Multimedia/About Media Viewer

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See also: Help:Multimedia/Media Viewer
Media Viewer Desktop - Large Image Opaque Info.png

Media Viewer aims to improve the multimedia viewing experience on Wikipedia and Wikimedia sites, to display images in larger size and with less clutter. It is developed by the Wikimedia Foundation's multimedia team.

We're now getting ready to deploy this feature gradually as the default viewing experience, as described in this release plan.

To that end, we invite you to test the latest version 0.2, as outlined here (you can test it on this demo page, after enabling Media Viewer in your Beta preferences). After you've tried the tool , we invite you to let us know what you think and join our discussion. Hope to see you there!

Why Media Viewer?[edit | edit source]

The purpose of this tool is to:

  • Provide a richer multimedia experience, to match user expectations
  • Display images in larger size, on the same page as the thumbnail you click on
  • Reduce confusion when users click on thumbnails (bypass duplicate file info page on Wikipedias)

It aims to serve all users of Wikipedia, Commons and other MediaWiki sites: from casual readers to experienced editors.

Current features include:

  • Show images in larger size when you click on them
  • Modal panel opens up as overlay (on same page where you clicked)
  • Large image appears without clutter, for a more immersive experience
  • Information about the image can be accessed easily
  • Images in a collection can be browsed easily
  • Images can be shown in full-screen mode

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

Media viewer mockup: Lightbox view
Lightbox view - Metadata panel
Metadata panel with license
Improved "Use this file" tool

Media Viewer offers a variety of features in either 'Lightbox' or 'Full screen' views. To learn more, read this help file.

Lightbox View[edit | edit source]

The 'Lightbox view' for this tool includes:


The image is shown in large size against a black background, as an overlay that fills up the entire browser page where you clicked on the thumbnail. This makes the image stand out more and removes some of the visual clutter typically found on a text-heavy page.

Viewing Tools

These browsing tools are the key features in this version 0.2:

  • Next and Previous arrows (to browse through related images)
  • Full screen button (expands into full-screen view)
  • Close 'X' button (goes back to article view)
"Use this file"

We also offer special tools for using images for a variety of purposes:

Primary Information

Here is the information that is shown immediately below the image, in a small meta-data strip (see mockup):

  • File name (Zonotrichia atricapilla)
  • Author (e.g. Alejandro Erickson)
  • Source (e.g. Bird Institute)
  • License Info (e.g. CC-BY-SA-2.0) (or link to license info)
  • Chevron icon for opening the metadata panel to reveal more info (see below)
Secondary Information

Here is the information that is shown below the fold, once you open the metadata panel (by clicking on the chevron or scrolling):

Full Screen View[edit | edit source]

The 'full-screen view' for this tool will show a large image across the entire screen, with minimal information and buttons available on hover.

This is the view that lets you focus exclusively on the image, with no other distractions. When you click on the full screen icon, you see the largest version of the image that fits within the user's entire screen (not just the browser window). In this mode, you only see the controls, the file name and the author/source/license if you hover over the image.

When will it be released?[edit | edit source]

We have begun a gradual release of version v0.2 of Media Viewer, starting with a limited test on a few pilot sites in April 2014 -- and a wider release on all wikis in May 2014, as described in this release plan.

To prepare for this release, we invite you to test the latest version v0.2 on this demo page on or on your own site (be sure to enable Media Viewer first in your Beta preferences).

In this first release, the Media Viewer only supports the most widely used image file formats (e.g.: JPEG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, SVG). In future releases, we will gradually add support for other file formats (e.g.: PDF), as well as audio and video file formats. Learn more in this help page.

How can I help?[edit | edit source]


Can you help us test Media Viewer in coming days? Version 0.2 of this beta feature is now available for testing by logged-in users on all wikis. For example, you can test it on this demo page on (don't forget to enable Media Viewer in your Beta Features preferences page).

If you're feeling adventurous, you can test the latest features before they are released, on this beta site, but performance will be much slower on that site. For better performance, you can test last week’s features here on We release every Thursday on, then Monday on Commons and sister sites, then the following Thursday on all wikis.

To test either version of Media Viewer, click on the small 'Beta' link next to 'Preferences' in your personal menu. Then check the box next to 'Media Viewer' in the Beta Features section of your user preferences — and click 'Save' (see screenshot). You can turn off any this option anytime, by reversing these steps.

Try out Media Viewer and let us know what you think on this discussion page. If you find any technical bugs, please report them here on Bugzilla.

Over 20,000 other beta testers have now enabled Media Viewer around the world. 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 release plan.

Note: in this current release, the Media Viewer will only support the most widely used image file formats (e.g.: JPEG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, SVG). In future releases, we plan to add support for more file formats, such as PDF, audio and video files.

More Info[edit | edit source]

For more information about this tool, visit the project overview page on

This feature was designed in collaboration with community members like you, through a series of discussions held over video roundtable #2, IRC, the in person at Wikimania, as well as video roundtable #4 and video roundtable #5.

Media Viewer was brought to you by many Wikimedia Foundation team members, including: Fabrice Florin, Gilles Dubuc, Mark Holmquist, Gergő Tisza, Aaron Arcos, Pau Giner, Jared Zimmerman, May Galloway, Brian Wolff, Keegan Peterzell, Bryan Davis, Rob Lanphier, Howie Fung and Tomasz Finc and Erik Moeller, to name but a few.

To learn more about other multimedia projects we're working on, visit this Multimedia project hub.