How to Add Thumbnail View to SharePoint Online Document Library?

Add Thumbnail View to SharePoint Online Document Library
Thumbnail preview for documents in SharePoint Online is a great productivity addition that helps to get the document snapshot without actually opening the documents. Image preview or thumbnail preview is not available in a document Library by default. However, You can add thumbnail preview by adding a custom metadata column called "Thumbnail", and it will automatically display the thumbnail image of the file.

Here is a nifty trick to add thumbnail view to document libraries in SharePoint Online:
  • Navigate to your document library >> Click on "Add column" and choose "Picture" type.
    sharepoint online document thumbnail
  • Enter the column name as "Thumbnail" and make sure type as  "Picture" and click on "Save" button to create the column.
    sharepoint online document library thumbnail view
  • Now, you'll see the thumbnails are populated for documents and images in the library. SharePoint automatically adds a snapshot (preview) of the first page of each file.
sharepoint online document library thumbnail view
The thumbnail column generates image preview for Word, PowerPoint, PDF, Emails (.msg), Video (.mp4) and other image file formats. Switching to "Tile" view also gets you the preview of the documents.

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