Commons:First steps/Sorting

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First steps
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How to sort and categorize images

Other people need to find your file in order to use it to illustrate articles in other Wikimedia projects, so it is crucial to add your media files to specific categories. Every image must be in at least one classification category; otherwise your valuable media files won't get used as much as they could be.

If you wish, you may also add them to specific gallery articles on Commons. An example of a gallery page could be the image gallery of the planet Mars.

You can tell if a page is an article or a category by looking at its name. Pages without a prefix are article pages, pages with a "Category:" prefix are categories and pages with "File:" are File pages (images, sound or video). This concept (implemented with these prefixes) is called "namespaces". That way you can easily identify different content types by their namespace prefix.

Adding images to categories[edit]

Adding an image to a category is done like adding a Wikipedia article to a category. Simply place something like the following example code at the image page itself:

[[Category:Some specific category]]

Be as specific as possible. Don't add an image to an overcrowded root category. In order to find a right category for your image, the category tree function will help you a lot: just go to a general category, such as Category:Countries and then follow the subcategories until you find the most specific one that describes your image.

Adding images to galleries[edit]

In order to add an image to a gallery go after upload to the gallery article, click there on "edit" and you will see among other things something like this:

Image:Mars Valles Marineris.jpeg|Valles Marineris on Mars
Image:Mars Hubble.jpg|Mars seen by the Hubble Space Telescope, Realistic Colors

Which looks like:

You can add your image between those two gallery-tags (one opening and one closing tag) in the following way:

Image:Your photo name.jpg|A brief description

After saving the article you will now see your image as thumbnail in the gallery. Unlike in the normal case when you incorporate a single image into an article you don't use the [[- and ]]-brackets around the image. For sound and video files it works the same way except that the media files will display a replacement icon or (if JavaScript is enabled in your browser's settings) – a player – like in this example:

Creation categories[edit]

In addition to subject categories, it is helpful to add categories indicating software or equipment used in making the file, such as:

Further reading[edit]

Wikimedia Commons pages:

MediaWiki handbook: