This is a "support if it's possible, feature request if it's not".

Not many people know this, but when adding images in questions, it's possible to have it cropped to a square of any size by adding s=XXX where XXX is the width of the square, like https://i.sstatic.net/aaaaa.png?w=256. This uses something SE uses to size avatars.

When I take screen grabs, because my computer has a very high resolution screen, they are often way too big. Also, because many applications scale up in a crude blurry way, they often look really ugly. For example, here's one from a recent question I asked (this is one I judged "bad but acceptable", many others are much worse):

URL: https://i.sstatic.net/VkTw9.png

enter image description here

I can have SE crop it to a square of any size, but the enforcement of the square shape makes it not useful:

URL: https://i.sstatic.net/VkTw9.png?s=240

enter image description here

I can also use Imgur's "medium thumbnail" feature to crop it down to max height or width of 320, but that's not necessarily a suitable size (here it's too small):

URL: https://i.sstatic.net/VkTw9m.png (note the m before the .):

enter image description here

It'd be great to be able to set the appropriate width for my image, without making it square - maybe a URL like https://i.sstatic.net/aaaaa.png?w=420 This would also help reduce bandwidth wasted when people use massive images.

Even better would be to have some kind of simple option in the image upload UI that controls this, where I can put a number in a blank-by-default box.

Yes, I could re-scale my images by firing up Photoshop, editing the image size, saving, and uploading. But this isn't suitable for how many people use SE (for example, quick 5 minute "I'll just answer that" bursts while at work taking a break between tasks).

  • on an unrelated note... what's that program that shows data usage you've screenshotted? :) Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 19:16
  • @ᔕᖺᘎᕊ Glasswire! It's awesome, it's a lifesaver if like me you need to spend most your time on a metered connection (no affiliation, just a grateful fan :-D) Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 19:23
  • Great! Thanks a lot! I don't normally run on a metered connection but I will be using mobile broadband for a few weeks... this was perfect timing! :) Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 19:50

1 Answer 1


You can have the browser scale the image, by using image tag to show the image, then setting width:

This 420 pixels width is achieved with the following markdown:

<img src="https://i.sstatic.net/VkTw9.png" width="420" />

The downside is that the browser still downloads the whole "big" image and only then scales it.

  • You also can't get anywhere close to this markup using the UI, so it's pretty much not an option for non-coders who don't know HTML (let's remember that lots of SE users have nothing to do with coding these days). Also IIRC, SE scrubs some of the markup if src, width, height etc aren't in a specific arbitrary order (maybe that got fixed?) Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 19:25
  • @user568458 true, this is just a "bonus" workaround for those who know it. And those restrictions are still in place, and by design. (i.e. won't be fixed) Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 19:49

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