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Overlays sucks, don't use them. But if you must use one, use Parvus. Parvus tries to be an accessible, open-source image lightbox with no dependencies.

Screenshot of Parvus. It shows the first picture of a gallery.

Open in CodePen

Table of contents



  • CSS:
    • dist/css/parvus.min.css minified, or
    • dist/css/parvus.css un-minified
  • JavaScript:
    • dist/js/parvus.min.js minified, or
    • dist/js/parvus.js un-minified

Link the .css and .js files to your HTML file. The HTML code may look like this:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
  <meta charset="UTF-8">
  <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">
  <title>Page title</title>

  <!-- CSS -->
  <link href="path/to/parvus.min.css" rel="stylesheet">
  <!-- HTML content -->

  <!-- JS -->
  <script src="path/to/parvus.min.js"></script>

Package managers

You can install Parvus through npm or yarn like any other dependency:

npm install parvus


yarn add parvus

Then you can import Parvus in your JavaScript codebase:

import Parvus from 'parvus'

Remember to include the corresponding SCSS or CSS file.


The standard way of using Parvus is a linked thumbnail image with the class lightbox to a larger image.

<a href="path/to/image.jpg" class="lightbox">
  <img src="path/to/thumbnail.jpg" alt="">

Initialize the script by running:

const prvs = new Parvus()


Add a data-caption attribute if you want to show a caption under the image.

<a href="path/to/image.jpg" class="lightbox" data-caption="I'm a caption">
  <img src="path/to/thumbnail.jpg" alt="">

Instead of data-caption, you can also set the option captionsSelector to set the captions from the innerHTML of an element.

<a href="path/to/image.jpg" class="lightbox">
  <figure class="figure">
    <img src="path/to/thumbnail.jpg" alt="">

    <figcaption class="figure__caption">
      <p>I'm a caption</p>
const prvs = new Parvus({
  captionsSelector: '.figure__caption',


If you have a group of related images that you would like to combine into a set, add a data-group attribute:

<a href="path/to/image.jpg" class="lightbox" data-group="Berlin">
  <img src="path/to/thumbnail.jpg" alt="">

<a href="path/to/image_2.jpg" class="lightbox" data-group="Berlin">
  <img src="path/to/thumbnail_2.jpg" alt="">


<a href="path/to/image_8.jpg" class="lightbox" data-group="Kassel">
  <img src="path/to/thumbnail_8.jpg" alt="">

Instead of data-group, you can also set the option gallerySelector to combine all images with a selector class within this selector into a group.

<div class="gallery">
  <a href="path/to/image.jpg" class="lightbox">
    <img src="path/to/thumbnail.jpg" alt="">

  <a href="path/to/image_2.jpg" class="lightbox">
    <img src="path/to/thumbnail_2.jpg" alt="">

  // ...
const prvs = new Parvus({
  gallerySelector: '.gallery',


<a href="path/to/image.jpg" class="lightbox" data-srcset="path/to/large.jpg 1200w, path/to/medium.jpg 1000w, path/to/small.jpg 700w">
  <img src="path/to/thumbnail.jpg" alt="">


import de from 'parvus/src/l10n/de.js'

const prvs = new Parvus({
  l10n: de


You can pass an object with custom options as an argument.

const prvs = new Parvus({
  // Click outside to close Parvus
  docClose: false

The following options are available:

  // All elements with this class triggers Parvus
  selector: '.lightbox',

  // All `selector` in this `gallerySelector` are combined as a gallery. Overwrites the `data-group` attribute
  gallerySelector: null,

  // Display captions, if available
  captions: true,

  // Set the element where the caption is. Set it to "self" for the `a` tag itself
  captionsSelector: 'self',

  // Get the caption from given attribute
  captionsAttribute: 'data-caption',

  // Click outside to close Parvus
  docClose: true,

  // Scroll to close Parvus
  scrollClose: false,

  // Swipe up/ down to close Parvus
  swipeClose: true,

  // Accept mouse events like touch events (click and drag to change slides)
  simulateTouch: true,

  // Touch dragging threshold (in px)
  threshold: 100,

  // Set focus back to trigger element after closing Parvus
  backFocus: true,

  // Specifies how many milliseconds (ms) the transition effects takes to complete
  transitionDuration: 300,

  // Specifies the speed curve of the transition effects
  transitionTimingFunction: 'cubic-bezier(0.2, 0, 0.2, 1)',

  // Icons
  lightboxIndicatorIcon: '<svg xmlns="" viewBox="0 0 24 24" aria-hidden="true" focusable="false"><path d="M8 3H5a2 2 0 00-2 2v3m18 0V5a2 2 0 00-2-2h-3m0 18h3a2 2 0 002-2v-3M3 16v3a2 2 0 002 2h3"/></svg>',
  previousButtonIcon: '<svg xmlns="" viewBox="0 0 24 24" aria-hidden="true" focusable="false"><path stroke="none" d="M0 0h24v24H0z"/><polyline points="15 6 9 12 15 18" /></svg>',
  nextButtonIcon: '<svg xmlns="" viewBox="0 0 24 24" aria-hidden="true" focusable="false"><path stroke="none" d="M0 0h24v24H0z"/><polyline points="9 6 15 12 9 18" /></svg>',
  closeButtonIcon: '<svg xmlns="" viewBox="0 0 24 24" aria-hidden="true" focusable="false"><path d="M18 6L6 18M6 6l12 12"/></svg>',

  // Localization of strings
  l10n: en,

  // Regular expression for supported image file types
  fileTypes: /\.(png|jpe?g|webp|avif|svg)(\?.*)?$/i


Function Description
open(element) Open element (DOM element)
close() Close Parvus
previous() Show previous image
next() Show next image
select(index) Select a slide with index (Integer), zero-based index of the slide to select
add(element) Add element (DOM element)
remove(element) Remove element (DOM element)
destroy() Destroy Parvus
isOpen() Check if Parvus is open
currentIndex() Return the current slide index


Bind events with the .on() and .off() methods.

const prvs = new Parvus()

const listener = function listener () {
  console.log('eventName happened')

// bind event listener
prvs.on(eventName, listener)

// unbind event listener, listener)
eventName Description
open Triggered after Parvus has been opened
select Triggered when a slide is selected
close Triggered after Parvus has been closed
destroy Triggered after Parvus has been destroyed

Except for the destroy event, you can get the current source element:

prvs.on('open', function (event) {

Browser support

Parvus supports the following browser (all the latest versions):

  • Chrome
  • Edge
  • Firefox
  • Safari