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So I have the code [[File:example.jpg|thumb|caption]]. This works fine for local images and files, but I want to host some images externally. I can't just replace example.jpg with a link though, because it still thinks it's a local file.

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According to this Stack Overflow answer, resizing external images using features such as thumb cannot be done.

From the MediaWiki manual:

For resizing images in mediawiki they need to have a row in image table of database containing dimensions and other information of image so you can't resize external images.

This answer suggests resizing your image in CSS, as a workaround:

If client-side resizing is sufficient, you could probably whip something up with CSS...

Wrap the image you want to resize in a div or span and give it a particular class like:

<div class="image100px">http://example.com/path/to/image.jpeg</div>

And in the [[MediaWiki:Common.css]] page on the wiki add an entry like this:

.image100px img { width: 100px; }

(Note that due to caching of the CSS you might have to force a reload to see the update.)

However, that won't get you the nice caption box.

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