Circles, Squares and Mosaics! The Gallery Feature Gets Another Makeover

Please see the update and corrections below!

As you can imagine, I try to keep on top of the changes in the Gallery feature and it was a pleasant surprise to find that two new features have been recently added to it.

Shape: You can now choose to display your “thumbnails” as circles, squares or rectangles (mosaic tiles) rather than the default thumbnails, which until now have been either landscape or portrait according to your uploaded image. If you’ve inserted irregularly sized photos in your Gallery this will now even out the thumbnail display of those images. It does not affect how those images appear when viewed individually, either in the Image Carousel, the photo’s Attachment page or at full size.

According to the current Support doc information, it does seem that the new default for Gallery thumbnails will be “square”, so in order to set the shape of your thumbnails to either circle or rectangle (mosaic tile), you will have to edit the Gallery shortcode in the HTML/Text Editor as follows:

[ gallery type=”circle” ] or [ gallery type=”rectangle” ]

The first choice will cause your Gallery to display like this:

Mosaic: Again, to give your Gallery a more homogeneous display, you can also set all your Gallery photos to display as a Mosaic by checking the box in your Dashboard>Settings>Media>Image Gallery Carousel>Tiled GalleriesDisplay all your gallery pictures in a cool mosaic. Checking this box will make all your Gallery look like this.

Mousing over any image in the Mosaic will cause the Caption to display. While this will change the appearance of your Gallery thumbnails, it doesn’t change the Image Carousel display (at least not yet), nor does it appear that you can set which images will display larger than others in the mosaic.

NOTE: These are very recent changes and may not yet be set in stone, so if you see some wackiness in your Galleries, these changes may be the reason.

UPDATE and CORRECTION: Now that the official announcement has been made, it appears that “rectangle” is in fact the tiled mosaic, so you can control the display of Galleries on a post-by-post basis as long as you don’t check the “Tiled Galleries” box in your Media Settings. My post above has been corrected to reflect this and Gallery-A Demo Blog shares some of the caveats of using these new options.


  1. I do not have the ‘Display all your gallery pictures in a cool mosaic’ option in my word press media settings tab. I have the latest version of word press installed and run Genesis themes. I wonder why I dont get the option and how to rectify it?

    Also before I go I wonder if there is a way to make carousel responsive for mobiles?

    Thank you

    Thomas W. Morley

    1. Sorry if it wasn’t clear, but this is a feature that is currently available on sites only. Perhaps it will be added to an upcoming jetpack release.

      1. Thank you for your quick response, sorry if i am being a bit thick but i use word press do you mean it wont work on my theme ?

        Thank you

        Thomas W. Morley

    2. I had the same issue here, took over an hour to find out that this was only for!! Just a little frustrating to say the least. I thought the jetpack plugin was suppose to make sites look like their .com counterparts

      1. Thanks for the timely response. So there will be a jetpack upgrade soon? Really appreciate the response, coming from Drupal where replies can take days I take comfort in knowing there are people out there willing to help

  2. Not sure I want to the tiled mosiac or circle mosaic: it requires a reader to click which already blogger is expecting enough that the reader is even looking at their blog for a short time. I’d like to think my readers are interested, but lazy: they want to enjoy blogs with the least amount of effort.

    1. Hi, Jean! Any Gallery requires the reader to click through to see a larger image, unless you’ve done the full width thing. Also, if your theme’s content posting area is really wide, the rectangle/mosaic is a nice alternative to the usual full width Gallery.

  3. Hi Jennifer
    Thanks so much for this post. I tried the mosaic and it didn’t work for me. I don’t know what I did incorrectly or did not do. I’m not stressed about it. I’ll tackle it another time. :)

    1. tt- Since has not officially announced these features, it’s clear to me they are not quite ready for prime time. In my demo blog using the mosaic, suddenly I have images that are rotated where previously they displayed quite normally in a Gallery.

      So, as the note at the end of my post says, this isn’t written in stone yet. Maybe I’d better add “YMMV”! :)

      1. It looks lovely and wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!

        As far as the size of the Gallery, it doesn’t appear that the size, columns or orderby parameters have any affect when one uses the type parameter in the Gallery shortcode, so the display goes the whole width of the posting area.

    1. It should work on any post or page where you’ve used the Gallery feature (Click on the FAQ above if you are not familiar with it) and is not theme dependent.

  4. I tried it on a gallery I had previously set to 3 across, but ‘circles’ didn’t seem to want to accept 3 across and displayed as 2 across – and very big circles.

    1. David-it’s also my thought that sizing and spacing of the shape option may be the reason it’s not yet ready for prime time, as on my test blog it is not possible to control either the size or column parameters. On my post where the circular option is used (not on this blog) the gallery is pretty much using the default options.

      1. Jennifer – thanks for the reply.

        I can picture circles being used on a literary site – something like the little vignettes for a Jane Austen blog.

        Do you think you will use circles – when they are ready for proper release?

      2. Certainly vignettes and just about anyplace else where a touch of whimsy would suit. I think more serious sites will be happy for the mosaics and then will ask that we can set which photos get more prominence. :)

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