A new way to explore figures

We’re thrilled to announce another improvement to our journal websites at PLOS. Head over to your favorite article and open any figure to see our brand new figure lightbox that makes it easy to explore the details of very large figures. I recommend this fantastic article about thresher sharks.

You’ll notice that figures open to take advantage of your full browser window. If you use a large monitor, maximize your browser window to see the new lightbox in full effect.




For large, detailed figures you can now zoom in and pan around to study every data point or nuanced tail slap.




The full caption is still easily accessible in the lower right, while simple navigation options will help you quickly skim through a figure-heavy paper.




And to keep things snappy, the lightbox will initially load a smaller version of the figure while the full resolution image loads in the background. Once the larger version is fully loaded, it will automatically replace the smaller version, enabling the zoom and pan options mentioned above.

We’ve also added some new functionality to help you quickly assess whether an article is relevant to your research. When you’re browsing the PLOS ONE homepage, subject area browse pages, figure-based search results, or monthly issue pages, you can launch the figure lightbox for research articles without first loading the full article page. From there, you can toggle between an abstract view, the figure browser, or a reference view using the links in the upper right corner, enabling you to quickly judge whether an article is worth further reading.

We hope you find this to be helpful to your research process. As always, we’d love to hear your feedback–feel free to write us or leave your thoughts as a comment below.

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