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This page is a translated version of a page Commons:Categories and the translation is 22% complete. Changes to the translation template, respectively the source language can be submitted through Commons:Categories and have to be approved by a translation administrator.

Shortcuts : COM:C • COM:CAT

D Kategorye ßin di besti Art, d Wikimedia Commons z organisiere und e güets Mittel zum die Datei finde, wo mer süecht. Drum isch es wichtig, dass mer jedes Bild finde cha, indëm mer d Kategorye uffmacht und in denne ihre Underkategorye süecht. Dass des möglig isch, müeß jedes Bild in e Kategory und/oder Galery ygordnet ßy; jedi Kategory müeß zudëm sälber i-n-re Kategory ßy, wo e bitz generäller isch, sodass e hirarchischi Struktur bildet wird.

Quick guide

1. How to find the appropriate categories

  • Find categories with the search engine (see #Categorization tips)
  • or check how similar files are categorized (some may not be categorized though)
  • or start from the main topical category (Category:Topics)
  • Starting from these categories, check their parent or sub-categories to find an appropriate category. Avoid picking too general categories.

2. Add the categories to the file

Category structure in Wikimedia Commons


The main principles are:

Hierarchic principle

The category structure is (ideally) a multi-hierarchy with a single root category, Category:CommonsRoot. All categories (except CommonsRoot) should be contained in at least one other category. There should be no cycles (i.e. a category should not contain itself, directly or indirectly).

Modularity principle

The page (file, category) should be put in the most specific category/categories that fit(s) the page (not directly to its parent categories). A category can have more parent categories. A category can combine two (or more) different criteria; such categories are called "compound categories" or "intersection categories". E.g. the root category Category:Churches and the root category Category:Russia have a common subcategory Churches in Russia.

Simplicity principle

This principle suggests not to combine too many different criteria.

Selectivity principle

We should not classify items which are related to different subjects in the same category. The category name should be unambiguous and not homonymous.

Universality principle

Identical items should have identical names for all countries and at all levels of categorization. Categorization structure should be as systematical and unified as possible, local dialects and terminology should be supressed in favour of universality if possible. Analogic categorization branches should have analogic structure.

Types of reflected relations

The category structure should reflect a hierarchy of concepts, from the most generic one down to the very specific. The structure uses and combines more types of relation, e. g.

  • Hyponymy: a sort/kind/type of… (typically in biological taxonomy)
  • Meronymy: a part of…, a member of… (typically for geographical division, building/room, device/component etc.)
  • Attributes:
    • Qualitative and general attributes (color, shape, size, ability or disability, nationality, technique, quality, awards…)
    • Location: where, in…, from… (place/event, place/building, place/exhibit, place/people, country/language, source/work, factory or country/product etc.)
    • Timing: when (time/event, time/depicted situation, time of birth, inception or construction, time of death, demolition or termination etc.)
  • Agentive and influence relations: (creator/work, device/product, company/product, discipline or profession/their subjects and terms, parent/children, subordination, owner/property, initiator/follower, subject/other subjects dedicated to it or named after it, subject/its duplicate, imitiation, depiction or symbol etc etc.)
  • Modification: original/modified or modified/original (avoid cyclic structure) – renamed, rebuilt, repurposed or transformed subjects.

Major categories

The top-most categories (the ones contained directly in CommonsRoot) divide the category structure by the purpose of the contained categories:

  • Category:Topics – This category is the global common root of the media files categorized by the TOPIC. ALL media files should be categorized under this category for the sake of allowing others to find them by topic. Topical categories shouldn't be included through templates.
  • Category:Copyright statuses – This category is the global common root of the media files categorized by the 'LICENSE. ALL media files should be categorized under this category with the appropriate license tag. This type of category is added by including it in the templates.
  • Category:Media by source – This category is the global common root of the media files categorized by the SOURCE, where they come from (books, collections, sites, etc.). This type of category is generally added by template.
  • Category:Media types – This category is the global common root of the media files categorized by the Media TYPE. Please note that this type of categorization is sometimes omitted for images, since the vast majority of files on the commons are images of some sort.
  • Category:Commons – This category is the global common root of categorizing Commons maintenance tasks and pages (Commons:-, and Help:-) except for media files. The translated pages in each language should be categorized under their language categories, using the "Category:Commons-ISO-LANGUAGE-CODE" style. The structure of Category:Commons-en is the sample hierarchy for every other language sub category. Do not use two colons in category or page names. See this discussion and Help:Namespaces.
There is a sub category Category:Commons maintenance content, which is for the special maintenance of Wikimedia Commons global common contents and which does not get translated. ALL media files should be categorized under the first 4 categories below, but ONLY files having problems and needing to be fixed should also be in the sub-category Category:Commons maintenance content.
  • Category:User categories – this is for categories that contain Commons users' galleries, images and texts, sorted by things like the language they speak. This also contains the Category:User galleries, which is for user specific (i.e. non-topic) galleries that don't need to be in English language.

Verwändig vo Kategorye

Zum e Site (e Bild, Galery oder Kategoryesite) in e Kategory yordne, müesch unde [[Category:XXX]] ans Änd vo de Site schrybe. Zum di richtigi Kategory für s Bild bzw. d Kategory finde lysisch bitte s Kapitel #Dini Bilder kategorisiere.

E neui Kategory alege müeß mer sälte - bevor dr's machsch, stell bitte sicher, dass dr d Kategoryestruktur und d Regle vo de Commons kännsch. Überbrief au, ob's nit scho e Kategoryeschema oder e Commons-Brojäkt zum Thema git, und folg de Awysige vo dört.

Zum e Kategory alege benutzisch si zerscht uff re normale Site, wo in sälli Kategory ygordnet isch. Deno drucksch unde uff s rotë Gleich (de rot Link) und chasch d Kategory jetz wie-n-e normali Site bearbeite.

E Kategoryesite sott sälli Informatione enthalte (Reihefolg noch Wichtigkeit):

  • Gleicher uff Kategorye, sodass dini Kategory i-n-re Oberkategory isch
  • e churzi Bschrybig, was in derre Kategory dinne ßy soll. 'S wird empfohle, säll uff Änglisch z mache, du chasch's aber gärn in no meh Sproche übersetze.

Category names

De Name vo-n-re Kategory müeß änglisch ßy - mr hän uns bisher no nit internationalisiere chönne, was des bedrifft; s Brogramm sott des Broblem aber emol behebe (lüeg bugzilla:5638). E durchmischte Kategoryebaum dät d Sach numme schlimmer mache. Kategorye für Läbesforme sotte aber de wüssechaftlig (latynisch) Name verwände.

Kategorye, wo sich uff Mänsche oder Gegeständ beziehn, sotte im Plural ßy: Category:Tools, Category:Lakes etc., aber Category:History. Für allgemeini Diskussione über d Bsunderheite vo de Kategorye lüeg do.

There is also a related failed proposal.

Categories grouping subcategories by name should generally be named "by name" rather than "by alphabet" (e.g. Category:Ships by name).

We still lack internationalization for category names, but this issue should be resolved with appropriate changes to the MediaWiki software (see T31928: Show translated titles per user language in categories too). Creating intermingled category structures in different languages would only make things worse.

For a general discussion of MediaWiki's category feature, see the manual page on categories.

Categorizing pages

To add a page (be it an image, a gallery page, or a category page) to a category, add the following code to the end of the page.

[[Category:Category name]]

For example, if you are uploading a diagram showing the orbit of comets, you could add the following to the image description page:

[[Category:Astronomical diagrams]]

This will make the diagram show up in the categories Astronomical diagrams and Comets.

For information on how to find good categories for your uploads and galleries, read the section Find an appropriate category below.

Creating a new category

To create a new category:

  1. Do a thorough search, to be sure there isn't an existing category that will serve the purpose.
  2. Find images (or a gallery or other pages) which should be put in the new category. Edit this page, and at the end insert the new category reference. e.g. [[Category:Title]]. Save the edited page. The new category appears as a red link at the bottom of the page.
  3. Click on that red link. The new, empty, category page appears for editing. You can now edit the category like any other wiki page.

A category page should contain the following information (in order of importance):

  • Category-links that put it into one or more parent categories. At the bottom of the new page, insert lines of the form [[Category:Relevant categories]].
  • A short description text that explains what should be in the category, if the title is not clear or unambiguous enough on its own. Descriptions in particular languages can be tagged e.g. with the template {{ab|...}} for description in Abkhazian, {{en|...}} for description in English, etc., as listed in Commons:Language templates); or using the {{Multilingual description}} template to show only the description in the user’s preferred language if there is one.
  • Interwiki or interlanguage links to the article or category with the same topic in Wikipedia by adding the appropriate sitelinks on the corresponding Wikidata page. After creating the category page, click "Add links" under "In Wikipedia" on the bottom of the sidebar to the left to add them.
  • If the category should be sorted according to a different string than the category title, add a {{DEFAULTSORT:}}. For instance, the title of a category about a person would not be the right sort string. For such categories, insert just before the categories a line like {{DEFAULTSORT:Lastname, Firstname}} with the correct sort string. See meta:Categories#Sort key for more information.

See also #How to categorize: guidance by topic for guidance on specific classes of category, e.g. categories about #People.

Renaming or moving categories

For more appropriate categorization

Pages (including category pages) are categorized according to their subject, and not to their contents, because the contents are generally not a permanent feature of the category page; in particular, you can momentarily find inappropriate contents in a category page.

Example: Assume that Category:Spheres contains only pictures of crystal balls. You must not add Category:Glass in the category page, according to the current contents, because you can have spheres made with a great variety of materials. Normally, any picture showing a glass object would be already categorized in Category:Glass (or in a category of its substructure). So, if the Category:Spheres is really crowded with crystal balls pictures, it would be a better idea to create a new category page, like Category:Glass spheres or Category:Crystal balls, categorized in Category:Spheres and Category:Glass.

Generally files should only be in the most specific category that exists for certain topic. For example files in Category:Looking up the center of the Eiffel Tower should not also be in Category:Paris (see over-categorization below). If you do not find a category that fits your purpose, you can create it — but carefully read the section about using categories first.

This does not mean that an image only belongs in one category; it just means that images should not be in redundant or non-specific categories. For instance, an image of a Polar Bear being rescued from an iceberg by a helicopter should be in Category:Ursus maritimus, Category:Icebergs and Category:Rescue helicopters. It should not, however, be in Category:Ursidae, Category:Sea ice or Category:Aircraft.

Dini Bilder kategorisiere =

Du müesch dini Bilder immer noch Thema re Kategory und/oder Galeryesite züeordne, sodass si vo andere Nutzer widder gfunde werre chönne. D Kategory/Galeryesite müeß uff mindestens eini vo denne Froge andworte:

  • Wär/Was? - Wën oder was siht mer uff em Bild?
    Bispyl: Category:Houses oder Category:Jimbo Wales
  • Wo? - Wo isch s Bild uffgnoh worre? Säll isch vor allem bi me Foti vo me Ort wichtig.
  • Wänn? - (numme wenn's e historische Zämmehang git)
    Bispyl: Category:World War II
  • Wie? - Säll sait öbbis über s Format vom Medium us.
    Bispyl: Category:Audio
  • Vo wëm? - Wenn's e bekannte Chünschtler isch, cha mer noch sällem kategorisiere.

Zum e Kategory finde, wo zu diner Datei basst, müesch im Kategoryebaum süeche; afange müesch bi-n-re generälle Kategory. Denoch süechsch so lang i-n-re Underkategory noch re no genauere Underkategory, bis dr eini gfunde häsch, wo zu de Datei basst. Zum e Kategory uffmache, müesch uff s Symbol [+] klicke. S Kapitel Kategoryebaum witer unde schlat dr au e Startpunkt vor. Du chasch au s Werchzüg CommonSense benutze, wo dr deby hilft, e Kategory mithilf vo Schlagwörter z finde.

S Bild isch drno in de Kategorye Comets und Diagrams.

De Kategoryebaum

Bittschön vermyd sonigi Kategorisierige!

Im Idealfall isch de Kategoryebaum e chlari Hierarchy mit numme einer Hauptkategory (Category:CommonsRoot). Vo säller abgseh sotte alli Kategorye in mindestens einer vo de andere Kategorye enthalte ßy. Es sott keini Chreis gee, des heißt e Kategory sott nit in sich sälber kategorisiert ßy (ob diräkt oder indiräkt).

D'Hierarchy vo de Kategorye sott vom Allgemeine zum Spezifische länge. D'Oberkategorye, also sälli wo in de Category:CommonsRoot dinne ßin, deile de Kategoryebaum wie folgt y (noch Funktion vo de Kategorye, wo si enthalte):

  • Category:Commons - Des ßin d'Kategorye für d'Regle und d'Richtlinie. D'Dateie chönne numme dänn in sälli Kategory, wenn's mit ne e Broblem git.
  • Category:Image sources - do werre d'Dateie noch Herchumft ydeilt (Biecher, Sammlige, ...)
  • Category:Copyright statuses - die Kategory chlassifiziert d'Dateie noch ihrer Lizänz. Si werre noch ihrer Lizänz in einer oder mehrere Kategorye blatziert.
  • Category:Media types - do werre d'Dateie noch ihrem Dateiformat ydeilt (zum Bispyl Audio uew.) Die Kategorisierig wird bi de Bilder aber meistens ewegglo.
  • Category:Topics - Säll isch d'Hauptkategory vo denne Kategorye, wo d'Dateie noch Thema ordne. Es sotte alli Dateie zu mindstens einer vo ihre Underkategorye ghöre, sodass e Süech noch Thema (z.B. mit Schlagwörter) möglig isch.
  • Category:User - Si gruppiert d'Nutzer vo de Commons; Kriterie ßin zum Bispyl d'Sproche, wo si schwätze chönne. Si enthaltet au di persönlige Galeryesite vo de einzelne Nutzer.

Find an appropriate category

To find appropriate categories for your uploads, you should navigate the category structure starting from a generic category. Narrow your search down to subcategories until you find the most specific category that fits the file you uploaded. You can navigate the category structure by following links to subcategories, or expanding the tree of subcategories by clicking on the little ▶ symbols on subcategory names. The Major categories section above provides a starting point, and the How to categorize: guidance by topic covers some topics more.


Überkategorisierig heißt, dass e Bild in mehrere Kategorye vom glyche Zwyg vom Kategoryebaum blatziert wird. Allgemein isch es d Regle, dass es numme in de bräzisischte Kategory ßy soll und nit in säller ihre Überkategorye. E Bispyl:

Nämme mr a, dass di "gähle Sphäre" gählfarbigi Kugle ßin und dass es e Category:Spheres (Kugle) und e Category:Yellow(gähl) git. Mr hän e Bild vo-n-re Kugle uss gählem Marmor und ordne's de Category:Yellow spheres (gähli Kugle) züe; sälli Kategory isch in de Category:Spheres und de Category:Yellow enthalte. Wë mer s Bild jetz näbe de Category:Yellow Spheres no in d Category:Yellow oder d Category:Spheres oder sogar in beidi yordne, no isch s Bild überkategorisiert.

Es sott also kei Bild in mehrere Kategorye vom glyche Zwyg ßy.

Wiso isch d'Überkategorisierig e Broblem?

Es wird oft agnoh, dass s Bild eifacher z finde isch, je bräziser d'Kategory isch. No mol e Bispyl:

Noch derre Logik mießt jedes Bild, wo e Mänsch zeigt, in d'Category:Men; mer cha's au dänn widder finde, wë mer nüt über dä Mänsch weiß. Infolg dodevo müeß mer in de Müeterkategory, wo deno überfüllt isch, uss dausende Bilder säll usesüeche, wo mer wott. Villicht findet mer's gar nit und mer müeß sich durch e Hufe Bilder dureschaffe, wo gar nüt mit dëm z düe hän, wo mer süecht.

Soball mer in e bräziseri, dieferi Kategory chunnt, verchleinert sich s Broblem - mer müeß sich durch witus weniger Bilder dureschaffe. Ei Broblem gits aber immer no; nämme mr als Bispyl de Einstein. Er, wo mer als Physiker kännt, mießt in d'Kategory Physicists. Eventuäll findsch in säller e Bild, wo dr bruche chasch, und dänksch deno, dass es keini bessere meh git. Wenn dr dir aber d'Category:Physicists from Germany oder sogar d'Underkategory Albert Einstein alüegsch, findsch villicht no besseri finde. Dodruss ergän sich zwei Broblem: Erschtens isch d'Müeterkategory überfüllt und zweitens höre d'Nutzer scho uff, nochdëm si sälli Müeterkategory durchsüecht hän, obwohl's in de Underkategorye villicht e Bild gee hätt, wo ihre Bedürfniss besser entsproche hätt. Schräck drum nit devor zruck, e Bild umzkategorisiere, wenn's falsch kategorisiert worre isch.

D'Underkategorisierig isch e Ursach vo de Überkategorisierig

Au wenn säll komisch dönt, cha d'Underkategorisierig zu de Überkategorisierig fiehre. Säll bassiert, wenn e Kategory nit richtig kategorisiert wird; in dëm Fall werre nämlig d'Nutzer s Bild in mehreri Kategorye yordne, dass s Bild richtig kategorisiert wird. E Bispyl:

D'Kategory Eivør Pálsdóttir (e Sängerin vo de Faröer-Insle) isch numme in de Kategory:People by alphabet. Wenn jetz öbber e neus Bild uffeladet, no mießt säll in d'Kategorye People of the Faroe Islands und Vocalists -- und jetz isch es überkategorisiert. Mer hätt numme mieße d'Kategory Eivør Pálsdóttir in d Kategorye People of the Faroe Islands und Vocalists meiße yordne.

E Broblem, wo d'Underkategorisierig verursache cha, isch au di falschi Kategorisierig. Bispyl:

D'Kategory Notting Hill isch in de Kategory London falsch. Wë mer e neus Bild uffeladet, no neigt mer dezüe, es au in d'Kategory Kensington and Chelsea yzordne. Alli Bilder zum Thema mießte also in sälli beide Kategorye dry, deby chönnt mer eifach d'Kategory Notting Hill under Kensington and Chelsea yordne; dodemit wär si bräzis gnüeg.

Wenn du e Bild findsch, wo des Broblem uffdrättet, no drau di rujjg, es eso umzkategorisiere wie's eigentlig ßy mießt. Säll hilft de Allmänd/Commons, d'Überkategorisierig vo Bilder z bekämpfe und d Süech im Kategoryebaum z erlychtere.

Exception for images with more categorized subjects

A file that depicts only one relevant subject should not be over-categorized. Where a file depicts additional relevant subjects, and the additional subjects do not have their own subcategories, consideration can be given to temporarily categorizing the image in both the subcategory and the parent category.

For example, this situation might arise in the case of a photograph of three politicians, one of whom is Angela Merkel (who has her own Commons category), with two other politicians who do not yet have their own categories. While the image would undoubtedly be categorized in Category:Angela Merkel or one of its subcategories, it would typically be considered to be over-categorization to also include it in Category:Politicians of Germany. Users would, however, be unlikely to search for the two other politicians in the Merkel category. Ideally, we would create specific subcategories for the two other politicians (where warranted), or find other relevant subcategories (e.g. Category:Politicians of Bavaria or Category:Members of the FDP, etc.), that would enable us to avoid over-categorization. In some circumstances, however, we may need to temporarily categorize the image in Category:Politicians of Germany where other appropriate subcategories do not yet exist.

Countries may be categorized as part of multiple overlapping categories. For example, Category:India is in Category:Countries of South Asia as well as Category:Countries of Asia.

Also user categories are exempted of over-categorization as those are not visible to most viewers, and project users include them for many different purposes like sorting, stats, filling values for userboxes, etc.

How to categorize: guidance by topic

For some categories, there is special guidance on how best to sort content within that category. This guidance can be found in a category scheme or a commons project for your topic. There is also some categorizing information in this section and sometimes there is guidance at the top of the category's page, in the Category namespace. So, for instance, some guidance on categorizing content depicting people is at the top of Category:People, and some is in the section People below.


Content depicting people should be put in categories which describe them, such as Category:Economists from the United States. Start exploring at Category:People.

Please see Commons:Category scheme People for details on how to name and organize these categories.

Landscapes, outdoor views

Content depicting a given subject from a common vantage point are grouped in Views of Subject from Viewpoint categories such as Views of Cathedral of Seville from the Giralda. Such categories should be subcategories of both the subject's category (Cathedral of Seville in this example) and the viewpoint's category (Giralda in this example).

In this example, the Views of Cathedral of Seville from the Giralda category is not placed directly in the subject and viewpoint categories, but in Views of the Cathedral of Seville and Views from Giralda. Such intermediate categories are often necessary to create structure and avoid over-categorization, particularly for views of a city from a vantage point located within the city. For example, Views of Rome from the Pincio needs the intermediate category Views of Rome to avoid placing it directly in Rome, which would constitute over-categorization.


Texts, such as scans of books, should normally have a category for each version of the scan and each edition of the text. Thus a book published in three separate editions would have a parent category for the book, three subcategories for each text, and further subcategories for the text as a jpeg, a DjVu, etc., assuming each version had actually been uploaded. (Categories would not be created for editions not held on Commons.) This is particularly important for files in formats other than DjVu and PDF, where the category is the only practical means of keeping the scans together; see eg. Category:The Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland, Holinshed, 1587 which contains 2857 jpeg images of page scans.


For categorization issues related to mass content donations from GLAMs (Galleries, Libraries, Archives & Museums), please see Commons:Guide to batch uploading#Categories.

Categorization workflow

Currently, a bot checks if newly uploaded files are categorized in topical categories and attempts to categorize files that are not. Before 17 June 2015, CategorizationBot was responsible for this job. As of June 2019, SteinsplitterBot occasionally checks for uncategorized files. The workflow is the following:

  1. User uploads a new file and adds categories (or not).
  2. A bot checks if the file is categorized.
  3. Users categorize files further (e.g. category diffusion below)

Other, if manual, categorization workflows are possible :

  • Category filling: Use appropriate keywords in the search engine to find the files that should be in a given category, and put them there.
  • Category diffusing: Go to Category:Categories requiring diffusion, select a crowded category, create appropriate subcategories if needed, and move the files to the subcategories. Gadgets like Cat-a-lot and Hotcats can help.

Categories marked with "HIDDENCAT"


Many non-topical categories are marked with __HIDDENCAT__ or {{Hiddencat}} on the category page. For example, see Category:PD NASA in edit mode.

While categories are generally visible on every page, categories marked __HIDDENCAT__ are only visible:

  • on the edit screen: at the end of the screen, below the edit box
  • on category pages:
    • on subcategories to the hidden category: in the normal location, but on a separate line with a smaller typeface and the label "Hidden categories."
    • on parent categories: in the same way as other categories
  • on file description pages and gallery pages: for logged-in users who have selected to "Show hidden categories" in their appearance preferences. This is activated for all newly registered users.

This feature is generally used for template-based categories, such as license tag based categories. For example, placing {{PD-old-100}} on a file description page adds the file to Category:Author died more than 100 years ago public domain images, which is marked with __HIDDENCAT__.

For more details, see the help section on hidden categories for Mediawiki (the software that Commons uses).

Templates for categories

Some templates are designed for use on category pages - see Category:Category namespace templates. If the category is linked to a Wikidata entry, then you can use:

which displays a summary of the topic's information that is available on Wikidata, and also auto-adds birth/death/name/monument ID categories.

Some of the more commonly used ones are Category:Category header templates such as:


  • Gadgets enabled through the user preferences
    • Cat-a-lot: A tool that helps with moving multiple files between categories or adding categories to search results. [documentation / talk] 
    • HotCatd Easily add / remove / change a category on a page, with name suggestions. [documentation / example / talk] 
    • Gallery Details: Adds a link in the toolbox to display galleries and categories (and Newimages and Search result pages) with extensive details from file description pages and links to easily mark an image without source, etc. If Pretty log is activated, it also works on Log pages. [documentation / talk] 
    • Place categories above content, but below image on file description pages.  Modifies the placement of categories on the user interface.
    • Add a link to category pages to search for the category name with the option "-incategory". This excludes files already in the category (doesn't work if the category was added by a template). [talk] 

See also