Commons:First steps/Sorting

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First steps tour
Tips & tricks
Third parties

A short tutorial follows on how to sort and categorize images.

Categories and galleries[edit]

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:


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]

To add an image to a gallery, first upload the image, then navigate to the category page the gallery is in and click on "edit". In the edit box you will find the gallery's images listed between the opening and closing Gallery tags:

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

Which, on the saved page, looks like:

Add the Wiki-file-link for your image between the opening and closing gallery tags without the brackets, so that it's in the same format as the other image files:

Image:Your photo name.jpg|A brief description

Save the page and your image will appear as a thumbnail in the gallery. 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: