnail previews, context menu functions, informational tooltips).
  • You can switch off the right click menu: if you don’t want it, and keep the other functions (thumbnails, tooltips in Windows explorer)
  • It brings thumbnail preview functionality to some non image formats: such as PDF. You can check filetypes off and on in the settings that you want supported.
  • Works on 64 bit windows 7: and is still being developed (unlike previously mentioned Xentient Thumbailswhich seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth).
  • The context menu thumbnail preview is very well done: Sage Thumbs can match or outclass XNview Shell Extension, which I like to have on my machine.
  • I like the image type conversion function:  as well as the ‘copy to clipboard’ option in the context menu.

Cons/Wish list: (or how this software can be even better)

  • The context menu appears on non image formats such as PPT and PDF. While I realize that Sage Thumbs provides thumbnail previews for these, and that they could be checked/off and excluded, it seems that suppressing only the context menu on non-relevant formats might provide a better user experience.
  • While the program will by default ignore images that are larger than x megabytes (10 by default, user adjustable), it would be nice to be able to specify what and what not to do; e.g. don’t show a thumbnail, but display a tooltip, and display the right click context menu, etc.
  • I wish it was an option to switch off the image preview in the context menu only, and keep everything else.

The verdict: this software is very well done; I wouldn’t hesitate recommending installing it on every Windows machine out there. Kudos to the developer(s) for a job very well done.

[Thanks to reader Panzer for letting me know about this software]

Version Tested:

Compatibility: Windows 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, 2008, Windows 7. Supports both 32 bit and 64 bit.

Go to the program home page to download the latest version (approx 2.61 megs).