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Images, audio, and video files must be uploaded into Wikipedia using the "Upload file" link on the left-hand navigation bar. Only logged in users can upload files. Once a file is uploaded, other pages can include or link to the file.

Uploaded files are given the Image: prefix by the system, even if they are not images, and each one has an image description page.

Please consider uploading language-neutral content to the Wikimedia Commons instead.

The maximum size of an uploaded file is 20 megabytes (but please be reasonable).

Executable programs may not be uploaded, for security reasons.


Special characters and math[]

It is not necessary to upload images to use special characters or even complex mathematical expressions.

Wikipedia uses a UTF-8 encoding scheme, which means that any Unicode character can and should be entered directly. See m:Help:Special characters for details and help.

For mathematical formulae, we use TeX markup. For help and instructions, see m:Help:Formula

Text files[]

Please do not upload plain text (.txt), Microsoft Word (.doc), or text files in other formats. Instead, please start a new page and input the text using standard wiki formatting. Please do not dump text into Wikipedia unless you wrote it yourself, or you know that it meets the project's stringent copyright licensing requirements. If you do not have time to format it yourself, add the {{wikify}} tag at the top of the page.

In rare cases a html file is uploaded, for example as test or demonstration, such as Image:Temp-stylesheet-demo.html

Occasionally a PDF file is uploaded, such as Image:Davis recall petition.pdf; also there is a WikiReader Image:WikiReader Free Software and Free Contents.pdf (preview version), and more are being prepared. However, most PDFs should be converted into wikitext. Source documents should be uploaded to Wikisource instead.

For a discussion on uploading spreadsheets, see the talk page.


Images can be displayed directly on Wikipedia pages.

The preferred formats are Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) for drawings, and PNG for pictures. You may also use JPEG. Vector graphics are preferred to raster images for drawings, because they can be scaled as needed without losing information, and because they can be more easily edited.

See also:


Wikipedia uses Ogg Theora for video because it is open and patent-free.

Because most popular movie/audio formats are patented and require a royalty, there are no free all purpose video converters.

Useful software:

  • For video, ffmpeg2theora [1] is a command line encoder capable of converting numerous file formats (.mov, .mpg, .mpeg, .avi) into Ogg Theora. It works on Windows, Macintosh, and Linux/Unix.
  • You can also use the encoder_example application included with libtheora in combination with a program like MPlayer [2] that is capable of dumping raw (yuv4mpeg) video and sound to encode in Ogg Theora.
  • LiVES and Cinelerra are video editing programs for Linux which are able to edit Ogg Theora videos

For assistance with conversion, try contacting:

See also:


Wikipedia uses Ogg Vorbis for sound. The Ogg Vorbis format is not encumbered by patents, and has been found to offer higher audio fidelity than the MP3 format. It is competitive even at low bitrates for encoding speech, comparable with even HE-AAC. A decision has been made that MP3 files will not be hosted at Wikipedia.

Useful software for audio:

  • For audio editing, Audacity is a high quality free audio recorder/editor for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux/Unix.
  • For encoding to Ogg Vorbis, it is recommended that you use the Hydrogenaudio-recommended encoder version for best results. oggenc (cross-platform) is the command-line encoder, while OggDropXPd (Win32-only) is an easy-to-use GUI for encoding to Ogg Vorbis.
  • dBpowerAMP Music Converter offers a convenient GUI for transcoding between most audio codecs, including Ogg Vorbis. The Vorbis encoder must be downloaded separately from the software, but it is freely available from the same website.
  • The easiest way to play ogg vorbis files on legacy Macintoshes (OS 9 and lower) is to use JustOgg.

For any assistance with audio, please contact:

Lists of uploaded music[]

More information[]

See also[]

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).