For those who don't know me, I'm a product designer here at Stack Overflow.

Currently I'm working on a project called Teams (for more information about Teams and other projects, read Tim's post on Meta.SO). Some features we're looking to add to Teams require a more feature-rich image uploader. However we don't want to build a better image uploader just for Teams. We think this could be a great enhancement for the entire network as it is an item that everyone interacts with regularly.

I did some digging around and you've already been making a number of requests! Below is a list of feature-requests I found this morning:

Is there anything else you'd like to add? I'm sure I missed some. Respond with previous suggestions I've missed or with your own suggestions. Personally I'd love to able to resize and crop an image (this happens a lot with screenshots).

Understand that I can't guarantee what will be worked on or when, but letting us know what you want will help us determine an order. Thanks for your help!


16 Answers 16


If the image is above the max size (current 2 MiB), automatically resize (or change compression) to the largest image possible, or close to it.

  • 4
    … unless it's for Photography or some site that might care about exactitude of artifacts. It's hard to say whether an error, an option to crop, or an option to resize would be most appropriate. Feb 9, 2016 at 8:01
  • @200_success: we could give the option to the user Dec 29, 2016 at 14:48
  • 1
    @bobobobo right, but when uploading to imgur via the image uploader embedded within stack exchange, then the limit is only 2 MiB unfortunately. Nov 20, 2019 at 21:23

Something that will be awesome for me is pressing CTRL+V inside the editor while there is an image in the clipboard, and that would automagically open the uploader and paste the image in there.

This will save me so many clicks... :)

  • 2
    Suppose you have a picture of a unicorn in your clipboard. Do you want it to be put on the wire by mistake or simply selected by the uploader, with no bytes pre-sent? This stuff has privacy ramifications, I'd reckon. Feb 1, 2016 at 17:34
  • 8
    Then don't press Ctrl+V @deer Feb 1, 2016 at 17:58
  • 1
    @PatrickHofman - fair enough. Feb 1, 2016 at 18:00
  • 4
    And please make it crystal clear in the uploader itself that you can actually paste images - people get confused a lot about this. Feb 1, 2016 at 20:13
  • 2
    @Deer pressing CTRL+V or even selecting image directly does not send anything to the server as far as I can tell. Only clicking the submit button actually send the bytes over to the wild, so I'd say the privacy risk is minimal here. Feb 1, 2016 at 20:33
  • @Lucas problem is, it's supported only by certain browsers, and not supported by others. There used to be such a message once, until people complained it's wrong because it's not working for their Firefox browser Feb 1, 2016 at 20:34
  • @ShadowWizard - yeah, who would've thought hovering over a link puts bytes over the wire? With enough JavaScript, anything is possible :) It was mainly tongue in cheek, yet with a few takeaway lessons. Feb 1, 2016 at 20:41
  • 1
    @ShadowWizard Actually I believe any file uploaded (or pasted) into the upload image window is automatically uploaded to imgur, even if you click cancel on the upload modal.
    – Hynes
    Feb 1, 2016 at 20:53
  • @Hynes all I see in the Network tab of the browser's dev tools is some blob request, which doesn't appear to reach any server, only used to preview the picture as far as I can tell Feb 1, 2016 at 20:58
  • 1
    @ShadowWizard Huh. Okay. Could totally be wrong (and most likely I am). 😀
    – Hynes
    Feb 1, 2016 at 20:59
  • 2
    @Hynes - oO. Interesting. Could you please re-check? If it uploads the image to imgur before confirmation, this may be against the users' expectations. Feb 1, 2016 at 21:50
  • 1
    This has been implemented as per Editor improvements for images and links.
    – kenorb
    Nov 5, 2018 at 15:34
  • 1
    @kenorb yes focus bug is fixed and pasting a URL does trigger the upload process, however it's far from trivial, and nobody really understands it's possible. The uploader just says "Drag and drop or click here to upload", those not familiar with the process have no way to know they can also paste, either actual image or a URL. In the old uploader there was a clear "upload from web" link, so they made the UX much worse, overall. Nov 5, 2018 at 15:38
  • 1
    @Ghost yes the recalc gave me a push, would have taken few more weeks without it. :) Nov 15, 2019 at 10:32
  • 1
    @Ghost not on meta. Here it means many agree with what I said, even when it didn't really help them. Anyway thanks, and I can't deny it does give a good feeling. ;) Nov 15, 2019 at 10:40

I usually do all my post-processing in GIMP, so I have a single request for this:

Don't force features upon me. Don't turn our image uploader into a ten-step thing like Gravatar's, where you upload your image then get to rotate it, then crop it, then do whatever else. It should take me fewer than five clicks to upload an image, and that includes selecting it from the filesystem.

Bonus points if you make it even faster: give us a keyboard shortcut (like the current control-G) that opens the image uploader and opens the filesystem chooser thing, all in one go. No one wants to break focus when writing a post to upload an image; fewer clicks is good for everyone.

  • 1
    A thousand times this. That'd be great UX. Feb 3, 2016 at 4:37
  • 2
    Can you open the file system prompt without a user clicking? That'd be a pretty decent security hole if possible. If that's an option, I'm unaware of it. Feb 3, 2016 at 15:15
  • @NickCraver Hadn't thought of that aspect. According to stackoverflow.com/a/21583865/1849664 (I don't claim to be an expert in web stuff), you can do it from a user-triggered event handler. Which I would think includes keyboard shortcuts, not sure.
    – Undo
    Feb 3, 2016 at 15:18
  • 1
    Speaking of which… I find it annoying that the current shortcut on a Mac (⌘G) conflicts with the Find-next-in-page command. Feb 9, 2016 at 8:04
  • @200_success Use control-G :)
    – Undo
    Feb 9, 2016 at 14:43
  • 1
    @Undo The problem is not that Ctrl-G works. The problem is that ⌘G is also hijacked, so that I can't Find Next. Feb 9, 2016 at 20:57
  • @200_success Ah, gotcha. Hijacking ⌘-* shortcuts is unnatural, I didn't even know SE did that.
    – Undo
    Feb 9, 2016 at 21:02
  • @NickCraver Yes, you can. CTRL-O can do it, so CTRL-G can, too.
    – user651518
    Jan 9, 2020 at 20:27

Some suggestions from other metas:

DIY: Change the image upload so that a thumbnail is shown and the full size image linked

DIY: Please try using smaller versions of images

GD: Can we get SVG support? Do we need it? (already requested here as mentioned in the OP)

Some bugs from other metas:

DIY: Built-in image uploader falls over

I've made this CW to make it easier for others to add more from their own meta.


It's already been mentioned in the comments, but I want to echo a feature request:

Unify the Q&A image uploader and the chat image uploader

Right now they operate differently from one another. Having the same uploader in both locations would make moving between the two less annoying.


Have a fallback in richness of functionality if a browser doesn't support required features.

As an example of such case see: Image upload in Opera 12.17 is broken

Specially if the image uploader is standardized between the sites and chat.


Being able to draw on images would be a cool feature!

It isn't extremely difficult (proof :P), but browser compatibility and actual demand for the feature may stop it from happening :(

I can see the feature being used for annotating images and other diagrams - I personally find it tedious to have to open my image editor just to add a bit of text or draw a few circles (which is why I made the above userscript!), so it would be nice to have it built in.

And, it can be used for a bit of fun in chat! (if it is changed in chat... :)

If not draw, how about adding text to images instead? This would still let you write a few things on top of images easily!


If the image uploader will be used for any features that require a fixed size (like on the intro image for Company Pages), allow the user to reposition (and maybe also scale up/down and crop) the image once it's uploaded but before it's saved.


If I select a URL and click on the image button, try using that URL as source for the image automatically.

This can be handy for editing in embedded images from URLs added by low rep users.


Sometimes on EL&U a small image is all that's necessary, it helps clarify the question or answer. But for some reason, images cannot be centralized, or repositioned. The text that follows is always below the image. I would like the option to wrap the text on either side or place the image in the center. For example, in this question on EL&U the image of crayfish was small but it used up a lot of space, space that could have been filled with words!

enter image description here


Provide a documented API, to allow third-party apps to upload images.

Use case: upload images when posting from Emacs.

Use case: one less step when automating the posting of a geometric figure, a graph from Mathematica, TeX output, a generated graph, etc.

Sure, this will make misuse of uploaded images easier, but it's already possible now — setting up Selenium for that would be a bother for normal users, but not for spammers. So please provide an easy way to write image uploading scripts and apps.

  • 1
    There is a workaround which I use for my script which repairs images; I described the solution here.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    May 5, 2020 at 17:44

Right now the image uploader doesn't respect the DPI tag embedded in screen-shots created on high-resolution displays. This cause problems, as I demonstrate in this post: Bug with display of uploaded screen shots from retina displays.

  • 1
    That's 100% on imgur side, and I doubt they'll add something like this. Might be, but don't build your hopes too high. Feb 21, 2016 at 12:13
  • What's imgur's business model? Are they just a free service that Stack Exchange is using?
    – xf.
    Feb 21, 2016 at 14:18
  • Free only for the visitors, but using its API cost money. I gave answer here with some details, I believe it's still up to date. Feb 21, 2016 at 14:35
  • 2
    If Stack Exchange is paying to use the API, then you are a paying customer, and your supplier should be concerned about the issue. Alternatively, the Stack Exchange image uploader could examine the PNG, note the DPI, and incorporate a CSS tag so that the image is properly scaled.
    – xf.
    Feb 21, 2016 at 15:17
  • I don't think this in an imgur issue. Stack Exchange should read the DPI info and display it at 1x or 2x depending on the browser's HiDPI setting.
    – Elliott B
    Sep 13, 2017 at 2:11

It should be world class flexible in accept uploading content, no matter what format image data is provided in:

  • file

  • link to file on web

  • blob

  • cloud options like dropbox, gdrive

  • base64

  • .icon

It should have option for quality refining for blurred images.

Ctrl v

will rock in it.

  • It already supports files and links to images on the web, as well as pasting (CTRL+V) in Chrome browser, which is the only browser where it's technically possible. Feb 21, 2016 at 18:53

The image uploader is kind of slow

That isn't that bad if I can write as it uploads.

But the image upload dialog is now modal -- you can't touch the post text or type while it is uploading. For a 30kB file, it takes about 5 or 6 seconds of staring at the spinner now.

To fix this, make a separate pane to list the images uploaded. Image upload does not freeze text editing but happens on the side. A spinner can be displayed when an upload is happening for those that like to see that type of thing

Tapping the image inserts it into the post at the cursor

image uploader sidepanel


A way to resize and reposition an image on the screen. So we can put images next to one another. This would make my "how to build this thing in minecraft" style awnsers a lot shorter...

  • But this is something that is already possible today and not related to the imageuploader but to how you can leverage markdown? The resizing is also memtioned in Laura's suggestion.
    – rene
    Feb 18, 2016 at 15:06
  • I think images have to be rezised before the can fit next to each other. Otherwise they would go of the screen
    – BRHSM
    Feb 18, 2016 at 15:13
  • No, not really because you use the <img> tag with their width and height attributes as explained here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1777/…
    – rene
    Feb 18, 2016 at 15:19

Pictures are often unattributed when they're posted -- so some origin information, like "Uploaded by the user" or "From http://example.com/example.png", might be nice.

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