Using Flickr to locate and download Creative Commons licensed images

This post was originally part of a larger post for the PowerPoint Plus series, but I felt that the topic was important enough to warrant a separate post.  I’m not going to write a long post about copyright, fair use, and Creative Commons (yet), but I did want to bring this up. Images are critical to the creation of exceptional PowerPoint presentations, and since folks shouldn’t be going around stealing images, I thought I’d discuss how to use Flickr to locate and download Creative Commons licensed images.  For more information on Creative Commons, visit their website,

So, without any further adieu, here’s how you search for Creative Commons licensed content on Flickr…

  1. Go to the Flickr Advanced Search page and enter your search term in the “search for” box at the top.
  2. Scroll down the page and click on the “Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content” checkbox.  (If you’re using the work commercially or will be modifying it in any way, make sure you check the other two boxes as well.)
  3. Click the “Search” button.

    For this example, I searched for “Grand Lido Braco” (a resort in Jamaica).  I didn’t check the bottom two boxes because I’m not using the image commercially or modifying it in any way.  My search yielded 327 results.
  4. Browse the results and locate an image that you want to use.  Click on the image to see a larger version and to access the tools needed to download the image. You can’t just right-click and download these images.

  5. Once you’ve selected an image, you’ll be on a page that looks something like this.
  6. To download the image, click on the image itself.  This will load the image in the full-screen view.  Click on the “View All Sizes” link up the upper right-hand corner of the page.
  7. Click on the link and the image will be loaded again, this time with a download link. Click the link to download the image, save it to your computer and you’re ready to use it in your work.  But be sure to abide by the terms of the license and to provide credit where it is due!

Jamaica 2010 240 by Flickr users Eva and Rodney Hargis Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 2.0 License

For more information on proper attribution of Creative Commons licensed material, visit this page at