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Galleries (gallery pages) exist to present readers with a structured and meaningful collection of the media found here on Wikimedia Commons.
Usually, they are created to give a sample or overview of all the media on a given topic.
Galleries of images (which are often used in gallery pages, but are a different thing) can be generated using the <gallery> tag, or as well with the support of special templates.

Starting a gallery

You can create a gallery either in your own "user space" (on a page "[[User:YOURUSERNAME/YOURGALLERYNAME]]", with the appropriate substitutions of your username and the gallery name) or in "main space" (on a page "[[YOURGALLERYNAME]]"). Galleries in "main space" may be freely edited by other users, just like any other regular Commons content.

When creating a new gallery, a few things should typically be included:

1. For a simple gallery, the gallery tag to hold media (<gallery></gallery>), see mw:Help:Images#Rendering a gallery of images. For more complex gallery pages, there may be several <gallery> tags under separate headings. Wide images are usually better handled with {{Wide image}} than with <gallery>, though certain attributes for the <gallery> tag, such as <gallery mode="packed">, can give a good presentation for some wide images.

2. Obviously: Media! (images, sounds, video)

3. A brief description of the subject (if necessary)

  • Commons is not an encyclopedia. Our main purpose is not to educate readers through text. If they want to read more about a subject, Wikipedia exists solely for that purpose.
  • Commons is multilingual. You may use any language(s) you like. Translations of a gallery's description will most likely be added by others. Keep this in mind when adding any text to a gallery. For most subjects a sentence or two is all that's needed.

4. Categories

5.Category linking

  • A gallery page is often the first place a user arrives at a subject, for example when they search on Commons. Therefore it is important to make it clear to the user that the gallery only contains a small selection of images, and that more images are available. It is recommended to add the template {{Gallery page}} at the top of a gallery page to make it easy for the user to understand this difference, and to provide a link up to the parent category.
  • Additionally, if your gallery page is split up under subheadings, users may benefit from links to relevant subcategories. If an appropriate subcategory exists, add the template {{Maincat}} under a subheading to provide a relevant link.
  • For example, If you have a gallery page about London, and a subsection about Big Ben, add {{gallery page|London}} to the top of the page and {{maincat|Big Ben}} under the subheading.
  • Not all subheadings have corresponding categories, so you do not have to use this template if an appropriate subcategory does not exist.

6. Interwiki links to Wikipedia articles

  • Interwiki links are extremely useful for linking to Wikipedia articles. Use them.
  • Again, since Commons is multilingual, a "see also" or "main article" link to Wikipedia is not ideal because they are language specific. Ideally, link the gallery to Wikidata, and the relevant interwiki links will appear in the sidebar (also add the infobox if you want a link to Wikipedia in that language). Or if you must, then you could include "main article" links to all Wikipedias - although that isn't ideal as that takes up a lot of room.

7. Infoboxes

  • If you want an infobox, then link the gallery to the relevant Wikidata item (under 'Multilingual sites', and add {{Wikidata Infobox}}. This will display the content from Wikidata multilingually, including a link to the other sister projects where relevant. You may want to set "autocat=no" as a parameter to avoid it from adding the gallery to categories (see Commons:Categories#Over-categorization).

Galleries are created in the same way as Articles are created in Wikipedia. Enter the name in the Wikimedia Commons "search" box and click "go". If no such gallery exists yet, it will offer the choice of creating one. Click on the red name, edit the page (marking it as gallery page on the very top) by putting in the gallery tag and the pictures. Then add the [[Category:xyz]]. A gallery can have any name, but it is usual to follow the category name. Finally click on the button Show preview, make final changes, and if you like your work, click on Save page.

Other things to include

Depending on the subject, there are other things you may want to include in a gallery. This may be a navigation bar, a taxonomy box, links to sister projects besides Wikipedia, among other things specific to the topic.

Certain topics have their own WikiProject devoted specially to that area of Commons, such as Commons:WikiProject Tree of Life. They may have their own set of guidelines for galleries related to their field of interest.

Styling a gallery

The <gallery> tag does not accept CSS, but certain styles can be added to it, such as:

  • <gallery class="center"> to center the gallery
  • <gallery mode="packed"> to remove the frame
  • <gallery heights="140"> to set the height of all images to 140px.
  • <gallery widths="140px"> to set the width of all images to 140px.
  • <gallery caption="My Gallery"> to add a title or caption

Naming conventions

See also: Commons:Language policy.

Unlike naming categories, where English is almost always used, galleries should be named in the language most associated with the subject. This applies to people, places, art, culture, etc. For general subjects and ones not tied to any specific language, the name most likely to be searched for (usually English) should be used. An exception to this rule is the naming of galleries of organisms and subjects where Latin names are considered universal. These follow the same guidelines as categories, and should share the same name.

When to create a gallery

Not every subject should have its own gallery even if it has its own category. Likewise, not every subject should have its own category even if it has its own gallery. Galleries should not be created if they merely duplicate the purpose of a category. However, this does not mean they should be deleted or "merged". Categories will always be categories, but galleries can turn into something much more.

Commons does not have an equivalent to Wikipedia's "stub" articles. Our goal is not to simply have a gallery on every notable or noteworthy subject. They should be created with a specific purpose. Galleries with only a single image are permitted if they highlight an image which has been elected by the community as a featured picture, quality image, or valued image.


It is recommended to create redirects from names in other languages, especially if a gallery's name is not English. Redirects from the plural form and other variations may also be useful.

See also Commons:Redirect.

Redirect aids

  • There is a bookmarklet to simplify creating such redirects (Commons:Categories/redirect bookmarklets).
  • Template for disambiguation: {{Redirect}}.
  • Template for redirected categories: {{Category redirect}}.

Galleries vs. categories

The biggest issue concerning galleries is their relationship with categories. Many times these two systems appear to be redundant with each other. This isn't (or shouldn't) be the case. They can co-exist. Galleries and categories may both accomplish the same goal—to help users find media—but in very different ways. Categories should contain all files related to the subject while galleries should contain a sample of files related to the subject. Ideally, galleries should contain the best of what we have. All files should be in at least one category, but not all files should be in a gallery.

The benefits of galleries

Galleries can do a few things that categories don't. They can show captions and information regarding each image, and group images into sections. Images in a gallery can be arranged in chronological, geographical, thematic or other informative order. Galleries can exclude poorer quality and redundant images that fill some categories and impede users who simply are looking for a good image, say, to illustrate a Wikipedia article. A gallery corresponding to a relatively high-level category can bring together images that are dispersed among numerous subcategories. Galleries can also be very strong as an internal tool, to aid visual identification of future images (species within a genus or varieties within a species; the many places of worship in a particular city; the piers on a waterfront; the buildings of a World's Fair; etc.).

The disadvantages of galleries

Adding new images to categories is quicker and easier than adding them to galleries. The user doesn't even have to leave the image's page in order to include it in a category. The right categories are more likely to already exist than the right gallery. Files can be added to non-existent categories but not to non-existent galleries. Categories group all related images together which aids in the creation of galleries, but this doesn't work as well the other way around if galleries only include the best images. Also, for users seeking a very specific image, the wider selection usually included in a category may be very welcome.



As of January 2019, there were:

  • 115,798 galleries[1] (without redirects, compare to 7,345,227 categories[2])
    • 495 of these galleries had zero images[3]
    • 20,960 of these had just one or two images[4]
    • 49,127 of these had 5 images or less[5]
    • Only 23,102 of these were edited since January 2018[6]

Older statistics

In the three months from July to September 2013, there were approx.:

in gallery namespace.

SQL to check is available here.

See also