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Attachment pages, Comments, Galleries, Images, Previous/next tabs, Themes

Gallery attachment pages: navigation links and image links

When you insert a group of images in a post (or a static page) using the gallery feature, clicking on an image will link to the real-size original alone or to a so-called attachment page (a blog-like page with a large version of the image); the default is the latter.

Up to October 2009, gallery attachment pages had no previous/next navigation links, so you had to jump back to the post to view other gallery images (or add your own links via tiresome coding). But now almost all themes feature such links; their style varies (thumbnails, text, or occasionally icons).

What happens when you click the image on a gallery attachment page also varies: with some exceptions, in older themes you get the real-size original, in newer themes you get the next attachment page, and in a few themes you get nothing. (Personally I find the third case more reasonable: the second one is fine but it makes the previous/next links redundant; as for the first one, I don’t see the point of it, since you already have the option to link gallery images to the real-size originals instead of attachment pages.)

Previous/next navigation links on attachment pages

Adventure Journal, Beach, Blogum, Bouquet, Brand New Day, Chateau, Dusk to Dawn, Duster, Enterprise, Forever, Fresh & Clean, Fruit Shake, iTheme2, Nuntius, Parament, Piano Black, Pilcrow, Pink Touch 2, Quintus, Reddle, Retro MacOS, Rusty Grunge, Skeptical, Splendio, Sundance, Sunspot, The Morning After, Toolbox, Twenty Eleven, Vertigo, zBench.

Previous imageNext image
Bold Life, Comet, Greyzed, Imbalance 2, Liquorice, Matala, Mystique, Notepad, Oulipo, Retro-fitted, Shaan, Strange Little Town, Suburbia, Triton Lite.

Image names
Bueno, Choco, Inuit Types, Structure, Twenty Ten, Vostok, Wu Wei.

Monotone, Next Saturday.

No links
Autofocus, Duotone, MLB (all three).

All the rest.

Clicking the image on an attachment page

Link to the real-size original alone
Albeo, Almost Spring, Ambiru, Andrea, Andreas 04, Andreas 09, Banana Smoothie, Benevolence, Black-Letterhead, Blix, Chaos Theory, Connections, Contempt, Dark Wood, Day Dream, DePo Masthead, Digg 3 Column, Duotone, Dusk, Emire, Fadtastic, Fauna, Fjords 04, Fleur de Lys, Flower Power, Fresh Bananas, Freshy, Garland, Girl in Green, Greenery, Green Marinée, Grid Focus, Hemingway, Iceburgg, Jentri, K2-lite, Koi, Light, Misty Look, MLB (all three), Monochrome, Monotone, Neat, Neo-Sapien, Neutra, NotesIL, Ocadia, Ocean Mist, Paperpunch, Pool, Prologue, Redoable Lite, Regulus, Rounded, Rubric, Sandbox (all four), Sapphire, Shocking Blue Green, Silver is the New Black, Simpla, Solipsus, Spring Loaded, Strange Little Town, Sunburn, Supposedly Clean, Sweet Blossoms, Tarski, The Journalist v1.3, The Journalist v1.9, Thirteen, Titan, Toni, Treba, Twenty-eight Thirteen, Under the Influence, Unsleepable, Vermilion Christmas, Vigilance, White as Milk, WordPress Classic.

Link to the next attachment page (in a cycle: last one linking back to first)
Adventure Journal, Autofocus, Beach, Blogum, Bold Life, Bouquet, Brand New Day, Chateau, Choco, Chunk, Clean Home, Coraline, Dusk to Dawn, Duster, Elegant Grunge, Esquire, Forever, Fresh & Clean, Fruit Shake, Fusion, Imbalance 2, iTheme2, Liquorice, Matala, Modularity Lite, Mystique, Next Saturday, Nishita, Nuntius, Oulipo, P2, Piano Black, Pilcrow, Pink Touch 2, Quentin, Quintus, Reddle, Retro MacOS, Rusty Grunge, Selecta, Skeptical, Spectrum, Splendio, Steira, Suburbia, Sndance, Sunspot, The Morning After, Toolbox, Triton Lite, Twenty Eleven, Twenty Ten, Vertigo, Vostok, Wu Wei, zBench.

Link to next attachment page (last one linking back to post)
Bueno, Enterprise, Greyzed, Inuit Types, Notepad, Structure.

No link
Chaotic Soul, Comet, DePo Square, iNove, Kubrick, Manifest, Motion, Parament, Retro-fitted, Shaan.


• The title of each attachment page is the name of the file you have uploaded, so better name your image files intelligently (instead of, say, retaining the numbers you get from your digital camera).
• It’s best to upload image files whose width doesn’t exceed the maximum for the theme you’re using: this way you don’t waste your storage space, you get better image quality, and you don’t risk breaking the theme in lousy browsers (that is, Explorer). But anyway, if you do upload oversized images, in most themes they will be automatically downsized to fit the width of the attachment page. Exceptions: they will be cropped or straddle the sidebar in Andreas 04, Garland, Rounded, Rubrick, Sandbox (all four), Shocking Blue Green, Silver Is the New Black, WordPress Classic; they will be distorted in Girl In Green and Forever.
• If you add content (including HTML) to the Description field of a gallery image, its attachment page will as a rule display that content; exceptions: Comet, Next Saturday, Selecta. [Fixed.]
• For the gallery feature in general, see:
WP Support doc on galleries;
Not the Official Gallery FAQ, by our dear fellow forum volunteer Jennifer;
Gallery – a demo blog, again by Jennifer.
• For the problem of comments on attachment pages, see:
Uploading and inserting images: the three (plus one) link options.
• For an alternative that will allow you to jump directly to any image instead of the previous or next one only, see tip at the end of this (otherwise obsolete) post:
Navigation tabs on gallery attachment pages.



28 thoughts on “Gallery attachment pages: navigation links and image links

  1. For old time’s sake, a typo:
    Not the Official Gallery FAQ, by our dear fellow forum volunteer Jennifer;
    Then delete my post here, ok?

    Posted by Tess | September 17, 2011, 08:49
  2. Thanks! Typo corrected, comment not deleted!

    Posted by Panos | September 17, 2011, 16:54
  3. Shakes head.
    Bites tongue.

    but really, you are not starved for comments, and this is one of no importance…

    Posted by Tess | September 19, 2011, 18:25
  4. Why the shaking and the biting?

    Posted by Panos | September 19, 2011, 19:32
  5. shaking head because it’s silly to save such unimportant comments.
    oh, and I look foolish to point out what anyone else could so easily ignore/know what you meant and you don’t need anyone to tell you about a typo: I’m looking like a nit-ty picker trivial commenter?

    biting tongue because I know it’s not my blog and should know not to request you to delete of a comment…

    It is just so non-critical in terms of real problems.

    Posted by Tess | September 19, 2011, 19:47
  6. Ah my dear, a) the fact that anyone would understand what I meant is no reason not to correct a typo, b) I welcome corrections and I’m not ashamed when this happens (which is why I didn’t delete your comment)!

    Posted by Panos | September 19, 2011, 19:57
  7. Thank you for this, the linkage and the nice comments.

    I agree 100% on the renaming images, which I learned fairly late after creating the Gallery demo blog. Makes it much easier to know which images were actually clicked on rather than trying to figure out what page P1081355 is. :)

    Posted by Jennifer | September 20, 2011, 21:52
  8. Thanks for yet another very useful post. Now all I have to do is bookmark it so I have the link to it when I need it.

    Posted by timethief | September 21, 2011, 02:05
  9. I think I know you two from somewhere…

    @Jen: Linkage long overdue and comment not nice enough! Both will be repeated when I manage to make the post(s) on Images I’ve been thinking of doing but so far cannot find how to structure.

    @TT: I made the post when I saw this question (yes I don’t publish them the day I make them):
    Useful? Maybe. Or maybe I’m just a maniac!
    By the way, I’ve starting publishing the posts in larger font size than the default. Do you think it’s better that way or is it too large?

    Posted by Panos | September 21, 2011, 05:00
  10. Hi Jen,

    Naming files, whether for images or other things is important.

    Long ago, we bought an Apple IIc (?? in the early 80’s) on a Friday night, and promptly went home to re-name the floppy disc which contained the operating system. Back then, one had to load the os before being able to use the computer, so obviously we couldn’t make the computer work. No one told us (pre-Apple store, though that was all they sold), not to change the name of the operating system file.

    But naming files remains significant. Might be a good idea for Panos to address.

    Posted by Tess | September 21, 2011, 05:02
  11. I think I know you too…

    Yes, it’s one of the (lots of) things I’m thinking of talking about if and when I manage to make those posts on images.

    Posted by Panos | September 21, 2011, 05:09
  12. By the way, what about this question?
    Problem solved or you still need help with the font?

    Posted by Panos | September 21, 2011, 05:15
  13. I’ll stay tuned for the posts about images you have.

    You sound in good spirits!

    The help with the font, I was an idiot. But can we leave that open?

    Posted by Tess | September 21, 2011, 05:41
  14. You may need to stay tuned for too long…

    Good spirits? Often depends on whom you’re talking to! Otherwise I shouldn’t be: I suffer from insomnia, tonight was one of the nights I did manage to sleep like a normal human being (which I’m not), and I woke up courtesy of the security alarm of our stupid neighbors (who activate it when they’re in, not out, and then forget about it and open a window or something, much to the joy of everybody around).

    Posted by Panos | September 21, 2011, 05:53
  15. @tess in one word, “oy!” You’d think they’d make those files untouchable. :)

    @panos, I just realized an additional characteristic of attachment pages missing that would be extremely helpful to know about beforehand, i.e. the presence or lack of the image description text. It seems that more and more of the newer themes strip text out, so if you’ve added a detailed description of the image and then switch themes to one that doesn’t, it’s an unpleasant surprise. Again, something that should be standardized across themes, IMNSHO, to include the description text, of course.

    Insomnia is both a curse and a blessing. I find if I go out walking for about half an hour/45 minutes in the morning, my sleep quality is much improved.Of course, knocking my caffeine consumption down to two cups a day also helped. :)

    Posted by Jennifer | September 22, 2011, 08:09
  16. Thanks! In fact I wanted to ask you if there’s anything I should add and forgot to. You can now check (new) bullet 3 in the Notes.

    Thanks for the other tip too. As for coffee, I never drink any – never liked it.

    Posted by Panos | September 22, 2011, 12:37
  17. @Panos
    re: font size. It’s better for me.

    Posted by timethief | September 22, 2011, 19:30
  18. Excellent! Thanks so much for including that info so quickly.

    While I’m glad to see that “Manifest” has had its attachment page updated to include description text, the Post itself still has any existing text stripped out. It’s a serious exception vis-a-vis the other themes and I think should be noted somewhere in the theme showcase.

    I only learned about coffee late, once I moved here. If it tasted like American coffee, I would have stopped drinking it long ago.

    Posted by Jennifer | September 22, 2011, 22:20
  19. @TT: Good – I’ll keep doing them that way.

    @J: You’re welcome! Didn’t take me very long to check, because I work with two browsers simultaneously: change theme in the one, refresh test page in the other.

    Note a shortcoming in the Theme Showcase? Are you kidding? All their notes and their announcements are always how neat and great and splendid everything is!

    Posted by Panos | September 23, 2011, 07:08
  20. @Jennifer Thanks for pointing that out again. I’ve just now updated Manifest so it shows full content for Gallery posts at the permalink and updated the showcase page so it notes that full content is limited to just that spot.

    If you ever see something wonky in a theme just let us know! :)

    Posted by Ian Stewart | September 23, 2011, 08:01
  21. Hi Ian! Care for more wonkiness you might wish to fix?

    Posted by Panos | September 23, 2011, 09:01
  22. @panos-not a shortcoming, but a “feature”, in the same way that no description text on attachment pages is a feature. ;)

    @ian, thanks for that! In all fairness, wpgaurav first pointed this out in a forum discussion back in July, which I think you participated in. :)

    Posted by Jennifer | September 23, 2011, 09:05
  23. @panos Yep. :)

    @jennifer It was my pleasure. The forum conversation got Manifest into our bug reporting system (we keep track of everything :)). Seeing your comment and Panos’ comment last night had me checking to see if it was still in there, and it was, so I fixed it :). I’ll update the forum post for posterity.

    Posted by Ian Stewart | September 23, 2011, 17:33
  24. And obviously wpgaurav had his ear to the rail; he’s already replied! LOL

    Posted by Jennifer | September 23, 2011, 18:50
  25. @Jen: Yeah, you know the joke that a bug is a feature once you document it!

    @Ian: Ok, I’ll send you a list of links to posts where I’ve recorded various things.

    PS I’m sure my often sarcastic style (as in the comments above) doesn’t show it, so perhaps I should mention that I’m very fond of you and Lance, and really appreciate your attitude and the work you do (can’t tell the same for all WP staff).

    Posted by Panos | September 23, 2011, 21:06
  26. If you add content (including HTML) to the Description field of a gallery image, its attachment page will as a rule display that content; exceptions: Comet, Next Saturday, Selecta.

    Thanks for pointing that out. Those three themes should now display the image descriptions.

    Posted by Ian Stewart | November 3, 2011, 22:25
  27. You’re welcome Ian.

    Half the credit should go to our Jennifer: she’s the one who first noticed the problem in one of these themes and prompted me to check this detail in all of them.

    Little bit of nitpicking: in Next Saturday the description isn’t correctly aligned. If you leave it left-aligned, you should give it a 5 or 6 px left padding or margin; but better make it centered (as the image, the title and the metadata on the attachment page are also centered).

    Posted by Panos | November 4, 2011, 03:12


  1. Pingback: Attachment Pages, Images and Carousels! Oh My! | Random Acts of Photography - January 17, 2014


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