Learn more about the Interactive Image Viewer

Finding and understanding historical records is one of the most exciting and important parts of family history, so we’ve been working hard on an experience that will work for different Web browsers and devices to make your experience as intuitive and enjoyable as possible.


Over the next few weeks we will be rolling out this new experience across our record collections with images. Find out more in the sections below and see the experience on the 1940, 1930 or 1911 censuses now.


Frequently asked questions

Get answers to some commons questions.

  • View index - This menu item opens the panel at the bottom of the image to show the indexed data for this image. The Index panel will not be available for records that have not yet been indexed.


    View source - Select this menu item to open the source modal and learn which organization provided the image.


    Household highlights – When we know where families appear on records, we highlight them by default. Uncheck this menu option to disable household highlights.


    Hover text tips - When enabled, tips will appear to help explain each area of the image.


    Name and column labels - When zoomed in on census images, a transcription of the name from each row on the image or the column name will appear once you have panned away from the top or left of the image. This will allow you to view any part of the image without losing track of which row and column you are on.


    Use enhanced images - When enabled, images are automatically adjusted for light levels. This is helpful for most collections.


    Switch to basic viewer - Clicking this link takes you out of the interactive viewer and returns you to the standard image viewer.

  • Click and Drag - In addition to the onscreen panning and zooming controls, there are two ways you can navigate around the image in the Interactive Image viewer. The first is by clicking anywhere on the image, holding down your mouse button, and dragging your mouse in the direction that you wish to pan the image.


    Keyboard Controls - The second way to navigate around the image is to use the arrow keys on your keyboard.  This will enable you to pan left, right, up, or down.  You may also use the " " or "-" keys on your keyboard to zoom in or out.  Press the "Home" key to move your current view to the far left edge of the current image.  Press the "End" key to move your current view to the far right edge of the current image.  Press the "Page Up" key to move to the top edge of the current image.  Press the "Page Down" key to move to the bottom edge of the current image.

    Mousewheel Zoom - If your mouse has a mousewheel, you can use it to zoom in or out of the image.  Scrolling up on the mousewheel will zoom in and scrolling down on the mousewheel will zoom out.  


  • Clicking the print button opens a dialog that will allow you to print the entire image or only the portion that you are currently viewing. You can choose to include source and index information as well as see a preview of what you are printing.

    Do not use the print function from your browser. This will cause the image to print with all of the onscreen controls and menus from the viewer.


  • Clicking the Save button will allow you to save the record highlighted in yellow to your tree or to save the image to your computer. 


    Right clicking the image will also allow you to save to your computer.


    Tip: Some Internet browsers save files that you download from the Internet to a default location on your computer.  To learn more about how to locate or change where files are saved by default, click on your browser below.  These instructions may apply to only the latest version of the browser.


  • When zoomed in on the image, a transcription of the name from each row on the image will appear on the left side of the viewer once you have panned beyond the image's name column.  This will allow you to view any part of the image without losing track of which name was on each row.