GIST Support Wiki

Help:Images and other uploaded files

This is an advanced help page covering topics related to images and other uploaded files. Most images (e.g., .jpg, .gif, .png) and some non-image files (e.g., .pdf files) can be uploaded. MediaWiki uses the term "image" for any uploaded file. To upload a file, visit Special:upload. See the File list for a list of all uploaded files or the Gallery of new files to view thumbnails of all images.




Before uploading please ensure that you have rights to upload and redistribute the image or file. See Copyrights for details.

You can upload a file by clicking on the "Upload image" link at the top of each page, which takes you to the Special:Upload page. First, click on the "Browse..." button and find the file on your hard-drive. The name of the file will automatically appear in the "Destination filename" field. You can give it a different name if you would like, but make sure the extension (e.g., .jpg) is the same. (See below for details on naming a file.) Make sure you enter in a summary, which will be used as the editable content on the image page that will be automatically created.

You can choose to watch the page, which will add the image page to your watchlist. You can also choose to "ignore any warnings" although this is not recommended. Finally, click on the "Upload File" button. If the upload works, you will be taken directly to the image page that is automatically generated. If the file is large it may take a while. If it does not work, the reason should be explained to you.

When a file is uploaded, an image page (also called "image description page") is automatically created and given the same name as the file (including extension) prefixed with "Image:". For example, if the file Picture.jpg was uploaded, the corresponding image page would be Image:Picture.jpg. If a file is uploaded with the same name as an existing one, the old one is replaced. Unfortunately, the current system does not warn against overwriting. You may want to check the Special:Imagelist before uploading a file if the filename is a common one.

Supported file types

Currently the following file types can be uploaded:

  • 'png' (preferred for drawings and logos)
  • 'gif' (acceptable for drawings and logos)
  • 'jpg'/'jpeg' (preferred for photos)
  • 'ogg' (Ogg Vorbis sound files)
  • 'pdf' (viewable with Acrobat Reader for documents). Use sparingly for situations where content cannot be created in wikitext and would not need to be edited by multiple individuals.

If you want to upload other file types, please contact the Wiki Team and they can pass the request on to the developers.

The size limit is 6.5 megabytes (but please be reasonable and don't post file more than a megabyte unless there is a real need).

Naming a file

The name of a file cannot be changed once it has been uploaded, so make sure you give them suitable names the first time. On uploading, a destination filename can be specified. This allows you to save a different file name on the wiki than you have used on your local computer. File names may include spacing and capitalization and should include the proper extension (e.g., .jpg, .gif). Like wiki page names, the file names are case-sensitive except for the first character. For example, Picture.jpg and Picture.JPG are considered different files; however, Picture.jpg and picture.jpg are considered to be the same file.

Choose a name for an image as carefully as you would choose an article name, and use proper spacing and capitalization: the name may not be visible in a page that embeds the image, but it is, for example, on the page for a category that contains the image.

Replacing a file

To replace an existing file, visit the image page and click on the "Upload a new version of this file" link. Or, upload the new file and give it the exact same name as the file you want to replace. You will be asked if you intend to replace the existing file in case this is done on accident.

Linking to Images

Images can be linked to or embedded (i.e., included in another page). This section describes linking to images and the next section describes embedding images. Linking to an image can either lead you to the image itself or the image page. It can also be an internal or external link. See examples below:

Internal Linking Examples

  • internal link to image page: [[:Image:Parthenonmarbles.jpg]]


  • internal link to image only: [[Media:Parthenonmarbles.jpg]]


External Linking Examples

Parthenon Marbles


  • external, entering in the URL directly:


Piped links work as usual, where the information after the "|" becomes the link text. Thus, [[:Image:Parthenonmarbles.jpg|Parthenon]] becomes Parthenon.

It is possible to link to non-existant image files, just like you can link to non-existant pages. The link will show up as a "red link" and will take you to a page where you can enter wikitext. When you save the description, you will be taken to the image page and it will ask you if you want to upload a file.

In the case of non-image uploads (e.g. .pdf files), the keyword 'media' is used even though documents are not typically thought of as media, in the context of audio/video etc.

Embedding Images

When an image is included (i.e., displayed) in another page it is called "embedding" the image. The image becomes a link to the image page. It is possible to determine where the image is displayed (right-hand or left-hand side of the page), the size of the photo, and even provide a caption. When an image is included in the middle of the text (typically full size), it is called an "inline image". When it is included in a smaller size with a caption it is called a "thumbnail image". Below are some examples of each type with descriptions.

Regular image examples

To include an inline image, enter in the text [[Image:med_books.gif]] to get: Med books.gif


It is also possible to provide a label, which shows up when people put their cursor over the picture. For example, to label the image with the word books you would type in [[image:med_books.gif|books]] results in: books


By default, embedded links will display the full-size image. However, the image's size can be changed as in the following example where the image size is decreased to a width of 40px. Entering [[med_books.gif|40px|books]] results in: books



It is also possible to have the image be placed on the left or right-hand side of the page with text wrapping around it. To do this, specify a location for the image after the size (if it is included). For example, entering [[Image:Parthenonmarbles.jpg|200px|left|label]] results in the image shown on the left.


  • If you are resizing or placing the image, you must also include a label. If no label is included then it will think the pixel width (e.g., 40px) or location (e.g., left) is the label. If you want the label to be the same as the filename you can just include a "|" character after the other information (e.g., [[image:med_books.gif|40px|]]).

Thumbnail image examples

To include a thumbnail image, enter in the text [[Image:med_books.gif|thumb|books]] to get the image at right. (see image on the right-hand side). The word thumb indicates that the image should be a thumbnail image instead of an inline image. It creates a frame around the image automatically. The word books can be any wikitext and serves as a caption for the image.

The default size of the image is determined by each user's preferences. The default placement is on the right-hand side. Also, by default text will wrap around the photo. This happens even when a new section begins. The thumbnail picture and the "enlarge" icon both take you to the image page.


Captions can include links themselves. Some people like to link directly to the image (rather than the image page). This is done in the following example where [[image:Seattlepubliclibrary.jpg|thumb|[[Media:Seattlepubliclibrary.jpg|actual size]]]] is entered. The "actual size" caption then becomes a link to the media file rather than image page.

Other images can include external links in the caption that link to the original source of the image.


You can determine the placement of thumbnails just like you can with regular images. By default, thumbnails are on the right side. To place them on the left-hand side you can include the word "left" before the term "thumb" in the wikitext. For example, entering [[image:Apples.JPG|left|thumb|Apples are delicious]] puts the image at the left as seen:
Apples are delicious

The text surrounding the image will show up to the right of the photo and wrap around it. As you will notice, it is possible to have thumbnails on the left and right side of the page at the same time. It is also possible to create galleries and other more complex placements (see #See_also section for details).

Stopping automatic wrapping

If you do not want the text to wrap around an image that is placed on the right or left-hand side, you can enter <br clear="all" />. Text will wrap around the image until it gets to the code (like this sentence). When you enter the code, it will break and restart after the image (code entered after this sentence).
As you can see, this sentence (entered after the code) is now at the bottom of the image. This is particularly useful when you have a new section that you don't want to have starting half-way through a photo. The Placement section above used this technique so that the subsequent Notes section did not start in the middle of the image.

See also