Fresh Air!

Ever since reading on a number of websites that I frequent that Responsive Width/Flexible Width themes are the new black, the idea has been pinging around inside my head that it was time (long overdue, really) to update the theme here on Random Acts.

Back in the day this site wore The Journalist v1.3 (retired), Inuit Types, Triton Lite and, now, Oxygen. Oxygen was not an easy choice to make because, of all the themes I looked at and spread-sheeted for various features, Oxygen came up short on width of the posting column. Frankly it is much narrower than I originally wanted for a photography site, but there are many other features that make up for it.

So, for at least the near future, here’s to a breath of fresh air! I hope you like the change and your opinion is always welcome.

Comments and Images

One of the lesser-known improvements (to me, anyway) that WordPress.com implemented at the end of November 2012 was the ability to manage Discussion Settings on images, in addition to Posts and Pages. As a result, you now can allow or disallow comments and pingbacks on images almost as easily as “Likes” and Shares”.

Comments are enabled by default on your site globally (under Settings>Discussion Settings>”Default article settings”), meaning that commenting is available on Posts, Pages and images, whether in Attachment pages or in the Photo Carousel. And, of course, if you’ve disabled commenting globally on your site in the same Discussion settings, then commenting will be disabled on images as well.

Thanks to the Discussion module, which has been available for a long time on the Post Editor or Page Editor screens, as well as newly available in the Edit Image screen, you can fine tune even further where visitors can leave comments.

Discussion Module
Discussion Module

Enabling or disabling commenting on individual images can be managed either in the Media Manager screen or from the Media Library. If you are in the Media Manager, click the “Edit Image” link or from the Media Library, click the “Edit” link.  Remember to click the “Refresh” link or the “Update” button if you make changes.

media-manager-edit
Media Manager
media-library-edit
Media Library

If you don’t see the “Discussion” module in the Edit Image screen, click the “Screen Options” tab in the upper right corner of the Edit Image screen and check the box next to “Discussion” and the module should appear.

Another subtle but very welcome improvement. Kudos!

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 37,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 9 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

No real surprises. My “Not the Official WordPress.com Gallery FAQ” was again the most-viewed post on this site.

My thanks to everyone who visits and especially those who leave thoughtful comments

2013 is the year that I’m aiming for one post per week, which I will be very happy to accomplish.

Wishing you a healthy, happy and a photographically interesting New Year!

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 WordPress.com 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.

Gallery-A Demo Blog

Following on the popularity of my Gallery FAQ, I’ve set up an entire demo blog to illustrate some of the possibilities when using the Gallery shortcode and to test how WordPress.com themes treat images and gallery posts.

Introducing: Gallery-A Demo Blog.