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A friendly node.js JavaScript wrapper around phantomjs that lets you create webpage thumbnails in a headless environment with a few lines of code. There are generally several things you want to do when creating a thumbnail:

  • Render the webpage as a PNG or JPG
  • Control the quality level of your saved thumbnail (for JPGs)
  • Resize the thumbnail
  • Crop the thumbnail
  • Copy / Delete / Rename thumbnails

The open-thumbnailer library makes all of this very easy.


npm install open-thumbnailer

To use a lot of the functionality in the library you will need to install graphicsmagick as well.

Examples Thumbnails

Here are some example thumbnails generated by this library:

To see some more thumbnails, look in the examples/thumbs directory. You can run the examples/top.js example and generate these thumbs for yourself.

Thumnailer Examples

Supported File Formats

You can save thumbnails as PNG of JPG files. For JPG files you can also specify a quality value in the fromUrl options that affects the JPG quality.

To create a thumbnail it's really just a few lines of code. For example to create a thumbnail for you would do:

var OT = require('open-thumbnailer'),
    thumbnailer = new OT.Thumbnailer();
    __dirname + '/',
    function(error, thumbnail) {
        if (error) {

At any point you can cancel an in progress thumbnail


There are various options you can specify to the thumbnailer when creating a thumb:

var OT = require('open-thumbnailer'),
    thumbnailer = new OT.Thumbnailer();
    // To save as a PNG, simply change the file extension to PNG 
    __dirname + '/',
      // A number between 0 and 100 that specifies the quality of the jpg thumb. 
      // Only applies if you are creating jpgs, not pngs 
      quality: 75,
      // If you don't specify an extension on the output path, then you must specify 
      // the format here, if you don't want the default of jpg.  Can be jpg, jpeg or png. 
      // This value will be ignored if the output path has an extension already set on 
      // it of png | jpg | jpeg 
      format: 'jpg',
      // Can be true, which will use a simple internal console.log method 
      // to log status, or you can provide your own log object e.g. 
      log: {
        verbose: function(message) { console.log(message); },
        error: function(message, error) { console.error(JSON.stringify(error))}
      // The amount of time to wait before cancelling the thumbnail.  If a page 
      // is taking a long time to load you may want to cancel 
      timeout: 60,
      // The amount of time (in seconds) to wait after the page loads before actually 
      // trying to render the page.  There may be cases where the page loads content 
      // asyncronously and if you render straight away on load the page may not have 
      // all the content. 
      delay: 10,
      // The size of the window when the page is loaded.  This is not a crop size it 
      // is the size of the browser window to use when loading the content.  Content loaded 
      // outside of these values will still be rendered in the final thumb.  If you want 
      // to crop then use the crop value as specified below 
      viewport: { width: 1024, height: 768 },
      // The part of the page to render. The interesting part here is cropToPage, if this 
      // is false then if the rendered webpage is smaller than the crop region the thumbnail 
      // will still be as big as the crop region with pixels filled in black, however if you 
      // set cropToPage:true, then if the webpage is smaller than the crop size the thumbnail 
      // will be the same size as the page. 
      crop: { top:0, left:0, width: 1024, height: 400, cropToPage: true }
    function(error, thumbnail) {
        if (error) {

Thumbnail Examples

Once you have generated a thumbnail, you will have a Thumbnail instance, there are several methods available to you:

getInfo -> returns basic information about the thumbnail

var info = thumb.getInfo();
console.log(info.width + 'x' + info.height + ' at ' + info.path + ' ' + info.size + ' bytes');

destroy -> deletes the thumbnail from the disk

thumb.destroy(function(error) {

copy -> creates a copy of the thumbnail on disk

thumb.copy('some-new-file-name.jpg', function(error, copyOfThumb) {

move -> moves the thumbnail on disk

thumb.move('new-file-location.jpg', function(error) {

resize -> resizes and potentially crops the thumbnail

    // scales the thumbnail to 400 pixels wide, the aspect ratio of the clip 
    // will be maintained 
    scaleToWidth: 400,
    // scales the thumbnail to 600 pixels tall.  Only specify one of scaleToWidth 
    // and scaleToHeight, if both are specified the behaviour is unspecified 
    scaleToHeight: 600,
    // Optional - if not specified the thumb will be resized and the original 
    // thumb variable points to the resized thumb.  If you specify a targetPath 
    // then a copy of the thumb is made and resized and the copied thumb is 
    // returned in the callback 
    targetPath: 'some-new-file.jpg',
    // crops the thumbnail AFTER it has been resized, so for example if you set 
    // scaleToWidth to 400 and wanted a square thumbnail, you could then crop the 
    // height to 400 pixels here to make the output square 
    crop: { top:0, left: 0, width: 400, height: 400 }
  function(error, resizedThumb) {
    // NOTE: resizedThumb will be null if you did not specify a targetpath 
    // in the options 


  1. Install GraphicsMagick (sudo port install graphicsmagick)
git clone
cd open-thumbnailer
npm install
npm test
node examples/top.js