Commons:First steps/File transfer and tools

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Transferring files from other projects


As files on the Commons can be used by all Wikimedia projects, it is a great idea to start transferring copyleft-licensed files from other projects.

Avoiding thumbnail images


A common mistake when uploading images from another Wikimedia project to Commons is to copy a scaled version, also known as a thumbnail. The MediaWiki software allows users to embed thumbnailed versions of images in articles by simply adding the parameter thumb to the image link. When the article is viewed, only the scaled version is loaded. As well at the image pages by default a thumbnail is displayed only (with a link to the full size version below). If a user saves the image directly from the scaled version, it will be saved in that size and thus will be heavily reduced in quality compared to the full size original. The number of horizontal pixels will be added to the filename, giving a name like "150px-example.png".

  1. Go back to the source (which should be specified in the image page).
  2. Click on the scaled version of the image to go to the full version.
  3. Save and upload the full version.
  4. After you have done so tag the thumbnail version with {{Duplicate}} and give alongside the tag a link to the full size image.

File transfer process


If you copied a file from another Wikimedia project, indicate which one (for example, "the German Wikipedia"), the author there, and the original title. So in order to transfer files from Wikipedia, please follow Wikipedia's Moving images to the Commons guidelines. Especially do not transfer non-commercial and Fair use images. They will be deleted immediately without further notice and will not be re-uploaded to Wikipedia.

If you have questions regarding the conditions of a certain media file you want to transfer ask at Commons talk:Licensing for clarification.

Additional tools

Commonist upload tool

For some special tasks, like uploading large numbers of images and maintaining them in Wikimedia Commons, there are additional software tools available. The Java program Commonist is helpful when uploading a large number of images. So have a look at our Tools page in order to make your daily work in Wikimedia Commons easier.

Further reading


Wikimedia Commons pages:

Wikipedia pages: