You can add images to your comment or answer easily by providing an external image URL (e.g. https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/pages/US6097429-4.png) using the editor's add-image function.

When adding an image this way, the image is not only downloaded automatically from the given URL and stored at imgur.com, but the editor also adds the appropriate markup, which, e.g., may look like ![Image][1] [1]: https://i.sstatic.net/c3HEkl.png to show the image in your text.

That's very convenient and an immaculate smooth workflow. No manual download and upload involved, the process is completely automatic. However, some images (e.g. technical drawings, images in patent letters, etc.) would look better when presented in a different orientation compared to the original, see the example image below which was originally retrieved from Google's patent server.

To present the image in the proper orientation, the user would have to download the image from the URL to the local computer, editing the image using software on the local computer and then upload the image to SO. That's not nearly as neat as the editor's add-image function. Therefore I suggest that the image could be rotated client (i.e. browser) side with an easy markup extension.

Proposal: I suggest to add an attribute to the markup to allow the image to be rotate 90° (counter)clockwise. Rotation could be implemented client side by adding the appropriate CSS style.


  • 2
    And that would serve what purpose? Commented Nov 14, 2013 at 14:11
  • 4
    If you had to download it then upload it, was opening it up in, say MS Paint and rotating it yourself too hard?
    – Cole Tobin
    Commented Nov 14, 2013 at 14:15
  • 1
    The purpose is to bring the image into an orientation so that it is easy to read (see the example above which will give you a stiff neck if you try to read all the labels) without compromising the smooth workflow.
    – Daniel K.
    Commented Nov 14, 2013 at 14:16
  • 9
    I'm not sure whether it would really be needed. I've uploaded plenty of pictures in my time and never found myself wishing for rotation.
    – Pekka
    Commented Nov 14, 2013 at 14:17
  • @probablyPekka: Thanks. You know, I'm a "newbie" around here. But looking at the example image shown above for some time, don't you wish the image to be rotated 90° clockwise in order to better read the labels?
    – Daniel K.
    Commented Nov 14, 2013 at 14:26
  • @D.Sachse re newbie - no problem there, we all were at some point :) Just note that downvotes also have the function of disagreement here on Meta, so it's possible to get them on perfectly fine posts. Re "don't you wish" yes I do - but getting it into the correct rotation should be the author's responsibility, at upload time. I haven't seen any images on Stack Overflow ever that should have been rotated, but weren't. That leads me to think there isn't that much demand for the feature. (Not that it would not be handy)
    – Pekka
    Commented Nov 14, 2013 at 14:29
  • 3
    Images can also be added from a URL, in which case you haven't downloaded and uploaded it. I am not sure how big of an issue it is, but it certainly would have its uses.
    – jmac
    Commented Nov 14, 2013 at 14:29
  • @probablyPekka: Of course I enjoyed and used the workflow which the stackexchange editor provided to seamlessly add images from external URLs. But now my first answer in Ask Patents includes three images and all would look better rotated. I just prefer to stick to the editor's workflow instead of downloading the image to my computer locally, editing it and uploading it again.
    – Daniel K.
    Commented Nov 14, 2013 at 14:35
  • 7
    @D.Sachse well, my Internet experience of the past 15 years so far has been largely free from misrotated images :) But maybe it's different in specific fields, like technical drawings. If it happens frequently in patent applications and such, that might be a big argument for having the feature
    – Pekka
    Commented Nov 14, 2013 at 14:39
  • This is really common in technical (engineering) fields. I come across misrotated images in PDFs all the time. Computer-generated images are usually oriented properly, but scanners are reliant on the user (who are often more concerned with auto-scanning by dumping everything in a tray than manually scanning differently oriented pages, or editing the output).
    – jmac
    Commented Nov 14, 2013 at 15:09
  • @jmac It's also fairly common in photography. When trying to take a portrait photo, some cameras will auto rotate the image before saving, some will just write metadata that says to rotate the image (what Windows Photo Viewer does), but most don't do anything. So it could have its uses on the Photography betas.
    – Cole Tobin
    Commented Nov 14, 2013 at 18:31
  • @ColeJohnson I am uploading a picture...no matter how many times i rotate it, stack loads it the same way: sideways. Nice Snark.
    – Chris
    Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 13:22
  • The image orientation should normally be determined in EXIF. If this is properly interpreted, there should be no need for rotation.
    – Rolf
    Commented Aug 12, 2019 at 23:59


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