About creating thumbnails

ArcGIS items can have a thumbnail that appears in the item's metadata, and in Contents view in the Catalog window. A thumbnail is a graphic illustrating the data an item contains. Thumbnails draw quickly because they are snapshots; the data isn't displayed when you see a thumbnail.

View an item's thumbnail in its metadata.

View an item's thumbnail in the Catalog window's Contents view.

Thumbnails can be particularly helpful when you are evaluating the items you've found with a search, especially when you are searching a geoportal or metadata catalog where you might not have access to the actual item and can't preview its data.

You must create and update thumbnails manually. You might update a layer’s thumbnail after changing its symbology. If metadata doesn't exist before creating a thumbnail, metadata will be created to contain the thumbnail; however, it will not contain any descriptive information aside from the thumbnail.

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