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How to Use Image Shortcode to Render Images and Captions on Your Website

Straight up - this is going to get weird. You're probably familiar with the standard way in which to add images to your website. You select the 'Add Media' button in your post editor, upload an image, and a bunch of HTML is returned to your page. That's arguably the easiest way of including an image in your post, but it is far from the most efficient. In this FAQ we're gong to introduce you to an image shortcode that we use by default... in fact, every image on our website is rendered using the methods described on this page. We'll show you to optimise your image for file size (which is automated, so there's not much to show), and we'll show you various ways of scaling the image and addition caption types.

Image Modal Link Shortcode: You may also be interested in reading about how to include an image modal link  in a post or page with shortcode. Sometimes you'll need to make an image available to a user without rendering it to your page, and this linking method is part of the broader linking architecture and is described in an FAQ titled "How to Link to an Image Modal in a Post or Page with Shortcode".

  The Basics of Image Shortcode

First, it should be said that the standard method you're currently use to render images is perfectly acceptable. You select the 'Add Media' button in your post editor, upload an image, populate the alt, title, and caption text boxes, select the 'Insert into Page' button, and a bunch of HTML is returned to your page.

The following image was returned with our basic shortcode of [image caption="1"]72199[/image]. The result:

WordPress Media Library

Using the standard method of showing an image is perfectly acceptable. You select the 'Add Media' button in your post editor, upload an image, populate the alt, title, and caption text boxes, and a bunch of HTML is returned to your page.

Note that the required SEO alt and (optional) title attributes, and the image caption, were automatically applied. The image was also automatically scaled and optimised for our defined default image width (more on this in a moment).

We find the generic caption formatting boring and you'll never see it on our website (or in any of the articles we send to your website). In the next example - referencing the same image - we'll use the pictured attribute. Shortcode of [image pictured="1"]72199[/image] returns:

WordPress Media Library

  Pictured: Using the standard method of showing an image is perfectly acceptable. You select the 'Add Media' button in your post editor, upload an image, populate the alt, title, and caption text boxes, and a bunch of HTML is returned to your page.

When we render images we don't actually include the pictured attribute in our shortcode. Instead, we use it as a full standalone shortcode under the image that is referenced with the [pictured] shortcode. Our own usage would be presented as follows: [image]72199[/image][pictured]My Caption in here ..[/pictured]. The result:

WordPress Media Library

  Pictured: Using the standard method of showing an image is perfectly acceptable. You select the 'Add Media' button in your post editor, upload an image, populate the alt, title, and caption text boxes, and a bunch of HTML is returned to your page. This caption was written into the post - it isn't referencing the caption as we've defined in the WordPress media library.

Using a full post-width caption is simply our preference. We've included the caption in full within our pictured shortcode, but we could have used the Image ID within the pictured tags to return the caption as we've defined in WordPress. So [image]72199[/image][pictured]72199[/pictured] returns the same as above (with the exception of our last sentence). The result:

WordPress Media Library

  Pictured: Using the standard method of showing an image is perfectly acceptable. You select the 'Add Media' button in your post editor, upload an image, populate the alt, title, and caption text boxes, and a bunch of HTML is returned to your page.

Keep in mind that there's a default [caption] shortcode made available in the WordPress core that you may style yourself with CSS.

  Copying Shortcode from the Image Library

You don't have to remember the shortcode we've just described. When you open and/or upload an image, the shortcode is returned when you select the applicable image. The three basic shortcodes we introduced above are available to be copied (so, a basic image, image with caption, and image with our pictured caption). The pictured option is preferred because we have control over presentation (as we'll show shortly).

Copying Image Shortcode from the WordPress Media Library

  Pictured: To copy this image, we've selected the 'Shortcode' option since we don't want the caption to automatically render. The shortcode is copied into your post or page and renders a nicely scaled image optimised for SEO, filesize, and delivery.

There are a couple of other image shortcodes that aren't shown in the screenshot!

  Modifying the alt and title Tags

Using our image shortcode will automatically apply the alt and title tags. However, you may modify by using the alt or title attributes in your shortcode. For example, shortcode of [image alt="This is my alt text" title="This is my Image Title"]72199[/image][pictured]72199[/pictured] will alter tags as defined.

A number of other attributes apply, such as width, and these are introduced at the end of the FAQ (they're rarely used).

  The Pictured Shortcode

We've explained how the pictured attribute in your shortcode will automatically render the caption populated in the WordPress media library. Excluding the pictured (and caption) attribute will render the image only. However, not unlike the notes and task shortcode introduced in another FAQ, the pictured shortcode returns a standalone block of text that inherits its own default style. Better still, you may globally modify the stylistic attributes of the pictured shortcode from within Yabber.

The shortcode of [pictured]My Custom Caption Text[/pictured] will return:

  Pictured: This is pictured shortcode. We may optionally include a link to the image with a shortcode attribute, but this is usually excluded (see also an FAQ on the 'Featured Image Shortcode').

You may also include the caption text associated with a specific image by wrapping the numeric ID of the image in the pictured tags. Shortcode of [pictured]72199[/pictured] returns:

  Pictured: Using the standard method of showing an image is perfectly acceptable. You select the 'Add Media' button in your post editor, upload an image, populate the alt, title, and caption text boxes, and a bunch of HTML is returned to your page.

The shortcode links are available directly from the WP Media Library by selecting the applicable image.

To alter the style of the Pictured text, navigate your way to the 'Plugins' menu item within the 'Website' module and select 'Pictured (Caption) Shortcode'. From the style panel, select your website and then define your default style. Only minimal options are currently returned.

Pictured Style in Yabber

  Pictured: Select your website and then define your default style. Only minimal options are currently returned. Changes are made immediately on your website.

Click Save. Once changes are made they become effective on your website immediately.

  Define Default Image Attributes in Yabber

You may change your website design in the future, or you may have a need to tune stylistic performance, and this can all be managed entirely from within Yabber in a couple of seconds. Navigate to the 'Plugins' menu within the 'Website' module and select the 'Images' panel. Select your default values and save. Changes are made on your website immediately.

Yabber Image Options

  Pictured: Navigate to the 'Plugins' menu within the 'Website' module and select the 'Images' panel. Select your default values and save. Changes are made on your website immediately.

  Image Shortcode Attributes

A number of shortcode options apply that'll alter the image returned to your page. What the shortcode is capable of, and what you'll actually use it for, are two entirely different things - particularly since WordPress now supports cropping and editing (something you can do with the shortcode, but something we won't introduce).

width

The width of the image. Defaults to 560. Should normally be set as a default value in Yabber.

height

The height of the image. Should normally be left blank. If used, it will crop the image to the centre.

align

The alignment of the image. Defaults to 'center'. You may also use left or right (normally used when making images smaller and paragraph-aligned).

link

By default, the image will link to itself. Available attributes are '0' (will mute all linking), '1' (will link to the same image in a modal), or you may optionally include a fully qualified URL which will link to that location.

alt

Image alt value. Will inherit the alt value as defined in the WP Media library by default. Alter by using alt="My Alt Text" in your shortcode.

title

The title will always default to the title field populated in the WordPress media library. To use your own title, use the attribute as title="My Title".

caption

Defaults to 0 (false). If caption="1" is used the standard WordPress caption will render. The caption is sourced via the WordPress image library value. You should generally consider using the pictured attribute instead.

pictured

Defaults to 0 (false). If pictured="1" is used the standard WordPress caption will render. The caption is sourced via the WordPress image library value.

quality

The quality of teh returned image. Defaults to 75. The image will always be scaled and optimised based on your defined width.

linksize

A rather redundant feature (and relegated to Yabber). Determines the size of the image linked in the linked image modal. Defaults to 700px.

Generally speaking, it'll only ever be the width and align attributes that you might consider using.

■ ■ ■

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