Thumbnails are a handy way to view lots of images in one go – sites like Amazon, Imgur, Reddit, Twitter and Google Images make heavy use of thumbnails.
To view a full-size image you would click the thumbnail (which may load in its own tab) then have to click Back to return to the original page (or perhaps click on a close ‘x’ icon). You can also view some full-size pictures by right-clicking the thumbnail and choosing ‘View Image’.
This is all very fine if you only need to zoom into a couple of thumbnails per page but what if you want to quickly view or save lots of full size images? That’s an awful lot of clicking back and forth…
Thumbnail Zoom Plus can help – it’s a powerful image zoom add-on for Firefox with two main functions:
1. Hover your mouse over a thumbnail (or image link) and it will display a full-size image popup – you can configure the delay i.e. time needed to hover over the thumbnail before the full-size version is displayed (0.2 seconds by default). This full-size version remains visible until you move the mouse outside of the thumbnail, or click the mouse, or press Escape. The example below shows a full-size popup of an Imgur thumbnail:
2. It also let you quickly save a full-size image, without the need to open it first. There are 2 ways of doing this:
a. Via a Hotkey – hover over a thumbnail and press ‘s’ to open the standard Save Image dialog box – the saved image will be the full-size image, not the thumbnail.
b. Via the Firefox context (right click) menu – the add-on adds an entry to let you quickly save a full-size image. Right click on a thumbnail and select ‘Save Enlarged Image As’ to save the full-size image (the standard ‘Save Image As’ option would only save the thumbnail).
Download – download from Mozilla Add-ons here. After restarting Firefox the add-on works straight away – just hover over a thumbnail to see it in action.
The Options page for the add-on (shown below) lists individual supported sites but it also supports any site which links directly to image files e.g. Imgur pages, YouTube videos, Reddit and many others – make sure that the ‘Others’ checkbox is ticked to enable these.
If you don’t want to use the add-on with a particular site, untick it here. Tick the ‘Thumbnail’ option box to allow the add-on to work with a much larger variety of sites using a generic approach (although you can’t disable each of these ‘unknown’ sites individually).
However, the add-on does add a new icon to the add-on bar – clicking this toggles Thumbnail Zoom Plus off or on for all sites, useful if you just want to disable it for a while on a particular unknown site:
The rest of the Options let you configure the delay until the popup appears and how large the image is zoomed etc but note that if the popped-up image would not be at least 20% larger than the thumbnail, it won’t show the popup (as there would be little point).
Thumbnail Zoom Plus also offers a number of hotkeys which can save time and allow more granular control of the popup. We covered the ‘s’ Save hotkey earlier but another useful one is ‘t’ which opens the pop-up in a new tab – useful when the image is larger than fits in the current window.
For a full list of all the hotkeys (and a user manual) see the official add-on guide here.
Tip: there is no Chrome version of this add-on but there is a very close, and equally useful, equivalent – Hover Free for Chrome.
Thumbnail Zoom Plus is an excellent image zoom add-on for Firefox – it supports a huge variety of sites, has a lot of options and hotkeys to help save time and has worked really well with every site I have thrown at it – a definite keeper.