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This help desk is a forum for questions and help on

How to use Commons

Anyone, from newbie to experienced, can ask a question here. Questions will be replied to here as well. Any answers you receive are not legal advice and the responder cannot be held liable for them. Please sign your question by typing four tildes (~~~~). In order to get quick answers consider the following points:

Important discussion pages (index)
Gnome User Speech.svg

File Overwrite[edit]

I uploaded File:Theoretical_Search_Area_MH370.en.svg this morning, and have been trying to update it. The upload software page told me to upload it under a different name and ask for this at the Help Desk. So I want to update File:Theoretical_Search_Area_MH370.en.svg with File:Theoretical_Search_Area_MH370.v2.en.svg CommonMarks (talk) 05:09, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

Hi, the procedure to update a file is a bit different than a normal upload. To do this, go to the file description page of the file you want to update (here: File:Theoretical_Search_Area_MH370.en.svg) and scroll down to the File history section. Below the table with the thumbnail(s) you'll find a link with the text Upload a new version of this file. Click on that and the rest should be pretty much self-explanatory. --El Grafo (talk) 20:44, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
Their account is too new for that. Hence their asking here, I suppose. But yes, they could wait a couple days and do it. -- Asclepias (talk) 21:14, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
Ya, I was too new before, but I'll take care of it. Thanks. CommonMarks (talk) 06:46, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
What a usability disaster. I just unified my Wikipedia account, but apparently the fact that I'm a long time user isn't good enough for Wikimedia. (I can't say there's any reason unifying accounts accomplishes much other than reinforcing Wiki*edia's reputation as unfriendly and arcane, but that's another topic.) I think it's a bad usability problem to not give WP users credit if you actually want me to bother uploading things here instead of just over there. It would also be helpful to explain to new users the reason why they cannot overwrite a file they uploaded as opposed to simply forbidding it without explanation. -Sigeng (talk) 06:38, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

I tried to upload a photo of our organization's CEO for her Wikipedia entry but it was taken down - BUT I DO HAVE PERMISSION[edit]


I am on the staff of TechSoup Global, and when I tried to upload a photo of our CEO to Wikicommons for her Wikipedia article, it was taken down (cur | prev) 08:32, 1 April 2014‎ Filedelinkerbot (talk | contribs)‎ . . (20,149 bytes) (-94)‎ . . (Bot: Removing Commons:File:Rebecca Masisak, CEO, TechSoup Global.jpg (en). It was deleted on Commons by Fastily (No permission since 24 March 2014).) (undo)

I do have permission to do this! When I tried to upload it again, this time carefully doing the correct links, it was again denied.

What can we do?

Thank you,

Glenn Hirsch TechSoup Global —Preceding unsigned comment added by Glennhirsch (talk • contribs) 23:40, 8 April 2014‎ (UTC)

Hello Glenn. There are two possible routes you can take. The first involves Commons and the second involves Wikipedia; please note that they are treated as separate projects i.e. Commons works with free images and Wikipedia allows limited numbers of unfree images.
Firstly, what is the source of your photo? Is it on a website or is it solely on your company computers? IF you genuinely have permission to use the photo, then you should send an email to IF the photo is on a website, then see if you can get a CC-BY-SA sticker on the page that hosts the photo, and when you upload the photo, make sure you provide a link to that page, rather than the direct link to the image.
Secondly, if you don't have permission, the image could be uploaded to Wikipedia directly on the basis that it would be used solely to identify her. However, bear in mind that it shouldn't be a gigantic file, but ideally somewhere around 100,000 pixels, although the rules rules are fairly flexible. It depends on what the photo is showing, i.e. is it a portrait-style photo (head and shoulders or is it full length), is she sat or stood, or doing cartwheels? The most crucial element of this route is the non-free use rationale which gives your justification for using the image.
I hope that helps, but feel free to ask for more help if you need it. Green Giant supports NonFreeWiki (talk) 00:07, 9 April 2014 (UTC)


Hi Glenn! If you have the copyright holder's permission to publish the file under a license that allows anyone to use the photo in modified or unmodified form for any purpose, including commercial purposes? If so, did you follow the instructions on your user talk page to send in evidence of that? If you did, then you don't need to do anything else unless the volunteers processing your e-mail request additional information from you. The file will be restored once the permission has been confirmed. You should not attempt to re-upload previously deleted content yourself.
As for uploading non-free content under a fair use rationale over on the English Wikipedia project as recommended by Green Giant, please note that English Wikipedia generally does not accept non-free photos of living people for which a newly taken free photo could serve the same purpose, so they probably wouldn't appreciate you following that advice. LX (talk, contribs) 06:15, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Thank you for pointing out the "living people" limitation on Wikipedia images, I should have mentioned that but I'm not as experienced in Commons as you are. However, I'm not sure what you mean by your edit summary, because I didn't actually recommend that Glenn should pursue the Wikipedia route. I pointed out that there are two routes, because I am not aware of any Commons rules which forbid mention of local uploads. The image is intended for use on a Wikipedia article, so it is perfectly reasonable to mention that there is an alternative route.
  • You are absolutely correct that images of living people are generally discouraged on Wikipedia but it is not a complete ban and therefore we shouldn't be shy in pointing out that there is a slim possibility for uploading such images, providing all the conditions are met (which is clearly highlighted at w:WP:FUR).
  • Another reason for mentioning the unfree route is that the subject of the photo works for a non-profit organization, so it is entirely possible that the copyright holder might want to give permission for non-commercial uses only e.g. CC-BY-NC-SA, which would mean it couldn't be uploaded on Commons, but could be uploaded to Wikipedia.
  • However, all of this may be mute, because I believe I have located a Flickr image of the lady in question (here) which appears to be licensed under CC-BY-NC 2.0, so it could be used in the Wikipedia article. Green Giant supports NonFreeWiki (talk) 09:07, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
Well, this isn't really the place to discuss policies of other projects, but I'm fairly certain the photo in question would not be accepted for local upload on Wikipedia unless it is published under a free license. The CC-by-nc license is a non-free license, so that does not really make any difference. LX (talk, contribs) 12:15, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

OTRS Ticket:2014040910018977 has been received, so Glenn will be contacted shortly. I have taken the initiative to collapse the email details above. -- (talk) 10:17, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

Image Upload Distorted[edit]

Hi -

Yesterday, I uploaded a series of images to Wikimedia Commons. Such as (File:Flag Gate, Artist unidentified.jpg) The colors looked great yesterday, but today they now are black and white/they are totally distorted. Any ideas what happened? How can I fix this?

The other distorted images include the following links:

I would really appreciate any advice/suggestions on how best to remedy the situtation

Thank you! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Evelyn Swan (talk • contribs)

I don't see any problem here. Yann (talk) 16:16, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
Nor do I. I think the problem is most likely on your end, not WMF's. - 17:07, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
The actual files look fine to me in my usual browser on this system, Safari v5, but their thumbnails & previews, including the gallery here, definitely not! I suspect that subtractive colour (CMYK) is being misinterpreted as additive (RGBL) somewhere. All are OK in Firefox v23. Wherever the fault originates, replacing the CMYK images with RGB versions will probably fix it. (Since they’re JPEGs, convert the ‘most original’ versions available or, even better, find an RGB predecessor.) P.S. I just opened one in Photoshop, inverted it, and got something that looks very like the version above, which I think tends to confirm my suspicion. Another thought: maybe try saving one as a TIFF without changing colour mode (I expect LZW compression would be fine, if bandwidth is a concern), to see if the previews render any differently.—Odysseus1479 (talk) 06:32, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
It could be this bug: Category:Bug 24854. I think it's what Odysseus1479 explains. The images can be modified to fix the problem, Category:Bug 24854 fixed temporarily. If they're not modified, the images may display correctly or not for you depending on your system. I used to see the broken display with a previous version of Safari. Now they display correctly with my current version of Safari (7). I'm not sure if that's what fixed the problem, but I guess it may be. -- Asclepias (talk) 12:07, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

Creating a file with translations[edit]

how i can create a file with translations in languages such as greek italian chinese german and more? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nikosgranturismogt (talk • contribs) 16:49, 10 April 2014‎ (UTC)

I took the liberty of moving your question here, because
  • as stated right at the top of Commons talk:Help desk, it is for discussions about the help desk, not for help requests, and
  • your question does not seem to have anything to do with our IRC live chat, which was the topic of the section you posted in
If what you're asking is how to create multilingual file descriptions like
English: A very pretty picture
Svenska: En väldigt fin bild
then just wrap the descriptions in language templates. The wiki markup on the file description page should look something like this:
{{en|A very pretty picture}}
{{sv|En väldigt fin bild}}
If what you're asking is how to create translated versions of SVG files, see Commons:Translation possible/Learn more.
If what you're asking is how to create subtitles for audio and video files, see Commons:Timed Text. LX (talk, contribs) 17:24, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

Copyright help regarding File:National Dajia Senior High School.JPG[edit]

I want to put my school's badge on its own Wikipedia page but I do not know what to put under the copyright section. But I see that many school introduction pages have their own badge on it. I guess it is OK to upload one for the same purpose. I found this badge file on the school's official website:


--Chihkuochen (talk) 10:33, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

  • It would depend on the date and design. If it is very simple, it is not eligible for copyright. If it is very old, it may no longer be in copyright. Otherwise, it is almost certainly copyrighted, so you would need the permission of the copyright-holder (probably the school) via the process described in COM:OTRS.
  • I'm not totally sure what you mean by "badge". Would that be this? Probably complex enough to be eligible for copyright. Do you have any evidence of when it was first used? - Jmabel ! talk 15:45, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
    Yes, as the heading states, this is about File:National Dajia Senior High School.JPG, which is clearly the same as the logo you link to. If the Wikipedia project on which Chihkuochen wants to use the logo is the English Wikipedia project or another project that accepts non-free files under a fair use rationale, checking the rules on the Wikipedia project in question and uploading it locally to that site may be another option. LX (talk, contribs) 17:04, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

change of access code[edit]

Hi, how can I change my access code? —Preceding unsigned comment added by MiguelHermoso (talk • contribs) 11:50, 11 April 2014‎ (UTC)

If you mean your password, you can change that at Special:ChangePassword. There is a link to that page in your preferences. LX (talk, contribs) 16:59, 11 April 2014 (UTC)


Hi there. I'm confused about something and I hope you can help. I noticed that for the city of Hull, Quebec, there are pictures here [1] at "Hull, Quebec", and here [2] in the category "Hull, Quebec". There doesn't seem to be a connection between the two locations. Shouldn't they all be in the same place? Thanks! Magnolia677 (talk) 15:47, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

They're all in the category. The other page is a gallery that a user created in the early years of Commons to display one file. That gallery page is not really useful as it is. -- Asclepias (talk) 16:49, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
Hull, Quebec is a gallery, ostensibly showcasing high-quality media representative of the topic (though galleries are often poorly maintained). Category:Hull, Quebec is a category, hierarchically organising all media related to the topic into relevant subcategories. They relate to the same geographical location, and the two photos in the gallery are also categorised in Category:Hull, Quebec. The only thing that wasn't in order was that the gallery Hull, Quebec should be placed in Category:Hull, Quebec, instead of both being placed in Category:Gatineau; I've fixed that. LX (talk, contribs) 16:56, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
Please say you're not serious when you imply that File:Hull.jpg is "a high-quality media representative of the topic" and that the page is fine and useful? (Also, if one wants to work on a gallery, would it not be better to do it in a page about Gatineau?) -- Asclepias (talk) 17:32, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
I don't want to speak ill of specific constructive contributions, but generally speaking, galleries rarely actually showcase high-quality media representative of the topic, but that's what they're supposed to do. Hence the word "ostensibly." :-) LX (talk, contribs) 17:48, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
Well okay, but I disagree that the only problem with that page is its category and I still remain with the impression that this page as it is would better not exist. -- Asclepias (talk) 17:55, 11 April 2014 (UTC)


Det finns Radioprogram hos Lokalradion Jönköping, som handlar om mej och mitt namn, som jag skulle vilja ladda hit länkerna från... Finns det sådan hjälp att få? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Usidom (talk • contribs) 18:51, 11 April 2014‎ (UTC)

Om du menar att du vill ladda upp ljudklipp från P4 Jönköping Sveriges Radio så är det inte möjligt att göra det lagligt. Sveriges Radios program är upphovsrättsskyddade och omfattas inte av någon fri licens. LX (talk, contribs) 19:36, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

File:Saint Lukes Episcopal.jpg[edit]

For some reason, Wikipedia had a not-good photo of my church (taken when all the paint was stripped off, just before it was repainted). My pastor asked me to replace that with one of my own, personal photos. I'm happy to do it.

So I registered with Wikipedia but seems Wiki won't confirm me until I make 10 edits and wait 4 days. But I don't need to make 10 edits! I just want to make this one change. Now, the good news is, I did manage to delete the old photo. All that's there now is a link named 250px. I click it and seem to be blocked from uploading a new one (and yes, that new photo is an appropriate size/format. I did read the guidelines). What's happening?!

Thanks for your help.

en:St. Luke's Episcopal Church (Asheville, North Carolina)

—Preceding unsigned comment added by IamEditorious (talk • contribs)

I undone your good faith edit there. All you need to do is to upload your file separately. Do not try to overwrite the existing file. Jee 02:22, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
If you need help getting the new photo to appear in the WP article, once it’s been uploaded (please be sure to describe & license it appropriately), just post back here or on my Talk page.—Odysseus1479 (talk) 04:15, 12 April 2014 (UTC) P.S. I see you already have uploaded the photo—I should have checked first—twice in fact. Will check them out.
@IamEditorious: I have now edited the WP article to link to your original upload of April 7, and nominated your second effort for deletion as a duplicate. We’ll see if there are any objections. Meantime, I’ll go see how US historic sites are categorized …—Odysseus1479 (talk) 04:38, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

Copyright help regarding File:MUSSOLINI Alessandra.jpg[edit]

This is a free domain photograph, of a italian public figure. The the italian copyright laws indicate that the picture does not require permission to re-use as a representation of a public figure. The italian law is stated below:

Public domain. This is a photograph taken in Italy (or in Italian territory) and is now in the public domain because the copyright has expired [1] . According to the Law of 22 April 1941, no. 633, on the protection of copyright and other rights related to its operation, as amended by Law of 22 May 2004, no. 128, generic photographs devoid of artistic character and reproductions of works of figurative art become public domain, since the beginning of the calendar year following the completion of the twentieth year from the date of manufacture ( Article 92) . According to the text of the law, such " simple photographs " are defined as "images of persons , or of aspects , elements or events of natural and social life , obtained with photographic process or similar process , including reproductions of works of figurative art and frames of films . Not included are photographs of writings, documents , business papers , material objects , technical drawings and similar products "( Article 87) . The photographs considered works of art, however, become public domain 70 years after the author's death , in accordance with Article 2 paragraph 7 and Article 32-bis.}}

Please, help me. As the website requires a USA license, or it will be deleted. The photograph was taken in Italy and it is subject to its laws, and to my understanding, USA permission is not needed.



--Charlemagne77 (talk) 17:54, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

I don’t think the problem here is the licence per se, but the lack of sourcing in the original from itWP. Without knowing where the image comes from, its age and origin are subject to doubt, undermining the rationale for its public-domain status.—Odysseus1479 (talk) 18:54, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, as Odysseus said. Even if the source is not available now, there should be more information: when the photo was taken, who is the photographer. And there are 2 contradictory templates: either it is affected by the URAA, or it is not. I can't be both. Yann (talk) 06:52, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Delete old file?[edit]

I am computer stupid, so if someone could help me, I'd appreciate it. Back in 2009 under the name Amy Crow, I uploaded a file of a right breast with a skin tag for the skin tag article. To my knowledge this has never been used, so I would like to request its deletion. Please and thank you. Amy Crow-Hawes —Preceding unsigned comment added by ‎ (talk • contribs)

  • Since this is not a recent upload, I believe you would have to go through the standard Commons:Deletion review process. I assume that what you are asking for is a "courtesy deletion". You might be more likely to get what you want if you can demonstrate that you are the same person by logging in from the relevant account. - Jmabel ! talk 14:38, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Although the file is unused, I agree: it has been here too long for the ‘mulligan’ that’s usually given to inadvertent and other immediately-regretted uploads. If the password to the original account has been lost, I believe one can also establish one’s identity—in confidence—through OTRS.—Odysseus1479 (talk) 04:03, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
By "OTRS" he means COM:OTRS. - Jmabel ! talk 15:43, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

No subject[edit]

Please kindly delete this file.The attached image is not the correct image.It was wrongly attached. 20:21, 12 April 2014 (diff | hist) . . (+698)‎ . . N File:Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP).jpg ‎ (User created page with UploadWizard) (current) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Osaretin (talk • contribs) 19:27, 15 April 2014‎ (UTC)

Please post new questions in a new section rather than in existing unrelated discussions, and please sign your entries.
You can nominate File:Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP).jpg for deletion by going to the file description page, pressing "edit", and entering {{speedy|Uploader requesting deletion of a recently uploaded, unused file}}. LX (talk, contribs) 14:23, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Help required - I've crapped over Category:Christophe Lemaire[edit]

I've spent the last two days using flickr2commons to upload fashion shots by Masaki-H. One of their sets is a Lacoste show by Christopher Lemaire (who is now creative director at Hermes). But Category:Christophe Lemaire is the category of a French jockey, which means there are now 100+ miscategorised images there. Recategorising them is not something I can do manually, I could recategorise the handful of jockey images somewhere else, but horse-geeks may freak out. - hahnchen 19:56, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

  • If someone wants to sort this out, it should be pretty straightforward with VisualFileChange.js or, I'm sure, other tools I don't use. - Jmabel ! talk 00:45, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I could move them very easily with Cat-a-lot, but I don’t know where they should go. Into Hermès? Or should I create a Category:Christophe Lemaire (couturier) or something?—and if so, how should he be categorized?—Odysseus1479 (talk) 04:12, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I'd move them to Category:Christophe Lemaire (designer). - hahnchen 18:06, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
✓ Done. Green Giant supports NonFreeWiki (talk) 20:12, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Please help[edit]

I want to write/open a page in wikipedia on my profile/writings/my developmental work/unique achievements etc. How can I do that and post it? regards, —Preceding unsigned comment added by Charudutta Panigrahi (talk • contribs)

Hello Charudutta Panigrahi. You can create a userpage at User:Charudutta Panigrahi, but please bear in mind that Wikipedia is not really somewhere to write articles about yourself. If you are notable enough, then someone will probably create an article about you, but it all depends on whether there are verifiable secondary sources about you. Also please note Wikimedia Commons is a separate project from Wikipedia, so you could also have a Commons userpage. If you need more help, please feel free to ask. Green Giant supports NonFreeWiki (talk) 12:37, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Category name[edit]

Hi there. I was doing some cleanup of the images in the "Lake Ontario" category. I created the category "Satellite images of the Great Lakes", and then added a bunch of photos. However, all the other satellite gallerias are called "Satellite pictures of...". How can I change the category's name? Thanks! Magnolia677 (talk) 14:02, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

There is no way to move a category as such, but there are a bunch of ways to accomplish that effect. Putting in a {{move cat}} request at User talk:CommonsDelinker/commands is one of the simplest. Another alternative would be to create the new category, use cat-a-lot or VisualFileChange.js (the latter by substituting one category name for the other) to move the files, then request the deletion of the empty category. - Jmabel ! talk 15:31, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
✓ Done. Green Giant supports NonFreeWiki (talk) 16:52, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Cannot revert myself?[edit]

Hi, I accidently uploaded a different image under the same name, but I can't seem to revert that. Can someone help? [3]. Thanks, Tekstman (talk) 11:45, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

What happens when you click "revert"? Nothing? -- Asclepias (talk) 12:12, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
✓ Reverted, but unsure whether the accidental image can be deleted. Green Giant supports NonFreeWiki (talk) 12:49, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Preposition in template "in London by borough"[edit]

The general template Template:London subdivisions categories gives the following problem, concerning the links in the header of the template to the supercategories "{{{1}}} in the United Kingdom", "{{{1}}} in England" and "{{{1}}} in London". For example, Category:Animals of London, Category:Animals of England and Category:Animals of the United Kingdom use the preposition of, whereas Category:Animals in London by borough uses in. On this last page, you can see the red links in the template. Changing it to of in the template doesn't fix the problem, as for example Category:Street signs in London by borough does have the right links to Category:Street signs in London, Category:Street signs in England and Category:Street signs in the United Kingdom.

What is the right solution for this inconsistency? Changing the names of the Animals-categories to "of", or rather making two different London-by-bourough-templates? Can someone do this, as I am not an experienced user, but willing to learn. BertSeghers (talk) 13:13, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

It is possible to use 'ifexist' parser function to check whether an 'in' category exist and if not then to link to the corresponding 'of' category instead. Ruslik (talk) 18:58, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Help to rename[edit]

Hi there! I made a mistake when I created 8 six rays argent in heraldry instead of named Category:8 six rays argent in heraldry. Please, would you help me to rename it? Thanks in advance!--Duche de Cleves (talk) 00:19, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Renaming a page to a category might not be possible. Instead I've created the category and requested speedy deletion of the page. Green Giant supports NonFreeWiki (talk) 00:50, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Another QI question[edit]


Just wondering, what improvements would need to be made to this file for it to become a Quality Image? Thanks for answering, --Jakob (talk) 00:44, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Picture with unknown copyright information?[edit]

There is a picture of a boat that I'd like to upload, because I created a page and would like to add a picture. However, I don't know who took the picture, or who holds the copyright. Additionally, on the page it's listed on (, its copyright information is listed as "unknown". Would I be allowed to upload it, or would I have to find the copyright holder? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cnd474747 (talk • contribs)

@Cnd474747: Hi. Wikimedia Commons only accepts files that are confirmed to be under a free licence. So, you are not allowed to upload the file. However, you may still do so if you contact the copyright holder for permission, and he agrees to license the image under a free licence. Hope that helps. --(✉→Arctic Kangaroo←✎) 05:21, 20 April 2014 (UTC)