I already know about using s, m, or l at the end of my Imgur link to generate a thumbnail. Almost always when I do this, I want the thumbnail to link to the original image, so all my images end up like this:


or like this:


[1]: https://i.stack.imgur.com/stuffm.png
[2]: https://i.stack.imgur.com/stuff.png

and after taking two tries to get the URLs the right way around and all the brackets in the right place, I reflect on whether anyone at SE has heard of DRY.

This is such a common need that the uploader gadget (the one you get by clicking the icon) does it for you. That's fine if you're uploading the image to start with, but most of the time when I generate this idiom it's because I'm editing a post made by a new user who broke it somehow, and that option is not available to me.

A better solution would be if the page formatter automatically added the link. That is, when the HTML is generated, any imgur thumbnail which isn't already inside a link gets wrapped in a link to the full-size image. That would make it harder for new users (and experienced users!) to get it wrong by accident, make the Markdown source easier to understand, make it much easier to edit posts and review edits, and improve the quality of posts across the network.

  • 1
    Well, this would seem kind of weird to someone who is used to Markdown from elsewhere: images would become links for no apparent reason. I'm not generally a fan of these sorts of "invisible" changes. That being said, making it easier for an image to be a link to itself is a change that makes sense. Would this apply for all images or only those that are so large they have to be scaled down to fit within the posting area?
    – David Z
    Jul 13, 2016 at 10:50
  • 1
    @DavidZ But images added using the image button are already turned into links automatically. So that part isn't new.
    – Catija
    Jul 13, 2016 at 12:38
  • @Catija But you still have the option to turn it into a plain image afterwards. Jul 13, 2016 at 12:40
  • 1
    @ChristianRau presumably you would be able to delete the link code in this case, too...
    – Catija
    Jul 13, 2016 at 12:42
  • 1
    @Catija No, what I'm proposing is that the link is added by the renderer, so it wouldn't be in the Markdown source. But there's no reason you couldn't do something else to avoid having the link (maybe using an <img> tag explicitly instead of ![]), if there's a use case for that.
    – Dan Hulme
    Jul 13, 2016 at 12:49
  • 5
    I'd rather that they just added a "display size: small|medium|full" option in the upload window. This wouldn't fix things for edits but I don't think forcing the link is necessary. Honestly, even just forcing medium for all images and letting people override to remove the size constraint or make the image smaller would be acceptable.
    – Catija
    Jul 13, 2016 at 13:12
  • @Catija Those are good suggestions. I think they complement this request quite well, and aren't alternatives at all. You should write a new MSE question asking for that.
    – Dan Hulme
    Jul 13, 2016 at 13:40
  • 1
    I decided to post Catija's suggestion as a feature-request on here. Jun 11, 2017 at 15:18


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