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enlarge thumbnail picturesExtensions and add-ons serve a singular purpose. They are at the end of the day meant to make our lives easier. They are productivity tools. But you may ask yourself, how much of it can I add by saving a few clicks here and there when I want to enlarge a thumbnail or zoom into a picture’s larger version? Well, that depends on your browsing habits.

If you lean on the text-heavy side and do more of reading then it is obviously less. But if you are like me and are more of a visual guy who frequents sites like DeviantArt, Pinterest, and a few photography sites like Flickr, then it’s quite a lot. The clicks add up.

Hover Zoom belongs to the class of Chrome extensions that help to enlarge photos with a mouse-over. Yaara showed us how a few Chrome extensions can make our browsing life easier 5 Chrome Extensions That Are Going To Make Your (Browsing) Life Easier 5 Chrome Extensions That Are Going To Make Your (Browsing) Life Easier Some people say our lives are getting harder the more technology we have. While I’m not here to argue that point, I am sure of one thing – some things only get easier. In this... Read More . Let’s look at the answer to how easy.

The Best Thing about Hover Zoom That I Found Out

Unlike a lot of other add-ons or extensions, Hover Zoom works on all sites that I have tried it on. That is any site that has a link directed to an image. It doesn’t work on sites where you have to click through an ad again to reach the final image. And I have been using it for some time now. The Chrome Web Store page for the extension lists about 20 odd sites but in real it’s much beyond that. This overarching support is great because similar extensions like Photo Zoom for Facebook is site specific.

How Does Hover Zoom Work?

enlarge thumbnail pictures

Oh! This is the simple one. It works with a simple mouse-over. Just hover with your mouse over any photo you see and the larger version makes its appearance next to it. You don’t need to click. The only thing you should do now is to start counting the clicks you are saving!


Is There All There’s To It?

If that had been the case, the review would have ended here and now. You don’t need to configure the Chrome extension much and run it straight after install. But if you want to, you can head to the Options and tweak the settings to make its behavior consistent with what you would like. For a simple extension there are quite a few things you can control. Here’s a small rundown of what you can…

Adjust the delay and fading effect

enlarge thumbnail photo

The General tab in Options is pretty self-explanatory. One of the annoying things could be that even an unintentional mouse-over on an image produces the enlarged preview. You can set a delay that’s more comfortable. I like to keep the animation fading to a low so that the enlarged image disappears from view immediately when I take my mouse away. Also, to prevent zoomed images from floating under or above the mouse cursor you can uncheck Extend zoomed images below the mouse cursor.

A Blacklist and a Whitelist

enlarge thumbnail photo

You can enable zooming for specific sites and disable it for others. There are some photo sites which are extremely heavy on visuals. Consider disabling Hover Zoom so that it does not become an irritant.

Better Still – Use the Action Keys

enlarge thumbnail pictures

I like to use a key for disabling Hover Zoom instead of putting it on a blacklist. The Open image in a new tab and Activate full zoom are also productivity boosters.

A few more settings

On the Advanced tab, you can check Exclude NSFW images that works for Reddit only. Also, an advanced setting allows you to set a transparency level for the zoomed picture. But I like to keep this at 100% so as to not defeat the basic purpose of the extension, and that is to save from an extra click to see the complete enlarged and exact larger version of an image.

In my opinion, Hover Zoom is a keeper. You won’t notice it at first, but using this extension will become second nature. And that’s the cue for classifying an extension as the best among the rest. Hover Zoom certainly is and deservedly finds a place in our Best Chrome Extensions page.

Do you have Hover Zoom installed?

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  1. Sathya
    September 27, 2016 at 7:14 am

    I am a regular reader of your blog. the blog is very interesting and will be much useful for us. i really enjoyed very much with this article here. Really its a amazing article i had ever read. I hope it will help a lot for all. Thank you so much for this amazing posts and please keep update like this excellent article.

    • Saikat Basu
      September 27, 2016 at 12:59 pm

      Keep visiting. Readers like you keep us going :)

  2. Siddhant Chaurasia
    October 23, 2012 at 12:40 am

    wow this looks nice

  3. Anonymous
    October 22, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Saving clicks make my mouse to live longer :-). Nice tool

  4. Yiz Borol
    October 21, 2012 at 2:00 am

    See I'd get it but is it really worth the extra 4 sec startup time and overall extra sluggishness this will add to my computer?

    • Saikat Basu
      October 22, 2012 at 2:50 am

      There's not much overhead really. I haven't noticed any sluggishness at all, and it does save me the same seconds when I need to enlarge an image.

  5. Anonymous
    October 20, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Cool extension :-)
    I hate it to right-click an image and open it in new tab for the real-sized image.
    And I love the function to open images in new tabs with only pressing the T-key. But with some images it opens 2 or more tabs with the same image. Anyone else with this problem?

    • Saikat Basu
      October 22, 2012 at 2:49 am

      No...I have been using this extension for some time now. Haven't noticed this. Maybe, you can uninstall and install it again and see if it recurs.

  6. Alex Perkins
    October 20, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Cool, I like the options.

  7. Chris
    October 20, 2012 at 5:45 am

    Any alternatives for Firefox?