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Adding images helps improve the quality of any given article, providing additional details and illustrating the subject - after all, a picture speaks a thousand words! - and can also improve a wiki search engine ranking.

The process of adding images to an article is very similar to adding videos. You can brush up on our video embed tool to complete your mastery of the tools of a wiki illustrator.

What are the requirements for adding images?

Both anonymous and registered users can add images to an article in source text editing mode. In visual editors, only registered users can.

Images must exist on the wiki. If they are not available, then they need to be uploaded first. Trying to add a non-existent image will only create a red link to a file page.

Only registered, logged-in users can upload files. See this page for details on uploading files.

How to add an image in VisualEditor

When you're editing with the VisualEditor, the process of adding an image to a page is through the top bar of the editor. See this help page.

Remember: Only logged-in users can add and edit images through the wiki's Visual Editor.
  • After logging in, click the Edit or VisualEditor button on the page you want to add images to.
  • Once you're in Visual Editing mode, click on the Media button located on the top bar. This will open the Media Settings dialogue, where you can search for existing files according to their filenames or upload your own.
  • Once you have the image you want to add, click on it. The dialogue will expand the image and give you a little more information on it. Click use this image to continue.
  • The next dialogue allows you to customize how the image will appear on the page by adding a caption or alternative text (General tab) and deciding on its size, alignment, and appearance (Advanced tab).
  • Once finished, click Insert and then Save the page to commit your changes.

You can also edit images already present on the page by clicking on them and selecting the Edit button, which will open the same customization dialogue.

How to add an image in source editing mode?

Source editing maintains the option of adding and customizing images through the top bar like in Visual Editor. But as its interface is fundamentally different from visual editors, you can skip the above process and directly add and edit with the underlying wikitext. The image follows a specific format, enclosed in square brackets like a regular link.

[[File:Wiki.png|220px|center|thumb|link=Help:Adding images|alt=This is an alt text|And this a description]]

  • Every image on the page starts with File: or Image:, followed by the exact name of the uploaded file. It is case-sensitive: Wiki.png and WIKI.png are considered different files.
  • If only the link is specified, the image will be added as is: At the base resolution and inline. To customize its appearance, you can add arguments, separated by the vertical bar or pipe symbol, |. These are:
    • Size, specified in pixels. For example, 220px will display the image at 220 pixels of width.
    • Alignment on the page. left and right will align the image to the left and right respectively, with text flowing around the image. center will align it to the middle of the page with no text flow around it.
    • Appearance. Adding thumb will cause the image to display as a thumbnail at a default width if it's not specified otherwise, with the description displayed beneath. You can also choose border to display the image with a border around it.
    • Link will cause the image to open a specific page, rather than its file description. It is always preceded by link=.
    • Alternative text, specified with alt=, which will show on mouseover or display if an image does not load.
    • Description, which will display below the image if it's specified to appear as a thumbnail or on mouseover. Any text that is not recognized by the wiki as an argument will be interpreted as a description.

The wiki software does not require the arguments to be added in any specific order, although it's considered good practice to use a consistent pattern. For more details on adding images via wikitext, see the image formatting section here. For linking to image description pages, see this page.

How to view the images at a higher resolution?

Viewing a photo from the lightbox

When placed on the page, images are typically presented at a much smaller resolution. You can inspect them by going to the file page or by opening them in the lightbox.

The lightbox opens by default when clicking on the image, with the link to the file description page displayed at the top of the lightbox.

If you want to bypass the lightbox entirely, simply hold "Ctrl" (for Windows users) or "Command" (for Mac users), then click on the photo. It will open a new tab, but you'll be on the file page in the new tab.

See also

Further help and feedback

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