The new SkyDrive hobbles making images

The newly released version of SkyDrive (“Pretty Face”) has made it almost impossible to get the URL, web address, of an image file for use elsewhere like Microsoft SkyDrive offers “Embed” code but that only gets back to the SkyDrive view of the photo. Besides, that code will not work in some uses like blogs (WordPress strips “iframe” code for security reasons).

imageFinding the URL in the right-click menu (in Internet Explorer one level further down in Properties) provides a web address to a reduced size version of the image, not what you want for use in the delightful utility. Yes, SkyDrive lists the full size in the information pane. My SkyDrive illustration here shows that it lists the real 8605 x 3603 pixels size for this image, but the properties-URL is to a 1600 pixel version of this photo.

Fortunately, there is a Download provision which allows download of the original, full-size image. It is a bit complicated, but that is the route to the image URL. [There may be an easier way, and – I hope – Microsoft may have corrected the oversight and restored the address link by the time you read this.]

Finding the URL of a file in the new SkyDrive

imageGo to the image in SkyDrive using Internet Explorer (I use IE9). If the information pane on the right is not shown, click the little “<” (Expand) in the upper right. image

Under the thumbnail of the image there is a Download link (the Rename and Delete links are present only if you are logged in).

Download the photo. Answer the question “Do you want to open or save …” by clicking Save. This will download the image to your default download folder.

Bear with me, we are after the URL not the file, but for now this is the “easy” way. The full size image will be downloaded. The downloader needs the address, URL, to the full image, and this is how we can get to it.image

In the download bar at the bottom of the window click View Downloads.

imageIf you did not pay attention and closed the bar, click Tools – the little wheel in the upper right – and then click View downloads in the drop-down menu. The illustration here uses the red pointer to show the Tools icon location.

The View Downloads – Windows Internet Explorerimage window shows your downloads (here I had previously cleared the list). Right-click on the file you just downloaded (this works during the download). Click on Copy download link. Hurray! You got it! Now, what could be easier? The URL is now in your clipboard. I normally paste it into Notepad and save it for future use, although the procedure for getting anew is so simple … (pardon my sarcasm).

You can, of course, delete the downloaded image from your download folder, it is just taking up space.

Use the precious URL to create a image. Go to On the bottom where it says “Create your own…” click and paste in the URL. The process may take some time, imageespecially if your image is large (hey, if it were small you would not need Where you pasted in the URL you will now see the address to you image. Copy the address so you can use and share it.

imageThe image I used in the illustration here is from a presentation on making image composites. I used it to illustrate stitching errors – enjoy finding them, just click on the image. Avoiding such errors is another story altogether.

[Revised to clarify procedure, 7 Jul 2011 Ludwig]


© 2011 Ludwig Keck


About Ludwig

Lending a helping hand where I can. . . My motto: If it is worth doing, it is worth doing well.
This entry was posted in SkyDrive, Windows Live Services and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The new SkyDrive hobbles making images

  1. Noel says:

    Yep, that’s a bit smarter than fiddling around with the page source. This is what SkyDrive support said when I complained:
    “Thank you for your report. Our product team is aware of this issue and are investigating fixes for an upcoming release.”
    I hope that ‘issue’ includes the bizarre behaviour of IE zoom (e.g. Ctrl-scroll) when viewing an image on SkyDrive.

    • Ludwig says:

      Thanks, Noel, but really what’s there not to love about the way the Ctrl+scroll works. I love it. It will be a great hit at my next public demonstration. For once I can get my audience to burst out laughing! Almost as good a joke as “upcoming release”.

  2. Thanks a lot, Ludwig. I do hope they add this direct-link functionality back to SkyDrive. But for now, this hack will work for me! Thanks.

  3. ken says:

    it’s a nuisance that we have to download and go through all the fuss just to get the image link..

Comments are closed.