Make your own free website on


Version 1.0

A ZiffNet/Mac Exclusive Utility

©1993 Robert S. Mah and Ziff-Davis Publishing Co.
All Rights Reserved

Note from the publisher:

You may NOT upload this utility to any online service, network, or Bulletin Board. You may NOT make copies for any commercial purpose. This utility is not public domain or shareware. Distribution is limited to Ziff Communications online services and electronic publishing projects.

If Thumbnail was obtained from any source other than ZiffNet/Mac or ZiffNet Selections on AppleLink, please contact ZiffNet/Mac at:
CompuServe/ZiffNet: 72511,75
AppleLink: ZIFFNET
AOL or Internet:

Phone: (415) 578-6822

Mailing Address:
950 Tower Lane
Foster City, CA. 94404

Have you ever spent far too much time opening and closing files looking for a specific picture? Have you ever opened a folder of graphics files and been confronted with names like "Holiday1", "Holiday2", "Holiday3" and so on? Have the prices of those image cataloging programs got you down? Well, have I got a suprise for you!

Thumbnail is a new application that creates custom icons for graphics files. The custom icons created by thumbail are little mini-pictures of the contents of the file itself. Thus, you can tell at a glance what all those graphics files look like.

In other words, instead
of boring looking folders
that look like this --->

You get ultimate cool
folder that look like
this -------------->

Neat, huh?

Thumbnail requires System 7 or later and Color Quickdraw to work. This means that Thumbnail will NOT WORK on a Macintosh 128, 512, 512e, Plus, SE, Classic, Portable, and Powerbook 100. It WILL WORK on just about anything else, including machines that have been enhanced to support color.

Thumbnail requires between 384K and 512K of RAM depending upon the size of the graphics files you use. However, Thumbnail makes extensive use of "temporary" memory. If it runs out of RAM, first quit another application to free up some RAM and if that fails, increase Thumbnail's memory allocation a bit (but going over 640K is pretty useless).

Simply copy Thumbnail onto your hard disk. For easy drag-n-drop use, you may want to leave it on your desktop, or make an alias (using the Make Alias command in the Finder) and leave that on the desktop.

Supported File Formats
There are many, many different graphics file formats in use. Why? Don't ask me, I personally feel that this tower of babel is silly. In any case, Thumbnail supports most of the common Macintosh graphics file formats, including...

- The standard Mac "picture" file format, including QuickTime compression.

- MacPaint, that old B&W standby.

- B&W and color startup screens.

- Only files with Picture Preview are handled.

- The overly complex bitmapped image format. Sorry, but there is no support
for Fax images or "tiled" images. TIFF is handled through Sam Leffer's tifflib

- Compuserve's very own "Graphics Interchange Format". This is very common
on many on line services.

- The standard interchange format for JPEG compressed images. If QuickTime
is present, it will be used to decompress the image, otherwise code from
the Independent JPEG Group is used.

- A Macintosh animation interchange file format.

- Quicktime movies. Uses the "poster" frame to generate the image.

Thumbnail can also create custom icons for any file with a picture preview. How does it know if there's a preview? Simple, it looks for a PICT resource in any file it is given.

If you want me to add another file format, just tell me how to convert the file to a Picture or PixMap and I'll add it.

You can create custom icons for your graphics either by using the old "drag-n-drop" technique in the Finder or by launching Thumbnail alone and selecting files via the standard open dialog.

If you submit a lot of files to Thumbnail for processing, you can move it to the background (if the option is set) and continue working on more important things while it chugs away.

Note that, you can also hold down the option key WHILE A FILE IS BEING IMAGED to make Thumbnail display it's image selection dialog. You can then select a portion of the image to be used when creating the icon.

The Menus
Thumbnail has the standard Apple, File and Edit menus. All the interesting items are located under the File menu.

Open - open a graphics file so Thumbnail can create a custom icon for it.
Skip Current - skip the current image.
Stop All - stop processing all images.
Preferences - opens the preferences dialog (see below).
Quit - exit Thumbnail.

The Edit menu doesn't do anything because there's nothing to cut & paste.

The Status Window
Since Thumbnail can work with multiple file's dropped onto it in the Finder, we need a way to see what's going on. The status window consists of five items...

- Files...
Lists files that are waiting to have custom icons created for them. The file
that is currently being processed is hilited.

- Icons...
Displays each icon in a custom icon family icons as they are created.

- Status...
Tells you what's going on.

- Skip...
Makes Thumbnail stop processing the current file and go on to the next one.

- Stop...
Makes Thumbnail stop processing ALL the pending files.

The Selection Dialog
There is an option to select a portion of the image to create it's new icon. This can be set via the Preferences dialog (see below). Just after the file is "imaged," the following dialog will appear...

Note the selection marquee around the space shuttle. Simply click WITHIN the selection marquee and drag it to move the current selection. Click on the lower right corner to resize the marquee.

If you hold the SHIFT key down, the aspect ratio selection marquee will be preserved when you are resizing it.

To create a completely new selection, hold down the OPTION key and click-and-drag to create a new selection.

The Preferences Dialog
This dialog allows you to control how Thumbnail works. If it's been misbehaving, check here first.

- Create Which Icons...
Checking the "Small Icons" box will tell Thumbnail to create 16x16 pixel
icons. Checking the "16 Color Icons" box will create 16 color icons. 32x32
pixel black & white and 256 color icons must always be created.

- Custom Icon Style...
Thumbnail can make either document style icons or full frame icons. Document
style icons have the same shape as standard document icons while Full Frame
icons will change aspect ratio to match the image.

- After Drag & Drop...
Tells Thumbnail whether it should stay open or quit after a drag-n-drop
launch. If file's are dropped on Thumbnail after it has been launched _by_
_itself_ it will NOT quit after processing.

- Image Selection...
Thumbnail allows you to interactively select which portion of each image to
use when it creates custom icons. If "On Option Key" is selected, Thumbnail
will check to see if the option key on the keyboard is pressed right after it
finishes "imaging" a graphics file, but before it starts creating the icons.
The other two options are fairly obvious.

- Sound Effects
Turn this on if you want rockin' audio reminders and notifications.

- Background Tasks
Turn this on if you want Thumbnail to be able to operate in the background. Note
that images may take longer to image if this is on.

If you want to reset the preferences to the defaults, simply throw away the "Thumbnail Settings" file in the "Preferences" folder of you "System Folder".

C O M M E N T S, Q U E S T I O N S A N D P R O B L E M S
If you have any suggestions or (gasp!) bug reports, just send them to me via any e-mail address listed below. If you experience a serious problem, please include the following information:

- Machine Type (e.g. ClassicII, IIci, Quadra700, etc.)
- System Version (e.g. 7.0.1 w/Tuneup 1.1.1, 7.1, etc.)
- Extensions (e.g. ATM, QuicKeys, FlashIt!, etc.)
- Graphics File Types (e.g. PICT w/Quicktime compression, TIFF)
- What you did to get the problem to occur.
- Any other info you feel is important

I can be reached at...
Robert S. Mah
One Step Beyond
309 West 30th Street + Suite 6C
New York, NY 10001

Voice: 212-947-6507
FAX: 212-563-7192
CompuServe: 76437,320
Applelink: rmah
AmericaOnline: rmah

What Is "One Step Beyond"?
You may have noticed it below my name. I'm a partner in One Step Beyond, an information systems consulting firm specializing in the Macintosh. We do contract programming, networks, requirements analysis and systems integration. We like to think that our small size allows us to pay more attention to our client's needs. But then again - maybe that's just marketing-speak :-).

Please note that Thumbnail is NOT a product of One Step Beyond.

This software is copyrighted and is being licensed to you for use free of charge. Ownership of and interest in this software shall remain with the author. Use and distribution of this software is governed by the following terms.

"You," "your," and the "user" refers to any person or entity which acquires or uses this software. "Software" refers to any computer programs identified at the start of this documentation file, together with all codes, techniques, software tools, formats, designs, concepts, methods, ideas, and documentation associated with the computer program(s). The term also includes all copies of any part of the software and documentation. "Author" refers to the copyright holders of this software, Robert S. Mah and Ziff-Davis Publishing.

This software is owned by the author. If you violate any part of this agreement, your right to use this software terminates automatically. In the event of termination of this agreement, you must destroy all copies of this software and derivatives of this software in your possession and cease distributing same.

This software is being licensed to you as provided by the terms of this agreement.
You may use this software on as many computers as you want at any given time and make as many backup copies of this software as you wish.

You may not create any derivative works from this software.

You may NOT distribute this software via any online service, network, or bulliten board other than Ziff Communications online services and electronic publishing projects.

You may distribute this software and this document, to any person for non-commercial purposes. This document must accompany the software.

This software may NOT be distributed by any commercial organization or service except ZiffNet and may not be included in any compilations such as CD-ROMs. This software may not be sold.

Contact the author at the address within this document if you wish to distribute this software in a compilation, for commercial usage, or if you have any questions about its redistribution.


This software is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. The entire risk as to the results and performance of using this software lies entirely with the user. The author does not make any warranties, either expressed or implied, including but not limited to implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, with respect to this software.

In no event shall the author be liable for any consequential, incidental, or special damages whatsoever (including without limitation damages for loss of critical data, loss of profits, interruption of business, and the like) arising out of the use or inability to use this software. Because some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of liability for consequential or incidental damages, the above limitations may not apply to you.

Although the author would appreciate any feedback and bug reports, the author shall not be responsible for correcting any problems which you discover or otherwise help you maintain and use this software. Furthermore, the author may at any time replace, modify, alter, improve, enhance or change this software.

This agreement constitutes the entire agreement and supersedes any prior agreements between you and the author concerning this software. This agreement cannot be amended, modified, or waived except in writing by the author.

If any provision of this agreement shall be found to be unenforceable, it shall be deemed severed from the remainder of this agreement.

This agreement shall be construed in accordance with the laws of the State of New York. Any arbitration or litigation relating to this agreement shall take place in the State of New York.


This Software is provided with RESTRICTED RIGHTS. Use, duplication, or disclosure by the government is subject to restrictions set forth in subparagraph (c)(1)(ii) of the Rights in Technical Data and Computer Software clause at 48 CFR 252.227-7013, or in subparagraphs (a) through (d) of the Commercial Computer Software Restricted Rights clause at 48 CFR 52.227-19, as applicable. The contractor/manufacturer is Robert S. Mah, 309 West 30th Street, Suite 6C, New York, NY 10001.

All trademarks are held by their respective owners.

Original file name: * Thumbnail ReadMe * - converted on Wednesday, 22 September 1999, 19:07

This page was created using TextToHTML. TextToHTML is a free software for Macintosh and is (c) 1995,1996 by Kris Coppieters