WordPress 3.5 Now Available on the Commons!

Named after drummer Elvin Jones, who played with a host of other jazz greats, including John Coltrane, WP 3.5 has a number of enhancements that focus primary on the media component of WordPress, and make it easier to find and display images in pages and posts. You’ll notice the Add Media button has a new look (see below), and when you click on it you’ll see how the new image management system arranges your media in a horizontal grid. Previously, you were just taken to the Media library and you would have to page through it to find an existing image.

In the new version, you can click on an image, and all the metadata about the image is listed in a nice, editable panel on the right. To upload new images, click on “Upload Media,” and select files from your computer or drag and drop them onto the box provided.

Adding Media

The following screenshot shows the screen displayed after clicking on “Add Media.”

Under the “Attachment Display Settings” you’ll find all the important settings for positioning and sizing your image, and controlling where it links to. By default the image will link to its page in your Media Library, but you can create a custom URL here. The setting here are dropdowns, where previously they were radio buttons. Once you are satisfied with the settings, click on the blue button below to “Insert into page” or “Insert into post.”

Galleries

Galleries are a lot easier to create with the new version of WordPress. Simply click on “Create Gallery” link, found in the upper left hand corner, select the images you want to include, and then click on blue “Create Gallery” button, found on lower right hand corner. You will be taken to a screen called “Edit Gallery” where you can drag and drop images to get them in the proper order, add an image that you might have forgotten, or delete an image from the gallery that doesn’t work for you. On this screen, you can also determine whether the image should link to its media page, or to the page which it is attached to. (An image is automatically attached to the post or page it was originally inserted into.) You can also set how many images should appear in a row, and configure your gallery so that they appear in a different order each time the screen is refreshed. Click on “Insert Gallery” to finalize the operation. You will see a dotted box with a large camera icon that represents your new gallery creation.

The screenshot below shows the “Edit Gallery” page:

Here is an example of a page showing the gallery. Roll you mouse over each image to see where your viewer will be taken if s/he clicks on the image.

Other Changes

There are a several other non-media related changes with this release.

  • You’ll notice a slight change in the tab that toggles back and forth between the Visual/HTML view when you are editing a page or post. “HTML” has been renamed “TEXT.”
  • Unless your site is using “Links,” this functionality will no longer appear in the dashboard or as a widget. (Links can be brought back by installing the Link Manager Plugin.)
  • There’s a new, more user-friendly color picker available.
  • There’s a new Welcome Screen on Admin panel (see screenshot, below) that neatly summarizes some of the more commons things you’ll want to do when starting your site. You can optionally dismiss this feature to provide more dashboard space.

And Finally, the Twenty Twelve Theme!

Twenty Twelve is officially out and will become the default theme for the Commons! Simple, flexible, elegant, responsive – it’ll look great on any sized device. For more information, see a separate post on the Commons Codex called Twenty Twelve Now Our Default Theme.

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