So, how are those Gallery tiled mosaics working out for you?


What a wonderful addition to the arsenal of tools WordPress.com gave us folks that like to upload and display a lot of photos in our posts. But after a month of using the new Gallery tiled display option, all I can say is that if the Gallery feature is a misunderstood child, the tiled mosaic is a misbehaving one.

To begin with, collectively calling the new Gallery display “tiled mosaic-style layout” feels like a misnomer since this only refers to one of the three available new “types” of Gallery display. The three new types are circle, square and rectangle, the last one creating a mosaic like the second Gallery below.

Then, it isn’t clear in the Support documentation that while you can control the number of columns and the size of the image displayed in the standard Gallery grid display, the tiled display will span the entire width of your theme’s content posting area and images will be automatically sized to fit accordingly. If you are uploading and displaying images in multiples of 3 this is less of a problem. If you have a different number of photos and have chosen either the circle or square Gallery types, get ready for over-sized images, which on themes with wide content posting areas, like Nishita and Timepiece, is especially prominent.

(Depending on the visual story you want to tell, the standard grid display is sometimes the better choice.)

Lastly, the new Gallery tiled display also seems to break on certain themes. I’ve seen this both on my Gallery demo blog and in bug reports that I and others have posted in the Community Support forums. It can be just a matter of whether your theme has a sidebar or not, whether it is a flexible or fixed width theme, whether the theme’s homepage display is excerpted or not or whether you are viewing WordPress.com on your mobile device. Hopefully these problems will be addressed by WordPress.com’s Theme Team. Otherwise, your only choices are to either not use the new feature or switch themes to one that does support them.

Personally, I feel like a kid with a new box of watercolor paints whose parents overlooked telling her to not use them on the walls. How about you? Have you been using the new Gallery types on your site? What’s been your experience with them so far?

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17 responses to “So, how are those Gallery tiled mosaics working out for you?

  1. Hi there,

    Thank you for this excellent post, there were some funny bits in there which is much appreciated. We recently upgraded to WordPress 3.5.1 and activated Jetpack. We are using a child theme of WordPress Twentytwelve as our theme, and are having some trouble getting the intended effect with the rectangular tiled gallery. When we upload our images as such, the first few images show up fine, but then near the end of the gallery, several images are staggered and very tiny, much too tiny to see. We have tried experimenting with different column amounts and picture amounts, with no success. Any idea why this might be happening? Your help is not taken for granted!

    Peace,

    The Wandering Soles

    • Sadly, you’ve overlooked that this post was written for folks using WordPress.com. You’ll need to post to the jetpack forum on WordPress.org support forums. Best wishes.

  2. Pingback: Gallery Types Fixed! « Random Acts of Photography·

  3. Hi Jen,
    I’ve been using the rectangular gallery on my Chateau work-blog successfully.

    It’s easy to do when I title the uploaded images with a number first such as “1 turkey placecard etc.” “2 turkey placecard” and so on. That post (8 Nov. 12) is a “how to make” kind of post so the mosaic goes in order. The gallery of the images follows alphabetical or numeric order, in a left to right manner. It’s a blog with a small mostly local readership and I have not had feedback about whether that format is useful or not. I’d certainly say it’s faster than putting the pictures in one by one. For my purpose it is necessary to explain in each post how to use the gallery. (I think many of the readers are not computer savy—at least my boss is not.)

    Usually I include a picture or two of the finished project. While you cannot select which photos are larger, using the numbered titles is easier for me to edit the galleries (sometimes excluding one of the finished projects) so the ones I think are most important look logical.

    (usually I’m the orange lioness but I want to keep work identity separate from personal)

    ~rea porter
    ≥^!^≤

    • That’s pretty much what I did with the 3 images above, but you can see what a difference it makes when using each type of Gallery. :)

  4. I found the rectangular style of gallery very interesting… I only wish I had more control over which photos were larger. Right now, I can only hope, that the ones I find the best, are rendered large – but that seldom happens… Also, sometimes it gets a little confusing… A few photos go unnoticed…

    Having said that, I still find it nice… I have made the rectangular style gallery the default on my blog,.. It gives the gallery a more dynamic feel…

    • It is a nice feature and should get a bigger showing than it does. Sadly I think that it’s gotten so over-explained and confusing that people don’t know what to do with it.

  5. I have one of those themes that does not work with the new mosaic gallery (haven’t tried the other shapes), Sunspot. Very frustrating!! And in using the global command to use it, my two other posts that had lovely gallery columns went beserk and I had to “hand” insert every photo into some sort of order. NOT FUN WordPress. I do feel rather like a tolerated stepchild and not a beloved firstborn. “Bronx cheers” (that means sticking my tongue out at you and giving a nasty sound) from Miss Maura, a native New Yorker

    I would love to have VERY VERY VERY specific instructions on how to use the mosaic using code for just one time so everything else doesn’t get undone again…when and if you guys can figure it out for my theme. And that sizing feature needs your attention.

    • Maura, I tested Sunspot on my demo site and it looks just fine. I looked at your site and I’m seeing all kinds of posts with images scattered all over them like autumn leaves, but it doesn’t seem that you are using the Gallery as defined in the Support doc.

      The easiest thing to do is upload your images via the “Upload Media” button in the post editor. When you are done uploading the images, click the “Save all changes” button and then close the Image uploader. Go back to your post and switch to the Text tab in the editor and where you want those images to appear as a Gallery, type the following but without the extra spaces around the brackets, [ gallery type="rectangle" ] . That’s it.

      If you enabled the tiled mosaic as the default for Gallery display, all you have to type is
      [ gallery ] (again without the extra spaces).

      • Thanks, Jennifer. Once again, I re-did the posts I had in gallery format so you cannot tell what they WERE by what are NOW. And FYI I put my photos where I want them so text will wrap, for example. I’m not too fond of rigid columns with all photos the same size but I will have some posts coming up that utilize the current Gallery feature that way. Pics of the ocean and beach, mostly. They’ll be up later this month. I schedule them so not sure exactly when but I invite you to follow my blog and get notifications of new posts either through WordPress reader or email. You’ll see galleries, trust me! It may take me a while to figure out how to use that one-at-a-time mosaic but I most sincerely thank you for telling me exactly how!! Thanks, Miss Em

      • Hi Jennifer, I tried what you suggested with an upcoming post to my blog, scheduled for Nov. 10th, pictures of various crabs on the beach. Could NOT get the “darn” thing to work and I tried several times. Still getting that “zipper” at the bottom of the partial images and only some of them showing up at all! So leaving it as a plain gallery for now. A plain gallery two wide seems to work well with my theme Sunspot. I do appreciate your taking the time to look and give advice. Either I’m still doing something wrong or that cool mosaic feature does not work on my theme.

        I had about six surgeries last year and have survived cancer twice. THIS IS MY YEAR FOR LESS STRESS, NOT MORE. I will get along without that cool mosaic. My hairs are grey — do NOT need them to be silver overnight. ;-) Miss Em

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