Not the Official WordPress.com Gallery FAQ


This post was last updated on 13 December 2018
Update 13 December 2018-This is an archival/legacy post of using the Gallery feature in WordPress.com’s WP Admin Classic Editor. 

For information on how to work with the Gallery feature in the Calypso dashboard of WordPress.com head over to Not The Official WordPress.com Gallery FAQ – Calypso Style.

No further updates will be made to this post nor will I be writing a similar post following the changes brought about by the new Gutenberg/Block Editor.

IMPORTANT: For questions and assistance on the standalone program downloaded from WordPress.ORG and hosted on your own server or webhost, please visit the WordPress.ORG support forum. An explanation of the difference between COM and ORG can be found here. Cheers!
Just a quick note for all those coming in through the WPorg forums: That thread is many years old and WP has gone through several iterations since then. Since WP v3.5 you can insert multiple instances of the native WP Gallery feature in the same post or page. This FAQ covers that. If you are using some kind of plug-in, such as NexGen, this is not the FAQ you’re looking for.

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My Not-the-Official-WordPress.com Gallery FAQ was first published in July 2008 as an early attempt to bridge the information gap when WordPress.com introduced the Gallery feature in April that year, and it has been continuously updated over the various changes to image handling.

A Small but Important Disclaimer: The behavior of the WordPress Gallery feature described below is correct as of this Post’s latest update (noted above) and was tested both pre- and post-publishing on my WordPress.com blogs. The Gallery feature and image handling behavior in general on WordPress.com are a continual “work-in-progress” and may go pear-shaped without warning.

Please note:

  • The latest iteration of the Media Manager requires using an up-to-date web browser. If you see warnings in your WordPress.com Dashboard that your browser is out of date, go visit Browse Happy to upgrade your web experience.
  • All Gallery shortcode examples given below have extra spaces added around the brackets to avoid inadvertently displaying a Gallery where none is intended.

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Click here for older updates

UPDATE 17 November 2015: WordPress.com introduces the next version of the New Dashboard Editor, which adds a radically different method for creating Galleries. An update explaining this new process is in the works and will be published as a new post. However, creating Galleries in the WP Admin Post Editor remains the same as described in this FAQ.

UPDATE-November 29th, 2012: Ahead of the release of standalone WordPress 3.5 next week, the new Media Manager has been introduced to WordPress.com users. There are significant changes to both media insertion and Gallery creation. You can read more about it in the official announcement. Both this FAQ and “Gallery-A Demo Blog” have been updated.

UPDATE-October 4th, 2012: WordPress.com introduced to its users some new ways to display their Gallery thumbnails. You can read more about it on Gallery – A Demo Blog: Shapes and Mosaics.

UPDATE-November 9, 2011: WordPress.com implements the Photo Carousel, which displays your Gallery images in a lightbox-style image viewer. This is now the default display behavior for all images displayed in a Gallery, including all existing Galleries. More info can be found on Gallery: A Demo Blog. As of July 12, 2012 the Photo Carousel is available to both WordPress.com and WordPress.org/JetPack users.

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What is a Gallery?

A Gallery is a thumbnail set of images that appears in your Post or Page. Clicking on any thumbnail image will open the full screen Photo Carousel viewer with a link to the original image.

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111 Comments

  1. Thank you to everyone who has commented on this post during the past 2 years and 4 months. I hope you found an answer to your question on how to work with this feature.

    If you are a WordPress.com blogger and still have questions about using the Gallery feature on your blog, please check out the answers in the Support forums on WordPress.com. If you start a new thread, please tag it with “gallery”. I’ll do my best to keep an eye out for them.

    Cheers!

  2. Thanks for the information. I needed to exclude a bonus image from a gallery for a November post and your information was priceless. Thanks.

  3. Jennifer I have a question, can a gallery from one blog be posted into another blog? I read the part in your post about being able to add another gallery from a different post but I am assuming this information is for just within the same blog.

    1. I discovered something when using the exclude function with the gallery code, and you may have already mentioned it but I did not notice it.

      I wanted to separate my gallery with text, but I did not want to create two completely separate galleries. So I experimented.

      Once I got to the point where I wanted to start adding photos I uploaded all my photos (lets say there were 6 photos for this example) and inserted the gallery. Then I went to the HTML view on the edit box and altered the gallery code to look kind of like this [ gallery exclude=”2,4,6″ ] (without the spaces before and after the brackets), because I wanted to only show the photos with id #s 1, 3, and 5 the first time.

      Then after entering more text in the post I wanted to show the remaining 3 photos so I typed in a new gallery code in the HTML view like this [ gallery exclude=”1,3,5″ ] (without the spaces before and after the brackets) My experiment worked out great and the beginning of the post had the pictures I wanted and the lower part had different ones.

      Now of course all of the photos are still in the same gallery so when someone clicks on one of the photos and uses the next and previous buttons (or thumbnails depending on the theme) to see each photo in the gallery they will see all the photos; the ones in top of the post and the ones in the bottom. I suppose if you wanted you could separate your gallery as many times as you wanted in your post so long as you added the exclude part of the code and remembered to exclude all the right photos each time.

  4. Hi Jennifer,
    I read your Gallery FAQ and can only repeat what a lot of people already said: Thanks a lot for that great work!
    I added a gallery to my blog which shows pictures in “full” size using only one column. Still I’m not 100% satisfied as I would like to collocate vertical pictures in the centre and not left-justified. Do you know if there is any way to have influence on the alignment of pictures in a gallery?

    Kind regards,
    Simon

    1. Hi Simon,

      At the moment, the Gallery “straight out of the box” doesn’t consider any other image alignment but “left-aligned”. It would require a working knowledge of CSS and the yearly upgrade to change it. Having said that, if you upload your vertical images at the maximum width for your theme (or a bit larger), then this “left-alignment” is no longer a problem because the image will fill the entire width. However, this will give vertical images more prominence than horizontal images as they will be proportionally larger.

      Glad you enjoyed the FAQ and glad it helped.

      1. Jennifer, I also want to thank you for this wonderfully helpful blog post. I have been reading it and rereading it to try to absorb every useful amount of information for my use.

        I do not want to sound ungrateful by questioning your last reply here but from everything I have found, the Galleries are automatically aligned center not to the left (but I may be wrong if this is a theme related thing so if this is the case please excuse my contradiction)

        I found some other forum post where panaghiotisadam helps some users with gallery alignment and margin placement issues:

        https://gammagirl.wordpress.com/2008/07/27/not-the-official-wordpresscom-gallery-faq/comment-page-7/#comments

        and

        http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/photos-posted-in-gallery-form-wrong-sizes?replies=10#post-307110

        again I want to thank you for creating this helpful unofficial Q & A post.

      2. Hi Country Cinderella,
        thank you for those links, they raised my hopes. Though, I was not able to set things as I would like them to be.
        But I think I know what causes the misunderstanding: It may be that the gallery itself (considered as some kind of container) is aligned center. However, my intention is to find out if we can also control the alignment of photos within the gallery.
        Feel free to pay me a visit at panama4you.wordpress.com/alle-fotos/ to see what I mean. The alignment of photos like the fourth one makes me go crazy!

      3. Oops I just read my reply and I copied and pasted one of the urls wrong instead of the first one (which is actually the url for this page) it should have been this:

        http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/inserting-multiple-pictures?replies=7#post-271228

        -Hello Simon, I am sorry that the links I posted did not help you. I did check out your post and I even made a test post on my private blog to see if I could duplicate your problem and then find the answer. I did not have the same problem you are, but since I am learning about this right along side of you I can not trust my result to be totally accurate. Maybe Jennifer or Panos will be able to help you, they seem to have an amazing amount of knowledge about galleries and adjusting the code.

      4. I feel bad about having questioned your comment about the alignment of the gallery. I have since found that the only time the gallery aligns to the center by default is when you do nothing to the code, if you start altering the gallery short code, then for what ever reason it defaults to a left alignment. At least that is what I am having happen to me when I play around with galleries in my posts.

      5. In fixed-width themes you can also center a gallery by enclosing its shortcode in a div with the right amount of left padding or margin.

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