Adding Images

Find Openly Licensed Images

Below are some good places to find free-to-use images. Check license terms for individual images as they vary.

Flickr: Creative Commons

National Gallery of Art Public Domain

NYPL Digital Collections





How to Add an Image

To add an image to your textbook, open the page where you want to place the image. Select the spot where the image will go with your cursor. Then click the Add Media button (see Figure 3.7.1).

Screenshot directing to place cursor and then select Add Media to add an image
Figure 3.7.1 Select where image should appear and select Add Media

You will be taken to an Insert Media screen where you can choose a previously uploaded image or you can upload a new image.  To upload a new image, click on the Upload Files tab in the upper left corner and then on Select Files in the middle of that page. This will allow you to search for image files to add from your computer (Figure 3.7.2).

Note: files must be JPG, PNG or GIF. Other file formats will produce an error message and will not be accepted.


Screenshot showing media upload screen
Figure 3.7.2 Upload file

If you already have image files in your Media Library, simply select that tab and the image you want to add or insert. The selected item will be encircled by a blue border and have a blue/white check mark in the top right corner.

Screenshot of Media Library
Figure 3.7.3 Select uploaded image from Media Library

Complete this task by clicking on the Insert into chapter button in the bottom right corner.

Screenshot of Insert into chapter option
Figure 3.7.4 Insert image into chapter
Note: an image file must be uploaded into the Media Library for use. You cannot add an image by linking to an external source.

Finally, make sure that your image is centred correctly and the right size. We strongly recommend that:

  1. All images are centred
  2. The width does not exceed 500 pixels
  3. The length does not exceed 500 pixels

See “Editing an Image” below for details on how to adjust an image.

Images that do not follow the above guidelines often produce PDFs that are less readable. A PDF file is one of the many formats offered for most textbooks in our collection. It is also used to create print-on-demand copies.

How to Edit an Image

To change the placement or size of an image that has already been added to a page, simply click anywhere on the image. You will see a menu of options appear above the image. Use the pencil to edit the image and the X to delete the image.

Screenshot showing to click on an image and then the edit option
Figure 3.7.5 Edit image

After you click on the pencil icon, the Image Details box will appear. Here you can:

  1. Add text for the image’s caption. (See Adding Captions and Attributions to Images for details.)
  2. Under DISPLAY SETTINGS, select “Center”. We recommend that you centre images.
  3. Using the “Size” dropdown list, determine if any of the sizes are the correct size for your image. If not, then select “Custom Size”…
Screenshot identifying the Caption option, alignment, and Side options in the image editor
Figure 3.7.6 Size and placement of image

3. Using the Width OR Height boxes, enter the correct number of pixels. Note that changing one of these parameters, e.g. Width, will automatically adjust the other, e.g. Height.

4. Ensure that  either “None” or “Media File” is selected by the “Link To” drop-down list, which enables a reader to open up the image separate from the chapter.

Screenshot noting options to edit the Size and Link To the Media File or None
Figure 3.7.7 Customize the size (we recommend maximum width 500px) and make sure the image is linked to its media file or “None”

5. Save changes by clicking the Update button in the lower right corner of the page, and then Save.

Screenshot directing to select Update when finished editing an image
Figure 3.7.8 Save by clicking the Update button
Content adapted from “Finding Openly Licensed Content” from the B.C. Open Textbook Authoring Guide (archived version) by Lauri Aesoph and Amanda Coolidge, and includes content from the Ryerson Open Textbook Authoring Guide section “Open Access and Public Domain Images,” each licensed under CC-BY 4.0. Images have been modified.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

MacEwan Open Textbook Authoring Guide Copyright © 2019 by MacEwan University Library is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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