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Sometimes when I answer a story ID question I'll include a picture of the book cover, typically grabbed from Goodreads or some similar site. I generally try to choose what seems a sensible size for the picture, but I have had people edit my answer and resize the picture I used. Is there any standard for the ideal size to use for a book cover in an answer? If not, should there be?

  • Standard sizes wouldn't work. Some book covers are only available in LQ format and forcing people to upscale them to 500 X 300 would result in horrible pixellation. – Valorum Aug 1 at 17:03
  • @Valorum to be fair I did ask for the ideal size. Yes that ideal may not always be possible, but assuming it is possible what should it be? – John Rennie Aug 1 at 17:05
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    Just use whatever size makes sense, if it looks too big you can always use the imgur modifiers and set the click through link to the full size image. – TheLethalCarrot Aug 1 at 17:25
  • @TheLethalCarrot Is there a guide how to do that? There are a few places I'd like to insert a smaller picture for the sake of the answer but still have the full-size image available. – DavidW Aug 1 at 18:04
  • @DavidW I don’t know if there’s any specific guide, but it’s easy enough. Awkward to type out on phone though. Just set the first link marker in the image markdown to the smaller one and the second to the full one. – TheLethalCarrot Aug 1 at 18:06
  • @TheLethalCarrot Ah, I misunderstood what you were saying. I thought you were saying there was a way to write "embed this image at this size" and encode it in the URL so imgur served it up at that size. – DavidW Aug 1 at 18:13
  • @DavidW well imgur has the modifiers like m, l, b and a few others. Add them to the end of the image name before the extension and it changes the size. There is a guide somewhere on it but on phone at mo. – TheLethalCarrot Aug 1 at 18:15
  • I generally use l (small-case L) suffix to let Imgur automatically downsize the image size (and filesize!) if it's too large, but leave it if it's small enough. – Andrew T. Aug 2 at 6:54
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No, there is no preferred image size for story id answers or for any post for that matter. Use whichever size you think makes sense in context to how you are using it.

There are no rules on it and nor should there be, in one case a huge image might be warranted in another a tiny image necessary, we shouldn't enforce rules on it.


That said personally myself I will leave it alone if the image is landscape, on its own between text and there aren't too many images in my post. Else if the image is portrait, I have a few images or a few images together I go by gut feeling for how big is too big and if it is too big downscale it using imgur's modifiers. I tend to pick m and set the click through link as the full resolution image. For example:

[![This is a test image][1]][2]  
<sub>_Click image to enlarge._</sub>

  [1]: https://i.stack.imgur.com/1X4XDm.jpg
  [2]: https://i.stack.imgur.com/1X4XD.jpg

Renders as:

This is a test image
Click image to enlarge.

It can be quite awkward to do if you have a lot of images in the post but personally I have gotten quite quick at changing it. Just a matter of copying a few lines and changing a couple of numbers. For a list of other imgur modifiers see this answer.


It is worth noting if you want to do it all inline you can use:

[![This is a test image](https://i.stack.imgur.com/1X4XDm.jpg)](https://i.stack.imgur.com/1X4XD.jpg)  
<sub>_Click image to enlarge._</sub>

This renders the same as the above but depending on the individual may be harder to read.

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    Ah. Is the "m" suffix working again? I stopped using it at one point because it was giving spurious results (at that time, a known imgur bug). – FuzzyBoots Aug 8 at 17:58
  • @FuzzyBoots seems to be all good again now, I haven’t had the bug for a while. – TheLethalCarrot Aug 8 at 18:07

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