This post was last updated on 22 December 2016
UPDATE 22 December 2016: It took a year, but it’s finally here! A “how-to” update of this FAQ for WordPress.com’s Calypso/New dashboard.
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.
- 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.
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-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.
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.