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Help:Image page

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Each uploaded file has an associated image page, which is used as image description page, giving info about the image. This term is also applied in the case of other file types, notably sound files, e.g. Image:Schubert- Impromptu B-flat1.ogg.

The location of the file and the image page[edit]

If a family of projects has a Commons project, typically the file is uploaded on Commons. The image page there gives copyright info.

In the internal image syntax [[Image:filename]], [[:Image:filename]], or [[Media:filename]], the filename is assumed to refer to the one in the same project if it exists there, otherwise to one on Commons. When choosing a name for a file on Commons, do not use a name that is already in use on any project on which the file may be used, unless the new file should replace the local ones, which will therefore be deleted, or unless the image from Commons should be replaced locally with a local version without changing the links.

An image on Commons can have a separate image page on every project that does not have another image with the same name (which would block access to the image on Commons).

The image is linked to the local image description page, which, due to the contents of MediaWiki:Sharedupload, is linked to the one on Commons, where the image was uploaded. See a few local contents of [[MediaWiki:Sharedupload]]: Meta-wiki, English, and Italian (Note that the link from the called contents to Commons cannot lead to a real image).

To find out on which pages of which projects an image on Commons is used, it is important to link the image page on Commons to all local image pages of that image. Even if the local image page has never been created explicitly and has therefore an empty editable part, a link to the page produces a page with an "image links" section showing the local pages that use the image.

The interlanguage link feature works on Commons, and produces links to the Wikipedias. Links to other projects are shown in-page. E.g. commons:Image:Blank Go board.png.

Contents of the image page[edit]

The description page consists of five parts:

  • The table of contents above the image (box along the top that says Image, File history, File links, etc.)[1]
  • The image itself.[2]
  • Description of the image or other uploaded file - you can add a description by editing the image page.
  • "File history".[3] See page history
  • "Links" Pages which have the image.[4]
    • "Links" does not list links to the image page

Linking to an image without including the image[edit]

To make a link to the image description page of a sound file, or of an image without including the actual image, use a link like: [[:Image:a_sound.ogg]] or [[:Image:an_image.jpg]]. In the case of an image, the leading colon prevents the image being embedded in the article, and instead makes an ordinary link. In the case of a sound, automatically playing the sound is not possible anyway.

Editing the contents of the image page[edit]

The layout information for the image page can be found at wiki/includes/ImagePage.php.

On your mediawiki site, the following pages[5] edit the system messages of the Image page:

Mediawiki page Edits the text:
Directly below the image
MediaWiki:Showbigimage Download high resolution version ($1x$2, $3 KB)
In the "File history" section of a Image page:
MediaWiki:filehist File history
MediaWiki:filehist-help Click on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time.
MediaWiki:filehist-deleteall Delete all[6]
MediaWiki:Uploadnewversion-linktext Upload a new version of this file
MediaWiki:Edit-externally Edit this file using an external application
MediaWiki:Edit-externally-help See the setup instructions for more information.
In the "Links" section of a Image page:
MediaWiki:Imagelinks Links
MediaWiki:Linkstoimage The following pages link to this file:
In the "Metadata" section of a Image page:
MediaWiki:metadata-help This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner used to create or digitize it. If the file has been modified from its original state, some details may not fully reflect the modified image.

The following are the names of the headers in the file skins/monobook/main.css:

  • filetoc -- Table of contents box above the image.
  • filehistory -- "File history" header
  • filelinks -- "Links" header
  • metadata -- "Metadata" header
  • siteSub -- ???
  • contentSub -- ???

The following is the code for certain sections of an Image Page, found at skins/monobook/main.css:

  • mw_metadata -- "Metadata" graph.
  • .special -- shows the image edit history.
  • .external -- The "Upload a new version of this file" text AND link
Hiding sections of the image page[edit]

Choose which of the following lines to add to MediaWiki:Common.css or skins/monobook/main.css :

#filehistory {display: none} /* Hides the "File history" header */
#filelinks {display: none} /* Hides the "Links" header */
.special {display: none} /* Hides the Edit history */
#metadata {display: none} /* Hides the "Metadata" header */
#siteSub {display: none} /* ??????????????? */
#contentSub {display: none} /* ??? */
#mw_metadata {display: none} /* Hides the Metadata graph */
#filetoc { display: none; } /* Hides the table of contents for an image */

See the graph above to hide each text section.

Contents of the image page on Commons[edit]

For an image on Commons, the following is shown in addition on the local image page. If the projects are distinguished by language, then the local image page can contain info about the image in the local language. It also allows categorizing the image within the local category system, and shows the local pages that use the image (see e.g. Image:Tst.png).

  • the message in MediaWiki:Sharedupload
  • the rendering of the editable content on Commons, including content transcluded from other pages on Commons; sections are not numbered and not in the TOC; category tags are ignored; internal links within Commons are rendered in the style of internal links, but link to Commons; existence detection with regard to existence on Commons works; variables depending on the site refer to Commons; with regard to noinclude and includeonly tags this is not considered transclusion; avoid specifying an absolute position in the wikitext of the Commons page, as it may interfere with the lay-out of the corresponding local image pages.

Editing an image page[edit]

The image page also has an edit history, which is in general the edit history of the editable contents of the page; it is labeled, somewhat confusingly, Image:xxx Revision history. It should not be confused with the Image history.

The preview of the edit page of an image page only shows the editable part, not the image itself, the image history or the image links.

Through this edit page one cannot edit the image file itself: revising an image file requires a new upload.

Useful things to include on an image page[edit]

In the description part of the page you can put text. Initially the description part automatically contains the upload summary supplied by the user when uploading the first version (this text also shows up in the Image history section at the first upload line).

What follows refers to images in particular. For sound files, see also w:Wikipedia:Media.

Description of the image[edit]

Eg: "Image of a goldfish in a small tank". This should not be an alternative text (see alternative text for images), but rather a description. This is useful for users who do not have direct access to the image, and is a temporary substitute for a proper longdesc tag.

You could also include the proportions of the image, in pixels.

Other versions[edit]

If other versions (especially a larger version) of the same image exists, link to them. For example:

  • [[Media:Goldfish-in-tank-large.jpg|larger version]] ([[:Image:Goldfish-in-tank-large.jpg|info]])
  • [[Media:Goldfish-in-tank2.jpg|different camera angle]] ([[:Image:Goldfish-in-tank2.jpg|info]])
  • [[Media:Goldfish-in-tank-textfree.jpg|textfree version]] ([[:Image:Goldfish-in-tank-textfree.jpg|info]])

Textfree versions may be useful for using across language versions.

Categorizing images[edit]

By adding a category tag on the image page, images can be in the same category as other pages, but are treated separately: on the category page they are not included in the count of articles in the category, and they are displayed in a separate section, with a thumbnail and the name for each, see category page.

On Commons there are essentially only images. On projects with real articles, a category can either mix articles and images about a subject, or one has separate image categories. An image category is typically a subcategory of the general category about the same subject, and a subcategory of a wider image category.

For categorizing a new image, the image page does not even have to be edited: the category tag can simply be put in the upload summary.

Nonexisting image[edit]

Nonexisting images show no image history section, see e.g. Image:Stop sign us.JPG.


Protection of an image page is automatically also protection of the image itself: i.e. a new image under the name of the existing image can only be uploaded by a sysop.


  1. Called 'filetoc', this table of contents is found at skins/monobook/main.css and can be overridden by MediaWiki:Monobook.css
  2. In the case of an image proper the image page shows the full image (elsewhere often only a reduced version is shown), or, depending on preferences, a reduced version with a link to the full version, labeled "Download high resolution version (..x.., .. KB)".
  3. On Wikipedia, "File history" has been changed to "Image history".
  4. Links does not list the rare case of an uploaded html file linking to the image.
  5. A list of these pages can be found at Special:Allmessages
  6. Available to administrators only

See also[edit]

Links to other help pages

Help contents
Meta · Wikinews · Wikipedia · Wikiquote · Wiktionary · Commons: · Wikidata · MediaWiki · Wikibooks · Wikisource · MediaWiki: Manual · Google
Versions of this help page (for other languages see further)
What links here on Meta or from Meta · Wikipedia · MediaWiki
Go · Search · Namespace · Page name · Section · Backlinks · Redirect · Category · Image page · Special pages · Printing
Tracking changes
Recent changes (enhanced) | Related changes · Watching pages · Diff · Page history · Edit summary · User contributions · Minor edit · Patrolled edit
Logging in and preferences
Logging in · Preferences
Starting a new page · Advanced editing · Editing FAQ · Export · Import · Shortcuts · Edit conflict · Page size
Links · URL ·  · Footnotes
Style and formatting
Wikitext examples · CSS · Reference card · HTML in wikitext · Formula · Lists · Table · Sorting · Colors · Images and file uploads
Fixing mistakes
Show preview · Reverting edits
Advanced functioning
Expansion · Template · Advanced templates · Parser function · Parameter default · Magic words · System message · Substitution · Array · Calculation · Transclusion
Special characters · Renaming (moving) a page · Preparing a page for translation · Talk page · Signatures · Sandbox · Legal issues for editors