Help:Extension:Media Viewer

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Media Viewer lets you view images in larger size, for a more immersive experience.

Welcome to the help page for Media Viewer, a new multimedia browser for Wikimedia sites.

This page includes frequently asked questions about key features of this project.

What is Media Viewer?

Media Viewer is a new multimedia browser that aims to improve the viewing experience on Wikipedia and Wikimedia sister projects. It lets you view images in larger size, with useful information about their contents, authors and related metadata. It also offers a number of tools to share, download or embed media files.

This tool was developed by the Wikimedia Foundation's multimedia team. To learn more about Media Viewer, read below or visit this product page.

Why Media Viewer?

Media Viewer aims to:

  • improve the viewing experience for readers
  • make it easier to preview and browse images
  • provide a quick summary, with easy access to details
  • offer features such as enlarge, download, share and embed

Media Viewer was created for readers and casual editors, the primary target users for this tool. Over time, these features can encourage them to contribute more to Wikipedia and Wikimedia sister projects.

How can I use Media Viewer?

To open an image in Media Viewer, click on its thumbnail on any article, gallery or category page. This will display a larger image in Media Viewer, as long as the tool is enabled.

Media Viewer is now enabled by default on all Wikimedia sites, but can be disabled by any user, as described below.

From a file description page, click on "Open in Media Viewer" below the image to view it with this tool.

How does Media Viewer work?

When you click on a thumbnail in an article, a large version of the image appears in Media Viewer's ‘light box view’, right over the page where you clicked.

From here, you can access a number of features:

  • read the image description
  • browse through related images
  • enlarge the image (or view it in full screen)
  • learn more about the image and its authors
  • get more details on the file page
  • share, embed or download the image
  • close Media Viewer
  • disable (or enable) Media Viewer

Learn more about these features below.

How can I bypass Media Viewer?

To bypass Media Viewer and access the file description page directly, you can use one of these mouse and keyboard shortcuts when clicking on an image thumbnail:

  • Shift+Click – Open the file page in a new browser window.
  • Ctrl+Click – Open the file page in a new background tab.
  • Ctrl+Shift+Click – Open the file page in a new foreground tab.

Note that mouse and keyboard shortcuts may vary depending on your browser and user configuration. For more information, check your browser support pages, such as these: Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer.

How can I turn off this feature?

Media Viewer's new Disable feature

To disable Media Viewer, click on the 'cogs' icon at the top right corner of Media Viewer, below the full-screen control (see screenshot). Then click on "Disable Media Viewer." From now on, images will no longer open in Media Viewer: clicking on thumbnails will take you to the file description page on Wikimedia Commons or other file repository. This Disable feature works for registered users (using a site preference), as well as unregistered or 'anonymous' users (using a file stored locally on your computer).

Note that this Disable feature only works on the site where you activate it: disabling Media Viewer on Wikimedia Commons will not disable it on your home Wikipedia or other sister projects.

If you are a registered user, you can also disable Media Viewer in your "Preferences": select the "Appearance" section, and uncheck this option under "Files": '[ ] Enable Media Viewer’. Once you click "Save", images will no longer open in Media Viewer for your account on that site.

If you change your mind and wish to re-enable Media Viewer, follow the instructions below.

How can I re-enable this feature?

Media Viewer's new Enable feature

If you have turned off Media Viewer and wish to re-enable it, visit any file description page on the site where you wish to use this tool. Then click on the 'cogs' icon next to the "Open in Media Viewer" button below that image: this will open it in Media Viewer, with the Enable panel open (see screenshot). Now click on "Enable Media Viewer". This Enable feature works for registered users (using a site preference), as well as unregistered or 'anonymous' users (using a file stored locally on your computer).

Note that this Enable feature only works on the site where you activate it: enabling Media Viewer on Wikimedia Commons will not enable it on your home Wikipedia or other sister projects.

If you are a registered user, you can also re-enable Media Viewer in your "Preferences": select the "Appearance" section, and check this option under "Files": '[ ] Enable Media Viewer’. Once you click "Save", images will open in Media Viewer again for your account on that site.

How can I view an image without enabling Media Viewer?

If you have turned off this feature but wish to view an image in Media Viewer without re-enabling the tool permanently, visit its file description page. Then click on the "Open in Media Viewer" button below that image: this will open it in Media Viewer, but only for that image at that time.

Note that you can sometimes open an image in Media Viewer without enabling that feature by clicking on a link that includes the Media Viewer parameters at the end of the URL (e.g.: '#mediaviewer/File:foo.jpg').

How can I close Media Viewer?

Media Viewer Icon - Close.svg

You can close Media Viewer in a couple different ways:

  • click on the ‘X’ button at the top right of the Media Viewer panel (see thumbnail to the right)
  • press the ‘escape’ key on your keyboard

In some cases, you can also click on the ‘Back’ button on your browser to go back to the page where a Media Viewer image was linked.

How can I view more information?

Media Viewer - New Design - Default Lightbox.png

Media Viewer shows basic information on the image you are viewing, right at the bottom of the screen. This includes the file caption or description, as well as the author, source and license information.

For more information, simply scroll down to see a ‘metadata panel’ that includes: a longer description (if available), who uploaded this file, when it was created or uploaded -- as well as links to Media Viewer information, such as this help page. (You can also click the up or down arrow keys on your keyboard to see this panel.)

If you would like even more information, click on the big blue 'More details' button, which lets you view the file description page on Wikimedia Commons or other file repository.

How can I browse through a collection of images?

Media Viewer Icon - Next.svg

To browse through all the images in a collection, you can use the 'Next' and 'Previous' arrow buttons, which appear to the left and right of images in Media Viewer (see thumbnail to the right).

A collection can include all the images in an article, a gallery or a category page. You can also use the left and right arrow keys on your keyboard for this feature.

How can I enlarge an image?

Media Viewer Icon - Open.svg

To enlarge an image, simply click on it. (As a reminder, your cursor turns into a magnifier icon when you hover over an image.)

This will open the original image in its largest size, on Wikimedia Commons or the file repository site where it was first uploaded.

You can then use your browser zoom feature to examine details of the image, or right-click it to use this file in a variety of ways. In this view, the Media Viewer controls disappear completely, so you can interact the image directly.

To view the image in Media Viewer again, simply click the 'go back' button in your browser.

How can I view an image in full-screen?

Media Viewer Icon - Fullscreen.svg

To see an image in full screen, click on the full screen button at the top right of the Media Viewer panel (the icon with two opposing arrows - see icon to the right).

This will show a large image across your entire screen, not just the browser window. This full-screen view is completely uncluttered, so you can focus exclusively on the image, with no other distractions. In this mode, you can hover over the image to see the controls, the file caption, author, source and license.

To exit full screen mode, you can click on the same button to return to the light box view. (To exit Media Viewer, select the close ‘X’ button or press the 'Esc' key.)

How can I view images in different sizes?

To view images in different sizes, click on the ‘Download’ button (the down arrow icon at the lower right corner of the screen). This opens the ‘Download' panel, with the original image size pre-selected.

To pick a different size, click the down arrow in the green Download button, and select the size that best fits your needs (e.g. Original, Small, Medium or Large).

Then click on 'View in browser' below the green button to open the file at that size, in a separate tab.

How can I download an image?

To download an image, click on the ‘Download’ button (the down arrow icon at the lower right corner of the screen). This opens the ‘Download' panel, with the original size pre-selected. Click on the green button to download that original file, using your browser’s tools.

To download an image in a different size, click the down arrow in the green Download button, where you can pick the size that best fits your needs (e.g. Original, Small, Medium or Large). Then click the green button again to download that image size. You can also preview any of these sizes, before you download: click on 'View in browser' below the green button to open the file at the selected size.

Please check the license terms of a file before downloading it for your use, to confirm that your use is covered. Also, please include all required attribution and license credits to comply with those terms: these credits are now included in the Download panel, under 'You must attribute the author'. Click on that label to get the full credits, which you can copy and paste in either plain text or HTML.

How can I share an image?

Media Viewer Icon - Use this file.svg

To share images you find in Media Viewer, click on the ‘Share / Embed’ button (the curved arrow icon at the lower right corner of the screen - see icon to the right). The 'Share' tab is shown first, and includes show a link to the selected image, which you can copy and paste to share it with your community. Note that for now, this link will open the image in Media Viewer on its file repository page (e.g. Commons), not on the page where you found it.

How can I embed an image on another page?

To use an image on another wiki page or website, click on the ‘Share / Embed’ button (the curved arrow icon at the lower right corner of the screen - see icon to the right). Then click on the 'Embed' tab. This will show the code needed to display the selected image, which you can copy and paste into your page’s code.

To add an image on a wiki page, select ‘WikiText’. To include it on a standard web page, select ‘HTML'. The required attribution and license info is included in the HTML code, along with corresponding links.

A size selector lets you pick the size that best fits your page. Note that you can also change the width or height of an image in the code itself.

Please check the license terms of a file before embedding it on a page, to confirm that your use is covered. Also, please include all required credits and links to comply with their license terms.

How can I tell if an image can be re-used?

Many of the images you find in Media Viewer can be re-used freely, as long as you provide attribution and comply with their license terms. For example, some images are licensed under Creative Commons terms (e.g. CC-BY or CC-BY-SA). Others are public domain or available under some other license.

To find out what these license terms mean, simply click on the license label at the lower right of Media Viewer, right below the blue 'More details' button. In some cases, it will show you the license details on the Creative Commons site. In other cases, it will show the license in in the metadata panel -- or it will go to the file description page on the repository site, where you can learn more.

If an image has special licensing terms or requires special credits or permissions, a ‘view terms’ link will be added next to the license label. Click on it to see the permission details and special requests from the author or source.

How can I edit, curate or discuss an image?

To edit, curate or discuss an image, you need to go to its file description page on Wikimedia Commons or other file repository.

You can do this by clicking on the big blue ‘More details’ button, at the lower right corner of the screen.

A site icon in the 'More details' button shows whether it links to Wikimedia Commons or another file repository (indicated with a 'W' logo).

How can I link to an image from Wikitext?

To link to an image so that it opens in Media Viewer, you can use this Wikitext code:

[{{fullurl:PAGE NAME}}#mediaviewer/{{urlencode:File:FILE NAME|wiki}} LINK TEXT]

Clicking on this link will open the linked image in Media Viewer, as an overlay covering the linked page.

How can I disable Media Viewer for unrelated images?

Sometimes, Media Viewer displays images that are confusing or not suitable for viewing with this tool. If necessary, editors can prevent these images from appearing in Media Viewer, using one of the methods below.

  • For images contained in 'metadata' content that is not related to the page's topic (e.g. Template:Ambox icons): you can disable Media Viewer for these files by adding this "metadata" class around their image tag:

<span class="metadata">[[File:Foo.jpg]]</span>
(please only use this method to mark elements in articles that are considered not to be part of the proper content of the article: annotations, maintenance templates, navigation links, media controls, etc.)

  • For other images that are not 'metadata' files, but do not display properly in Media Viewer (e.g. maps or diagrams with unreadable labels, small icons, flags): you can disable Media Viewer for these files by adding this "noviewer" class inside their image tag:

[[File:Foo.jpg|class=noviewer]]
(please only use this method to mark images that cannot be viewed effectively in Media Viewer because important details are hard to view with this tool; this method is intended for special cases, not for widespread use with images that can be viewed well in Media Viewer.)

Which platforms does Media Viewer support?

Media Viewer works on most modern web browsers for desktop computers: Chrome, Firefox and Safari's latest stable versions -- as well as Internet Explorer versions 9 and above. At this time, Media Viewer does not work on IE8 and below, and it is disabled for mobile devices (a simple media viewer is now provided for mobile devices, but lacks most of the features of the desktop version). In future releases, we plan to provide a mobile version of Media Viewer, as well as wider browser support on desktop platforms.

Which file formats does Media Viewer support?

At this time, Media Viewer only supports the most widely used image file formats on Wikimedia sites (e.g.: JPEG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, SVG). In future releases, we will add support for PDF, audio, video and other file formats.

How can I report a technical issue?

We welcome bug reports from our community. If you find a technical issue, please file a bug here on Phabricator.

You can also post your report on this discussion page, with a screenshot and information on your browser and operating system :).

Before reporting a bug, check first that this issue is not already on this list of known bugs. In case it’s already been fixed, you may also want to test it on this test page on MediaWiki.org -- where new features are released a week before the rest of the wikis.

How can I discuss new features for this tool?

Please let us know what you think of Media Viewer. You are welcome to participate on this discussion page.

Tens of thousands of users around the world helped test Media Viewer during its development. Here are suggested improvements collected through community consultations, user surveys and other feedback they kindly shared with our development team. Many of these improvements have now been implemented.

Where can I find technical information about Media Viewer?

For more technical information about this tool, visit these two extension pages: MultimediaViewer and CommonsMetadata on MediaWiki.org.

How was Media Viewer tested and released?

Media Viewer was tested extensively for about nine months by tens of thousands of beta users around the world, starting in November 2013, as part of the Beta Features program. This allowed users to enable Media Viewer long before it was released on their sites, by clicking on the small 'Beta' link next to 'Preferences' in their personal menu.

We also conducted rigorous usability studies throughout development, such as this recent usability test -- and ran extensive user surveys with over 18,000 responses in 8 different languages. Additional community suggestions were collected through this widely promoted community consultation on many large wikis around the world, as well as as our regular talk page.

After addressing key issues identified by our testers, Media Viewer was gradually released between April and June 2014. Local deployments took place on different sites every week, through the middle of June 2014, when this feature was enabled by default on all wikis hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation. We then asked for more community feedback and did another round of improvements based on new suggestions, as outlined above.

For more information, check out this release page.

What new features are being planned for Media Viewer?

No new features are planned for Media Viewer at this time.

In fall 2014, the multimedia team developed a wide range of new improvements, based on usability research and community feedback.

Here are the improvements that were released in November 2014, to make Media Viewer easier to use by readers and casual editors, our primary target users for this tool:

If you have any suggestions for improving this tool in future releases, please let us know on this discussion page.