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Easy thumbnails for Django

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A powerful, yet easy to implement thumbnailing application for Django 2.2+

Below is a quick summary of usage. For more comprehensive information, view the full documentation online or the peruse the project’s docs directory.

Breaking News

Version 2.8.0 adds support for thumbnailing SVG images when installed with the [svg] extra.

Of course it doesn’t make sense to thumbnail SVG images, because being in vector format they can scale to any size without quality of loss. However, users of easy-thumbnails may want to upload and use SVG images just as if they would be PNG, GIF or JPEG. They don’t necessarily care about the format and definitely don’t want to convert them to a pixel based format. What they want is to reuse their templates with the templatetag thumbnail and scale and crop the images to whatever their <img src=”…” width=”…” height=”…”> has been prepared for.

This is done by adding an emulation layer named VIL, which aims to be compatible with the PIL library. All thumbnailing operations, such as scaling and cropping behave like pixel based images. The final filesize of such thumbnailed SVG images doesn’t of course change, but their width/height and bounding box may be adjusted to reflect the desired size of the thumbnailed image.


Run pip install easy-thumbnails.

Add easy_thumbnails to your INSTALLED_APPS setting:


Run migrate easy_thumbnails.

Example usage

Thumbnail options can be predefined in settings.THUMBNAIL_ALIASES or just specified in the template or Python code when run.

Using a predefined alias

Given the following setting:

    '': {
        'avatar': {'size': (50, 50), 'crop': True},


{% load thumbnail %}
<img src="{{|thumbnail_url:'avatar' }}" alt="" />


from easy_thumbnails.files import get_thumbnailer
thumb_url = get_thumbnailer(['avatar'].url

Manually specifying size / options


{% load thumbnail %}
<img src="{% thumbnail 50x50 crop %}" alt="" />


from easy_thumbnails.files import get_thumbnailer
options = {'size': (100, 100), 'crop': True}
thumb_url = get_thumbnailer(

Using in combination with other thumbnailers

Alternatively, you load the templatetags by {% load easy_thumbnails_tags %} instead of traditional {% load thumbnail %}. It’s especially useful in projects that do make use of multiple thumbnailer libraries that use the same name (thumbnail) for the templatetag module:

{% load easy_thumbnails_tags %}
<img src="{% thumbnail 50x50 crop %}" alt="" />


You can use ThumbnailerImageField (or ThumbnailerField) for easier access to retrieve or generate thumbnail images.

For example:

from easy_thumbnails.fields import ThumbnailerImageField

class Profile(models.Model):
    user = models.OneToOneField('auth.User')
    photo = ThumbnailerImageField(upload_to='photos', blank=True)

Accessing the field’s predefined alias in a template:

{% load thumbnail %}
<img src="{{ }}" alt="" />

Accessing the field’s predefined alias in Python code:

thumb_url =['avatar'].url

Thumbnail options


Before scaling the image down to fit within the size bounds, it first cuts the edges of the image to match the requested aspect ratio.

Use crop="smart" to try to keep the most interesting part of the image,

Use crop="0,10" to crop from the left edge and a 10% offset from the top edge. Crop from a single edge by leaving dimension empty (e.g. crop=",0"). Offset from the right / bottom by using negative numbers (e.g., crop=”-0,-10”).

Often used with the upscale option, which will allow enlarging of the image during scaling.


Changes the quality of the output JPEG thumbnail. Defaults to 85.

In Python code, this is given as a separate option to the get_thumbnail method rather than just alter the other

Other options

Valid thumbnail options are determined by the “thumbnail processors” installed.

See the reference documentation for a complete list of options provided by the default thumbnail processors.


2.8.5 (2023-01-09)

  • Fix regression introduced in version 2.8.4. Argument quality is not removed for images of type .webp.

2.8.4 (2022-12-19)

2.8.3 (2022-08-02)

  • Fix regression in library detection introduced in version 2.8.2.

2.8.2 (2022-07-31)

  • Installation of easy-thumbnails now optionally depends on the reportlab library.

2.8.1 (2022-01-20)

  • Add support for Django 4.


  • Fix #587: Uploading SVG Images to S3 storage.

2.8.0 (2021-11-03)

  • Add support for thumbnailing SVG images. This is done by adding an emulation layer named VIL, which aims to be compatible with PIL. All thumbnailing operations, such as scaling and cropping behave like pixel images.

  • Remove configuration directives THUMBNAIL_HIGH_RESOLUTION and THUMBNAIL_HIGHRES_INFIX from easy-thumbnails setting directives.

2.7.2 (2021-10-17)

  • Add support for Django 3.2 and Python-3.10.

  • Fix #563: Do not close image after loading content.

  • In management command thumbnail_cleanup, replace print-statements against stdout.write.

  • Use Python format strings whereever possible.

2.7.1 (2020-11-23)

  • Add support for Django 3.1

2.7.0 (2019-12-15)

  • Add support for Django 3.0

  • Drop support for Python 2

  • Drop support for Django < 1.11

  • Drop support for Django 2.0, 2.1

2.6.0 (2019-02-03)

  • Added testing for Django 2.2 (no code changes required).

2.5.0 (2017-10-31)

  • Support Django versions up to 1.11. Version 2.0 is in beta.

  • Fix: Pickle/unpickle machine. The ThumbnailerField fields no longer generated thumbnails.

  • Removed all references to South migrations.

2.4.2 (2017-09-14)

  • Supported Django versions are now 1.8 or 1.10+, Python 2.7 minimum.

  • Fix IOError saving JPEG files with transparency on Pillow 4.2+.

  • Fix #450, #473: fixed int/string is not a callable in management command.

  • Fix #456: Delete method of ThumbnailerFieldFile is called twice.

2.4.1 (2017-04-05)

  • New minimum requirement of Django 1.4 or 1.7+.

  • Fix EXIF orientation to use transpose.

  • Upgrades to avoid deprecation warnings.

  • Fix app settings not working in Django 1.11.

  • Fix a bad conditional check causing incorrect behaviour in autocropping transparent images.

  • Django 1.8+ compatibility for thumbnail_cleanup command.

  • Add easy_thumbnails_tags template tag mirror to allow multiple thumbnailer libraries to coexist happily.

  • Limit pillow to its final compatible version when on Python 2.6

  • Fix tests.

2.3 (2015-12-11)

  • New Alias namer.

  • Avoid a potential concurrency issue with creating the cache.

  • Fix incorrect use of select_related for source thumbnail model.

  • Removed some vestigal processor arguments.

  • Allow HIGH_RESOLUTION argument on thumbnail template tag.

  • Add logic to correctly handle thumbnail images on deferred models (e.g. when using .only()).

  • Add a data_uri filter to allow rendering of an image inline as a data uri.

2.2.1 (2014-12-30)

  • Fixed: Option zoom can also be used by itself, without combining it with crop.

2.2 (2014-10-04)

  • Fix migrations for Django 1.7 final.

  • Fix contain bad image EXIFs being able to still raise an exception.

2.1 (2014-08-13)

  • Fix Python 3.4 installation issue.

  • Avoid an OverflowError due to invalid EXIF data.

  • Fix bug causing JPEG images to be saved without optimization :(

  • JPEG files can now be saved with progressive encoding. By default, any image with a dimension larger than 100px will be saved progressively. Configured with the THUMBNAILER_PROGRESSIVE setting.

2.0.1 (2014-04-26)

  • Fix packaging issue with old south migrations.

2.0 (2014-04-25)

  • Use Django 1.7 migrations. Thanks Trey Hunner. Note: if using South, read the installation docs for required settings changes.

  • Make ThumbnailerImageField.resize_source reflect change in extension.

  • Add target option to the scale_and_crop processor, allowing for image focal points when cropping (or zooming) an image.

  • Add a THUMBNAIL_NAMER option which takes a function used to customize the thumbnail filename.

  • New subsampling option to reduce color subsampling of JPEG images, providing sharper color borders for a small increase in file size.

  • Reimplementation of the thumbnail_cleanup command. Thanks Jørgen Abrahamsen

  • More efficient thumbnail default storage. Thanks Sandip Agarwal.

1.5 (2014-03-05)

  • Better support for multiple source generators.

  • Update method used to check for modification dates of source and thumbnail images. Thanks Ben Roberts.

  • Better thumbnail_high_resolution handling, including the ability to switch on and off explicitly with a HIGH_RESOLUTION thumbnail option.

  • Added configuration option to specify the infix used for high resolution image handling.

  • Optional postprocessor for image optimization. Thanks Jacob Rief!

  • More remote storages optimization

  • Thumbnail dimensions can now optionally be cached. Thanks David Novakovic.

  • New zoom option to generate a thumbnail of a source image with a percentage clipped off each side.

  • New background source processor that can add a border color to ensure scaled images fit within the exact dimensions given.

1.4 (2013-09-23)

  • Considerable speed up for remote storages by reducing queries. Brent O’Connor spent a lot of time debugging this, so thank you epicserve!

  • Allow the {% thumbnail %} tag to also accept aliases. Thanks Simon Meers!

  • Make replace_alpha actually work correctly.

  • Fixes exception being raised when image exists in cache but is doesn’t actually exist in the storage.

  • Fixes Python 2.5 compatibility.

1.3 (2013-06-17)

  • Some more Django 1.5 fixes.

  • Fix an issue with Thumbnail.url not working correctly.

  • Add the ability to generate retina quality thumbnails in addition to the standard ones (off by default).

1.2 (2013-01-23)

  • Django 1.5 compatibility.

  • Fixed a problem with the ImageClearableFileInput widget.

1.1 (2012-08-29)

  • Added a way to avoid generating thumbnails if they don’t exist already (with a signal to deal with them elsewhere).

  • Added a thumbnailer_passive filter to allow templates to use the non-generating thumbnails functionality when dealing with aliases.

1.0.3 (2012-05-30)

  • Changed the exception to catch from 1.0.2 to IOError.

1.0.2 (2012-05-29)

  • Catch an OSError exception when trying to get the EXIF data of a touchy image.

1.0.1 (2012-05-23)

  • Fix a Django 1.2 backwards incompatibility in easy_thumbnails.conf

  • Introduced a thumbnail_created signal.

1.0 (2012-05-07)

  • Introduction of aliased thumbnails.

  • Start of sane versioning numbers.

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