What is the best term for a UI showing large image or image gallery in a modal?

screenshot of a big image on an e-commerce site

Two common use cases are e-commerce sites and photo galleries.

The first term that comes to mind is lightbox as the original JS library was called like that and the terms seems to have caught on in the JS / web ecosystem, e.g., "7 Best WordPress Lightbox Plugins" or "How to create a lightbox".

One possible reservation is that "lightbox" generally means "a piece of UI that is above the page, with the rest of the page dimmed". Even if the modal is very small, it is still a "lightbox UI".

I quite liked the term "theater" mentioned here – that makes me think about something taking almost the full screen, which is good. However, I've never seen this term used in any UI library / toolkit I've ever used, unlike e.g. "hero" (which is also "strange" but once you get used to it, it is clear and unique).

  • 1
    What happened to 'lightbox'? What made you try to come with a new term for this?
    – Ren
    Mar 14, 2020 at 14:21
  • 1
    What is exactly the reason you are looking for that name? Because that can have impact on the resulting answer. Call it a media viewer, preview, theater etc. to name it after the purpose it has, no matter in what way it is viewed. Or call it a lightbox, modal, popup etc. if it is important to communicate the specific UI component, no matter what purpose it has.
    – jazZRo
    Mar 16, 2020 at 8:01
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    Lightbox as a term is older than js library with the same name (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lightbox). And it too might be misunderstanding and should be called Light table (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_table). Mar 16, 2020 at 8:44
  • Media Viewer is good. It tells the user what it does
    – PhillipW
    Aug 11, 2021 at 8:21
  • I use Slideshow. Dec 4, 2022 at 9:17

1 Answer 1


Pop gallery, gallery up, popgall, imagomodal, gallmodal, imagoboom, gallboom, gallpopover, galleryfirst. Some ideas :)

  • seems a bit silly. But this is a strange time.
    – Mayo
    Mar 19, 2020 at 13:11

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