Atlas ThumbnailHyperlink: Hyperlink with page preview

I've been playing around with Atlas lately and decided to try to integrate an Atlas control extender into a ready-to-use web control. What I like most are the callback capabilities, but since many implementations already exist (kudos to this one) I switched to something else.

I picked up the ASP.NET HyperLink control and thought it would be nice if it displayed a popup whenever the mouse went over it, showing a preview of the page it pointed to (I got the idea from here). So I got it to meet the HoverMenu extender found in the Atlas Toolkit and built a control called ThumbnailHyperlink. It features the properties of an HyperLink plus the ones of the HoverMenu extender, so that you can choose where to show the preview, its offset and so on.

You can download a demo website and the source.

UPDATE: I'm really sorry but the website was on a free hosting company which decided to shut it down without informing me first. The code has gone since I didn't have a local copy. Really sorry about that.

kick it on

Published 24 July 2006 07:09 AM by simoneb
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# said on 24 July, 2006 06:39 AM
You've been kicked (a good thing) - Trackback from
# James said on 26 July, 2006 05:10 PM
The link to the demo site actually links to the code download.
# simoneb said on 26 July, 2006 07:35 PM
Both are downloads, but one is a _downloadable_ demo website, which you can run on your machine, and the other is the source code for the control.
# softer said on 11 August, 2006 08:22 PM
Good control!
In the demo you said "if you'll need to customize the appearance of the thumbnails the exercise is left up to you [HttpHandlers...]"

Could you provide an example of how this should actually implemented?

Eg. I want to get an automatically preview for ~/Users.aspx
Do I have to take a snapshot manually, or there is a way to get it automatically?

# simoneb said on 12 August, 2006 05:57 AM
Hi softer,

when I wrote that sentence in the demo I was too much optimistic about the possibility of generating thumbnails of pages on the fly. After creating the control I investigated it a bit but I didn't find a way of doing that without the aid of an external service. Thus, I think that the only way of doing that at the moment is to create a thumbnail by hand.

Actually the control doesn't let you specify a custom image to show when you hover the link, but it can be a good point of improvement. Maybe you can override the ImageUrl property of the HyperLink control and if it's set show that image in the thumbnail instead of the image got from the service. If you need this feature I can implement it.
# simoneb said on 23 August, 2006 12:58 PM
Hi again Softer, in case you're still hanging around I found a way to create homemade web page thumbnails thanks to an article I read on It consists in using the System.Windows.Forms.WebBrowser control.

The link to the article is here:
# John said on 26 September, 2007 01:49 PM

Is the link dead? because when clicked it gives me an aspx error page.


# Sanjay said on 06 October, 2007 01:03 PM

Any chance anyone has this code lying around? :)

# simoneb said on 11 October, 2007 06:18 PM

No way John and Sanjay, everything's lost, but I think you'll find something similar if you Google it.

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