Not the Official Gallery FAQ

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’s Calypso/New dashboard.

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 4 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.


My Gallery FAQ was first published in July 2008 as an early attempt to bridge the information gap when 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 blogs. The Gallery feature and image handling behavior in general on 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 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: 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 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: 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: 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 and 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.

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114 thoughts on “Not the Official Gallery FAQ

  1. Hi there,

    I was just wondering if it is possible to get rid of the big preview picture that appears on the main page of my blog when I add a gallery to a post? I am not entirely sure if it is a gallery thing or a theme thing but would tend to think it is a gallery thing. Anyway if you could give me a hand that would be great if not thanks for your time anyway :)


    1. Hi Danny, If you’re referring to the blog on the site linked to your name, then no, because that’s a self-hosted blog. My FAQ relates to blogs hosted on You may want to contact your theme’s designer. Good luck!

  2. I try to put a gallery in my photo blog, but no way. I try hard but I must be blind : I can not find a gallery tab anywhere… Is this option (photo gallery) really available for all the themes ? Thank you for your answer.

    1. The Gallery is available on all blogs. The Gallery tab will only appear in the Image Uploader after you have uploaded your images in the Post or Page where you want them to appear and then click “Save Changes”. Look at the very beginning of my FAQ (How do I insert a Gallery in my Post or Page?) and check out the screenshots linked to the instructions.

      The photos on your blog are quite lovely.

      1. Thank you for your help and your nice comment.
        I understood at last that you have to upload again from the computer to make a gallery.
        No way to do that direct from the library.
        Anyway, thank again

  3. Since updating to WP 3.0.1 the uploaded pictures will only show as the full image after clicking on them…. any ideas why?

    1. Since your blog is self-hosted, you’d have to ask over at the ORG support forums. Note the “Disclaimer” at the very start of my FAQ, but thanks for visiting.

  4. “If you want to add an image to your Gallery from your Media Library, you must first attach it to the Post or Page where the Gallery appears. Instructions for attaching Unattached Files can be found in the Support docs.”

    …Right, but what if that image is already attached to another post? Can an image be attached to one post, and ALSO attached to the page with the gallery? I am stunned that they gallery function is so nonsensical.

    1. At the moment, the simplest, quickest way to add an existing image from the Library to a Post or Page is to upload it again in the Post or Page where the Gallery is.

      FWIW, if you’ve read my FAQ from the beginning you’ll have noted that the Gallery feature is a continuous work-in-progress. WordPress have said that image handling will be overhauled in some future update. When that will be is anyone’s guess.

  5. In Twenty Ten, a new theme on WordPress, the gallery font color is light grey. It is very hard to see. How do I change the Color of the font?

  6. Hi,

    very interesting, thank you for this article. But I have one question:
    How did you bring the gallery into the sidebar? This is something I couldnt find so far…

    1. Thanks for pointing that out Ralph. I’ve updated the information in the sidebar text widget so I hope it is now clearer.

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