Xentient Thumbnails


Xentient Thumbnails changes the default icons for image files in Windows explorer and replaces them with thumbnails of the images themselves.

It works automatically on all image files within the Windows environment without user intervention.

Every Windows user knows that setting “thumbnails” in the folder view options results in a thumbnail view of the pictures within it.

Xentient Thumbnails goes a step further by replacing all image icons on-the-fly with thumbnails that are visible in all folder views (icons, tiles, list and details views, and even images placed on the Desktop). Here are more notes on this program:

  • How it works: once installed/activated, this program starts generating thumbnails on the fly for all folders that you open. (Conversely a folder containing images that is never opened will not get its icons converted to thumbnails).
  • Controls: interaction with the program is through a “Xentient Thumbnails” entry it adds to the Windows’ Control Panel. The only three options there are (a) switching the “generate thumbnails” function on/off, (b) increasing/decreasing the cache size for thumbnails, or (c) clearing the cache of all thumbnails.
  • Image types: affects an impressive range of image types (JPG, JPE, JPEG, JP2, J2K, GIF, PNG, BMP, WBMP, EMF, WMF, PCX, PBM, PGM, PNM, PPM, RAS, TIF, TIFF, and TGA).
  • Thumbnail location: is in the application data. The image files themselves do not store the thumbnail information (i.e. an image placed on a network drive will not show a thumbnail icon when seen from another computer). Uninstalling the app means that thumbnails will no longer be displayed as icons for image files.

The verdict: I really like this program (I especially like seeing thumbnail icons for images placed on the desktop). I noticed that for some thumbnails where the images are narrow or long Xentient Thumbnails uses a detail of the image for the thumbnail rather than whole image, but that is understandable and works rather well. Recommended.

Version tested: 1.0.2

Compatibility: Windows 98/SE/ME/2K or XP; high color or true color display.

The program page no longer exists, but you can download ver. 1.0.2 of the program here or here.