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• Last Updated: 05/22/2020
• ( 8 minutes reading )

How to edit Media Content in WordPress


WordPress Media Library represents a virtual storage interface of all media files that you can use on your sites, such as images, videos, audio, and other documents. You can upload and manage media files, attach them to posts and pages. While operating with the WordPress platform, you may reach a point where you want to make some changes to the existing media files. The most common actions you may need to take are file name changes, visual change, description changes, and so on. In this tutorial, we are going to show you how to do that and get you familiar with all the options WordPress introduces for image editing.

Before we step into the actual topic of this guide, we would like to encourage you to take a look at our How to manage Media Content in WordPress tutorial where you can get familiar with the Media Library interface if required.


Accessing the Media Library

For a start, please log into your WordPress Admin Dashboard. You can do that by accessing your domain followed by "/wp-admin", i.e., "yourdomain.com/wp-admin", where "yourdomain.com" stands for your actual domain name.

Once logged, please navigate through the left-hand side menu bar to Media Library.


Access Media Library


Once you click on that option, you will be redirected to the "Media Library" page where you can find a list of all uploaded media contents.


Changing the Media Library view

Before we move forward to the actual customization of the images, we would like to point out one detail. Note that based on the current Media Library view, the method of accessing the file editing interface will differ. In addition, some of the tools and features are going to be located in different positions. However, the general idea and tools available are exactly the same.

The default view of the Media Library is grid-like. We will be using the "List" view in this guide. In case you want to follow our instructions step-by-step, you may want to consider switching to it.

The icons at the top left corner of the table control the Media Library view.

  • List View - first icon
  • Grid View - second icon


Switch Media Library view


If the files on your end are listed in the same way as shown at the screenshot example above, you are ready to begin.


Editing Media Files

For a start, please locate the intended file, hover over it, and click on the "Edit" link.


Edit Media File


Upon doing that, you will be redirected to the "Edit Media" interface, which holds the image information and tools you can use to customize it.


General Image Details

At first, you must know that every image in WordPress has its own Attachment Post, you can think of that as a separate post dedicated to the image available on your website. Upon uploading an image while adding posts, pages, featured images, thumbnail images, or directly uploading them, an Attachment Post is automatically created for that image.

Let' begin with the general image details, positioned at the left side of the page.

  • Title - This is the name of the image. It is automatically generated based on the name of the actual file unless another is manually defined. The title is used to form the SEO-Friendly URL of the Attachment Post, as a title for it, and in the browser title bar when accessed. The title is often shown on attachment pages and galleries when themes or plugins are designed to display it. If you want to change it, just click on the field and enter the desired name.


WordPress Image Title


  • Permalink - The permalink is the URL address of the Attachment Post of the image. You may use it in case you would like to include the image anywhere on your website as an absolute address. When you click on the link, you will be redirected to a page where you can see how the image looks like. You are allowed to customize it by clicking on the "Edit" button.


WordPress Image Permalink


  • Alternative Text - The "alt text" is what your visitors will see in case the image cannot be loaded for some reason. Even though this is something your users will not typically see, it is recommended to specify it, as Search Engines use it to index the image.


WordPress Image Alt Text


  • Caption - The caption is typically displayed beneath the image. Please bear in mind its position strictly depends on the theme you are using. Therefore, it may vary.


WordPress Image Caption


  • Description - The image description is displayed on the Attachment Post, not on the actual post or page the image is assigned to. If someone lands on the Attachment Post, they will be able to see it.


WordPress Image Description


Within the right end of the page, you will see the "Save" meta box. It contains information about your images, such as the upload date, file name, file type, size, and dimensions. The File URL is the source URL of the image, or in other words, the direct link to the actual image file. 


Image Editing Tools

WordPress comes with some handy built-in editing tools. Even though you can perform only basic changes, it is quite convenient to be able to do them right through your website backend. This eliminates the need for downloading the image locally and uploading it again when edited.

To explore the tools we are referring to, please click on the "Edit Image" button positioned beneath the image itself.


Edit WordPress Image


When you click on it, WordPress will present you with some additional options which you can use to edit your image.

Let's first start with the tools shown on top of the image.

  • Crop - It allows you to remove unwanted portions of the picture. You need to drag the cropping overlay to select the area of the image you would like to keep. You can also define a specific aspect ratio within the "Image Crop" meta box. Once you achieve the desired result, you have to click again on the "Crop" button to apply.


Crop WordPress Image


  • Rotate left/right - These two tools allow you to rotate the image 90 degrees counter-clockwise (left) and respectively clockwise (right). In the following screenshot example, you can see the result of the "Rotate right" tool.


Rotate WordPress Image


  • Flip vertical/horizontal - These tools allow you to flip the image upside-down or from left-to-right. In the screenshot example, you can see the result of the "Flip horizontal" tool.


Flip WordPress Image


  • "Scale Image" - This option scales proportionally the original image. Please, bear in mind that images can only be scaled down. The original dimensions will be displayed right above the box for entering the new dimensions.


Scale WordPress Image


  • "Restore Original Image" - This option discards any changes and restores the original image. If, at any point, you are not pleased with the result, you may use it to revert the changes.


Restore Original WordPress Image


In case the change had not been applied yet, you can use the "Undo" button instead. There is no limitation on the number of times you can click the "Undo/Redo" options. You can keep repeating that action until you reach your editing goal. 


  • "Thumbnail Settings" - Thumbnail settings assemble reduced-size versions of the image. You have to choose whether to apply the changes to all image sizes, only the thumbnail image, or all images except the thumbnail. You can do so by selecting the corresponding radio button. Please bear in mind that this thumbnail is not the featured image, nor the post thumbnail. It is the smallest image in size WordPress had created for the original image.


Image Thumbnail Settings WordPress


When you perform the desired changes on the image, please click on the "Save" button to apply them.


Save WordPress Image


Once the changes are saved, you will be returned to the "Edit Media" page. To finalize the process, all you have to do is click on the "Update" button.


Update WordPress Image


Congratulations! In this tutorial, you have learned how to edit the images in your WordPress gallery by using the Media Library tools. We hope eliminating the need for downloading and editing them locally will save you a lot of time in the future management of your website.



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Sebahat is a young and bright woman who has become an invaluable part of our team. She started as a Customer Care Representative, mastering that role and, along the way, growing into a tech-savvy individual who is well acquainted with every support layer of the company. Driven by her aim to improve our customers’ experience constantly, she is committed to enhancing the extraordinary support we deliver.