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Browse by Thumbnail (Windows)
After reading many posts that suggest that it's not possible (or even desirable) to browse and open images by thumbnail from within GIMP, I put together this method which allows me to work in the same way that I did in PaintShop Pro (before it became to slow and messy to use).

The way I like to work is that from within PaintShop, I type <Ctrl-B> to bring up a thumbnail browser, browse to a folder, then double-click on a thumbnail to edit that image.  I also like the browser to remember the same folder next time I type <Ctrl-B>.

What I've done to achieve this is:

1. Install an external app that allows thumbnail browsing.  I've found that "Unifie" does exactly what I need as it is focused more on the thumbnail browsing rather than actual editing.
2. In Unifie, open the Tools>>Options dialog and add GIMP as an external program.  In my case "C:\Program Files\GIMP 2\bin\gimp-2.10.exe".
3. In the Unifie Tools>>Mouse/Keyboard dialog, change the "Popup Window" - "Click" entry to GIMP (External Tool N).
4. Now, download and install "AutoHotKey". This is an app for creating keyboard shortcuts.
5. Create a file called something like "AutoHotKeys.ahk".  I keep mine in "My Documents". Put the following text in it:

    #IfWinActive ahk_exe gimp-2.10.exe
    Run, "c:\Program Files\Unifie\unifie.exe"

6. Type Win+R and enter "shellConfusedtartup".
7. In the folder: "C:\Users\XXXXXX\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup", create a shortcut to your AutoHotKeys.ahk file.
8. Log out and back in.

The AutoHotKeys script should now run when you login.  The script tells windows to run Unifie when you type <Ctrl-B> from within GIMP.

I hope others find this a useful addition to what I'm finding to be a very useful free program.

Hello Gimposaurus 

Gimp 2.10.28 File > Open dialog box has a Preview window to display the thumbnail of the selected picture before you can open it or not.

On the other hand, in Gimp 2.10.28, the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+B opens the Toolbox window showing the Wilber's eyes of the Gimp's mascot above the tools.
In Windows 10, you can play with the Windows key + arrow on the bottom of the keyboard to organize your working environment:
  • Gimp on the left side of your screen or on the left dual-screen;
  • Windows File Explorer on the right, side-by-side with Gimp.
or the opposite if you do not wish to cross the treeview of folders during the drag and drop.

In the Windows 10 File Explorer, you can preview thumbnail of the pictures in any folder by the menu View > Large icons.
Finally, you can drag a picture from the Windows File Explorer to the Wilber's eyes in Gimp:
  • Directly in the Gimp editor if there is not yet any loaded picture. Wilber appears at the bottom of the editor;
  • In the Toolbox Window, above the tools, where you can find the Wilber's icon, target of the drop.
Quote:...big snip...In the Windows 10 File Explorer, you can preview thumbnail of the pictures in any folder by the menu View > Large icons

AFAIK Windows has not caught up with Gimp 2.10 file format, great for jpegs, pngs, etc but not for Gimp xcf. You get the default icon and the file name.

The same applies to the unifie viewer mentioned in the first post.
A bit over the top for file size but XnViewMP gives a better thumbnail and will open the image in Gimp (if you set it up that way)
Irfanview has a nice thumbnail viewer with easy options for the thumbnail size.  It is quick.  It is on my desktop it must have installed itself at one of my installations.  I don't use it very often.  It is also available from within Irfanview.  I view images, sort and organize in Lightroom and may do preliminary edits before exporting to a folder I have setup as a common directory between Gimp and Lightroom.  Both programs default to this directory.  If I want to process in Gimp I simply export a tif file  because it is lossless (png not an option).  The tif file shows up at the top of the open file listing in Gimp when sorted by date.  It is quick and easy for me.

xcf not compatible with either Gimp nor Lightroom.
Like @rich2005, for me it's XnView MP
20+ years with it, and it never let me down.
It is not a Windows specific, and only Windows software. Wink
When I was on Windows, it was there, when I ditched windows for mac, it was there, when I ditched mac for Linux, it is still there for us Linux users.
It read .xcf (.kra as well)! For the thumbnail to go fast it seems to read the bottom layer, but when you click once on it it seems to read the "visible" (see screenshot) for the preview tab (might take a bit of time if you have hundreds of layers, but it might do it)


Pierre Gougelet (the owner/programmer) has always and continue to listening its users very closely and he is very re-active if a problem occurs.
Also XnView is compatible with G'MIC (yep you can install G'MIC for XnView), the UI is also incredibly customizable, you can put any tabs anywhere, literally.
When browsing my .xcf, I just double click on them and they directly open in GIMP (setup for this is extremely easy)
OK, yeah... you might be right to think that I'm an "aficionado" of XnView... Big Grin
Wow! XnView MP looks like it might be a useful addition to my graphics endeavors. I was up and running right away. I'll have to start exploring the tools. Thanks for this recommendation.

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