Using the WordPress media manager, it’s extremely simple to insert, align and link your individual images and image galleries. To insert an image into your Page/Post, click the Add Media button () and then simply drag your image(s) from wherever they are on your computer, into the browser window. Your file(s) will be automatically uploaded. Alternatively, click the Select Files button and then select the file(s) that you’d like to upload, using the dialog window that is displayed. With WordPress 3.9, it’s now also possible to simply drag your image straight into the Visual Editor, rather than clicking the Add Media button.

No matter whether you’ve clicked the Add Media button or simply dragged and dropped your image into the Visual Editor, once your image is uploaded, your Media Library is displayed, which contains all your previously uploaded images. The image(s) that you’ve just uploaded will be automatically ‘selected’ for easy insertion into your Page or Post. Selected images are shown with a ‘tick’ icon in the top right corner of the image.

After uploading your image(s), you can then select other previously uploaded images by holding down the Ctrl key (Cmd key on Macs) and simply clicking on them. To deselect an image, click the ‘tick’ in the top right corner of the image.

At the bottom of the window you will see a count of the number of images currently selected. There are several options within this Insert Media window to help make it easier to add images into your Page or Post.

By default, all previously uploaded images are shown, starting with the most recent uploads. If you’d like to narrow this list down, at the top of the window is a dropdown list that allows you to filter your displayed images by All media items, items Uploaded to this post, or just Images, Audio files or Video files. There is also a Search field that allows you to search for specific images.

The properties of the currently highlighted image (i.e. The image with the blue border) will be shown on the right-hand side of the Insert Media window. These properties include the filename, the date the file was uploaded and the image size. It’s at this point you can also change the image Title, Caption, Alt Text and Description for each image, as well as the Alignment, Link and the Size at which the image is inserted.

  • Title – is displayed as a tooltip when the mouse cursor hovers over the image in the browser
  • Caption – is displayed underneath the image as a short description. How this displays will be dependent on the WordPress theme in use at the time. You can also include basic HTML in your captions
  • Alt Text – is displayed when the browser can’t render the image. It’s also used by screen readers for visually impaired users so it’s important to fill out this field with a description of the image. To a small degree, it also plays a part in your website Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Since search engines can’t ‘read’ images they rely on the Alt Text
  • Description – is usually displayed on the attachment page for the media, however this is entirely up to the theme that is currently in use

For each image, you can select how you would like the image aligned, either Left, Center or Right aligned, using the Alignment drop down list. You can also select None for no alignment which will mean the image will display using the default alignment setting for your Theme.

You can also change what your inserted image(s) will link to using the Link To drop down list. You have the choice of linking to the image’s attachment page by selecting Attachment Page, or you can link to the full size image by selecting Media File. You can also link to any URL by selecting Custom URL. When you do this, a new field will appear that allows you to enter in the custom URL. You can also choose not to link to anything by selecting None.

When your image(s) are uploaded, WordPress will also create several copies of your file at various sizes. You can choose which one you’d like to insert into your Page or Post using the Size drop down list. To insert the image at the exact size you uploaded, simply select Full Size. Next to each size listed in this drop down will be the actual dimensions of the image, in pixels (e.g. 300 x 225).

Once you’ve selected all your images, click the Insert into post button to insert the selected image(s) into your Post at the current cursor position (when editing a Page, this button will say Insert into page).

If you’d like to change the order of your images, click the Edit link at the bottom of the Insert Media window. The window will change so that only the selected images are shown. Alternatively, clicking the Clear link will deselect all images.

After clicking the Edit link at the bottom of the Insert Media window, all the currently selected images are shown. You can change the order in which the images will appear in your Page or Post by clicking and dragging each image to reorder them. You can also update the image Title, Caption, Alt Text and Description for each image.

Clicking the Return to library button will take you back to the previous screen that allows you to select or deselect your images.

When you’re editing your Post/Page, if you wish to insert an image that you uploaded earlier (as opposed to uploading a new image), click the Add Media button again (). Once the popup window displays, click the Media Library link at the top of the pop-up window rather than dragging a new file into the upload window. All your previously uploaded images will be displayed, with the most recent ones shown first. Select the image(s) that you’d like to insert into your Page or Post and then simply click the Insert into post button (or if you’re editing a Page, this button will say Insert into page). As mentioned earlier, you can also click the Edit link at the bottom of the window if you’d like to change the order the images are inserted.