Commons:First steps/Reuse

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How to reuse Commons media files

Looking for media files on Commons

In order to find certain media files on Wikimedia Commons, you can search an entire category, or see if a gallery page for your subject exists. Commons has fewer pages than Wikipedia has articles, but does have a number of gallery pages, such as for Bicycle, Lake, many National Parks, plant species, and animals, that can make searching or linking easier. You can add a link from a Wikimedia Commons gallery page to a Wikipedia article where the collection would be more appropriate than a single media file.

If you want to reuse Wikimedia Commons media files outside Wikimedia projects, you are welcome to do so. However, keep some very important points in mind:

  • Unlike traditional media repositories, Wikimedia Commons is free. Everyone is allowed to copy, use and modify any files here freely for any purpose including commercial ones as long as the source and the authors are credited and, in many cases, as long as you release your copies/improvements under the same freedom to others.
  • The Wikimedia Commons database itself and the texts in it are licensed under the CC-BY-SA and the GNU Free Documentation License. The license conditions of each individual media file can be found on their description pages.
  • However, be aware that we cannot guarantee the correctness of the information given on each file. So please verify on your own the license conditions given on the media file you want to use.

Embedding Commons media in Wikimedia projects

In general, to embed a Wikimedia Commons media file in Wikipedia or another Wikimedia wiki, just include it in the same way as if it were to be stored locally there.[clarification needed] To include an image in a page, use for example a link in the form (standard usage shown):

[[Image:file.jpg|thumb|descriptive text]]

To include a sound, you can choose between two possibilities if the {{Audio}} template is present in your local wiki (otherwise you can use the first method):

[[Media:file.ogg|descriptive text]]
{{Audio|Filename-without-namespace|descriptive text}}

Further details can be found at the media help page in Meta-wiki, at Wikipedia image markup page and at Wikipedia picture tutorial.

Embedding Commons media in third-party projects

Wikimedia Commons files can be embedded in third-party MediaWiki installs by using these MediaWiki settings. This feature is known as InstantCommons.

You are always welcome to download files you are interested in for reuse, as long as you follow the license conditions provided alongside the files.

Further reading

Wikimedia Commons pages:

MediaWiki handbook: