Using Images or Pictures on a Wiki

Webpages often include images to add interest or to illustrate a concept. This page provides tips on working with images, including finding images that you can use on your wiki page, properly citing the source of the image and modifying the image as necessary for you use.

Finding Images you can Use

Copyright laws protect authors of work including images, documents, music, videos etc. Creators of these works can determine who can use them in the terms or use or terms of service, usually found on the website where you locate the image. If the photo is one that you took, then you own the copyright and can use the image. Please consider the context of the image and others in the image before putting in on the internet. This applies to wiki pages as well as social networking sites such as facebook. You might be okay with your image being up there, but is everyone else in the photo also okay with that? Be especially cautious if there are children in the photo or you've taken the photo at a private function. A recommendation is that you get written consent to use the image.

Here are a few websites that host images that you can use. Please be sure to read and comply with the terms of use associated with the images. If you are not sure, it is always a good idea to contact the webmaster and request permission to use the image you found.

Please note: Avoid using google images unless you view the original source and check the licensing agreement found there.

Phrases to look for:

Public Domain: If you find this phrase associate with the work you want to use, you can use it as any copyright that was associated has expired or the work has been placed into the public domain by its creator. This is not to be confused with a photograph that may have been taken at a public event or gathering. In Canada, a work enters the public domain for copyright purposes if the creator of that work has been dead for more than 50 years.
cc_logo.pngCreative Commons: Many creators of digital content are happy to allow others to use their work as long as it is used in ways identified in the creative commons license. There are various creative commons licenses, so please ensure that you read the description that pertains to the particular work you plan to use. Generally creative commons licensing permits educational uses but does not permit commercial use.

Flickr & Image Attribution

If you use Flickr to find an image licensed under Creative Commons terms, you can easily provide the proper atttibution on your wiki page by also using the tool found at

Simply find the image you want to use on Flickr (select the size you want too). Copy the link (URL) from Flickr into the text box at You will have an embed code available for you to then copy and after navigating to the area on the wiki page where you wish to insert the image, pasting the embed code using the "Other HTML" widget.

Here's an example:

Citing an Image

How do I add an image ?

  1. Place the cursor where you would like the image to appear.
  2. Select the File icon from the editor toolbar. In this case, you will upload an image file (.png, .jpg,. bmp, etc)
  3. Click the Upload Files button.
  4. Find the file (image file) on your computer.
  5. Click on the image to place it on the page ("click to embed")
  6. Click on the image to get the File Properties toolbar, and adjust the alignment, size of your image, or add a caption.
  7. Save the wiki page.

Modifying the image

When you add the image to the wiki page, you may discover that it is too large or too small. You may also discover that you would like to crop the image before adding it. Before cropping it, please check that the licensing agreement allows you to modify the image. If it does not, you must use the image "as is" and can only re-size it.

Wikispaces does allow you to re-size the image and edit it in other ways. You can access this toolbar from edit mode by clicking on the image you just embedded. Re-size the image using the - or + buttons. Use "Add Caption" feature to provide a label for your image and the related in-text citation. If you would like your image to function as a "button" that will link to another file, website, or wiki page when clicked, use the Add Link tool.


If you would like to edit your image before you bring it into the wiki, then you will need to use another application. Please visit More about Modifying Images to get more information.


Simon Fraser University. (2011). Finding and retrieving online images. Retrieved January 13, 2011 from

Image Sources:

cc. 2011. licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license