Is there a particular name for this "picture of a baby seal in the comments section of facebook" of this image? I know there is "photo comment" but it doesn't point out that it is a cropped picture from the original.

enter image description here


7 Answers 7


You can use the word snippet.

The cropped image is a snippet of the original. (Although primarily used when referring to an extract of textual information, the word is very much applicable).

  • 1
    Similar, but even more oriented toward text, is excerpt.
    – Ben Voigt
    Commented Dec 16, 2015 at 21:32

In fine art, a very small section of a larger work such as this might be called a detail. OED has

  1. Fine Arts.

    a. A minute or subordinate part of a building, sculpture, or painting, as distinct from the larger portions or the general conception.

but beyond that I can find little in the way of explicit definitions. Searches such as "a detail from the sistine chapel" or "a detail from the fighting temeraire" return plenty of usage examples, though.


When displayed on its own, a piece of a larger visual work of art is often called a detail.

n. A discrete part or portion of a work, such as a painting, building, or decorative object, especially when considered in isolation.

Definition courtesy of wordnik.com


It's known as a Thumbnail

Thumbnails are reduced-size versions of pictures, used to help in recognizing and organizing them, serving the same role for images as a normal text index does for words. In the age of digital images, visual search engines and image-organizing programs normally use thumbnails, as do most modern operating systems or desktop environments, such as Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, KDE (Linux) and GNOME (Linux).


  • 45
    While the definition above doesn't exclude it, thumbnails tend to be smaller ("reduced-size") versions of the whole image, not a cropped part of an image.
    – TripeHound
    Commented Dec 16, 2015 at 13:03
  • 2
    Most OSes/platforms do it automatically but there are tools and techniques to choose what part of the image/video you want to display as your thumbnail.
    – BiscuitBoy
    Commented Dec 16, 2015 at 13:21
  • The "used to help in recognizing and organizing them" part of the definition makes it irrelevant to the OP as it is quite obvious that cropped image in the comment serves neither of the mentioned purposes.
    – n0rd
    Commented Dec 16, 2015 at 19:36
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    While it is possible to select a region of an image to use as a thumbnail in some tools, the thumbnail itself is normally expected to be representative of the original, as @TripeHound suggests. In the example given in the Q, the use of "thumbnail" would be an extreme and misleading example.
    – Chris H
    Commented Dec 16, 2015 at 22:37
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    A thumbnail often highlights the focal point of a larger photo that you want to convey based on context. Eg. Picking out one face from a group of people. The detail picked out can vary according to use and often there can be multiple thumbnails highlighting different parts of the pic. Eg. each person. So I think @TripeHound the idea that it must represent the whole photo is outdated thinking and does not match current real world usage of the term.
    – JamesRyan
    Commented Dec 18, 2015 at 10:39

You've already got the term. It's a cropped image.

Example from wikipedia page Cropping (image). Note that each example is labeled as simply "cropped image".


You can simply refer to it as an edit.



to expunge; eliminate (often followed by out)

The cropped picture is an edit made from the original picture.

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    To me "an edit" refers to the act or the change itself, not so much the product (unless as journalistic jargon for "version"). I also associate it with text more than with visual arts.
    – Gossar
    Commented Dec 16, 2015 at 15:02
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    And "to expunge, eliminate" strikes me as a verb, not a noun.
    – Gossar
    Commented Dec 16, 2015 at 15:18
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    I also dispute this, with "edit" more commonly (in my experience) referring to a manipulation of an image as opposed to only selecting a sub-set of a larger image ('cropping').
    – kwah
    Commented Dec 16, 2015 at 17:40
  • @kwah when I open my Microsoft Office Picture Manager there is a tab called edit and the tool for cropping and/or resizing an image appears alongside other different tools.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Dec 16, 2015 at 20:39
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    You put verb definition 4 under the noun heading! Commented Dec 18, 2015 at 1:17

Zoom. Lots of valid answers here but I'd call it a "zoom". The precedent, particularly in popular Web usage and where the cropped image appears in proximity to the original is not uncommonly used as a kind of reaction GIF or more specifically a "zoom meme".

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