Documentation and Tutorials
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Upload images

Overview

You can upload all your static and dynamic resources to the cloud. We provide a secure API for easily uploading images to Cloudinary. You can either use our HTTP API directly or through our client libraries.

While uploading images you can transform them by changing their dimensions and format and you can also assign tags to them. Each uploaded resource is assigned a unique Public ID. You can manage all uploaded resources using Cloudinary Management Console and API.

Read further in this chapter for learning how to upload images to Cloudinary and manage them.

Cloudinary's client libraries wrap the upload API and simplify the integration further:

Remote upload

Uploading images to Cloudinary is done by sending an HTTP POST request to (replace 'demo' with your cloud name):

Images are stored on the cloud and are immediately available for download directly or through a CDN. You can then transform the uploaded images to any format, dimension or proportion you need. You can also give a URL of a remote URL and ask Cloudinary to download and upload this image for you.

Each image has a unique identifier named 'Public ID'. You can set this identifier while uploading the image or you can let Cloudinary automatically assign a random identifier.

Required parameters:

  • file - Either the actual data of the image or an HTTP URL of a public image on the Internet.
  • api_key - Your unique Cloudinary API Key.
  • timestamp - Unix time in seconds of the current time.
  • signature - A signature of all request parameters except for 'file', based on your Cloudinary API Secret. See Request Authentication for more details.

Optional parameters:

  • public_id - The identifier that is used for accessing the uploaded resource. A randomly generated ID is assigned if not specified.
  • resource_type - Valid values: 'image', 'raw' and 'auto'. Default: 'image'.
  • type - Allows uploading images as 'private' or 'authenticated'. Valid values: 'upload', 'private' and 'authenticated'. Default: 'upload'.
  • tags - A comma-separated list of tag names to assign to the uploaded image for later group reference.
  • transformation - A transformation to run on the uploaded image before saving it in the cloud. For example: limit the dimension of the uploaded image to 512x512 pixels.
  • format - An optional format to convert the uploaded image to before saving in the cloud. For example: 'jpg'.
  • eager - A list of transformations to create for the uploaded image during the upload process, instead of lazily creating them when being accessed by your site's visitors. The transformation strings are separated by '|'.
  • eager_async (Boolean) - Whether to generate the eager transformations asynchronously in the background after the upload request is completed rather than online as part of the upload call. Default: false.
  • proxy - Tells Cloudinary to upload images from remote URLs through the given proxy. Format: 'http://hostname:post'.
  • headers - An HTTP header or a list of headers lines for returning as response HTTP headers when delivering the uploaded image to your users. Supported headers: 'Link', 'X-Robots-Tag'. For example 'X-Robots-Tag: noindex'.
  • callback - A URL to redirect your user to after the upload is completed. This is needed in case the upload process is done through an upload form in your website.
  • notification_url - An HTTP URL to send notification to (a webhook) when the upload is completed or any requested asynchronous action is completed.
  • eager_notification_url - An HTTP URL to send notification to (a webhook) when the generation of eager transformations is completed.
  • backup (Boolean) - Tell Cloudinary whether to backup the uploaded image. Overrides the default backup settings of your account.
  • faces (Boolean) - Whether to retrieve a list of coordinates of automatically detected faces in the uploaded photo. Default: false.
  • exif (Boolean) - Whether to retrieve the Exif metadata of the uploaded photo. Default: false.
  • colors (Boolean) - Whether to retrieve predominant colors & color histogram of the uploaded image. Default: false.
  • image_metadata (Boolean) - Whether to retrieve IPTC and detailed Exif metadata of the uploaded photo. Default: false.
  • invalidate (Boolean) - Whether to invalidate CDN cache copies of a previously uploaded image that shares the same public ID. Default: false.
  • use_filename (Boolean) - Whether to use the original file name of the uploaded image if available for the public ID. The file name is normalized and random characters are appended to ensure uniqueness. Default: false.
  • unique_filename (Boolean) - Only relevant if use_filename is true. When set to false, should not add random characters at the end of the filename that guarantee its uniqueness. Default: true.
  • overwrite (Boolean) - Whether to overwrite existing resources with the same public ID. When set to false, return immediately if a resource with the same public ID was found. Default: true.
  • discard_original_filename (Boolean) - Whether to discard the name of the original uploaded file. Relevant when delivering images as attachments (setting the 'flags' transformation parameter to 'attachment'). Default: false.
  • raw_convert - Set to 'aspose' to automatically convert Office documents to PDF files and other image formats using the Aspose Document Conversion add-on.
  • categorization - Set to 'rekognition_scene' to automatically detect scene categories of photos using the ReKognition Scene Categorization add-on.
  • auto_tagging (0.0 to 1.0 Decimal number) - Whether to assign tags to an image according to detected scene categories with confidence score higher than the given value.
  • detection - Set to 'rekognition_face' to automatically extract advanced face attributes of photos using the ReKognition Detect Face Attributes add-on.
  • moderation - Set to 'manual' to add the uploaded image to a queue of pending moderation images. Set to 'webpurify' to automatically moderate the uploaded image using the WebPurify Image Moderation add-on.

The API call returns a JSON response with the URLs for accessing the uploaded image, the assigned Public ID, the current version of the resource and the width and height dimensions of the image.

For example:

{
 url: 'http://res.cloudinary.com/demo/image/upload/v1312461204/sample.jpg',
 secure_url: 'https://res.cloudinary.com/demo/image/upload/v1312461204/sample.jpg',
 public_id: 'sample',
 version: '1312461204',
 width: 864,
 height: 564,
 format: 'png',
 resource_type: 'image',
 signature: 'abcdefgc024acceb1c5baa8dca46797137fa5ae0c3'
}

In case of a wrong usage of the upload API or an error, an error response is returned with a non-OK (not 200) HTTP Status code and a body with a JSON of the following format:

{ error: { message: "Something went wrong" } }

We encourage using our client-side libraries for easy uploading:

Request authentication

If you are using our client-side libraries, you just need to configure your access identifiers and send us the uploaded file. All request authentication is done automatically.

For manually authenticating your request you need to sign the following parameters (do not sign optional parameters you do not use in the request):

callback, eager, format, public_id, tags, timestamp, transformation, type

Timestamp is the Unix time in second of the time of the request (e.g., 1315060076).

You need to sign a string with all parameters sorted by their names alphabetically. Separate parameter name and value with '=' and join parameters with '&'.

Create a HEX digest string of a SHA1 signature of a string with the concatenation of all serialized parameters and your API secret.

For example, if your API Key is '1234', your secret is 'abcd', the Unix time now is 1315060076 and you upload a file with the 'sample' Public ID:

  • Parameters:
    • timestamp: 1315060510
    • public_id: "sample"
    • file: DATA
  • Serialized sorted parameters:
    • "public_id=sample&timestamp=1315060510"
  • String to create SHA1 HEX digest for:
    • "public_id=sample&timestamp=1315060510abcd"
  • SHA1 HEX digest:
    • "c3470533147774275dd37996cc4d0e68fd03cd4f"
  • Final request parameters:
    • timestamp: 1315060510
    • public_id: "sample"
    • file: DATA
    • signature: "c3470533147774275dd37996cc4d0e68fd03cd4f"

Accessing uploaded images

Accessing uploaded images or their derived transformation is done using simple URLs that you can use as the 'src' of the 'img' tags in your HTML code or Javascript functions.

URLs for accessing resources contain the resource kind, the Public ID of the resource, and optional version and transformation parameters.

Maybe the best way to understand the URL of Cloudinary is to give some examples:

If you uploaded an image and gave it the public ID 'sample' , the following is the URL for accessing it:

If you override the original image by uploading a different image with the 'sample' Public ID, you should add the image version in order to make sure you get the new version and not a cached copy of the old one:

If you want to create a derived transformation of the uploaded image (for example, resize it to 90x90 pixels):

See Image transformations for more details of available transformations.

Public IDs

Each Web resource is assigned a unique Public ID. The Public ID can be assigned by you while uploading the image or will be automatically randomly generated by Cloudinary if not specified. Either way, you receive the assigned Public ID of the uploaded resource in the result of the upload API call. You can also browse and search resources by Public IDs in our Management Console.

A randomly generated public ID will look like this: 8jsb1xofxdqamu2rzwt9q. Its image resource can be accessed through:

Multiple derived transformations of an uploaded resources share the same Public ID of the uploaded resource. They are identified by the transformation that created them.

Supported Public ID format: only Latin letters, digits, '-' and '_'.

Eager transformations

You can transform your uploaded images to your desired dimension and format. You don't need to predefine the transformations you might need. You can decide at any time what exact transformations you need and dynamically apply them on demand to your uploaded resources.

This means that by default transformed versions of images will be created lazily only when visitors of your site try to access them.

However, sometimes you know in advance that all transformed images will be accessed by visitors of your site. In this case, you might want to eagerly create the required transformations during the upload process so all transformed images will already be available before your users access them for the first time.

The upload API of Cloudinary supports the optional parameter of 'eager', which receives a list of supported transformation instructions to eagerly create as part of the API call.

When using our upload API directly, the 'eager' parameter receives a list of transformation strings separated with a pipe character ('|').

For example, the following value will generate two transformations: scale to 50x50 and crop to 30x30 with south gravity:

eager=w_50,h_50,c_scale|w_30,h_40,c_crop,g_south

When using our client-side libraries, you can pass the transformation in a nicer format. For example, in Ruby on Rails:

:eager => [ {:width => 50, :height => 50, :crop => :scale },
            {:width => 30, :height => 30, :crop => :crop, :gravity => :south } ]

For more details about supported transformations, see Image transformations.

Deleting images

You can delete images uploaded to Cloudinary.

Deleting images is done by sending an HTTP POST request to the following URL (replace 'demo' with your cloud name):

Required parameters:

  • public_id - The identifier of the uploaded image.
  • api_key - Your unique Cloudinary API Key.
  • timestamp - Unix time in seconds of the current time.
  • signature - A signature of all request parameters, based on your Cloudinary API Secret. See Request Authentication for more details.

Optional parameters:

  • type - The type of the image you want to delete. Default: 'upload'.

Notes:

  • Deleted images are immediately and permanently deleted from your cloud storage. However, images and transformed images downloaded by visitors of your Web site might still be accessible for a few more days through cached copies on the CDN.
  • In most common cases, you don't need to delete images uploaded by your web application. You would probably prefer to keep all uploaded images safe on a remote cloud storage.

Renaming images

You can rename the public ID of images uploaded to Cloudinary.

Renaming images is done by sending an HTTP POST request to the following URL (replace 'demo' with your cloud name):

Required parameters:

  • public_id - The identifier of the uploaded image.
  • api_key - Your unique Cloudinary API Key.
  • timestamp - Unix time in seconds of the current time.
  • signature - A signature of all request parameters, based on your Cloudinary API Secret. See Request Authentication for more details.

Optional parameters:

  • type - The type of the image you want to rename. Default: 'upload'.

Notes:

  • Renamed images are immediately and permanently updated in your cloud storage. Note that existing URLs of images and associated derived images are modified, while images and transformed images downloaded by visitors of your Web site might still be accessible for a certain period of time through cached copies on the CDN.

Tagging images

Cloudinary allows you to tag uploaded resources. Each resource can be assigned one or more tags. A tag is a short English name that you can dynamically use (no need to predefine tags). You can assign tags to images while uploading them. You can also use our API and Management Console for adding, removing or changing tags assigned to resources.

Assigning tags to images allows you to create group actions on images that share the same tag. For example:

  • Assign the tag 'logo' to all logos of customers displayed in your site. Generate a single sprite of all logos based on the 'logo' tag.
  • Dynamically assign the tag 'logo_for_home' for all dynamic images you display in your dynamic home page (update the tag assigning when you update the dynamic content of the home page). Generate a single sprite with all images of the 'logo_for_home' tag.

The upload API of cloudinary supports the optional 'tags' parameter. It includes comma-separated English names. For example:

tags=logo,logo_for_home

You can use the tag management APIs for adding, removing or changing assigned tags. For more details, see Managing image tags.

Raw file uploading

Any type of file can be uploaded to Cloudinary, not just images, e.g. CSS files, Javascripts, PDFs, etc. Cloudinary offers a single solution to all uploads relevant to your website visitors, while delivering these files through a fast CDN.

Uploading raw files to Cloudinary means that files are stored as-is. No transformations on uploaded raw files are currently available. You can simply access the uploaded files through a dynamic CDN URL in the same way you use for images.

The raw upload API is very similar to image uploading. Simply send an HTTP POST request to the following URL (replace 'demo' with your cloud name):

Files are stored on the cloud and are immediately available for download through a CDN.

Each file has a unique 'Public ID' identifier. You can set this identifier while uploading the file or you can let Cloudinary automatically assign a random identifier.

Required parameters:

  • file - The actual data of the file.
  • api_key - Your unique Cloudinary API Key.
  • timestamp - Unix time in seconds of the current time.
  • signature - A signature of all request parameters except for 'file', based on your Cloudinary API Secret. See Request Authentication for more details.

Optional parameters:

  • public_id - The identifier that is used for accessing the uploaded resource. A randomly generated ID is assigned if not specified.
  • callback - A URL to redirect your user to after the upload is completed. This is needed in case the upload process is done through an upload form in your Web site.

The API call returns a JSON response with the URLs for accessing the uploaded file, the assigned Public ID and the current version of the resource.

For example:

{
 url: 'http://res.cloudinary.com/demo/raw/upload/v1333816676/p9vqamubzlqwjfebhph1qq.xls',
 secure_url: 'https://res.cloudinary.com/demo/raw/upload/v1333816676/p9vqamubzlqwjfebhph1qq.xls',
 public_id: 'p9vqamubzlqwjfebhph1qq',
 version: '1333816676'
}

Text layers

You can use Cloudinary to generate an image of a given textual string, dynamically. You can then use this textual image as an overlay for other images.

To generate an image for a given text, simply use our HTTP API. Various font, color and style parameters can be specified to customize the look & feel of the text.

The text layer generation API is very similar to image uploading. Simply send an HTTP POST request to the following URL (replace 'demo' with your cloud name):

Required parameters:

  • text - The text to generate an image for.
  • api_key - Your unique Cloudinary API Key.
  • timestamp - Unix time in seconds of the current time.
  • signature - A signature of all request parameters, based on your Cloudinary API Secret. See Request Authentication for more details.

Optional parameters:

  • public_id - The identifier that is used for accessing the generated image. If not specified, a unique identifier is generated, persistently mapped to the given text and style settings. This way, you can keep using Cloudinary’s API for generating texts. Cloudinary will make sure not to generate multiple images for the same text and style.
  • font_family - The name of the font family. List supported font families.
    • ABeeZee
    • AR PL KaitiM Big5
    • AR PL KaitiM GB
    • AR PL Mingti2L Big5
    • AR PL SungtiL GB
    • AR PL UKai CN
    • AR PL UKai HK
    • AR PL UKai TW
    • AR PL UKai TW MBE
    • AR PL UMing CN
    • AR PL UMing HK
    • AR PL UMing TW
    • AR PL UMing TW MBE
    • Abel
    • Abril Fatface
    • Aclonica
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    • Advent Pro
    • Aguafina Script
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    • Andada
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    • Andale Mono
    • Andika
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    • Annie Use Your Telescope
    • Anonymous Pro
    • Antic
    • Antic Didone
    • Antic Slab
    • Anton
    • Antonio
    • Arapey
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    • Architects Daughter
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    • Lilita One
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    • Noto Sans Egyptian Hieroglyphs
    • Noto Sans Ethiopic
    • Noto Sans Georgian
    • Noto Sans Glagolitic
    • Noto Sans Gujarati
    • Noto Sans Gujarati UI
    • Noto Sans Hanunoo
    • Noto Sans Hebrew
    • Noto Sans Imperial Aramaic
    • Noto Sans Kaithi
    • Noto Sans Kannada
    • Noto Sans Kayahi
    • Noto Sans Kharoshthi
    • Noto Sans Malayalam
    • Noto Sans Mandaic
    • Noto Sans Meetei Mayek
    • Noto Sans NKo
    • Noto Sans Old South Arabian
    • Noto Sans Old Turkic
    • Noto Sans Osmanya
    • Noto Sans Phoenician
    • Noto Sans Shavian
    • Noto Sans Symbols
    • Noto Sans Tagalog
    • Noto Sans Tai Tham
    • Noto Sans Tai Viet
    • Noto Sans Tamil
    • Noto Sans Tamil UI
    • Noto Sans Telugu
    • Noto Sans Thai
    • Noto Sans Thai UI
    • Noto Sans UI
    • Noto Sans Ugaritic
    • Noto Sans Vai
    • Noto Sansao
    • Noto Sansao UI
    • Noto Sansisu
    • Noto Sansycian
    • Noto Sansydian
    • Noto Serif
    • Noto Serif Armenian
    • Noto Serif Georgian
    • Noto Serif Thai
    • Noto Serifao
    • Nova Cut
    • Nova Flat
    • Nova Oval
    • Nova Round
    • Nova Script
    • Nova Slim
    • Nova Square
    • NovaMono
    • Numans
    • Nunito
    • OFL Sorts Mill Goudy TT
    • OdorMeanChey
    • Offside
    • Old Standard TT
    • Oldenburg
    • Oleo Script
    • Oleo Script Swash Caps
    • Open Sans
    • Open Sans Condensed
    • Open Sans Hebrew
    • Open Sans Hebrew Condensed
    • Oranienbaum
    • Orbitron
    • Oregano
    • Orienta
    • Original Surfer
    • Oswald
    • Over the Rainbow
    • Overlock
    • Overlock SC
    • Ovo
    • Oxygen
    • Oxygen Mono
    • PT Mono
    • PT Sans
    • PT Sans Caption
    • PT Sans Narrow
    • PT Serif
    • PT Serif Caption
    • Pacifico
    • Padauk
    • Palatino
    • Paprika
    • Parisienne
    • Passero One
    • Passion
    • Passion One
    • Pathway Gothic One
    • Patrick Hand
    • Patrick Hand SC
    • Patua One
    • Paytone One
    • Pecita
    • Peralta
    • Permanent Marker
    • Petit Formal Script
    • Petrona
    • Phetsarath
    • Philosopher
    • Piedra
    • Pinyon Script
    • Pirata One
    • Plaster
    • Play
    • Playball
    • Playfair Display
    • Playfair Display SC
    • Podkova
    • PoetsenOne
    • Poiret One
    • Poller One
    • Poly
    • Pompiere
    • Pontano Sans
    • Portligat Sans
    • Portligat Slab
    • Prata
    • Preah Vihear
    • Press Start 2P
    • Princess Sofia
    • Prociono
    • Prosto One
    • Puritan
    • Purple Purse
    • Quando
    • Quantico
    • Quattrocento
    • Quattrocento Roman
    • Quattrocento Sans
    • Questrial
    • Quicksand
    • Quintessential
    • Qwigley
    • Racing Sans One
    • Radley
    • Raleway
    • Raleway Dots
    • Rambla
    • Rammetto One
    • Ranchers
    • Rancho
    • Rationale
    • Redacted
    • Redacted Script
    • Redressed
    • Reenie Beanie
    • Revalia
    • Ribeye
    • Ribeye Marrow
    • Righteous
    • Risque
    • Roboto
    • Roboto Condensed
    • Roboto Slab
    • Rochester
    • Rock Salt
    • Rokkitt
    • Romanesco
    • Ropa Sans
    • Rosario
    • Rosarivo
    • Rouge Script
    • Ruda
    • Rufina
    • Ruge Boogie
    • Ruluko
    • Rum Raisin
    • Ruslan Display
    • Russo One
    • Ruthie
    • Rye
    • Sacramento
    • Sail
    • Salsa
    • Sanchez
    • Sancreek
    • Sansation
    • Sansationight
    • Sansita One
    • Sarabun
    • Sarina
    • Satisfy
    • Scada
    • Scheherazade
    • Schoolbell
    • Seaweed Script
    • Sedan
    • Sedan SC
    • SeoulHangang
    • SeoulHangang CB
    • SeoulHangang CBL
    • SeoulHangang CEB
    • SeoulHangang CL
    • SeoulHangang CM
    • SeoulHangang Smart B
    • SeoulNamsan
    • SeoulNamsan CB
    • SeoulNamsan CBL
    • SeoulNamsan CEB
    • SeoulNamsan CL
    • SeoulNamsan CM
    • SeoulNamsan Smart B
    • Sevillana
    • Seymour One
    • Shadows Intoight
    • Shadows Intoight Two
    • Shanti
    • Share
    • Share Tech
    • Share Tech Mono
    • Share-BoldExp
    • Share-BoldItalicExp
    • Share-BoldItalicOSF
    • Share-BoldOSF
    • Share-ItalicExp
    • Share-ItalicOSF
    • Share-RegularExp
    • Share-RegularOSF
    • Share-TechExp
    • Share-TechMono
    • Share-TechMonoExp
    • Shojumaru
    • Short Stack
    • Siemreap
    • Sigmar One
    • Signika
    • Signika Negative
    • Simonetta
    • Sintony
    • SirinStencil
    • Six Caps
    • Skranji
    • Slackey
    • Smokum
    • Smythe
    • Sniglet
    • Snippet
    • Snowburst One
    • Sofadi One
    • Sofia
    • Sonsie One
    • Sorts Mill Goudy
    • Souliyo Unicode
    • Source Code Pro
    • Source Sans Pro
    • Special Elite
    • Spicy Rice
    • Spinnaker
    • Spirax
    • Squada One
    • Stalemate
    • Stalin One
    • Stalinist One
    • Standard Symbols
    • Stardos Stencil
    • Stint Ultra Condensed
    • Stint Ultra Expanded
    • Stoke
    • Strait
    • Strong
    • Sue Ellen Francisco
    • Sunshiney
    • Supermercado
    • Swanky and Moo Moo
    • Symbol
    • Syncopate
    • TakaoExGothic
    • TakaoExMincho
    • TakaoGothic
    • TakaoMincho
    • TakaoPGothic
    • TakaoPMincho
    • Tangerine
    • Taprom
    • Tauri
    • Telex
    • Tenor Sans
    • Terminal Dosis
    • Text Me One
    • Thabit
    • TharLon
    • The Girl Next Door
    • Tienne
    • Times
    • Times New Roman
    • Tinos
    • Titan One
    • Titillium Web
    • Trade Winds
    • Trebuchet MS
    • Trocchi
    • Trochut
    • Trykker
    • Tuffy
    • Tulpen
    • Tulpen One
    • URW Bookman
    • URW Chancery
    • URW Gothic
    • URW Palladio
    • Ubuntu
    • Ubuntu Condensed
    • Ubuntu Mono
    • Ubuntu Monospaced
    • Ultra
    • Uncial Antiqua
    • Underdog
    • Unica One
    • UnifrakturCook
    • UnifrakturMaguntia
    • Unkempt
    • Unlock
    • Unna
    • VT323
    • Vampiro One
    • Varela
    • Varela Round
    • Vast Shadow
    • Verdana
    • Vibur
    • Vidaloka
    • Viga
    • Voces
    • Volkhov
    • Vollkorn
    • Voltaire
    • Waiting for the Sunrise
    • Wallpoet
    • Walter Turncoat
    • Warnes
    • Webdings
    • Wellfleet
    • WenQuanYi Zen Hei
    • WenQuanYi Zen Hei Mono
    • WenQuanYi Zen Hei Sharp
    • Wendy One
    • Wire One
    • Yanone Kaffeesatz
    • Yellowtail
    • Yeseva One
    • Yesteryear
    • Zeyada
    • cwTeXFangSong
    • cwTeXHei
    • cwTeXKai
    • cwTeXMing
    • cwTeXYen
    • jsMath-cmbx10
    • jsMath-cmex10
    • jsMath-cmmi10
    • jsMath-cmr10
    • jsMath-cmsy10
    • jsMath-cmti10
  • font_size - Font size in points. Default: 12.
  • font_color - Name or RGB representation of the font's color. For example: 'red', '#ff0000'. Default: 'black'.
  • font_weight - Whether to use a 'normal' or a 'bold' font. Default: 'normal'.
  • font_style - Whether to use a 'normal' or an 'italic' font. Default: 'normal'.
  • background - Name or RGB representation of the background color of the generated image. For example: 'red', '#ff0000'. Default: 'transparent'.
  • opacity - Text opacity value between 0 (invisible) and 100. Default: 100.
  • text_decoration - Optionally add an 'underline' to the text. Default: 'none'.

The API call returns a JSON response with the URLs for accessing the generated image through a CDN, the assigned Public ID and the current version of the resource.

For example:

{
 url: 'http://res.cloudinary.com/demo/image/text/v1337611986/12355d88728f5dc6886d96847c0c7ced.png',
 secure_url: 'https://res.cloudinary.com/demo/image/text/v1337611986/12355d88728f5dc6886d96847c0c7ced.png',
 public_id: '12355d88728f5dc6886d96847c0c7ced',
 version: '1337611986'
 width: 124, 
 height: 15
}