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Please recommend software to view the thumbnail(s) stored within the metadata inside JPG (JPEG) image files.

I'm not referring to creating thumbnails; instead I'm referring to viewing any thumbnails already stored within the metadata.

Must be Windows 7 compatible and gratis.

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You can use ExifTool to extract the thumbnail (if any) from a Jpeg Image, (as opposed to generating one from the image data).

The command:

exiftool -b -ThumbnailImage image.jpg > thumbnail.jpg

Will extract (as binary -b option) the thumbnail (-ThumbnailImage command) from image.jpg and the output will be piped by > to thumbnail.jpg all from the command line.

ExifTool is:

  • Free, Gratis & Open Source
  • Written in Perl but available as a binary download for Windows or a package for OS-X
  • Cross Platform including Windows "All Versions" but I haven't tried a recent build on 3.1 or XP, OS-X, Linux, etc.
  • Supports extracting the meta data from lots of file formats
  • Support adding, changing or removing metadata from nearly as many file formats.
  • Is very fast and powerful.
  • Supports renaming the exe file, (or equivalent), to make a shortcut that you can drop files on to do frequent operations.
  • If you do anything with photographs you should have a copy.
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