Commons:Simple media reuse guide
Using photos from
About Wikimedia Commons
This simple guide will take you through the process of using the millions of high resolution photos on Wikimedia Commons which are free of charge to use, including for commercial use. This guide also applies to the other media (e.g audio and video) found on the website.
Wikimedia Commons has 45,677,279educational images, audio and video available to everyone, in their own language. Wikimedia Commons acts as the central media archive for the various Wikimedia projects including Wikipedia, it contains content from both organisations and individuals and is created and maintained by volunteers.
whose mission is to bring free educational content to the world. Wikimedia strives to bring about a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge.
Free to use
All media files on Wikimedia Commons can be used by anyone, including commercially and each media file has information about which license it uses. The most common licenses used are created bywhich require the author to be credited.
There are three main ways to find high quality photos on Wikimedia Commons:
Wikimedia runs several photography competitions which create 100,000s of high quality freely licensed photos:
Featured pictures:Click more at the bottom of each section to see the full range of high quality images for that subject.
Picture of the Year: A small selection of the very highest quality photographs available on Wikimedia Commons:
Wiki Loves Earth: an annual international photo contest of protected natural sites, best photographs from:
Wiki Loves Monuments: an annual built cultural heritage photo competition, the largest photography competition in the world. Best photos from
Wiki Loves Africa: An African photography competition with a different theme each year, best photos from
European Science Photography Competition: A wide range of science photography including: people in science, microscopy images, sets and a general science category. Best images from
The search bar
If you are looking for an image on a specific subject that is not covered by any of the competitions you can use the search box which is located in the top right of every page of Wikimedia Commons. Simply enter the subject you would like to search in the same way as other media sites like Flickr or Youtube. To refine the search to only include images that have been assessed as high quality you can include this phrase after your search term:
e.g to search for high quality images of World Heritage Sites use this phrase:
World Heritage Sites incategory:Featured_pictures_on_Wikimedia_Commons|Quality_images|Valued_images
Often the best images on a subject can be found on the Wikipedia article, however not all images on Wikipedia can be used because some are shown under fair use. To reuse an image from Wikipedia simply click on the image within the article and then look for the More details button in the bottom right hand side of the page to go to the page for the image on Wikimedia Commons. If the page does not have this button it is most likely a fair use image and cannot be reused.
Credit the author
Crediting the author is required for reusing most Creative Commons images. Clicking on an image will provide a page similar to the one above, if you see a different kind of page simply click on Open in Media Viewer below the image.
1. Click on the download icon in the bottom right hand corner of the page.
2. Click on Download original file to download the highest resolution version available.
3. Click on You need to attribute the author show me how and copy the text provided, you can choose between Plain, used where hyperlink is not possible e.g printed materials and HTML for web.
Share your photos
a more in depth guide on using content.
: a tool allowing you to search a range of sources for free content including large media archives like Flickr.
more information on Wikimedia Commons.
Further information on crediting Creative Commons images.
One million royalty free icons.
Royalty free images.