Software & Apps MS Office Thumbnails Are Used for Navigation in Digital Files How to use them in PowerPoint By Wendy Russell Writer Former Lifewire writer Wendy Russell is an experienced teacher specializing in live communications, graphics design, and PowerPoint software. our editorial process Wendy Russell Updated February 12, 2020 Jeffrey Coolidge/Getty Images MS Office Powerpoint Word Excel Outlook Tweet Share Email "Thumbnail" is the term used to describe a miniature version of a slide in presentation software. It originated with graphic designers who made tiny versions of much larger images for use during the planning stages of designs. A thumbnail was just a much smaller version of a larger image. It wasn't long before thumbnails were being used for navigation in digital files, which is the way they are often used in PowerPoint. Thumbnails in PowerPoint When you work in Slide Sorter View in PowerPoint, miniature versions of the slides called thumbnails are displayed in a horizontal grid where you can move them around, copy and paste them, delete them and group them to apply effects. As you create your slides in Normal View, thumbnails of all the slides appear in the Slides Pane to the left of the Normal View window, where you can select a thumbnail to jump to its slide or rearrange the thumbnails to rearrange the presentation order. How to Print out Thumbnails Thumbnails are just an easier way to visualize much larger images. In the Notes View of PowerPoint, a reduced version of a slide appears above the presentation notes. This view can be printed out by selecting Notes in the print setup box before clicking Print.