Drupal - Basic: Images in Drupal

Embedding Images

In Pages, News articles, and other various content types and Flexible Content Items, you can add images via the WYSIWYG media browser, and control their positioning.

Resize and crop images before uploading to Drupal, using the recommended image sizes and formats in our guide.

Add an image

When you click on the Image icon in the WYSIWYG toolbar  WYSIWYG toolbar image icon , or click on an Upload or Browse Library button WYSIWYG browse image library icon   you will see a pop-up window appear that is defaulted to the Browse Library tab

screenshot browse image library

To add an image, click on the Upload tab.

screenshot upload new image form

Type in the name of the image so it makes sense to folks who browse the library looking for one that will work for their content needs. Avoid non-descriptive names like DSC_0516.jpg.

screenshot image upload tab

Next you can use the Choose File button to browse to the image on your computer and upload it.

screenshot choose image file

Once you choose your file, you will notice the screen changes slightly

screenshot image upload with chosen image

Notice that the tiny thumbnail of the image you uploaded has a + sign / crosshairs in the center of it and the word Preview underneath.   These two things are very important for setting the Focal Point and seeing it in all the ways the image can be displayed.

screenshot image focal point cross hairs centered

You can click on a different part of this image and make the crosshair + be in that spot.

screenshot image focal point cross hairs to the left

What this crosshair + does is set the Focal Point of the image. In this case, the term Focal Point means the point depicted by the crosshairs + will always be in the image, no matter how the image is auto-cropped for various displays in the site.

In order to see what that means, we can click on the Preview link under the thumbnail to see that this focal point we picked really will be the best part of the photo to never get cropped out.

screenshot image focal point cross hairs to the left

This puts a pop-up window within our pop-up window that displays all the site-wide Image Styles of the image while employing the Focal Point we just selected. We clicked the Focal Point to be on the bike rider in the middle of the path.

screenshot focal point image preview admissions officer

These Image Styles are in a horizontal-scroll pane. If you scroll down you can see the original image for comparison.  Here is a view of the horizontal-scroll-pane moved to see the difference between the News/Event Detail Portrait and the News/Event Detail Wide image styles.

screenshot focal point image preview news events

When you are finished with the Preview, you can click the X in the upper right of the Image Preview (inner pop-up window) to close the preview.

screenshot focal point image preview program detail

With the preview closed, the next thing you will need to set is the Alternative Text. This is a required field for accessibility standards.

screenshot image upload set alt text

The next two fields are auto-fiilled in with your username and the time-date stamp of the upload of the image.

screenshot image upload authored by and on

Scrolling past that, there is a URL alias field that is default empty.  It is fine to leave this empty and go ahead and press the Save & Embed button.

screenshot image upload save and embed

Non-WYSIWYG image embed

If you are embedding the image in anything other than a WYSIWYG, once you press that Save & Embed button you will resume entering content for that Item or Content Type.

WYSIWYG image embed

If you are embedding the image in a WYSIWYG, once you press that Save & Embed button you will get a new pop-up window to help Drupal know what to do with this image in this instance of using it within the WYSIWYG.

screenshot WYSIWYG image embed options

When adding an image into the WYSIWYG there are choices to “Display as” and it is defaulted to WYSIWYG – Full. This default display, or image style, will have the image display the full width of the content area. The WYSIWYG – Horizontal will allow you to float a horizontal display of the image so the text will wrap around it. You can float the image to align Left, Center, Right, or None. The WYSIWYG – natural will let the image display as it was originally uploaded.  The WYSIWYG – Video Full is for when one is embedding a video into the WYSIWYG.  We will cover this in the Embedding Video article.

screenshot WYSIWYG image embed display options

The next field is the Caption field.  This allows you to add a caption if you desire. If you leave it blank, there will be no caption. Adding caption is encouraged as it makes your image more accessible.

screenshot WYSIWYG image embed align and caption

Now you can click the Embed button. You can see it embed the image into the flow of the WYSIWYG text, right where you had placed your cursor.

If we save the page now, we can see what it looks like.

screenshot WYSIWYG embedded image display

If you are unsatisfied with what it looks like, you will want to edit the image.  Click the Edit tab at the bottom of the screen.  Then, find the WYSIWYG and scroll to the image.  Now either double-click on the image or right-click and select Edit Image

screenshot WYSIWYG image embed edit

This will take you back to the Embed Media screen where you can edit some of the choices you made, click embed and then re-save the page to see the edit.

screenshot WYSIWYG image embed update alignment

screenshot WYSIWYG image embed edit with left alignment

screenshot WYSIWYG image embed display with left alignment

How does Drupal know how to display the image?

Let’s pause for a moment to understand what Drupal does with the image and how it uses it around the site.  Drupal takes the image file with the assigned focal point and puts it in the Library. The image file is referenced when we add that image file to a new page or a new Flexible Content Item by choosing it from the Library. Drupal will know from that reference to use the originally assigned focal point and corresponding Image Styles for that image file based on where you are adding it.  In our earlier screenshot, we showed two News image styles. So, if we are referencing this image by choosing it while we are creating a News article, those are the image styles Drupal will know to use.

Why shouldn’t I edit the Focal Point of an existing image?

Please be mindful of the Focal Point and never reset it once you have embedded the image.  If you wish to have a version of the same photo with a different Focal Point, you would need to upload the photo a second time and save it with a different name to reflect the fact that there is a new focal point. For instance, I named this “Tree-lined Campus Path” since my focal point is on the path. Perhaps a new name for a second upload of this photo could be “Campus Trees” if I need a new version with the focal point moved way over into the trees on the left.

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