Wikipedia:Wikimedia Commons

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For an article about Wikimedia Commons itself, see Wikimedia Commons.
Wikimedia Commons
Central filled red circle, surrounded by a blue circular outline with a gap and an arrow leading up, plus seven smaller arrows pointing inward to the red circle. Below are the words "WIKIMEDIA COMMONS".
Screenshot of Wikimedia Commons Main Page, featuring a Picture of the Day for 2006-06-05.
Type of site
Media repository
Owner Wikimedia Foundation
Created by Wikimedia community
Commercial No
Registration Optional (required for uploading images)
Launched September 7, 2004

The Wikimedia Commons (also called "Wikicommons," "the Commons", "Wikipedia Commons" or just "Commons") is a repository of free content images, sound and other multimedia files. Like Wikipedia, it is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation. It provides a common resource repository to all the various Wikimedia sister projects in any language.

The files uploaded to the Commons repository can be used like locally uploaded files on all projects on the Wikimedia servers in all languages, including Wikipedia, Wikibooks, Wikisource and Wikinews, or downloaded for offsite use, as all of the content is either in the public domain or released under licenses such as the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License and GNU Free Documentation License.

What is the Commons?[edit]

Main article: Commons:Welcome

Wikimedia Commons is a media repository that is created and maintained by volunteers. Its name, "Wikimedia Commons", is derived from that of the umbrella project "Wikimedia", which manages all Wikimedia projects, and from the plural noun "commons" as its contents are shared across all Wikimedia projects. It provides a central repository for freely licensed photographs, diagrams, animations, music, spoken text, video clips, and media of all sorts that are useful for any Wikimedia project.

For a tutorial on contributing to Wikimedia Commons, see Contributing your own work.

Embedding Commons' media in Wikipedia articles[edit]

Main articles: Wikipedia:Picture tutorial; Commons:Commons:First steps/Reuse section Embedding Commons' media in Wikimedia projects

To embed a Wikimedia Commons image or video file in Wikipedia, just include it in the same way as if it were to be stored locally.

To include an image in a page, use for example a link in the form (standard usage shown):

[[File:image.jpg|thumb|alt=alt text|caption]]

See WP:ALT and WP:CAPTION for what should go into alt text and caption, respectively.

Further details can be found at Help:Visual file markup.

To include a sound you can choose between two possibilities if the {{Audio}} template is present in your local wiki (otherwise you can use the first method):

[[Media:file.ogg|descriptive text]]
{{Audio|Filename-without-namespace|descriptive text}}

Further details can be found at Help:Sound file markup.

Example of a gallery[edit]

If you would like to display a gallery of photos, you can follow this example code

<gallery class="center">
 Philipp Veit 008.jpg
 Image_Germania_(painting).jpg|You can also include captions.
 Niederwald memorial 2.JPG

to produce this:


Please do not categorize Commons files on Wikipedia, but rather help Commons by categorizing them there.

How to move an image from Wikipedia to Wikimedia Commons[edit]

See Wikipedia:Moving images to the Commons and Why move images to the commons?

Differences between Wikipedia and Commons[edit]

  • Commons does not allow non-free or fair use images. See commons:Commons:Licensing. Commons employs a more restrictive interpretation of international copyright law than Wikipedia. Images must be free in both the country of origin and the United States in order to be free enough for Commons.
  • On Wikipedia, an image can be nominated for deletion if it does not (attempt to) illustrate an article. Commons is less concerned about what an image might illustrate, as there are so many projects that the images are available to. See commons:Commons:Scope.
  • On Wikipedia, it is important that an image is placed in an article. On the image description page, the section "File links" shows which pages are using the image. On Commons, this section shows both which pages within Commons an image is used on; and a list of all the usage of the file across Wikimedia projects (through the GlobalUsage feature). Because of this, it is important that images are placed in categories and/or on gallery pages, so as to avoid becoming orphans. The general consensus of the Commons community is that all images should be categorised, and that galleries are a secondary consideration. To find suitable categories easily, try using the CommonSense tool.
  • Commons is a multilingual project. Try to avoid assuming that everyone speaks the same language(s) as you, and with equal fluency. Put Userboxes on your User page to indicate what languages you are able to speak, and your level of proficiency. See commons:Commons:Babel.

Article-to-article linking between Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons[edit]

Wikimedia sister projects lists templates that are designed to provide article-to-article linking between Wikipedia and its Wikimedia sister projects. It also provides links to pages concerning moving articles between projects.

See also[edit]