Top 10 JavaScript Image Viewer Libraries

Image viewer libraries in JavaScript are designed to display images within web apps. They offer various features that are very time-consuming to do it yourself:

  • Zooming: Allows users to zoom in and out of images for detailed viewing.
  • Panning: Enables users to move around a zoomed-in image.
  • Swiping: Supports touch gestures for navigating through image galleries.
  • Fullscreen Mode: Expands images to fill the entire screen for better visibility.
  • Lazy Loading: Loads images only when they enter the viewport, improving performance.
  • Thumbnails: Provides small preview images for quick navigation.
  • Annotations: Allows adding comments or notes on images.
  • Lightbox Effect: Displays images in a modal window, dimming the background.

Most libraries are optimized for both mobile and desktop devices, ensuring a seamless experience across different screen sizes. Here’s a list of top 10:

  1. PhotoSwipe (23.8k ⭐) — Popular image gallery and lightbox that works on any device and screen size. Created by Dmitry Semenov, it supports touch, zoom, and swipe gestures, offering a smooth, responsive interface. Highly customizable and lightweight, it enhances user experience with features like lazy loading and fullscreen viewing, ideal for galleries and portfolios.

  2. Viewer.js (7.6k ⭐) — Another library for displaying images in a lightbox. It focuses on simplicity and minimalism, providing basic functionality for viewing images without additional features like zooming or social sharing.

  3. lightGallery (6.3k ⭐) — Comes with more than 120 options to customize gallery without touching core code. Easily update the look and feel just by modifying the SCSS variables. You can mix all types of supported contents in a same gallery.

  4. Lightbox2 (6.1k ⭐) — The original lightbox script. Lightbox is small javascript library used to overlay images on top of the current page. It’s a snap to setup and works on all modern browsers.

  5. React Image Gallery (3.7k ⭐) — React component for building image galleries and carousels that support mobile swipe gestures, thumbnail navigation, fullscreen, custom rendered slides, responsive, and tons of optimization options.

  6. OpenSeadragon (2.9k ⭐) — Specifically designed for high-resolution zoomable images and provides smooth panning and zooming capabilities. It’s ideal for large-scale images, such as maps, artwork, or scientific data.

  7. Spotlight (1.6k ⭐) — Web’s most easy to integrate lightbox gallery library. Super-lightweight, outstanding performance, no dependencies. Spotlight runs out of the box as no additional Javascript coding, HTML snippets, CSS resources, icons/assets, handling of dynamic content and event listener required.

  8. VenoBox (663 ⭐) — Responsive Vanilla JS lightbox plugin, suitable for images, videos, iFrames, inline contents. The big difference compared to many others plugins is that VenoBox calculates the max width of the image displayed and preserves its height if is taller than the window.

  9. blueimp Gallery (3.7k ⭐) — Touch-enabled, responsive and customizable image & video gallery, carousel and lightbox, optimized for both mobile and desktop web browsers. It features swipe, mouse and keyboard navigation, transition effects, slideshow functionality, fullscreen support and on-demand content loading.

  10. Fancybox (700 ⭐) — The ultimate JavaScript lightbox alternative that sets the standard for premium user experience in multimedia display. Supports images, videos, maps, inline content, iframes and any other HTML content.