Wikipedia:Screenshots of Wikipedia

This is a quick guide about how to easily and correctly upload screenshots of Wikipedia, for example for use in bug reports and other uses in project space. For the guidelines about using screenshots in articles, see Wikipedia:Software screenshots.

Plan the screenshot [ edit ]

Make sure that what you need to show is visible. Zoom in to improve resolution for people viewing it. Turn off the spelling checker feature in your web browser, if it is showing and unwanted. If you don't want your name or custom gadgets showing, you may need to log out or open the page in "private viewing" mode.

Note that not all content on Wikipedia is freely licensed. If you are taking a screen shot of a page that contains non-free media, then you cannot license the screenshot under a free license.[a] In addition, unless the browser you are using to view Wikipedia is freely licensed in a way that is compatible with the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license under which Wikipedia is published, then it is mostly likely non-free software, and your screen shot should exclude any features of the browser itself as they may be covered under applicable intellectual property rights.

Take the screenshot [ edit ]

On Windows keyboards, near the top row of keys, there should be a button in the upper right labelled "Print Screen", "PrntScrn", or "PrtSc". Pressing this button will take a screenshot and save it to the clipboard. To take a screenshot of just the active window, hold down the "Alt" key and then press the "Print Screen" key. Note that on some laptop keyboards the "Print Screen", "PrntScrn", or "PrtSc" label is in a different colour (often green, orange, or blue) than the letter keys. If it is a different colour, you will need to press the "Function" or "Fn" key at the same time. That key is normally in the very bottom left and will often be marked in a different colour than the letter keys. To take a screenshot of a specific part of the screen in Windows 10, press ⊞ Win+⇧ Shift+s, then highlight the part that you want to screenshot. Next, go into the Action Center and select "Snip saved to clipboard". Finally, save via the save button in the upper right corner.

There is more detail about these and other systems in the Wikipedia Screenshot article.

On Mac OS X, there are several options for how to take screenshots, which are explained here.

On many Linux systems the print screen button will work as in Windows (see above); on others there are utilities in the accessories menu (Applications → Accessories) called "Screenshot" (XFCE) or "take screenshot" (Gnome) which are explained here.

Edit your screenshot [ edit ]

  • Open a drawing or image editing program (for example, GIMP or MS Paint) and paste in the contents of the clipboard (or open your screenshot if you have already saved it as a file).
  • The first thing you will need to do is make sure you are only showing the Wikipedia window; don't include any of your desktop or other programs – these are not relevant and on some operating systems (e.g. Windows) they are not copyright-free. If your screenshot includes these then crop the screenshot to just show the Wikipedia window.
  • The browser icons and toolbars are usually not copyright-free, so make sure you don't show them – in other words, show only the Wikipedia content.
  • To be most effective, delete (crop) out parts of the window that are not relevant to the bug or reason that you've taken the screenshot. If you don't need to include the Wikipedia logo (you almost certainly do not), then crop that out as well, or use an editing tool to airbrush it.
  • Make sure there are no non-free images in the screenshot. If there are, and you can't crop them out, then just draw/paint a solid white block over them in an image editor. (The actual content of an image will very rarely be relevant to a discussion; if you do need to discuss a specific image, you should include a link to that image.)
  • If there are particular features that you need to draw attention to, draw a ring around these in a contrasting colour. Alternatively, you can draw an arrow pointing to them, again in a contrasting colour.
  • Save the image as a PNG file.

Prepare the license template [ edit ]

Choose which template you will be using when you upload:

[ edit ]

If your screenshot includes the Wikipedia logo, then copy the following to your clipboard:

|Description={{en|1= }}
|Author=Wikipedia Authors, see the history of [[w: ]]

Now go to the next step, uploading.

[ edit ]

If your screenshot does not show the Wikipedia logo then copy the following to your clipboard:

|Description={{en|1= }}
|Author=Wikipedia Authors, see the history of [[w: ]]

Please note that the Wikipedia-screenshot template defaults to CC-BY-SA 3.0, as that is the license that Wikipedia is published under. As older Creative Commons licenses are compatible with all later versions, this would cover all content licensed under CC-BY-SA 2.0 and 1.0. However, these licenses are not equally compatible with earlier versions, and so if your screen shot includes content that is licensed under CC-BY-SA 4.0, you will need to add this additional licensing template manually.

Now go to the next step, the upload.

Upload [ edit ]

the upload form should look like this before you start filling it in
The upload form should look similar to this when you're ready to upload
  • In another window or tab on your browser, go to the basic upload form at Wikimedia Commons.
    (Note: You must be logged in to upload a file. If you registered after May 2008, your username and password are the same at the Commons as at Wikipedia.)
  • Scroll down past all the blue boxes until you see the box marked "Source file", as shown at the top of the first screenshot to the right.
  • Use the Browse button to select the file you want to upload.
  • At the top of the "File description" area there is a box marked "Destination filename". This is the file name your image will have on Wikipedia, so change it to something meaningful if it isn't already. Remember to keep the file extension (the "." followed by three or four letters) at the end the same.
  • In the summary box (just below "Destination filename"), delete the blank information template that is there and paste the one you copied from above (to your clipboard).
  • Write a description of your screenshot between {{en|1= and }} (that just marks the description as being in English). Make sure you include in the description what operating system and web browser you are using.
    • For example it should look something like
      {{en|1=Screenshot of the English Wikipedia showing a bug with the table. Firefox 22 on Linux}}
  • Fill in today's date in year-month-day format after the Date=
    • For example
  • On the author line, fill in the title of the page from which you made your screenshot, between the [[w: and the ]]
    • For example it should look something like
      [[w:Bridgnorth Cliff Railway]]
  • Leave the "Licensing:" selector as "None selected" (the template on the permission line is the licensing information). You should now see something similar to the second screenshot in this section (note it may be larger than one screen)
  • Click the "Upload file" button at the bottom of the page.

Edit your file on Commons [ edit ]

Add appropriate categories or other information to help other people find your image.

Use your file [ edit ]

If everything has gone to plan you can now use your image just like any other image at Wikimedia Commons.

See also [ edit ]

You don't need to read these to create or use your screenshot, but they give more information about the background and about using screenshots in articles. If you don't understand them, don't worry – just follow the instructions on this page and you will be fine.

Notes [ edit ]

  1. ^ For more information see c:Commons:Derivative works and c:Commons:Screenshots.
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