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Will ThumbsPlus run on Windows XP?

ThumbsPlus will run on XP as long as you do not install the MDAC components shipped with ThumbsPlus. XP has the latest ODBC drivers for XP. If you do experience trouble with ThumbsPlus on XP, please write to

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What Windows OS will ThumbsPlus run on?

ThumbsPlus will run on ME as well as 95, 98, ME, XP, NT and 2000. If you have any problems running on a specific platform, please send a report to

Note about Windows 95 and NT4: Because of their crusty age, there are limitations on these operating systems:

  • Color management is not available.
  • Cerious plug-ins and some Photoshop plug-ins may not work.
  • Kodak DCR/DCS image files are not supported.
  • The Web Page Wizard preview will not work without IE 6 or later.

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Why do I need ThumbsPlus?

ThumbsPlus is a graphic file viewer, locator and organizer that simplifies the process of finding and maintaining graphics, clip-art files, fonts and animations. It displays a small image (thumbnail) of each file. You can use ThumbsPlus to browse, view, edit, crop, launch external editors, and copy images to the clipboard. You can use drag-and-drop to organize graphic files by moving them to appropriate directories. ThumbsPlus will also create a slide show from selected graphics, and install bitmap files as Windows wallpaper. You can print individual graphic files, or the thumbnails themselves as a catalog. ThumbsPlus can convert to several formats, either one at a time or in batch mode. You can also perform image editing in batch mode. ThumbsPlus will also convert metafile graphics to bitmaps (rasterize). ThumbsPlus can process hundreds of file types internally. You can also use Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) to create thumbnails for and view any proprietary file type for which the server application is loaded on your system.

ThumbsPlus is not album software. It does not create copies of your graphic files. ThumbsPlus works off of your internal directory structure, like Windows Explorer, and creates a link to your files. The thumbnail created in ThumbsPlus is not a copy of the file but rather just a "preview" of the file itself and is stored in the ThumbsPlus database, thumbs.td4, located in the Thumbs directory. The ThumbsPlus database contains the thumbnail records, keywords, annotations and user fields you assign to files. When you create a new database, this information is not transferred from database to database. Different databases do not show different files, only the different database information assigned in each respective database, i.e. thumbnails, keywords, annotations and/or user defined fields.

You can download a 30 day evaluation copy from

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I installed it. What do I do now?

When you first open ThumbsPlus, it will show the entire directory structure of your computer. It also shows any removable media drives attached to your system and your network neighborhood should you be attached to one. To find and view your graphic files, navigate through the drives and folders just like you would in Windows Explorer/My Computer. Please note that ThumbsPlus is NOT album software. It does not create copies of your images. It merely creates a link to where the file is actually saved. Any changes, including editing, moving or deleting, done in ThumbsPlus will take effect throughout your system. When you first open a folder that has graphic files in it, ThumbsPlus should make thumbnails automatically. If you do not want ThumbsPlus to make thumbnails each time you open a folder, you can turn off this option by going to Options | Preferences | Thumbnails and un-checking Make Thumbnails Automatically. To manually make your thumbnails, click on a file once to highlight it. Then, click on the single thumb icon on the toolbar. This will make your thumbnail. You can also hold down the CTRL key while clicking once on each file to select multiple files to thumbnail.

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I made thumbnails of files located on a floppy, CD, zip disk, etc., removed the media and can still see grayed out thumbnails of the files.

The thumbnails you are seeing are a feature of ThumbsPlus that enables you to catalog your removable media. Then, when the floppy, CD, zip disk, etc is removed, you can peruse the offline thumbnails and find which removable media to insert to view a file without having to insert each floppy, CD, zip disk, etc. trying to find that file. An offline thumbnail is a thumbnail that exists in the ThumbsPlus database while the volume (disk) that contains the original file is not available. Volumes may not be available for several reasons:

  • Floppy diskettes and CD-ROMs that aren't currently in the drive.
  • Hard disks that have been removed or damaged.
  • Network connected drives that have been disconnected.

To remove these offline volumes after you have removed the media, right click on the offline entry and go to Remove Thumbnails on the fly-out menu. This will remove the thumbnails and the reference to the removable media.

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Can I start a slide show automatically with ThumbsPlus?

You can create a shortcut or BAT file which starts a ThumbsPlus slide show by providing the "-s" option and the directory name to display.

For example:

"C:\Program Files\Thumbs4\thumbs.exe" -s D:\Bitmaps

The slide show settings last set in Options | Viewing | Slide Show will be used, and ThumbsPlus will automatically exit when you stop the slide show.

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Are you ever going to finish the Macintosh version?

We are now considering an OSX version. However, we don't have any intention of revisiting an OS8/9 port.

ThumbsPlus encompasses over a million lines of code, 200 dialog boxes, and a very complex user interface, so even a user interface port will be an enormous task. We're a small company, and hiring someone else to do the work is not within our means.

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Any plans for Unix or OS/2?

Not likely for OS/2, but we are investigating the use of portability libraries for Unix/X-windows.

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Any plans for a Linux version?

Unless and until we work on a Linux version of ThumbsPlus, we recommend vmware for running Windows applications on Linux. One thing that is bothersome about a Linux port is that so many of the Linux users who have written have exclaimed how wonderful it is to have a free operating system and free software. We could never afford to port to Linux and give it away! The investment required is enormous when you're looking at a code base of nearly a million lines. We're also not likely to pay any outside company or people to do it; although it is possible that we could *hire* someone. Bottom line, don't plan on seeing a Linux version of ThumbsPlus for quite some time.

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How can I associate files with ThumbsPlus so that I don't get multiple copies of ThumbsPlus running?
How can I change the association of my files from another program to ThumbsPlus?

Go to Options | Preferences | File Types and check on the option Associate Selected Types with ThumbsPlus.

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What is the format of the ThumbsPlus database?

ThumbsPlus uses an Access database to store thumbnails, keywords, galleries, and user-defined fields. In order to provide appropriate access to the original files in many enviroments (local disks, CDs, floppies, ZIP/JAZ, network drives), ThumbsPlus uses the following 3 tables:

  • Volume -- Stores information about each volume (disk or other media) for which thumbnails have been made. By organizing images this way, T+ avoids problems with absolute paths and drive letters, which are likely to change for many reasons.
  • Path -- Stores information about each path (on each volume) where thumbnails have been made.
  • Thumbnail -- Stores file and image information, the thumbnail data, annotations, and image metrics.

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Why is OLE so slow?

Ask Microsoft, or the manufacturer of the specific application you're dealing with. In-process servers are generally much faster than executable-driven OLE servers but are rare. For example, CorelDRAW starts up (and loads the entire program into memory) to serve an object. And a new instance is started if Corel is already running, rather than simply calling the existing program to do the work.

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How many thumbnails can ThumbsPlus store in a single database?

There is no practical limit to the number of thumbnails that can be stored - the database is limited to an entire size of 2Gbs. Each thumbnail requires about 4-5K depending on the thumbnail size and color depth set at Options | Preferences | Thumbnails. To decrease the amount of memory each thumbnail requires, make the thumbnail dimensions smaller, set the color depth to High or True Color, remake your thumbnails and compact the database File | Database | Compact. We have tested with databases of over 100,000 thumbnails without experiencing significant speed problems. If you are running a SQL database, there is no limit to the database size.

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What ODBC databases does T+ support?

Microsoft Access 97/2000

MS SQL Server 6.5, 7, 2000 (Note that we would rather not support the SQL Server 6.5, SQL 7 and 2000 are much better. We highly recommend 2000.)

SQL Anywhere

Scripts for SQL Server are located here:

We are working on Oracle and DB2.

We use ODBC for all data access, retrieval, and table maintenance (including creating dropping a table, which is used for user-defined fields).
Database maintenance is generally assumed to be separate, though we do embed Compact and Repair functions for the default MS Access
database, and would like to do similarly for any other redistributed database.

Because of its runtime cost, MS Access is the default database for single users and small workgroups (5-10 concurrent users), though its obvious
limits make it impractical for many users or large (>1Gb) databases.

We are looking for a redistributable (embedded) database appropriate for 5 to 100 concurrent users, and as an add-on for single user licensees
requiring large (>1Gb) databases.

1. ODBC access to the database must include these SQL capabilities:

  • INSERT <table> VALUES
  • UPDATE ... WHERE (subquery)
  • DELETE ... WHERE (subquery)

2. The database we select for embedding must additionally have these capabilities:

  • Auto-increment (Identity) columns (used as primary key)
  • Blobs (binary and text)
  • Unconstrained database size (or at least 100Gb), with tables capable of spreading across multiple files in the file system.

3. Multiple instances on the same machine should count as a single user (and a single-user licensee must be able to open multiple instances!)

4. The SQL syntax or DDL for creating a database is (so far) the only thing that varies between the different databases. We do not specially code anything for specific databases, except the Compact and Repair functions mentioned above.

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Can I convert an Image AXS database to a ThumbsPlus database?

Dave Grems, an independent software developer, has created a process for conversion of an Image AXS database to a ThumbsPlus database. If you would like to discuss this with him or get a price quote, please contact Dave directly. Please do not send him general questions regarding ThumbsPlus as he does not work for Cerious Software.

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