Is there any way to add attachments directly to items in a Picture Library?

(or display items with attachments in a list of image thumbnails, similar to a Picture Library?)

I've seen this about enabling an Attachments column for list items, but there's no "attachments" section under Advanced Settings.

I've tried a workaround with a Lookup column pointing to items in a second library, which do have attachments, but it's clunky and mucks up search results (every item appears twice in standard search). I've also tried creating a custom content type, but I can't find a way to give this thumbnails without making it unable to have attachments.

What I'm trying to create seems very simple - a library, where:

  • Each item has a thumbnail image
  • The library can be browsed by scrolling a list of thumbnails
  • Each item has one or more file downloads, of any file type

...but I can't find any way to do it short of a lookup between two items in two libraries for each thing. I can't find any way to add attachments to items in a Picture library, and I can't find any way to browse by thumbnails in lists where items can have attachments.

I don't currently have access or permission to tinker with the underlying code, so UI-based answers would be very much preferable.

Update: The closest I could get was making a list based on a discussion board (which allows attachments - I can't find a way to get attachments on anything based on documents), then adding a column of type "publishing image". This kinda worked - but I couldn't find any way to get this column's images to always display like thumbnails at a set size. There's an option to set either width or height with fixed aspect ratio for each image for each item, but a) I couldn't find any way to set a default, so we'd rely on users remembering to apply a setting, and b) since only one of width or height could be set, a tall and thin image or short and fat image would disrupt the thumbnail list. I believe it's possible to fake thumbnails using formulas in calculated columns... but that's wayyyy beyond my current ability level, I'm struggling to follow the steps in tutorials I've found (any help would be gratefully received!).

  • Have you tried using a document library with a picture field as one of the columns to use as a thumbnail? Commented Nov 20, 2014 at 17:25
  • When you say picture field, do you mean as a column on the library, or as a field on the content type, or something else? I've tried lots of things like that. I'll edit the closest I got into the question. Commented Nov 20, 2014 at 17:33
  • Unfortunately I think the easiest way to do this would be through XSLT (data viewer webpart) or custom Javascript. I can't think of a way OOTB. Commented Nov 20, 2014 at 18:43

2 Answers 2


The Library creates a thumbnail image for you just with upload the image, the address to access these thumbnails is:



You say:

I've seen this about enabling an Attachments column for list items, but there's >no "attachments" section under Advanced Settings.

What version of SharePoint are you using? You should be able to enable attachments to a Custom list as the referenced article describes. If you can't do that, then something odd is going on, and I don't see how you'll be able to go much further with your problem.

Note: I would have added this as a comment, but apparently I need 50 points or more here in order to do that.

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