How to Simplify Flickr Photo Attribution

We’ve long been fans of Flickr here at ProfHacker. For example, it’s where we get most of the lead images for our posts and we’ve recommended using Flickr photos to make better slides for presentations. A great feature of Flickr is the wealth of images that have been licensed for re-use — thank you, Creative Commons! — but many people will re-use the Flickr images they find without providing the necessary attribution. This is not cool (and often a violation of the license under which the image is originally published).

Fortunately, Alan Levine (a.k.a. @cogdog on Twitter) has created a customizable bookmarklet for automatically generating the necessary text to provide attribution. So how does it work? As Levine writes

  1. Go to

  2. The default settings should be okay; you may want a wider than 500px image (note that it will fail if the original uploaded image is smaller than the size you select).

  3. Make sure your web browser bookmarks bar is visible. Click, drag the link text from the blue button, and drop it onto your bookmarks bar.

  4. Now use your favorite flickr search tool to find the display page for a creative commons licensed image. Click the “flickr cc helper” link on your tool bar….

I’ve been using this bookmarklet for a little while now, and I can report that it makes the process of attribution pretty seamless. Levine has also written up instructions for how, specifically, to use this tool on Medium posts.

How about you? Have you used this bookmarklet? What are your thoughts? Alternately, what are some of your favorite tools or hacks for working with Flickr? Please share in the comments.

Blue Bird 2 flickr photo by Noel Pennington shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license.

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