Help:Multimedia/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?[edit | edit source]

Media Viewer is a new multimedia browser that aims to improve the viewing experience on Wikipedia, Commons and MediaWiki sites. It lets you view images in larger size, with useful information about their authors, license terms and other metadata. It also offers a number of tools for sharing, embedding and downloading media files.

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

How can I find the Media Viewer?[edit | edit source]

Media Viewer can be opened by clicking on any image on any Wikimedia site with the exception of logged-in users on Wikimedia Commons. Media Viewer can also be opened by clicking "Expand View" below the image on a File page.

Why Media Viewer?[edit | edit source]

The purpose of this tool is to:

  • Provide a richer multimedia experience
  • Display images in larger size, right where you are
  • Reduce confusion when users click on thumbnails

Media Viewer aims to serve all users of Wikipedia, Commons and other MediaWiki sites: this includes readers and new editors, as well as advanced users. This tool was created to engage casual users with a more compelling media experience, then invite them to contribute, edit and re-use these files over time.

How does Media Viewer work?[edit | edit source]

When you click on a thumbnail in an article, a large version of the image is shown, for a more immersive experience. Media Viewer fills your browser window with a ‘light box view’, right over the page where you clicked.

From here, you can access a number of features:

  • view more information
  • view images in full-screen
  • view original images in full resolution
  • browse through collections of images
  • share, embed or download an image
  • learn more about an image and its license
  • go to the file page to edit or discuss an image
  • close Media Viewer
  • disable Media Viewer

Read below to learn more about these features.

How can I bypass Media Viewer?[edit | edit source]

If you need to bypass Media Viewer to access its file description page directly, simply press one of these keys when clicking on a thumbnail:

  • shift-click - opens the page in a new window
  • command-click - opens the page in a new tab
  • control-click - shows a menu of options

How can I turn off this feature?[edit | edit source]

To disable this feature, open the information panel below any image in Media Viewer, then scroll down to the bottom and 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).

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?[edit | edit source]

If you have turned off Media Viewer and wish to re-enable it, visit any image description page on the site where you wish to use this tool. Then click on the "Expand View" button below that image, which will open it in Media Viewer. Then scroll down to the bottom of the information panel below the image, and click on "Re-enable Media Viewer”. This re-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).

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 close Media Viewer?[edit | edit source]

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?[edit | edit source]

Media Viewer Desktop - Large Image Half-Down.png

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

For more information, simply scroll down to see a ‘metadata panel’ that includes more details, such as: image description, where the file is stored, who uploaded it, when it was created or uploaded, etc. (You can also click the arrow icon top or down on your keyboard to see this panel.)

If you would like even more information, click on the link to Wikimedia Commons or other file repository to view or edit its file description page.

How can I browse through a collection of images?[edit | edit source]

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 the image 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 view an image in full-screen?[edit | edit source]

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 (its icon features two opposing arrows - see thumbnail 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 only see the controls, the file name and the author/source/license if you hover over the image.

To exit full screen mode, you can click on the same button to return to the light box view — or select the close ‘X’ button to exit Media Viewer.

How can I enlarge an image?[edit | edit source]

Media Viewer Icon - Open.svg

To enlarge an image, simply click on it. 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 'back' button in your browser.

How can I view images in different sizes?[edit | edit source]

Media Viewer Icon - Use this file.svg

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

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

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

How can I download an image?[edit | edit source]

Media Viewer Icon - Use this file.svg

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

To download an image in a different size, click the green down arrow, where you can pick the size that best fits your needs (e.g. Small, Medium or Large). 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 in a separate tab.

Please check the license terms of a file before downloading it for your use, to confirm that this use is covered. Also, please include all required credits and links to comply with those terms: these credits are now included in the Embed panel, where you can copy and paste them for your purposes. They will soon be available in the Download panel as well.

How can I share an image?[edit | edit source]

Media Viewer Icon - Use this file.svg

To share images you find in Media Viewer, click on the ‘Use this file’ button (the curved arrow icon at the lower right corner of the screen - see thumbnail to the right). Then click 'Share'. This will 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 article where you found it.

How can I embed an image on another page?[edit | edit source]

Media Viewer Icon - Use this file.svg

Media Viewer embed.png

To use an image on another wiki page or on other web sites, click on the ‘Use this file’ button (the curved arrow icon at the lower right corner - see thumbnail 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 this use is covered. Also, please include all required credits and links to comply with those terms.

How can I tell if an image can be re-used and what its license terms are?[edit | edit source]

Media Viewer - Metadata-tags panel-tags-license.png

Many of the images you find in Media Viewer can be re-used freely, as long as you provide attribution and you 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 some other form of free content licensing.

To find out what these license terms mean, simply click on the license link next to the image title. In some cases, it will show you the license details in the metadata panel. In other cases, 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 image title. Clicking it will show the permissions details and special requests from the author or source.

How can I edit or discuss an image?[edit | edit source]

Media Viewer Icon - Commons Gray.svg

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

You can do this by clicking on one of these buttons:

  • the ‘file page’ icon - at the lower right corner of the screen (e.g. Wikimedia Commons or 'W' logo - see thumbnail to the right).
  • the ‘Learn more’ link - in the right column of the information panel, scrolling down below the image.

How can I link to an image from wikitext?[edit | edit source]

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

How can I disable Media Viewer for unrelated images?[edit | edit source]

Sometimes, Media Viewer displays images that are confusing for our users or are 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 [clarification needed])

Which platforms does Media Viewer support?[edit | edit source]

For this first release, Media Viewer now 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. 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?[edit | edit source]

For this first release, Media Viewer only supports the most widely used image file formats (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?[edit | edit source]

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

However, we appreciate that Bugzilla isn't the easiest system to use; 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?[edit | edit source]

We would like to know what you think of Media Viewer and invite you to participate on this discussion page.

Tens of thousands of users around the world helped test Media Viewer during its development. Here is an overview of the feedback they have kindly given us to help improve this tool. Many of their suggestions are now being implemented, as part of our current cycle plan.

Where can I find technical information about Media Viewer?[edit | edit source]

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?[edit | edit source]

Media Viewer was tested extensively for over seven months by tens of thousands of 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 invite you to

After addressing key issues identified by our testers, Media Viewer v0.2 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.

For more information, check out this release page.

What new features are being planned for Media Viewer?[edit | edit source]

Major feature development is now over for this first release. We are considering more features for future releases, and have prepared preliminary designs and specifications listed on this page, based on community feedback.

To prepare for future releases, we would love to hear which of these features seem most important to you. If you have any suggestions for improving this tool, please let us know on this discussion page.