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Wikimedia Commons only accepts “free content”. Likewise, ONLY free file formats are allowed.

Mr akzeptiere uff de Allmänd numme bstimmti Dateitype. Des ßin:

Dateiformat, wo nit uff derre Liste stönn, mien vor em Uffelade konvertiert werre. TIFF wird wohrschints in nöchster Zit understützt werre. Lange Tekscht in Dokumänt ghört aber nit uff d Allmänd, sondern uff d Wikisource oder uff Wikibooks. Lüeg au de Projäktrahme für witeri Informatione über Inhalt, wo uff de Allmänd akzeptiert werre.

Non-free formats and unsupported free formats must be converted to a supported free format before uploading. Fortunately, this is usually not difficult. (But can be time consuming depending on the format and desired output quailty, especially on underpowered setups.)


On Wikimedia Commons, the file types we recommend are: SVG, PNG, and JPEG.

BMP isch uff de Allmänd nit erlaubt. Es cha verlustfrei in PNG konvertiert werre; dodurch wird meistens au weniger Speicherblatz defür brucht.

Size and scaling

Siehe auch : Commons:Maximum file size

Note that new PNG resizing software has been installed since the text below has been written.

S PNG isch e verlustfreis Format, wyl d Bildqualität bim Speichere erhalte blibt. JPG degege isch verlustbehaftet. JPG-Bilder ßin ehner für Fotografye geignet; PNGs ßin besser für Zeichnige oder Diagramm; GIFs sotte numme für bewegti Bilder ("animierti GIFs") verwändet werre, do mit PNG weniger Speicherblatz brucht und einewäg e besseri Qualität erreicht wird.

Leider git's bi de dynamische Skalierig vo de Bilder bstimmti Yschränkige. Im Momänt werre Thumbnails im glyche Format wie s Ursprungsbild generiert und hän immer 24-Bit-Farbtiefi, falls es Ursprungsbild nit im GIF-Format git. Bi de GIFs hät s Thumbnail 256 Farbe, wo di maximali Azahl isch, wo s GIF-Format ermögligt. In de Praxis bedütet säll, dass d Verchleinerig vo PNG-Bilder, aber au vo GIF-Animatione großi Dateie erzüge cha, selbscht wenn d Ursprungsdatei e kompakti indizierti Farbpalätte verwändet.

TIFFs larger than 50 MP may fail to thumbnail due to performance issues (phab:T54045).

Highest resolution

Nonetheless, please help ensure that Commons content can be reused widely — including use in printed media — by uploading photographic images at high resolution. In cases where the highest resolution version has problems as discussed above, a smaller version can be uploaded by another name (mentioning the higher resolution image in the description) or as a newer version of the file.


See also Help:SVG and Wikipedia: Graphic Lab/Resources/SVG.

SVG is an XML-based vector graphics format that can be scaled without getting blurry or “pixelated”. It is easy to edit and usually produces reasonably small files (see File:Bitmap VS SVG.svg). SVG is preferred when creating diagrams, flags, etc., while PNG works well for scanned images and print-quality photographs. See Help:SVG.

SVG works well for diagrams, charts, illustrations, maps, and any graphic that needs labels. SVG can store the labels as text strings, so an SVG graphic can be translated to other languages by editing the text strings. For example, the map File:Caucasus-ethnic en.svg below has been translated to several languages. Compare the better image quality of the SVG maps at various sizes compared to the JPG and PNG maps. (The images shown below are actually in the PNG format. SVG images on Wikipedia are not served to browsers. Instead, MediaWiki converts the SVG image to a PNG image and serves the PNG image.)


PNG is a "lossless" format (which supports alpha transparency), meaning that the exact pixel color is preserved when saving, and can be used for any kind of drawings/diagrams that is not available in SVG format (SVG is preferred when creating diagrams etc.). PNG is good for practically anything except digital camera photographs, including scanned images (though with a caveat – see the note on sharpening below), print-quality photographs, and low color depth images. (All this at a generally smaller size with more quality compared to JPEG.)

On Wikipedia, PNG thumbnails are not sharpened, but JPEG thumbnails are. For more complicated images, such a photographs, engravings, and such, PNG displays an inferior thumbnail. However, the major problem with JPEG is that, as a lossy file format, it cannot be repeatedly edited, even at the best quality settings. As such, even where the PNG thumbnail is inferior, it’s recommended to upload a PNG as well, and link between the PNG and JPEG copies using {{PNG with JPEG version}}. An exception is where the original image is already in JPEG; in such cases, there’s no reason to provide a PNG copy. However, if you edit the JPEG, it’s not a bad idea to save a PNG copy before closing the program used to edit it; this provides a copy that someone else can edit without causing progressive degradation. As well, for simpler images, see Wikipedia:How to reduce colors for saving a JPEG as PNG – simple images usually have smaller filesize than JPEG when the image is relatively simple.

Exif data

It’s very important to remember that there are no exif data in PNG files,[Note 1] so that if you want to upload a picture you shoot in a raw image format, save it in JPEG from the raw image file and, if you like, upload also a PNG from the raw image file too. But if you want to retouch your photo preserving your exif data, the professional way is to edit the original raw image file or a PNG version, save it in JPEG format and copy the exif data from the raw image file to the final JPEG. There is no single standard way to get this right, other contributors will help you if your tool produces something that is seriously wrong (UTF-8 outside of iTXT chunk or similar.)

See also Commons:Preparing images for upload, PNG tips.
Percentages of file types on Commons as of September 2017


JPEG is appropriate for photographs, especially when the photographs are already JPEGs. JPEG uses “lossy compression”, sacrificing precision for smaller file size.

If you have a choice of file formats in which to save a graphic, scan, or other such thing, save it as PNG (or save it as another lossless format, such as TIFF, and convert to PNG), and upload it as such. However, if the original file is in JPEG, it generally makes no sense to convert it to PNG: converting a lossy compression into a “lossless” format doesn't buy you anything since the “loss” already occurred in the original, and doing so will only increase the file size (any edits, however, should probably be saved as PNG as well as JPEG). An exception is high resolution JPEGs that have no visible compression artifacts. Conversion to PNG will avoid the thumbnails having additional compression artifacts.

Note that currently JPEG thumbnails receive extra sharpening, while PNG thumbnails don't. Hence, uploading in both formats may be a good idea if the PNG thumbnails look a bit blurry. Use {{JPEG version of PNG}} on the JPEG versions of a PNG flagged as {{PNG with JPEG version}}.

PNG is a lossless full-color format. JPEG is always a lossy format even at the highest quality settings. Lossless formats do not degrade after being saved repeatedly, but lossy ones do; hence, having a lossless version of the file allows the file to be tweaked for various purposes — cropping, levels adjustment, and so on — without a loss in quality.

See also Help:JPEG, Help:Scanning[Note 2]


The thumbnail of this GIF file is problematic due to handling of transparency
PNG resizing does not have this problem

PNG compared is almost always superior to GIF for still images (smaller size, more colors, better transparency). If you are creating or editing a graphic (not a photograph), and have a choice of file formats to save it in, the preferences for Wikipedia/Wikimedia use is SVG first, then PNG. Never save an image with more than 256 colors in the GIF format. GIF always saves images as 256 colors or less. Converting higher-color images to the GIF format will degrade those images.

Editing of GIF files can be unwieldy because GIF only supports a 8-bit palette and most filters only function on the full palette. And PNG supports 8-bit transparency (alpha channel) in contrast to GIF's 1-bit transparency. There are also certain idiosyncracies in GIF resizing; notably, when a GIF with background transparency is thumbnailed, the transparent area eats into the non-transparent area, which can create problems.

If you find some quality freely licensed GIF graphics, diagrams, charts, maps, illustrations, etc. that you think would be useful for Wikipedia or one of its sister projects, feel free to upload them to Commons as-is. You or others can convert them to SVG format later if need be.

See Commons:Chart and graph resources for tools and help.

Animated GIF

GIF is a lossless, 8-bit color format (maximum of 256 colors) and should be used mainly for animated images on Wikimedia Commons. For animated images GIF uses lossless compression of images up to 256 colors per frame. Animated GIF files sometimes have problems when thumbnailed. If you find your animation corrupted or distorted when scaled down, try re-saving it with every frame the same size: A common optimization method in animated gif crunchers is to write variable-sized frames, sometimes labeled as: “Save only the portions of frames that have changed”. Wikimedia’s current version of ImageMagick does not seem to support this. There is currently a 50 megapixel restriction in our software; please see the description in Category:Animated GIF files affected by MediaWiki restrictions for details.

Inline animations should be used sparingly; a static image with a link to the animation is preferred unless the animation has a very small file size. Keep in mind the problems with print compatibility mentioned above.


Only some TIFF files can, at this time, be displayed in resized (thumbnailed) form within Wikipedia or on Commons, and TIFF files are not supported by most Internet browsers. They are an archival format, and should never be used for images intended to be displayed.

TIFF generally serves as a lossless format, similar to PNG, but with much less compression. However, its standard compression algorithm is very fast to apply (which was a benefit on older computers) and most scanner software supports TIFF, making it a popular choice for archives.

PNG is not supported by most scanner software, but files saved in PNG can generally be made much smaller than TIFF files. For instance, one 33 MB TIFF reduced to 17 MB when saved as a PNG.

Overall, PNG is a preferred format; however, the ability to upload TIFF files is offered as a courtesy. For instance, if you were batch scanning files in order to upload them to Commons for others to edit and prepare, you would want to use a lossless format (editing a non-lossless format causes an increase in artifacts every time it is saved). Your scanner software may not support saving directly to PNG, but allow TIFF. In such cases, uploading the image as a TIFF file is acceptable, as it helps you donate material to Commons much more easily (in that specific case, it would be appropriate to inform the regulars on the Village Pump noticeboard so that your batch upload can be prepared for more widespread use and possibly to discuss things beforehand briefly). There are many image editors (free and commercial) that can handle conversion from TIFF to other formats. See: en:Comparison of raster graphics editors #File support.

The statements above apply to the vast majority of TIFF files; however, note that TIFF is a somewhat odd format – the specifications are loose, and can, in theory, support a wide variety of compression schemes and file storage (though most programs that open TIFFs only recognise the most common). This makes it difficult to make definite statements about TIFFs: For instance, TIFFs can contain JPEGs, which are not a lossless format. Generally, only TIFFs of the standard types should be uploaded to Commons.


XCF can be useful if you are working on an image with GIMP. Unlike PNG and similar files, XCF files support text and multiple layers. It may be useful to upload the XCF file, so that other editors can continue working with it directly, while retaining the layering information. Please note that a thumbnail of a XCF can only be generated experimentally by the MediaWiki software (see phab:T37622). It is advised that you optionally upload a copy of XCF file in PNG format, so that other editors can see the image you are working on.


Siehe auch : Commons:Free media resources/Sound On Wikimedia Commons, the file types we accept are: MP3, Ogg (using FLAC, Speex, Opus or Vorbis codecs), WebM (using Vorbis), FLAC, WAVE or MIDI.

Non-free formats and lesser-known free formats must be converted before uploading—there is currently no legitimate way to store pristine original data for conversion to future formats or for use when patents expire, even if the license of a given work requires distributing such pristine original data (as is often the case for works distributed under the GNU Free Documentation License or other copyleft licenses).

The Commons does not accept tracker formats, even formats written by free trackers. Nor does it accept sound fonts for use with MIDI files, even sound fonts designed for use with free MIDI players. If it is important that a musical passage be heard with specific instrument definitions that General MIDI does not provide for, and the license allows it, use your tracker software to render the passage to RIFF WAVE, and then encode it to Ogg Vorbis.

As of September 2013,[needs update] most browsers can play MP3 and Ogg Vorbis, but not MIDI, FLAC, Opus or Speex. FLAC and Speex are automatically converted to vorbis transcodes for playback on browsers after upload.


S MP3-Format isch nit erlaubt. MP3s sotte in s freië Format Ogg Vorbis konvertiert werre.


MIDI files are accepted, but not very well supported. The file extension has to be .mid.

Ogg (audio)

Vorbis is the preferred audio codec for the Ogg container. Please use the file type ogg to upload audio files in Ogg Vorbis format.[Note 3]

Speex (file extension .spx) is intended for recordings of speech, Vorbis is for general audio and is lossy (quality is reduced), and FLAC is for general audio and is lossless (quality is preserved), but current file size caps prevent its use for anything but short clips. In most cases, Vorbis should be used.

Opus is supported by MediaWiki (phab:T42193, phab:T53313). File extension: .opus.

Note that with FLAC, a native container format exists (see below). If your output file has the extension .flac, it is likely using the native container format. If you like to embed it into an ogg container, this can be done with ffmpeg using the command line ffmpeg -i InputFile.ext -acodec flac out.oga or flac ./input.wav -8 --ogg -f ./output.oga.[Note 3]

It is also useless to put data in a non-free format into a free container like Ogg: you get a file, which, while requiring that a player support the free container, still requires that it support the non-free codec.

WebM (audio)

The WebM container can hold audio (Vorbis), with or without accompanying video.


The Free Lossless Audio Codec is supported with or without encapsulation into ogg-containers. TimedMediaHandler will automatically offer transcoded variants in ogg format. File extension without encapsulation: .flac. (The related phab:T51505 was resolved in 2013 and closed in 2014.)


Wave containers usually contain uncompressed, lossless audio (PCM). If possible, please convert to FLAC before uploading. File extension: .wav.


Videos must be Ogg files using the Theora video coding format (with a .ogv extension[Note 3]), or WebM files (.webm extension). Non-free formats must be converted before uploading. See Commons:Video – Uploading a video for instructions. See Video2Commons for a fast and easy tool.

WebM (video)

WebM supports the VP8 and VP9 video coding formats, and the Vorbis and Opus audio coding formats. The container format WebM is a subset of Matroska.

VP8 is a lossy compression format which has better quality than Theora does. Of course, there is no need to transcode existing Theora videos to VP8, because it won't fix the damage by a prior more lossy compression, and software supporting WebM hopefully also supports Ogg Theora media.

VP9 is a successor to VP8, having better compression efficiency. The Opus audio compression format has excellent quality and low algorithmic delay. The image format WebP that is based on VP8 is supported on commons. It supports both lossless and lossy image compression.

Ogg Theora (video)

Theora is a lossy video coding format. It is based on VP3 in the line leading to Flash VP6/VP7 and WebM VP8/VP9. (Note: Most software mentioned at Commons:Software should also be able to play Ogg Vorbis audio.)

In the beginning of 2012, most browsers’ HTML5 audio players supported only Ogg Vorbis and WAV PCM, so the “current” versions of the videos intended for online playback were supposed to use Ogg Vorbis for the audio. See the sections “#Size and scaling” and “#Unsupported file types for ways to preserve the versions in other formats.

Textual formats

Scanned text documents (DjVu, PDF)

This PDF gets a {{BadPDF}} flag placed on the file page because it looks mottled if used as an article graphic, while File:Amsterdam Museum logo.svg is much better suited.

Although Commons does not generally host documents, there are valid reasons to upload them here (such as archival versions for transcription use on Wikisource).

  • See Help:DjVu to get help about DjVu and PDF files.
  • Documents in PDF format are allowed. Usage as graphic is not recommended, as you can see on the right example, which is a clear vector graphic. For allowable reasons of PDF and DjVu format, see Project Scope, PDF and DjVu formats.

Note that any page from a PDF which currently gets rendered as JPG by thumbnails, but this could as well be rendered as PNG. This only depends on the implementation of the PDF renderer used on the image thumbnail server and it is not a limitation of the PDF format vs. DejaVu. The only limitation is the existence of various proprietary extensions of the PDF format which could sometimes require a specific PDF viewer. PDF files in Commons should not depend on these extensions and should use only the core specifications, used by the thumbnail renderer of Commons. The issue may exist only when PDFs are downloaded in native format from the "Media:" namespace instead of being rendered as a single image from a selectable page number in the PDF (because these extensions may embed some active scripting, form handlers, and active links to external sites).

For single image rendering, PDF files rendered with the core PDF profile (from its standard specifications) are functionally equivalent to DejaVu files, but typically render photographs and graphics with higher fidelity and more accurate color profiles than DejaVu files which use a more basic model. As well PDFs offer better quality if some cases as they can embed scalable vector graphics, instead of just highly compresssed bitmaps at fixed resolution. So the difference is basically on the compression level for bitmaps: for scanned text documents, DejaVu are most often smaller than PDF, but this does not make a difference when these files are not downloaded, but just rendered as a single bitmap image.

For documents containing colorful graphics and photos, PDFs frequently offer better fidelity and accuracy. However, image thumbnail renderers currently used by Commons do not render them correctly when they generate JPEG thumbnails instead of more accurate PNG thumbnails: this could change in the future with a better PDF renderer.

See also Help:Scanning for advice on scanning non-text items.


TimedText is a custom Commons namespace to hold “Timed Text”, also termed subtitles, closed captioning and closed caption text. The contents are plain text with no markup whatsoever.

See Commons:Timed Text.

Data files

No database file types are currently supported. See the list of unsupported file types below.

MediaWiki software allows for the creation of dynamic text (via Lua modules) and graphs using data in JSON format in the dedicated Data: namespace, though. Possible are:

  • Map data, allowing users to store GeoJSON data.
  • Tabular data, allowing users to create CSV-like tables of data.

Data files in Commons have to be set under Creative Commons — CC0 1.0 Universal license.

Feel free to experiment by creating pages with the Data:Sandbox/<username>/ prefix. For now, page content can only be edited in the raw JSON format.

Map data

See more details in mw:Help:Map Data.

Map data allows users to store GeoJSON data, similar to images. Other wikis may use this data to draw on top of the maps, together with other map customizations, using Kartographer.

To create a new map data, create a new page in the Data: namespace with the .map suffix, such as Data:Sandbox/Example user/

Tabular data

See more detail in mw:Help:Tabular Data.

Tabular data allows users to create CSV-like tables of data, and use them from other wikis to create automatic tables, lists, and graphs.

To create a new table, create a new page in the Data: namespace with a .tab suffix, such as Data:Sandbox/Example user/

Other formats

3D structures
STL for 3D files, the file format most commonly used for 3D-printing. Other 3D formats are unsupported. See also mw:Help:Extension:3D.
Chemical and biological molecular structures
None supported yet. See unsupported file types below.
Map routes and GPS data
See Map data. See also unsupported file types below.

Unsupported file types

Unsupported free file formats

Requested at least once, but not currently supported; help needed to support these. :-)

Any format for 3D except STL
Any format for data
Any format for chemical or biological molecules
Any map route/GPS format
Most open document formats
Image formats
Audio/video formats
Diagram formats
Multimedia and animation formats
  • SWF – could be considered free as of 2009? but needs to be generatable and playable with free tools – declined in phab:T28269
Scientific format
  • FITS – Flexible Image Transport System

Nonfree file formats

Requested at least once, via automatic conversion of these formats to a free format on upload.

Most of the above issues are tracked as “Multimedia and file format support” issues in phab:T44725.

Alternate options for support

Source materials for files uploaded to Commons, such as camera raw files and bigger FLAC audio, can be uploaded to Commons Archive, an unofficial companion website that accepts all file formats. Note that all Commons users can log in to Commons Archive with OAuth.


  1. Some PNG data are shown by MediaWiki under “metadata”, such as resolution pHYs and timestamp tIME, but are not Exif proper.
  2. For JPEG also see A few scanning tips,, 2010 by Wayne Fulton.
  3. a b c The Xiph.Org Foundation recommends using .ogg as the extension for Ogg Vorbis audio files, .oga for Ogg FLAC audio, and .ogv for Ogg Theora video per RFC 5334. See also MIME Types and File Extensions - XiphWiki.
  4. For JPEG2000 some developers have been concerned about submarine patents (LoC digitalpreservation), and in 2009 Mozilla tagged it as WONTFIX.

See also

On English Wikipedia