How do I insert an image into a blog post using its URL?

Part 1 – Using the WordPress.com online editor

Photos in blog posts enhance the appearance, convey information that couldn’t be said in a thousand words, and act as magnets to pull the attention of readers to the story. All blogging editors provide a means of inserting pictures. When the item to be inserted is an image that resides already somewhere on the internet and its web address, properly termed its URL, the procedure it not so obvious.

Bloggers know that to embed an image in a post requires a bit of HTML code. Few of us are fluent and can just switch over to “Text mode” or “HTML mode” and type away.

If you are a WordPress blogger and use the online WordPress editor, I have good news for you. The WordPress editor provides the simplest possible way: Just paste in the URL where you want the image. Yep, it is that easy.

When you paste in the URL it shows as the text that it is, but a moment later the text is replaced with the image. I did this here, the URL on my clipboard was this:

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Less than a second after pasting the URL it was replaced with the photo:

WARNING:

askludwig-170129-05If you are using the online editor at WordPress.com clicking the circled-plus, “Insert content”, option brings up the Media Library to permit choosing an image from the pictures there. On that page there are also to other options, Add New and Add via URL. Add New provides the process for uploading from your device.

You would think that Add via URL is used for embedding an image, the process we are talking about here. Not so! Add via URL places a copy of the image into your Media Library.

You may not want to store a copy of the image, indeed, you might not have permission to copy the image, just to use it in your blog.

Let me repeat the procedure to insert an image with the URL

  • Get the URL of the image into your clipboard. For how to do that see: How do I get the URL of an image in my WordPress blog?
  • Click on the place in the post where the image should go.
  • Paste the URL. On a Windows machine pasting is done with Ctrl+VCommand+V on an Apple device.

Next it gets a bit sticky

The image inserted by pasting the URL will be content-wide, that is the full width of your blog. What if you want it smaller and to one side or the other, like the illustration above?

Click on the image in hope of getting edit options and all that appears is a delete-X.

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If you are happy with the full width picture, you are all set, but if you wish for more options you can switch to the more powerful Dashboard editor.

Save your draft, if you hesitate WordPress does it for you. Click My Sites, scroll down in the left pane and click WP Admin.

Part 2 of this mini-series covers Using the WordPress Dashboard editor.

.:.

© 2017 Ludwig Keck

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How do I get the URL of an image in my WordPress blog?

The URL, or web address, of an image can be very useful. With it, the image is easily inserted in other blog post, web sites, or social media posts. There are a couple of ways to obtain the URL of a photo that is in your WordPress Media Library.

The proper way to get a WordPress Media Library image URL

If you have been blogging for a long time, you are used to do your “housekeeping” in the Dashboard of your WordPress blog. Newer bloggers do all their chores right in the WordPress.com website and might not even be very familiar with the Dashboard. If you need help getting there, see How do I get to my WordPress Media Library?

  • Go to your Dashboard.
  • Click Media in the left pane.

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  • Find the image that you are interested in. Click on it.

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The image will be displayed along with some information fields.  You see two addresses, URLs, on this page. The one in the browser address bar is not the correct URL that you are after. That is just the page you are on, not the address of the image shown.

The URL of the image is in the field labeled, appropriately enough, URL.

  • Highlight the text in the URL field. Do that by placing your pointer, now a cursor, in front of the text, hold down the left mouse button and move the mouse to the right to scan over the text. The text in the field will scroll so that you can highlight all of it. Release the mouse button when all of the text is highlighted.
  • Press Ctrl+C to copy the highlighted URL (Command+C on Apple machines).

You now have the URL of the image on your clipboard and you can paste it wherever you wish to use it. The URL will have the form of this example:

https://2cameras2views.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/ljk_7942-p-r1-12002.jpg

Note that the first part of the URL is your blog address with “.files” between your blog name and “wordpress.com“. This is followed by a couple of numbers with slashes indicating the folder the image is in, and finally by the filename of your image.

Now the easy way

There is a quick and easy way to get the URL, or web address, of an image from your WordPress Media Library. Most bloggers these days do everything at WordPress.com. Once you are logged in there everything is at your fingertips.

  • askludwig-170128-08Here is how to do it:Click the Write link in the upper right area of the top bar.
    This opens an edit page for creating a new post. Don’t worry, this is just the easy way to get to your Media Library.
  • Click the circle with a plus sign – “Insert content“.

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This opens a window into your Media Library. Find the image you are interested in, You may need to scroll down to do so.

  • Move the pointer over the photo. You will see a little pencil icon.
  • Click the pencil icon. See the illustration below.
    askludwig-170128-06

You will see the library page showing your image.

askludwig-170128-07On this page with the photo there are a number of text fields. One of them is labeled URL. To the right of that field is a button labelled COPY.

  • Click the COPY button. The button text will change to COPIED for a moment.

You now have the URL of the image on your clipboard and you can paste it to wherever you like.

  • Click CANCEL to get out of the Media Library.
  • Click away from the post editor – unless, of course, you are ready to tell the world of new-learned skill.

.:.

© 2017 Ludwig Keck

Can I reorganize my WordPress Media Library?

The short answer: No.

It is true, the WordPress Media Library is like one of those shoe boxes from the old days filled with pictures. Photos are added on top of the previous ones. There is no way to find a photo by tag or date taken. Well, it isn’t as bad as it seem, but first back to the answer.

The Media Library contains your images that you uploaded for use in posts. If you reorganized the contents of the library, moving photos into new folders by subject or some other indexing method, the URL of the images would change. Since the current URLs are used in your blog posts, those links would be broken. Your old posts would be all messed up. (That is not entirely correct, but I will leave that as a mystery statement for now.) Do not try to reorganize your Media Library even when it gets close to your storage limit with thousands of pictures. But don’t be disappointed that you can’t reorganize your library.

Here is the good news

Clearly you want to reorganize so you can find an image quickly. You actually can. Your photos are in reverse order of upload date. The most recent is at the top of the library. The very first image you uploaded is last. By default WordPress creates a folder for each month in which you upload images. You can easily reach any of those folders by clicking the All dates field. A drop-down menu lets you pick the folder for any month.

askludwig-170117-01This brings up the photos you uploaded in the selected month.

But wait, there is more!

askludwig-170117-06There is a Search field. Just type in that field and the images with matching text in their data fields, like Title or Caption, will be displayed.

The illustration here shows that the text “fl” was typed in the Search field. Two images come up.

Here is the first one:

askludwig-170117-04The matching “fl” is in the word “Butterflies” – the text does not have to be at the start of a word, it can be inside! The other images was a match because the word “Reflections” was in the title. Pretty neat, wouldn’t you agree? See, you really don’t need to reorganize!

.:.

© 2017 Ludwig Keck

How do I get to my WordPress Media Library?

Two ways come to mind. Reach in through a window or “walk” in through the dashboard. Sorry about this levity, but really these are routes to your WordPress Media Library. Let’s take the formal path first: Go to your WordPress Dashboard. The way there is by going in your browser to address yourblog/wp-admin, where “yourblog” is the web address of your blog.

If your blog is on WordPress.com, that is, the address is like blogname.wordpress.com, you can access the Dashboard by going to wordpress.com, click My Sites and scroll down to the bottom in the left pane. There click WP Admin.

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Notice the red arrow in the illustration above. It shows the URL of your Dashboard when you move the pointer over the WP Admin link.

In the Dashboard click Media in the left pane, or Library in the drop-down menu.

Here you can also see, in the lower left of your browser window, the URL of your Media Library.

Yes, of course, I could have told you about this address first, but it is just a little more complicated, that is longer, and harder to remember.

Your Media Library is the online location where your images, and some other media, are stored for use in your blog posts.

The storage order is by upload. The earliest item is at the bottom of this possibly very big “shoe box”. The most recently uploaded image is at the top.

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Now I did tease with another way to get into your Media Library. It is a little convoluted and not at all intuitive, but for some tasks it is the easier way.

Once again you can start at WordPress.com. Click My Sites, then Blog Posts. Either open to edit an existing post or click Add. This gets you into the online WordPress Editor.

Click the circled plus icon to insert content, and a window to your Media Library opens. You can pick an image to insert into your post, but you can do a number of other tasks. We’ll save those for another article.

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Next question, please.

.:.

© 2017 Ludwig Keck

When I add a photo to a WordPress post, where does it go?

That is really a good question because images do not go “into a post”. askludwig-170114-02You actually know the answer, you just might not be aware of it. When you prepare a post, starting at WordPress.com, and you click the circled-plus icon to “insert contents”. It opens an overlay that shows your “Media Library“. It will look a bit like this:

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You can click on an image and then you’ll get an “Insert” button. This tells you already that your images are stored in your “Media Library“. If you wish to insert a photo that is on your computer you would click Add New. That opens another window, this time one that shows the files on your computer, and you can select the photo to upload to your Media Library.

As soon as you have selected the image and clicked Open, the file window closes and you are back to the Media Library, but now it shows the newly uploaded photo and it is already selected for you. Just click Insert and it is in your post.

There is another hint in the insert-option window. Take a look at the illustration above once more, but look in the lower left corner. There is tells you how much of the storage space you are using.

With your WordPress blog account you also get 3 GB of storage space. That is where your images are stored. In the “basement” of WordPress, I should probably have said in the WordPress server “cloud”.  If you are using a self-hosted blogging account it is just a bit different since you will be storing your images on servers at your hosting service.

.:.

© 2017 Ludwig Keck

How do I show my copyright for photos?

When you press down on the shutter release you have established a copyright in the resulting image. You may then state your copyright. Many people will place an extensive copyright statement on the About page of their website.

The EXIF data of photos is used generally to also show a copyright notice. You can add it by right-clicking the file and selecting Properties. You will find a place for the notice. I generally use this as my copyright notice:

Copyright © 2016 Ludwig Keck. All rights reserved.

If the copyright symbol is not readily available, the accepted alternate method is to enclose the letter “c” in parentheses, thus: (c). You can see this in the illustration here:

msohtmlclipclip_image001.pngIn my case here the copyright notice was placed into the EXIF, properties, fields by my camera. It does not have the symbol © hence I use the alternate form. Also notice that in my photo files the notice appears in two locations, the Copyright field and the Comments field. Keep in mind that any thief can easily delete or replace this information. Not all cameras allow for this feature. For photos from other cameras I add the notice with a bulk select and opening the Properties dialog and I copy or type the notice in. I also add my name in the Authors field.

At the bottom of every blog post I add “boilerplate” like this:

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Note the short form copyright notice (there are links above and below this notice to my “gateway” sites).

All the notices don’t make a bit of difference to thieves. Images are still stolen all the time. I protect a little against that by only posting low resolution images (generally about 1200px on the big side). At least this will make the images not suitable for printing or where better resolution is required.

You can also register a photo, or a collection of photos, with the U. S. Copyright Office or equivalent agencies in other countries. The process takes some time. In the U.S.A. there is no charge, however a copy of each image must be supplied to the Copyright office. I have done that only with books, not my individual photos. Such registration gives you some additional rights and protections that come into play only in law suits. You have to go after the bad guys in court, nobody else does that for you. It is costly as you can imagine.

I should also point out that just because you have taken the photo you may not be fully entitled to use it any way you like. The little thumbnail photos above show people in recognizable form. That entitles them to protection of their own likenesses. I did not get “model releases” for these photos and therefore I am rather limited with what I can do. I can use them in blogs as those are “news stories”, but I can’t sell those images as “wall art” or for use in advertising or what-have-you.

Please note that I have explained here what I do. I can not tell you what you should do as I am not a lawyer and thus not qualified to give legal advise. Consult with a lawyer to learn what is appropriate in your own case.

.:.

© 2016 Ludwig Keck

What is a OneDrive Album?

Once upon a time, when OneDrive was still called SkyDrive, the words “album” and “folder” meant the same thing. The only difference was that a folder containing photos was called “album”. Nowadays the term “Album” describes something totally different.

OneDrive still has files and folders, of course, but when you click Photos, over in the left sidebar, you are taken into a “new world”.

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That “new world” lists All Photos, Albums, Tags, and Places in the menu bar.

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So what are those? For this article we will stick to just Albums.

Let’s step back a bit in time. Older folks may remember the card catalogs in libraries, real libraries with books on shelves. OneDrive-Album-03The card catalogs were organized by title, some by subject. Once you found what you were looking for there was a reference to the actual location of the book – I am simplifying just a little. What I am trying to say is that you got a reference that led you to the book.

Well OneDrive Albums work in a similar way. What you can place into an Album are not your actual photos but references to them. When you add a photo to an Album, the actual photo stays in the folder that it is in, but you can see the photo in the Album.

Making an Album

It may help to understand Albums better by going through the steps of making one. When you are in Albums there is an option on the menu bar, + New album.

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The + New album link brings up options to select the photos to add to the album either from Choose photos with the photos in date order (illustrated here) or Choose from folders, with the folders arranged just the way you see them when you first log into OneDrive (illustrated below next).

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It is possible to select any photos, located anywhere in OneDrive, with no regard to their present sharing settings, and add them to an Album. The photos are not moved, they stay where they are. In the Album the photos are merely “referenced”, but you can see them.

You can arrange the photos in the Album as you like. The Album can be shared, just like a folder or an individual photo. Photos can be included in other Albums. Remember, the actual photo files stay in their actual locations.

Albums are very neat ways of showing and sharing photos in whatever grouping desired, however many, or whatever order. Neat, yes?

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.:.

© 2016 Ludwig Keck