Programmable Media

Managing upload presets for developers

Last updated: Apr-18-2024

Upload presets enable you to centrally define a set of asset upload options instead of specifying them in each upload call. You can define multiple upload presets and apply different presets in different upload scenarios.

You can set your presets as signed or unsigned. Unsigned presets can be used with unsigned upload calls, such as uploading directly from the browser, in the upload widget or for Auto Upload settings.

Use cases

Some use-cases for using upload presets include:

  • Define how the assets will be stored and accessed, such as the way the public ID value will be determined (use_filename), which folders they'll be stored in (folder), and whether existing assets can be replaced by those uploaded with the preset (overwrite).
  • Generate eager transformations for uploaded files (eager). This is especially valuable for video transformations that may take longer to generate and helps to ensure your uploaded files will be ready for delivery.
  • Apply incoming transformations while uploading a file (transformation), for example to limit format types or file size before storing uploaded files in Cloudinary.
  • Apply add-on capabilities, such as auto-tagging (categorization) or automatic moderation (moderation), to your uploads.
  • Update the behavior of user-generated content uploads without modifying your website or mobile app code.
  • Set up default upload behavior for uploads via the Media Library or via upload method commands.
  • Use as upload preferences for uploads via the Upload widget.

Creating and managing upload presets

You can create, modify, or delete upload presets using the Upload Preset UI in the Upload page of the Console Settings or programmatically using the upload_presets method of the Admin API.

  • When defining an upload preset that may be used for both image and video uploads, you can include both image-specific and video-specific upload options (e.g., for moderation or tagging add-ons) and only the relevant options will be used when a file is uploaded with that preset.

    Any upload options in your preset that apply to a different format are silently ignored. However, if you also supply incoming or eager transformations as part of an upload call, make sure that all the transformation parameters included in the call are relevant for both images and videos.
  • Whether you create your upload preset via the Cloudinary Console or programmatically, upload presets may also impact the behavior of uploads that are performed in the Media Library. For more information, see Managing upload presets in the DAM.
  • If Dynamic folders mode is enabled on your product environment, there are a variety of additional options available for upload presets, both in the UI and the API. For details, see Dynamic folders - Upload preset options and Dynamic folders - New Upload API parameters.

Managing upload presets using the settings UI

To create or modify an upload preset using the Upload Preset UI, log into the Cloudinary Console and select Settings > Upload and then scroll to the Upload presets section.

  • Create a new upload preset by clicking Add upload preset at the bottom of the upload preset list.
  • Click Edit to modify an existing preset.
  • To base a new upload preset on an existing one, click Duplicate on the relevant upload preset. The new copy is added to the bottom of the list with a random name. You can then click Edit on the newly created upload preset to modify its name and update the settings as needed.
    Upload preset console UI

The upload preset page includes several sections where you can set a variety of upload options.

  • The most important thing to consider when creating a new upload preset is whether you want the upload preset to be signed or unsigned. For example, only signed presets can be used as the default upload preset for the Upload API or Media Library or if you are implementing signed uploads for your application. Conversely, in most cases, you will need to use unsigned upload presets when implementing unsigned upload capabilities from your client-side app or when using the upload widget within a client-side app.

  • In general, the options in the Upload Preset interface parallel the parameters you can set in an upload method command. However, there are some options that may be available only programmatically. Those that are unavailable usually relate to specific sub-options of some of the add-ons or those related to complex transformation options, which might be relevant if you are defining eager or incoming transformations for your upload preset.

  • The options relating to asset naming and folders differ depending on whether your product environment uses dynamic or fixed folder mode. For more information, see Naming, storage and folder mode options.

When you finish and Save your upload preset definition, the upload preset and its settings are displayed in the Upload page of the Console Settings:

Upload preset definition

Managing upload presets programmatically

You can use the upload_preset method of the Admin API to create, manage, or delete upload presets, either via a REST API call, any of our backend SDKs. If you don't have a server-side application, you can manage upload presets programmatically using the Cloudinary CLI. For the most part, you can apply the same set of options for an upload preset as you can in an Upload method call.

For example, the following code creates a new unsigned upload preset called my_preset, requests automatic-tagging using the Google tagging add-on engines for both images and videos, removes the backgrounds for images, and uploads to a folder called new-products:

You can similarly use the Admin API to list, modify or delete existing upload presets. For complete details, see the upload_preset method in the Admin API Reference.

Upload preset video tutorial

This video walks you through the steps of creating signed upload presets using the Admin API.

Naming, storage, and folder mode options

You may want to pay special attention to the following options that impact how your assets are named and stored. Some of these options differ between dynamic and fixed folder mode.

Set them either from the settings UI, or programmatically using the upload_presets endpoint of the Admin API. You can find the specific parameters that implement these options in the Upload method call.

Option Dynamic Folder Mode Fixed Folder Mode
Public ID naming preferences By default, the public ID is randomly generated to ensure uniqueness. However, to improve SEO, you can set the public ID to match the file name of the asset you're uploading (use_filename:true) with or without an added random suffix (unique_filename:true/false). These options are the same for fixed folder mode.
Destination folder and URL path

You can specify an asset_folder value to define where the asset will be diplayed within the Web interface. This has no impact on the asset's public ID path.

If your organization has migrated from fixed folder mode to dynamic folder mode and wants to keep the old behavior for initial upload, or if your organization makes use of those paths in the delivery URL for SEO purposes, you can Set the public ID path to match the initial asset folder path (use_asset_folder_as_public_id_prefix:true), or you can separately specify a custom prefix to prepend the public ID (public_id_prefix).

However, even when one of these options are set, if the asset is later moved to a different asset folder, the public ID path doesn't change.

You can specify a destination folder, which automatically defines both the URL path to prepend to the public ID and the folder where the asset is stored. If the asset is later moved to a different folder, the URL path updates accordingly and could cause delivery URLs to break in production.
Display names The upload preset provides options for setting naming preferences for display names, including using the uploaded asset's file name (use_filename_as_display_name:true) or matching the display name to the last segment of the public ID (use_filename_as_display_name:false). There are no display names in fixed folder mode.

Upload preset precedence

In situations where an upload preset is used, and parameters are also passed in the upload request, the following precedence rules are followed in the case that a parameter is passed in the request and in the preset:

For signed uploads: parameters given with the method request take precedence over upload preset parameters.

For unsigned uploads:

  • folder and tags parameters in the upload preset take precedence.
  • The rest of the supported upload parameters take precedence over the upload preset parameters (the same as with signed).

Default upload presets

From the Upload Settings, you can also individually select signed upload presets that will act as the default upload presets for images, videos, and raw files respectively. You can select one set of presets for API calls and another set for uploads via the Media Library. The settings in these default presets are applied to all uploads of the relevant asset type whenever no other upload preset is specified directly in an upload call or via the upload widget in the Media Library.

Default upload preset settings

The default Media Library presets apply to any assets that are dragged to a folder in your Media Library. They are also used by default when you select files from any source via the built-in Upload Widget in the Media Library. However, if enabled for your account, then you can select a different signed upload preset for selected files in the Advanced options of the Media Library Upload Widget. For details, see Media Library Upload Widget.

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