User:Titodutta/Image file naming

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  • If you have come here from Google or any web search engine and looking for suggestions on your Picasa, Flickr, Facebook photo albums, please go back, this page will be useless for you. This "essay" will only/mainly talk on Wikimedia Commons/Wikipedia image/media files.
  • This is a user essay, not an official policy or guidelines of Wikimedia/Commons.

Recently I renamed a file which was reverted back on uploader's request. There were two reasons behind that move 1) the file had dash in date, I have seen some scripts sometimes change the dash to emdah (though they are learning very fast, AWB does not make such mistake) 2 Another reason was, I noted I required this particular file in multiple articles (a) English Bengali Wikipedia article on Swami Vivekananda, also newly created article on his ancestral house c) the Swami Vivekananda Commons page etc. Since I was regularly requiring this file, I wanted to have a better name.

There are not any official rule which tells you to follow the practices below. But, I still feel these are good practices:

Try to avoid[edit]

Date in file name[edit]

I suggest not to use date in file name for the following reasons:

  • There is already a "date" field, use that field.
  • I have seen in my experience that few scripts change the date in file names a) DMY to MDY or vice versa (depending on the Wikipedia article) b) dash to emdash.
  • It is incomplete "File:Maradona image 02-03-1986" means nothing. Firstly you can not understand if I am following DMY or MDY date and secondly even if you ignore that you can't that the date in file name is special for what a) date photo was taken? b) date of the event? c) date photo uploaded to Commons! So a visitor needs to check the file page here, date in file name is not the best thhing to have.

Uploader's name/ Credit in file name[edit]

You'll find many files in Commons like "File:Himalaya taken by Rathindra". Please don't do this. Take/give credit in image description page. Again there is no firm rule perhaps, but, I feel indirectly violates the Wikipedia guideline "attribution/sign in article" which states you can't sign in a Wikipedia article or write something like "article created/expanded by me", Article history will do the work.

Typo in file name[edit]

No one will ask you to rename a file for minor typo like: "File:Image of teh ghats of Ganges" (should be "the"). But, I think if you are the uploader, it will a good thing if you ask to rename this file.

Image numbering of file names[edit]

Like File:Image 01.jpg, File:Image 02.jpg, File:Image 03.jpg and so on. Note, Commons is not Flickr or Picasa, you can bot create photo albums here and it does not have an "easy to find/access" all files of an uploader. So, "Image 02" file name will not be very helpful unless you tell that where are "Image 01" or "Image 03" etc of the series and how many photos are there in the series! Better avoid this practice?

Comments/opinions in file name[edit]

Like File:Best singer of the world ABC DEF.jpg, you may be a big fan of the singer, but it has little value from Wikipedia's point of view which tries to stay neutral

Try to use[edit]


Main gallery: Commons:EXIF.

Photos taken by digital camera include all information of uploader, camera etc. If you are using image editor, make sure to customize the EXIF data field (like change the author field from "Picasa" or "PC 01" to "Your full name". You can search in Google with query "Exif data image editor" or "add exif data in image file". BTW, Microsoft Paint (most probably the most popular image editor) does not have metadata option. Krita, GIMP have this option.

Descriptive file name[edit]

See Commons article first.

Follow Wiki(m/p)edia policy and consensus[edit]

You can name a file Sir Isaac Newton.jpg, but Isaac Newton.jpg is better I think, you can write honorific etc in file description.


Uncommon but correct spelling OR common but incorrect spelling in file name[edit]

See here, in Commons we have multiple files with title "Subhash Chandra Bose", where the spelling is incorrect, a common misspelling and a very confusing one). By rules, I can't change these file names, by common sense I should.

Just opinion: if you face situation, follow Wikipedia's spelling.

Tips and trips[edit]

Don't copy descriptions from other sites[edit]

It is a common practice to copy description from Wikipedia page or any external site. From example, you upload a file of Barack Obama and copy some portion from Wikipedia article. Wikipedia content is under CC SA license where you must give attribution and other sites have similar or other license (might be "All rights reserved" too) from where you can not copy.