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Every uploaded file has an image description page that is associated with it. The image description page is used to provide relevant information concerning that image (or other multimedia; sounds may also be uploaded using the same mechanism).

Every instance of a local image on the Law & Order Wiki will include a link to the related image description page – just click on the image to view the description page.

To make a link to the image description page without showing the image itself, use the following format:


The leading colon prevents the image from being displayed on the page, and leaves the link alone. (In the case of sounds, links are automatically text-only; embedding them in the article is not possible.)

The description page consists of four major sections:

  • The image itself,
  • A description of the image or sound,
  • Image history (see page history), and
  • Image links (what articles use the image).

The following part of the article refers to the image description itself. The image description can be edited by clicking the "Edit this page" link on the image description page.

What to include in an image description

An image description should (ideally) include all of the following information:

  • Image source. It is important to cite your sources and state the origin of the image that you have uploaded. In the cases of photographs and other artwork, name the artist who created the image. In the case of screen captures from episodes and movies, specify which episode (and series) the image comes from.
  • Copyright status. It is crucial to abide by the copyrights policy and add explicit information about who owns the copyright of the image in question. (There are several convenient copyright notice templates located in the Law & Order Wiki's templates section that are available to be easily included in the description.)
    • In the case of all screen captures and publicity photographs, state that the image copyright belongs to Paramount Pictures, and that the image is displayed under fair use guidelines. (Typically these images can use the {{image paramount}} template.)
    • If the image is copyright of another artist, state the conditions of its use on the Law & Order Wiki – specifically, whether the copyright is retained by the author and is used under fair use guidelines, or if the image is copyrighted but released for free use under the terms of the Law & Order Wiki copyright. (The latter is preferred but not mandatory.)
  • Description of the image. This should be more than simple alternate text, but rather a full-sentence (or more) description of the image. This is useful to explain the context of the image and its significance.
  • Other versions of the image. If the image is a cropped or shrunken version of a larger image on an external site, provide a link to the full version.
  • Relevant links. Be sure to include links to useful Law & Order Wiki articles that can describe more about the image's context. This can be included as part of the image's actual description, but a list separate from the description is also useful.

Upload summary

Similar to the edit summary, the upload summary provides a description of the actual upload and the changes being applied to the image.


A file description page.

Each uploaded file has an associated file description page, which gives information about the source of the file, as well as some licensing and technical information. While we traditionally think of a file description page as something that gives more info about a static image, it can actually amplify anything that can be uploaded to a wiki, including videos, sound clips, fonts, PDF documents and more.

Because a file description page is part of a unique namespace, you may occasionally hear it referred to by either the namespace name or number. Terms like file page or namespace 6 page mean precisely the same thing — as does the older term, image description page.

Parts of a file page

The description page consists of four parts:
  1. The file itself — or, in some cases, a link to it
    • When the file is an image, the description page shows it at either full- or reduced-size. If the reduced-size version is presented, there will also be links to additional sizes, including the file's full resolution.
    • Displayed images can be slightly different to the original upload, as images are automatically optimized for use on the web. A "download" link is available to obtain the original file.
  2. An "About" tab that contains:
    • An editable description of the file
    • A list of pages on which the file appears — but excluded from this list are pages that simply link to the file page, or usages within CSS or JavaScript code
  3. A "File History" tab that contains:
    • The history of uploads for that file
    • A link to upload a new version of that file
  4. A "Metadata" tab, when metadata of the file is available.

Updating a file page

The description text under the "About" tab can be edited like normal article text by clicking the "Edit" button. This will also allow you to categorize the image.

The image itself can be updated by uploading a new image with the same name via upload tools, or by using the "Upload a new version of this file" link at the bottom of the "File history" tab.

The "About" tab

This area allows normal article wikitext. Initially the description automatically contains the upload summary supplied by the user when uploading the first version (this text also shows up in the "File history" section in the "Comment" column).

Description of the image

Example: "Image of a goldfish in a small tank". This is useful for users who do not have direct access to the image.

Author and source information


An example of reasonable sourcing and licensing information in an "About" tab

Always provide as much information as you can about the creator of the image, and where you got the image (i.e. a website, scanned from a book, took a photo yourself).

If the image is licensed under a CC-BY license (or most similar licenses) it must be attributed to the copyright holder (usually the photographer).  If this is not done, your upload violates the terms of the license, and is a copyright violation.

Even if the image is public domain or is under a license that doesn't require attribution, please provide source information anyway to make verification easy. Remember that your community might be around for ten, twenty, or a hundred years, and later readers or editors may have different needs for verifying the source of an image.

Licensing information

Please include a file copyright tag, either by typing the correct template (such as {{Fairuse}} by hand, or choosing from a license selector dropdown at the time you upload the file.

If applicable, provide a link to documentation of the licensing terms (i.e. a "Terms of use" or "About" page for the website where you got the file).

Other versions

If other versions (especially a larger version) of the same image exists, it can be helpful to link to them. For example:

  • [[File:Goldfish-in-tank-large.jpg|larger version]] ([[:File:Goldfish-in-tank-large.jpg|info]])
  • [[File:Goldfish-in-tank2.jpg|different camera angle]] ([[:File:Goldfish-in-tank2.jpg|info]])
  • [[File:Goldfish-in-tank-textfree.jpg|text-free version]] ([[:File:Goldfish-in-tank-textfree.jpg|info]])

Text-free versions may be useful for using across different languages.

Categorizing files

By adding a category tag on the file page, files can be in the same category as other pages, but they are not included in the count of articles in the category, and they are displayed in a separate section, with a thumbnail and the name for each.

Because the upload form has an blank for introducing an "upload summary", you can place categories here, and thereby apply a category to an image without editing the file description page later. You can also add categorisation code to your file copyright tags, allowing you to automatically apply categories just because you've used a certain copyright tag.

That said, though, there's nothing inherently "different" about categorizing files than there is about categorizing any other type of page. Your wiki's file category structure can be just as simple or complex as for any other type of page.

Protecting files

Administrators and content moderators can protect a file description page, which automatically protects the file itself, preventing users without specified rights from re-uploading that file or uploading an file of the same name.

But as with any act of protection, you want to use this power sparingly. Generally, it makes better sense to protect files that are actually the subject of a current edit war between your users than it does to just protect all your files. Remember, users generally should be able to tweak and revise files in the same way that they do text.

Linking to a file without displaying it

To make a link to the file description page, rather than displaying the file, use a leading colon in the link, like: [[:File:Flower.png]] or [[:File:Rainbow.jpg]]. If you want to pipe trick the namespace name away, you can just do this: [[:File:Flower.png|]], which results in Flower.png. Pipe tricking can be very useful in discussions about a file, in case your community is divided about which file to use in a certain situation.

See also

Further help and feedback

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.