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Standards & Styles

Adding Images to Your Guides

In addition to plain and formatted text, the LibGuides rich text editor allows you to import images into your guides. Best practices for using images in UD Library guides follow below. Visit the Springshare support site for step-by-step instructions on adding and editing images in your guides.

Best Practices for Using Images

Images can add value to your guides in a variety of ways: by illustrating complex ideas, showing library users how to recognize tools they need, giving the library a friendly face, or simply catching the viewer's eye. Following the guidelines listed here will help ensure that your images don't detract from your other content.

Image Files

Things to check before you upload an image for use in your guides:

  • Is it a common format, such as PNG, JPG/JPEG, or GIF?
  • Does it have a name that describes what it shows and, if applicable, the guide where you are using it?

Example: honr290-globe-theatre.jpg

  • Does it need to be cropped or resized? Images should be between 80-150 KB for standard images and between 250-350 KB for larger images.

Image Manager

  • Always upload images to the LibGuides Image Manager. Do not copy and past them into your rich text content.
    • By default, the image will be stored in your Personal Library.
    • If you're uploading an image that others may want to use on their guides, save it in the Shared Library instead.
    • Never "drag & drop" images into your rich text boxes. This creates an abundance of code surrounding your image and will not be as easily accessible.
  • Create folders to organize images into categories (e.g., Database Logos or HONR290).
  • NOTE: If you need to replace an image with an updated one, you will need to change the name slightly (e.g., add v2 or the date of the update) so that the system recognizes that a new file has been uploaded.


Remember that screen readers used by the visually impaired will read only the alternative text tag (alt tag) of an image. Here are some guidelines for how to treat the Alternative Text field when you are adding/editing an image in the LibGuides system:

  • Most images: Provide a description of a few words to a short sentence or two. You don't need to include "image of" because the screen reader will recognize that, but represent the content or function of the image accurately.

  • Purely decorative element: If an image doesn't represent a particular thing or idea (e.g., a fleuron), consider whether you really need to use it. If you do, leave the field blank. The system will create an alt tag with a null value (alt= " ") for the image.

  • Image explained by surrounding copy: Leave the field blank. The surrounding text serves the same function.

  • Screenshots: Use your judgment, but adding descriptive copy around the image is usually more effective than a tag.

  • Images containing text: Repeat the text in the alt tag.

  • Consider the Poet Training Tool to learn and practice the art of writing text descriptions. 

  • Sizing an Image: Images automatically insert dimensions. In order for the image to appear clear in a mobile format, ensure that you delete the dimensions assigned to an image and insert a percentage under "Width" (leave Height blank). The percentage represents the amount of space the image occupies in the text box.


Make sure that you do not infringe copyright when using images on your guides. Look for images released under Creative Commons licenses, check the uses permitted in license, and attribute the image to its creator. Learn more about Creative Commons licenses and attributions and find free images using the resources at the bottom of this page.

To create a citation in your rich text use drop down menu above: Styles > Cited Work.

This is how the citation will be formatted.

Linking (optional)

The LibGuides system allows you to link an image to an external resource. Consider using this tool to link to the source of the image you're using (e.g., a Flickr page, a vendor's website).

Image Resources