Recently I asked this question on global Meta. The problem is when users upload huge photos to illustrate something they usually don't need very high resolution - for example, it might be a photo of a sink and it doesn't need to be 2000K by 1500K and weigh 700 kilobytes - it can be much smaller and will still look good. Downloading huge pictures is a problem for many users.

Turns out (thanks to user Jeremy Banks for that answer!) imgur.com allows to downscale images automatically by appending letter l between the name and the extension.

So you upload an image and you get a link like https://i.sstatic.net/Xulw9.jpg and when you insert l you get https://i.sstatic.net/Xulw9l.jpg (notice l before .jpg) and that automatically makes imgur.com serve a smaller version of the image that weighs much less.

I kindly ask all users who add pictures to use this feature unless of course you need that super high resolution to illustrate some super fine details.

  • Noting how "l" is also used in the 5-digit hash. That's gonna suck when they run out of namespace and need to go to a 6th digit. They'll have to code a special exception to never generate a hash ending in "l". Feb 28, 2023 at 22:31

1 Answer 1


Good find about the l.

I wonder if something could be done to insert the l automatically?

I've just worked out that l actually stands for "large thumbnail". You can get smaller images by appending m (for "medium") and s (for "small") as well.

  • 2
    Sure. There's a feature request on global meta. It shouldn't be that hard to render appropriate HTML by SO engine - like insert a small version inline and provide a link to a full size version. I guess once it gets enough upvotes the team implements it.
    – sharptooth
    Aug 19, 2011 at 8:13
  • Btw I made a separate explicit feature request for that - meta.stackexchange.com/q/107927/132564
    – sharptooth
    Sep 30, 2011 at 6:22

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