Viewing images at full size

We’re running a graphics community, and members often post (very) high res images. Currently, when you click on an image it will enlarge it, loading the original image but scaled to the viewport. Clicking the enlarged image will take you to the next image in the post, and users have to “right click -> view image in new tab” to see it at full, original size (or download the image).

Is there a way to either change this behavior so that clicking an enlarged image will open it at full-size? Alternatively (and perhaps nicer), is it feasible to create a theme component that adds a “view full size” option below the enlarged image?


I never understood the difference between this and the download link, aren’t they the same thing? We have an existing discussion on this here on meta already…

You may not want to actually have the file in your downloads folder just to take a quick look at something. Also, it requires at least one additional click to download and then view. ArtStation has an elegant solution for this (example link), and I use it all the time:

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I think in most browsers the download icon just opens the raw image URL in a new browser tab and it’s not saved anywhere (outside of your cache) unless you right click… so I guess the labeling might be a bit misleading?


Hmm maybe I’m missing something, but for me, it always actually downloads the file. Is it a configuration thing? Opening image files in a new tab would be :ok_hand:

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oh hmm maybe it’s OS level then? Safari/Chrome/Firefox on MacOS open the image URL in the browser whenever I click download

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Wow, it does here, but not on my site (example link). I checked in safe mode and it still downloads there, suggesting some site setting. I’ll dig in, if you have any ideas I’d love to hear.

And yes, is opening the file in a new tab is the expected behavior then ‘download’ might not be an accurate label.

Ah I see, so your site isn’t directly linking the image with the extension, the URL is

It has the same behavior in safe mode with all themes/plugins disabled… so it must be a difference in the image handling configuration


The difference is in expected behavior. At least to me, “Download” implies saving an asset and is something I reserve for some kind of later usage or project, whereas something like “View Full” implies a quick means to do just that.

They’re different enough that equating them can apparently cause confusion.

It would be ideal to offer both behaviors for a given image, like the ArtStation example. There’s no ambiguity there.

Hmm, I did some digging (warning: I’m a Ruby noob) and from what I see the download URL is taken from the data-download-href on the image. It seems to be defined here:

But this attribute only contains the ‘upload.sha1’, and no file extension. The image a href’s in this topic don’t contain the data-download-href attribute, I wonder if this is because the image I just shared above is too small to be resized and didn’t trigger a rebake. I’ll upload a larger one below for testing (CC0 licensed):

Maybe it’s because BlenderArtists doesn’t use a CDN (!?) so they get the content-disposition from our service that tell the browser to download it, and the Meta CDN is stripping it? :thinking:


We use Cloudflare for images only. I just checked on another Discourse server (one that I know does not use a CDN), and see the same download behavior there - example link.

Should we move this post to #bug?

Can confirm that without a CDN this happens, yes.

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Honestly I’d recommend you use a CDN, it’s a big performance boost for your users and removes a lot of load from your server as well.

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I’m aware of the advantages - especially if you use one with endpoints close to your users. So far, the caching by Cloudflare is working well enough for us though (it’s decently fast + offloads our server from serving the images) and we’re still on a shoestring budget…

We should have parity here.

We should not have “download” for image behave one way if CDN is on and another if it is off. @pmusaraj you spent a fair amount of time on this area, is there a reason this has no special content disposition thing here (where we have an S3 CDN defined) and has content disposition defined on local installs?


@codinghorror I think the word we are using here and icon is kind of wrong. Just have it say :link: original and have none of that “disposition” stuff for download. You simply click on it and unconditionally it takes you to the URL the image is at. This also simplifies CDN implementation as an added bonus.

Hmm, no, the disposition and correct download on click is part of what makes this a feature.

OK, then we need to flow the disposition to AWS CDN here @pmusaraj I guess the app is going to need to front the download. (also confirm it works with normal CDN)

Regarding the OP, I guess if you want a :link: full size link in your lightbox @bartv you are going to need a theme component.

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I don’t really see the problem here with different behaviors, either… CDN can get the fancy download behavior and non-CDN can get the simpler behavior.