User:OrenBochman/Images and Captions

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  • Lead. Start with a right-aligned lead image or infobox.*
  • Placement. Multiple images in the same article can be staggered right-and-left (for example: Timpani). Images should be laid out so they work well with browser windows as narrow as 800 pixels and as wide as 2000 pixels. See this tutorial for how to group images and avoid "stack-ups". Place images inside the section they belong to (after the heading and any links to other articles), and not straying above the heading.
  • Direction of face. It's usually preferable to place images of faces so the face or eyes look toward the text.
  • Alteration. An image should be reversed or substantially altered only if this clearly assists the reader (for example, cropping a work of art to focus on a detail discussed in the text). Note any such alteration in the caption. Don't reverse an image just for the sake of layout preferences.
  • Text as image. Avoid entering textual information as an image solely for graphic utility. Such text should also appear in the image's alt text, caption, or other nearby text.
  • Commons links. Use {{Commons}} to link to more images on Commons, wherever possible.
  • Galleries. The use of galleries should be in keeping with Wikipedia's image use policy.


Most pictures should be displayed so they are between 100 and 400 pixels wide. The maximum should generally not exceed 500 pixels in height or 400 pixels in width, so the image can be comfortably displayed within the text on the smallest displays in common use.

  • Thumbnails. The thumbnail option ([[(The file name)|thumb|(Your caption)]]) results in a default width of 180 pixels, although logged-in users can set a different default in their user preferences. [Thumbnail size currently under review.]
  • Why resize? An image may benefit from a size other than the default. Typical reasons for resizing include the following:
    • A small region is the focus of interest, but cropping to that region would reduce the coherence of the image (enlarge).
    • There are important details, including maps, diagrams, and charts containing important text that would be unreadable at the default size (enlarge).
    • Detail is relatively unimportant, such as some national flags (make smaller).
    • The aspect ratios are extreme or otherwise distort or obscure the image (make smaller).
    • It is the lead image, which should usually be no wider than 300px.
  • How to resize. Either:
    • specify pixel width (e.g., [[(The file name]|thumb|240px|(Your caption)]]); or
    • use the upright option ([[(The file name)|upright=1.67|(Your caption)]]) or the frameless option ([[(The file name)|frameless|upright=1.67|(Your caption)]]). A setting of 1.67 resizes a plain picture to about 300 pixels in width (the 180-pixel default × 1.67).
  • Centering. The width can be even wider if the image is centered ([[(The file name)|center|450px|(Your caption)]]).
  • Templates. {{Wide image}} and {{Tall image}} display images that would otherwise be too wide or tall.


  • Role. Use captions to explain the relevance of an image to the article. Photographs and other graphics should always have captions unless they are "self-captioning" (such as reproductions of album or book covers) or when they are unambiguous depictions of the subject of the article.
  • Complete sentence or fragment. Most captions are not complete sentences, but merely nominal groups (sentence fragments) that should not end with a period. If a complete sentence occurs in a caption, end that sentence, and any sentence fragments, with a period. Regardless, normally start captions with a capital letter.
  • Succinctness. Make captions succinct; more information about the image can be included on its description page, or in the main text.
  • Italics. Don't italicize a caption just because it's a caption.

Alt text*[edit]

Alternative text describes the image for readers who cannot see the image, such as visually impaired readers or those using web-browsers that do not download images. By contrast, captions are intended to explain or supplement an image that is visible. Images need not have alt text; editors should ask themselves how much sighted readers would lose if the picture were blanked, and how easily it can be described verbally. Alt text should not merely repeat the caption or the main text of the article. Instructions on adding alt text to equations and images is here. The Altviewer tool displays an article's alt text.


If you have any questions, ask them now! Or would you like to take the test?