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עברית: דף זה הוא מקום לשאול שאלות עבור משתמשים חדשים בוויקימדיה קומונס. הרגישו חופשי לשאול את שאלתכם בכל שפה, אך פניות באנגלית ובשפות אירופאיות נפוצות יענו מהר יותר.
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This help desk is a forum for questions and help on

How to use Commons

Anyone, from newbie to experienced, can ask a question here. Questions will be replied to here as well. Any answers you receive are not legal advice and the responder cannot be held liable for them. Please sign your question by typing four tildes (~~~~). In order to get quick answers consider the following points:

Resolved sections (marked by {{section resolved|1=~~~~}}) will be archived after four days. Sections with no discussion will be archived after ten days.

Commons discussion pages (index)



File:ESCLŭembourgJ.svg[edit]

Lŭembourg instead Lŭembourg

Why when I used [[File:ESCLŭembourgJ.svg]] link this produced broken link to another file. In word Lŭembourg «unknowable wikipowers» produces word Lŭembpurg. Why? At this section words «u & x & e» in <country name with same capital> produced into «ŭ & e». ← Alex Great talkrus? 21:57, 9 December 2014 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you're asking. Are you looking for the file File:ESCLuxembourg.svg? That's spelled with a "u" rather than a "ŭ" and has an "x" in it. LX (talk, contribs) 07:15, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
Stop using Esperanto as your user interface language. Or type "Luxxembourg". You're running afoul of the x-system's "magical" transmogrification. See also phab:T62677. Lupo 10:44, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
Oh, thank you Lupo. It's all about Esperanto gadget "EoMagicalConversion". I disable it, and link with U and X letters correctly displayed. ← Alex Great talkrus? 12:26, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Resolved
I think that this question was replied to adequately based on the supplied information. If you have anything to add or a follow-up question please feel free to replace this box with your comment. This section will be archived after four days. SVG displayed here apparently fine. Be..anyone (talk) 20:31, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

Can I edit a video that I have uploaded on Commons ?[edit]

I wonder if it's possible to edit a video after it has bean uploaded on Commons? I wish to delete 5 seconds in the beginnings of a video.--Ezzex (talk) 16:42, 10 December 2014 (UTC)

  • You can upload a new version, and if there is (for example) an intellectual property or personality rights issue with a prior uploaded version you can ask to get that version hidden from the public. However, once it is uploaded it is on our servers and remains there, and is exactly what it is. "Deleting" doesn't save server space, it's still there, just not visible. - Jmabel ! talk 17:00, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
Said in another word: I can't edit a video thats uploaded?--Ezzex (talk) 22:09, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
As in edit the file itself after it's uploaded? No, you can't; you can't edit a media file on WMF's servers. Again, though, you can download it if you've lost your copy, edit it, and upload a new version with the same name. The old version will be in the file history, but no one will see it unless they are looking at the history. - Jmabel ! talk 23:02, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
I tried to upload a homemade video and got this message: "You have selected a video file for uploading that is not in a free format. You can install Firefogg a Firefox extension to automatically convert your file". I did so and restarted, but I still get the same message when I try to upload.--Ezzex (talk) 23:54, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
What format do you use in your video? Ruslik (talk) 04:32, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
If it's that difficult, I don't bother to upload videos. It far easy to upload on Youtube. This is a crappy system for videos. I have no such problem when I upload a picture. Maybe Commons automaticly should format uploaded videos and not the user. --Ezzex (talk) 17:47, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

bulk downloading of media files (chinese stroke order)[edit]

Hi, I'm developing a free and open source typing tutor for the chinese wubi input method (as a javascript web application). I would like to include pictures for each chinese character with its stroke order. This would help learners a lot.

Here is an example of the pictures I'm looking for: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6b/%E4%BA%BA-bw.png from Commons:Stroke Order Project

Is it possible to get the files (maybe for the 214 radicals) as a zip file or is there another type of url where it is possible to download files with a script? Many thanks in advance — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ndldd (talk • contribs)

Based on Commons:Tools#Download_media I fear the answer is no. There is a rule how the media URLs are constructed, e.g., 6 could stand for "6 bytes for the name", and b could mean "first ASCII letter b", or similar. Unrelated, I vaguely recall that unicode.org already has something about stroke order, maybe you find stuff for your project on the Unicode site. –Be..anyone (talk) 22:14, 12 December 2014 (UTC)

adding the name of a sculptor to the image of the sculpture added by another author[edit]

I want to contact Katie Chan KTR. She has uploaded 4 of her images of a sculpture that I made and is permanently installed in ZSL London Zoo. I would like to ask her to add to the credit 'by Christy Symington MRBS' with the title of the sculpture 'Tiger Going For a Swim'. Please can you pass on my message or let me know how to contact her. I have been to her page and do not see the option to email her directly. Many thanks — Preceding unsigned comment added by Christysym (talk • contribs)

  • The best way to contact a user is to post a message on their talk page, just the same as you posted here. Many users to not have email activated but will respond to a message on their talk page. ColonialGrid (talk) 19:02, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

@Christysym: You can also simply edit the files yourself if they are on Commons. Accurate descriptive text is encouraged for all files, and essential information like the sculptor is certainly warranted.Animalparty (talk) 22:05, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

Uploaders should credit the artist when known. If information about the work was omitted, any user can add it to the description page. It can be added in various ways. If enough information is known, it is useful to add it by using the template "Art Photo". For example, I added it to the file File:ZSL London - Tiger going for a swim sculpture (01).jpg. Please check if it is accurate. The same can be done with the other images of the sculpture. It is not necessary to contact the uploader, but, of course, you can contact her if you want. It might be a good thing that an artist reminds a photographer to give credit. The user's talk page is there. -- Asclepias (talk) 23:27, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

Difficult to upload videoes[edit]

I just tried to upload a homemade video, which I recently shot on my digital camera, and got this message: "You have selected a video file for uploading that is not in a free format. You can install Firefogg a Firefox extension to automatically convert your file". I did install Firefogg and restarted, but I still get the same message when I try to upload. Why can't Commons make an easier sollution. For example: let Commons give the video the right format when it's uploaded.--Ezzex (talk) 00:24, 12 December 2014 (UTC)

@Ezzex Because every free hosting site has its own rules, and this happens to be the Commons required free format rule. If you want your files hosted for free without this rule, perhaps try YouTube? Ellin Beltz (talk) 16:27, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
The first thing I would check is whether the extension was actually successfully installed. If you go to http://firefogg.org/make/, do get an option to select a file, or does it tell you that "This page requires Firefox with the latest version of Firefogg installed"? If you get the option to select a file, the extension is installed. Are you able to convert the file locally using that process?
There are many reasons why the community has rejected proposals to spend resources on server-side transcoding at this time. Wikimedia is a non-profit organization with finite resources in terms of money, developers and servers. Commercial licenses for some of the most popular proprietary codecs (which Wikimedia would need to purchase in order to enable such functionality) are subject to substantial annual licensing fees (which may increase) as well as secret terms. It's not in Wikimedia's interest to become dependent on such agreements. Taking money donated to a free content project and giving it to an organization with a business model built around proprietary and patented software is likely to disincentivize future donors. It would also require development of server-side technologies for a task for which there are already plenty of perfectly fine client-side solutions. There are many other things that also require developer resources and that are better aligned with the foundation's mission. To do this, something else would have to be cut. Finally, transcoding video is many times more computationally expensive compared to generating thumbnails for images and other things currently done by Wikimedia's servers, and servers also cost money. LX (talk, contribs) 17:12, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
Ok, thanks for the answer.--Ezzex (talk) 20:51, 12 December 2014 (UTC)

Revert to a previous image in history[edit]

I don't see this answered anywhere, but surely it is a FAQ! There is an image in which later editors have completely ruined an image, so I wanted to revert to a previous version. However, am I just supposed to download the one I like in history, re-upload it, and then make my comments about what happened? The system is setup to call each change to an image like this... So-and-So "uploaded a new version of File:xxx.xxx". But I don't want to upload a new version. Can I just pick an old one that's listed in history? Also, I saw some old comments that indicate that (some?) editors have a "Revert button," but I do not see such a thing. Uruiamme (talk) 03:40, 12 December 2014 (UTC)

@Uruiamme: In the first column of the file history (to the left of the thumbnails), there should be "Revert" links. Anon126 ( ) 03:45, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
And while that may not always appear to work, it does. Caching may prevent you from seeing the change immediately. - Jmabel ! talk 04:52, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

Metmusem OASC images[edit]

Hi, I'm interested in perhaps using this photograph from the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a Wikipedia article. It is labelled OASC which links to a set of rather cryptic terms and conditions. However, I see that some similar images from the Met are already in Commons. So I'm a little confused on whether the image can be used or not. Please advise on how to proceed, if at all. (Please ping me in your reply.) Thanks! --Cpt.a.haddock (talk) 15:00, 12 December 2014 (UTC)

Hi Cpt.a.haddock! Their terms are actually quite clear, with explicit {{noncommercial}} and {{nonderivative}} restrictions that are incompatible with Commons' licensing requirements. In other words: no, that photo cannot be uploaded here. The photos in Category:Sculptures from India in the Metropolitan Museum of Art were not created by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but by independent Commons and Flickr contributors. LX (talk, contribs) 15:33, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
@LX: Thanks for looking into this. Cheers. --Cpt.a.haddock (talk) 15:56, 12 December 2014 (UTC)

Mass upload of images?[edit]

I was exploring the new Qatar Digital Library and found that many of the documents are under creative commons - for example most of the scientific manuscripts (some documents are under UK Open Gov license - not sure if suitable for Commons). Anyhow considering many of the manuscripts/images are okay for uploading on Commons, is there a way I can do a project (by myself or with other users) to mass upload images from the site? --الدبوني (talk) 21:25, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

Just to comment: I think the UK Open Government License is free; we already have a template for version 1. Anon126 ( ) 06:54, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. In that case the entire image collection of the website is suitable for Commons upload. Is there a away that process could be sped up?--الدبوني (talk) 08:29, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

Disputed states image[edit]

Is it possible that anyone can help with the File:Limited recognition.png.

Its been agreed at w:List of states with limited recognition that to remove reference to the geopolitical entities that remain completely unrecognised. See: w:Talk:List of states with limited recognition#RFC: Propose use of terminologies "non-UN members" for related discussion content. Basically all that is needed is a removal of the red part of the map- but I don't know how to do it. I guess that the map may be used by other articles and other language articles. If so could a new image possibly be created somehow. I guess that this would mean that contents can be presented in any colour range chosen but the existing colours, without the red, would work just fine. I appreciate that there is not a lot of creativity in a job like this so thought to leave the option open :) Thanks. Gregkaye (talk) 22:23, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

I suggest a simple hack. There aren't many colours, and this PNG can be converted into a format with a palette (to enumerate the used colours.) A special form of PNG, an ordinary GIF, XPM, BMP, or similar. Then identify grey and red in the palette with an image editor supporting this. Overwrite the red entry with grey, convert back to PNG as it was, and you have your world without Somaliland. If you don't have any tool for this job ask again. –Be..anyone (talk) 11:22, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
  • There doesn't appear to be a clear consensus for this change to the file (at least that is the impression I get from the talk page, and the fact that Gregkaye's changes have been reverted). So, if someone does alter the file to remove Somaliland, please respect COM:OVERWRITE and upload it with a different name. ColonialGrid (talk) 16:09, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
    Indeed, and if there will be a zoo of images for different interpretations of "disputed" (I'm always waiting for the infamous w:en:Principality_of_Sealand platform in these cases) working with SVG instead of PNG could significantly simplify edit wars. –Be..anyone (talk) 22:55, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

Purpose[edit]

What exactly does this sit do ? I realise this is probably one of the dumbest questions you have received !!!!! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.40.133.25 (talk • contribs)

Please read Commons:Welcome. Yann (talk) 11:28, 14 December 2014 (UTC)

Image copyright question[edit]

A photograph I took myself and uploaded to Commons, File:Haribo Super Piratos.jpg, was recently deleted because of COM:PACKAGING and COM:DW. I won't bother including a link to the deletion discussion because it literally only ever consisted of links to these two pages. How could I photograph the same object (a bag of salty liquorice candy with some of the candies on top of it and beside it) without breaking Commons rules? Can I even photograph the bag at all, or do I have to settle for only photographing the actual candies? JIP (talk) 19:17, 14 December 2014 (UTC)

  • My take (others may want to weigh in) is that if you put a heavy Gaussian blur on the picture of the pirate this would be OK, but that's about the only way. Or you could take a photo of some of the candies with the word "Haribo" and some other text visible on the package. The pirate is definitely copyrighted material without a free license, though, and Commons' rules mean we can't have it. - Jmabel ! talk 19:54, 14 December 2014 (UTC)

BURNSIDE SWEATER IMAGES[edit]

I AM BOBBY RIZZO THESE ARE ALL MY PHOTOS I TOOK THESE PHOTOS TO PUT ON OUR WEBSITE A FEW YEARS AGO, THESE ARE MINE, PLEASE PUT THEM BACK UP ON OUR SITE UNDER 'BURNSIDE SWEATERS IMAGES'. YOU CAN ADDRESS ME OR WILLIAM CONTI FOR ANY QUESTIONS. Affected:

File:B sweater2.jpg And also:

File:Burnside sweater 2.jpg File:The BACK PATCH circa 1964.jpg File:Burnside sweaters.JPG File:BURNSIDE white gang sweaters of the 1960's and '70s..jpg File:Burnside gang sweater circa 1972..jpg FDMS 4 20:08, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

THERE WERE OTHER SWEATER PHOTOS THAT WERE ONCE POSTED BUT TAKEN DOWN FOR SOME REASON, PLEASE PUT THEM BACK UP, THEY ALSO WERE MINE. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bobby Rizzo (talk • contribs)

How to replace an image with a new one[edit]

I have downloaded "File:Battle of the Bidassoa - October 9th 1813 - Fonds Ancely - B315556101 A HEATH 032.jpg" and I have cropped the wide margin around the image. How do I upload cropped image to replace the current image? I presume that there is a guideline that covers this, but I could not find it. -- PBS (talk) 22:13, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

Mentioned some lines above, COM:OVERWRITE explains this. For your own images you can overwrite them with improved versions (look for "upload new version" in the history section of the file), and folks can revert you, if they think that it was a bad idea. For images uploaded by others be careful, your version should be obviously better, and that's not generally the case for "cropped JPEG" (minimally you'd try a lossless crop.) A new image can be linked as "other versions", if folks later decide that this is a redundant dupe it's no problem, while overwriting good pictures can be very disruptive. –Be..anyone (talk) 23:13, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

Index of all images in Category:Health[edit]

Hi folks,

Some Stanford Medical Librarians are creating a searchable database of all open medical images from several major online sources. Would it be possible to get a xml or json file with the metadata for every image within Category:Health (and all its subcategories) with the title, description, image src and the url where the user will go after clicking on the image in the search result page? Thanks! Jake Ocaasi (talk) 23:06, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

Pictures of statues and copyright again[edit]

I know there is a rule against it here (usually 70 years after the artist died) but how strong do the admins enforce this rule? Several of mine photos was deleted in 2013 because of the copyright issues. Yet, I see a lot of photos here that clearly violate the same rules. This goes for both newly uploaded- and old photos. Just look at this. So have there been any changes here this last year? If this copyright rule isn't uphold, I would like to upload my photos again.--Ezzex (talk) 23:12, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

  • Probably some things there that ought to be deleted, because Norway has freedom of panorama only for buildings, not for works of art. Ezzex: I can't speak for everyone about how we enforce this rule, but it is not one of the ones about which I personally am most aggressive, because while it is likely to create a problem for reusers, the concept known in the U.S. as "fair use" means it is unlikely to create a direct problem for Commons as an educational site. I certainly wouldn't ever restore an image that violates the rule, and I'll nominate stuff for deletion when I run across it. Except for very obvious cases, it pretty much always requires an actual deletion discussion rather than speedy deletion, because we have to make sure the uploader is not the artist, etc. But the short of it is that in countries without freedom of panorama for art, you should not upload these, and should feel free to nominate them for deletion whenever you run across them (which is not just an admin task: the admin task is to close the discussion when it reaches resolution and to do the actual deletion). - Jmabel ! talk 07:25, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
Jmabel wrote: "I can't speak for everyone about how we enforce this rule, but it is not one of the ones about which I personally am most aggressive, because while it is likely to create a problem for reusers". But the admins in my case where very aggressive. These where User:Túrelio, User:Elcobbola and User:Leyo (all German users). Some feel strongly upholding this rule, while others don't care. The question is what goes and what doesn't here on Commons.--Ezzex (talk) 17:09, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
This, a single DR, is aggressive? Care to elaborate on your concern about German users? Эlcobbola talk 18:49, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
Does german subcontinent sounds better?--Ezzex (talk) 19:27, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
The issue is not the phrasing, but that you felt the need to mention nationality in the first place. Again, care to elaborate on your concern about German users? Эlcobbola talk 23:51, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Images that don't have a valid licence are deleted. If a file cannot be licenced properly because of COM:FOP it should be deleted. Some Commoners will search them down and nominate them for deletion, others won't, this is why some fall through the cracks, but all should be found and deleted. I would be surprised if there is an admin here who would ignore an obvious violation of FOP (ie keep it in a DR). You should not upload any files that you know are not licenced properly (including images fouling FOP). ColonialGrid (talk) 17:23, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
What about war-monuments?--Ezzex (talk) 17:48, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
  • It would depend on the monument, and the country. For example, I would assume that a structure similar to the en:Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne, if located in Norway would be fine, as it's a building. But if said monument were a statue or non-building structure it wouldn't be ok. Do you have a specific monument in mind? ColonialGrid (talk) 17:52, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
This--Ezzex (talk) 18:46, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
Offhand, that memorial looks simple enough not to be eligible for copyright in most countries. - Jmabel ! talk 20:09, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
I'm glad to hear that, but that's seams to be your opinion. Do I dear upload other photos with similar motives?--Ezzex (talk) 21:12, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

3 lies by Ezzex: I am not a German, was not aggressive and this is not a picture of a statue. --Leyo 20:09, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

Everybody has his or her own idea of CIVIL (IIRC it belongs to the 5 pillars also relevant here), but "uploading again" is an odd idea, why not simply ask on COM:UNDEL? –Be..anyone (talk) 20:24, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
Several photos of a least two different statues where deleted. I felt as if there where an organized attack against me that time (january 2013). I was a experienced user on Wikipedia, but new on Commons. I was only aware that you couldn't upload photos from the internet. I know nothing about the silly copyright concerning photos of statues (I have perhaps heard about something similar related to Italy).--Ezzex (talk) 21:19, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
As an "experienced user," you know that on a site to which anyone can upload any image, such as Commons or Wikipedia, inevitably some copyright violating images will escape prompt detection by virtue of sheer volume relative to the limited volunteers patrolling them ("I see a lot of photos here that clearly violate the same rules.") That you instead see "an organized attack against me" suggests you lack the experience you purport to have, at least regarding WP:AGF (or COM:AGF - we expect it here, too). If you see images hosted here that should be deleted, perhaps you could nominate them for deletion instead of engaging in such piffle. Эlcobbola talk 23:51, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
Answering to your initial question: I didn't see any recent change in Commons:Freedom_of_panorama#Norway; you can look there before new uploads in case of any doubts. I can understand the frustrations when our works get deleted. But we need to understand that we are not eligible for copyrights when third-party rights are protected by applicable law. Just keeping such images in Commons will not make them free. I see some self requests from your side too. See, the licenses are irrevocable; here the author will not get any special consideration unless the work is recently uploaded. Last, this is a multi lingual project; there are a lot of communication problems. We expected to be civil; no excuses for counter attacks from people in a very higher position here. Jee 02:59, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
I've not attacked anyone. Perhaps one of your "communication problems." Эlcobbola talk 05:09, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
Some are so sophisticated in their attacks that there can be very difficult to accuse them.--Ezzex (talk) 21:52, 18 December 2014 (UTC)

Public domain check[edit]

As I've never uploaded an image here before, I'd like an experienced user to check whether this editorial cartoon [1] (published in 1903, but are there special rules about scans, etc?) is in the public domain and can thus be uploaded onto Commons. If so, what tag would be appropriate? The image would be useful to illustrate an old censorship law I'm writing about over on en.wiki. Thanks, Altamel (talk) 04:04, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

  • Generally speaking anything produced/published in the USA before 1923 is in the public domain (for more info please consult Commons:Copyright rules by territory). As the image you linked is from 1903 it appears to be in the public domain and is suitable for uploading here. You should use Template:PD-1923 to indicate its copyright status. Simple scans are not considered creative enough to justify a new copyright, so it is fine to upload, but you can use Template:PD-scan as well to indicate it is a scanned image if you would like (more info at: Commons:When to use the PD-scan tag). Combining these two templates would be: {{PD-scan|PD-1923}} . Future questions are probably best posted at Commons:Village pump/Copyright (although it is fine to post here). I hope this helps. ColonialGrid (talk) 13:55, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

FOP question[edit]

It seems that this monument was dedicated in May 1947 according to [2]. Is there some way it could still meet FOP? Thanks, --Jakob (talk) 19:58, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

The date of dedication is not related to FOP in any way. In addition, there is no FOP in USA for monuments. Ruslik (talk) 20:22, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
@Ruslik0: I am aware that the date of dedication is not related to FOP. However, I do not know when the monument was built, so my best guess is sometime around the date of dedication. Anyway, I suppose I'll have to request deletion of it? --Jakob (talk) 23:28, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
Now "in use", I've added the marker text from your info, thanks. Presumably still ending up in some DR, feel free to test the procedure with this example. –Be..anyone (talk) 01:18, 18 December 2014 (UTC)

Copyright help regarding File:FreeSpirit Logo.png[edit]

Dear Help desk team, I've noticed that there is a licence missing for the Free Spirit logo. I've got the permission to use the logo within wikipedia directly from the band. How do I have to add this licence here? Same for a live picture I would like to upload. Really appreciate your support. Thanks --MustaPerhonen (talk) 23:13, 20 December 2014 (UTC)MustaPerhonen
  • Hi, all images need to be freely licenced to be hosted here, that is why the image may be deleted. This means that simple rehosting permission is not enough, the band must release the logo under a free licence to be hosted here. That would also mean that anyone could use the logo for pretty much any reason; is that something the band is willing to do? If it is, they should follow the procedures set out in COM:OTRS and email the permission to release the free licence though (note that this can only be done by the copyright holder, which may actually be the person who made the logo). If not, you can always use the logo in an English Wikipedia article under fair-use provisions, details of which are available here: en:WP:NFC.
OTRS would also be the right course of action for the photograph, but keep in mind that copyright is probably with the photographer, not the band (and that fair-use is probably not possible for a band photograph). I hope this helps. ColonialGrid (talk) 04:47, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

Subcategory sort priority[edit]

In the Category:Male politicians of Israel some of the subcategories are sorted by first name rather than surname. Where is this determined and how can I fix it? (and what's the syntax for linking a Commons category here?)-- Thanks, Deborahjay (talk) 14:42, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

  • There are two ways of doing this. The first is to place the defaultsort template in the category or file, this will set a sort key for all categories in which the category or file is nested. The second is to insert a sort key into a specific category, by using a piped line and then typing how you would like it sorted. So, if I wanted to sort Category:Amal Nasser el-Din (the first cat in Category:Male politicians of Israel) as el-Din, Amal Nasser in all categories I would add {{DEFAULTSORT:el-Din, Amal Nasser}} to the category (usually placed at the top). However, if I only wanted it to be sorted as el-Din, Amal Nasser in one category (in this example Category:Male politicians of Israel), I would edit the category to be [[Category:Male politicians of Israel|el-Din, Amal Nasser]], this change can also be done with HotCat. Generally speaking, with categories or files of people the defaultsort template should be used, but there may be specific situations where a sort key is appropriate. To answer your final question, if you would like to link to a category, but not have the page included in said category, put a : before the word category (or file in the case of media), ie [[:Category:Male politicians of Israel]]. I hope this answers your questions. ColonialGrid (talk) 15:27, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
Note that the variable DEFAULTSORT is not a template. If someone tried to use it as a template by mistake, it would result in a situation as in this example. -- Asclepias (talk) 19:46, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
Do we have that info already somewhere locally? I'm tempted to create a help page with shortcut COM:CATSORT or similar. –Be..anyone (talk) 23:32, 21 December 2014 (UTC)