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How to Add Caption to Images in WordPress

How to Create WordPress Image Captions

As far as clichés go, the one about images being worth thousands of words is a good one. It rings true, doesn’t it, and we all have an instinctive appreciation for the power a good image — or a bad one — can wield.

There’s just one problem, though. Often enough, the image that’s worth a thousand words depends on at least a couple of them for context, or simply additional information.

That’s where WordPress image captions come into the frame. They are a type of information about the image you can show to the reader and help them understand what they’re seeing. But that’s only one of the things they do and why you need to pay attention to them.

In this article, you’ll learn:

What Are Image Captions and Why Do They Matter?

Have you ever looked at a picture for a minute or two only to be left with the question what exactly are you supposed to be looking at? It happens all the time because images, for all their power in conveying information, often need some kind of an explanation to kickstart our understanding of them.

That’s why you’ll often see a couple of words or sentences at the bottom of images. Those are captions, and their role is to clarify whatever it is on the image so that the reader can understand the image as quickly as possible.

Captions can do more than just provide context, though. They can add crucial information that wasn’t obvious from the photo, for example. They can contain literal instructions for how to interpret the image. And not for nothing, but captions can also help with search engine optimization because search engines notice them.

Captions aren’t the only text that can accompany an image. It’s also a good practice to add alt-text to your images. When the image fails to load, the alt-text will show up instead of it and describe the contents of the image. But for now, we’ll just stick to adding image captions in WordPress as a way to boost SEO and improve user experience.

Add Caption to Image in WordPress When Creating New Post or Page

The first scenario we’ll walk you through is how to create WordPress image captions when creating a new post or a page. From the dashboard, go to Posts > Add New, and then click on the “Add Media” button to add a new image to your post.

Add Media button

You can either upload a new image — after you’re done resizing the photo in Photoshop — or use one that’s already in your media library, either way, you’ll end up in the library with the file you want to upload selected. On your right-hand side, you’ll see all the information fields, including the one where you’re supposed to add a caption.

Information fields

After you’ve entered the text of your caption and set every other option you wanted, such as the alignment and the size, you can go ahead and press the “Insert into post” button. Your image will appear in your post along with the caption.

Insert into post

The way your caption looks is to a large extent determined by the theme you use. It’s possible to change it, but you’ll need to get in touch with the theme developer for information about custom CSS solutions for changing the caption appearance.

Working with Captions on Already Uploaded Images

If you’re not happy with a caption you’ve added to an image in a post, or if you forgot to add one, you can easily go back and make things right. Simply navigate to the post with the picture whose caption you want to edit or add.

If there’s already a caption there, you can edit it as you would any other text in the post.

Working with Captions on Already Uploaded Images

Alternatively, if you don’t have any caption copy but you’d like to add some, a left click on the image will bring up a small menu with options that include “Edit,” illustrated by a pencil.

Edit image

After clicking the pencil icon, you’ll be given almost the same editing options you had when originally adding the image to the post. A field for adding a caption will be there as well.

Adding a caption

After you’ve added the caption and clicked on the “Update” button, the caption will appear under the image on your page.

Caption will appear under the image
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How to Add Caption to Images in WordPress Galleries

If you want to add a gallery of images to your post, have no fear — WordPress has a way for you to easily add captions to every image you choose for a gallery. From the Edit Post window, click on the “Add Media” button, and then choose the “Create Gallery” options.

Create Gallery

You’ll see the Create Gallery window where you’ll be able to choose all the images you want to add to the new gallery. Pick all of them and press the “Create a New Gallery” button when ready.

Choose all the images you want to add to the new gallery

This will move you to the “Edit Gallery” window, where you’ll see all the images in your selection. Each will have a field for you to write a caption in.

Edit gallery window

After you’ve entered all the captions you wanted, it’s only a matter of pressing the “Insert Gallery” button before you’ll be able to see the whole gallery with its images as well as captions, on the page.

Insert Gallery

How to Add Caption to Images in the WordPress Media Library

Of course, you don’t have to be making a new post or page or creating a new gallery for that matter, to be able to create your WordPress image captions. All you need to do is have the images in the Media Library, and the rest is easy.

Simply navigate to Media > Library from your website’s backend and choose an image you’d want to add a caption to. Click on it, and you’ll see a window titled “Attachment Details,” with all the fields for the information for the picture — caption included.

Attachment Details

You can edit the text of the caption here, and the next time you use this image in one of your posts, the caption will be there. So if you have an image-heavy website, one that would use a photography WordPress theme, for example, you can edit your WordPress image captions as you’re uploading the photos to the media library and avoid doing that work later on, when creating posts.

Let’s Wrap It Up!

Every once in a while, your images will need a bit of help to make sure they land with the audience just the way you intended them to. But that’s exactly why we can use WordPress image captions — to get the best out of both worlds in a perfect union of text and photography.

WordPress allows you to create image captions natively — no additional plugins needed. There are several different ways you can add captions to photos, and if you know your way around adding custom CSS to a website, you might also be able to change how the captions look. Otherwise, the appearance of captions on your website will be dictated by the theme you use, which is all the more reason to dive deep when you’re choosing your WordPress themes.

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