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Thumbnails for PDF files were not generated

You have uploaded a PDF file to WordPress, but you don’t see a thumbnail for it in the WordPress media library? We explain you in which cases this happens and how you can solve it.

When thumbnails are not created for PDFs

Since version 4.7 WordPress can create thumbnails for PDF files. This feature also works without Real Media Library or Real Thumbnail Generator. If no thumbnails are created for PDF files, this is most likely not a bug in our WordPress plugin, but they would not be created even without Real Media Library or Real Thumbnail Generator.

To create thumbnails of PDFs WordPress needs ImageMagicl, Imagick PECL Extension and/or GhostScript as extension of your PHP. If no thumbnails are generated for PDFs after uploading them, most likely one of these components is not installed. In the following steps you can check which of the components is missing:

  1. Login to your WordPress backend
  2. Navigate to Plugins > Add new > Search for PDF Thumbnails Support Test and install as well as activate the plugin
  3. Navigate to Tools > PDF Thumbnails Support Test and check which component is missing

If a component is missing, it looks like this:

Check WordPress for component to generate PDF thumbnails

Solution: Install missing PHP extensions

You need to install the missing PHP extensions to generate thumbnails for PDF files. If you do not manage the PHP installation on your webspace by yourself, please ask your web host to install the missing extension.

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