Using Jetpacks Tiled Gallery with Lightbox

I Installed the WordPress plugin Jetpack, developed by the same people who brought us WordPress itself. Jetpack provides a stable of 25 modules for WordPress.org users that comes standard at WordPress.com. Please read What is Jetpack and how to use it for more information.

For the last few days I have been playing around with the different modules available with Jetpack (did I say there are 25). I will more than likely write more posts on how to use Jetpack but since we are all about art and images here, let’s get straight to what matters the most; the WordPress Gallery using Jetpack’s Tiled Gallery and my twist of using it with Auto Thickbox or Lightbox.

Types of Tiled Galleries available in Jetpack

The first one below is the circle gallery using the native WordPress gallery settings & the attachment template from your theme. Click on an image for the demo, then use your browser back arrows to come back here. I wanted you to see how the attachment template looks so you’ll have a comparison for the Thickbox shown further down.

Below is the slide show. There aren’t any settings, what you see is what you get.

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These are squares but using Thickbox instead of the attachment template. See details on how to do this below.

And finally this is the tiled gallery which is also the default, also using Thickbox or Lightbox

Pretty cool right?

The only downside is you can not use NextGen Gallery images with Tiled Galleries. All images come from your Media library and uses the native gallery that comes standard with all WordPress installs.

To start using Tiled Galleries all you have to do once Jetpack is activated is go to Settings > Media and check the box next to “Display all your gallery pictures in a cool mosaic”. This module will auto generate the tiling you see above depending on the display option you chose. The image sizes are based on your media settings.

Using the Tiled Gallery with Thickbox or Lightbox

Now for the twist that I did here. I installed  Lightbox, you can also use  “Auto Thickbox” plugin, to manage how the images are presented once you click on them.

Use the “Add Media” button at the top of the page or post editor, then click create gallery and upload your images. Once you have selected your images set the link to “Media File” as shown in the image below.  Select the type of gallery (see the examples above) from the drop down menu and click the insert gallery button.

Gallery Settings
Gallery Settings

To get Thickbox to work with the gallery add link=file into the short code. In order to edit the shortcode you will need to click on the “text” tab of the visual editor at the top right corner of the page editor. That is it.

Example: [ gallery link=file type=”square” ids=”15531,15533,15530,15529,15528,15527″  ]

The only problem I found is that Thickbox plugin will only show the image title in the enlargement. The caption where you would normal type in your works name, size and medium only shows when hovering over the tiled image.

Bonus: Thickbox will also automatically apply on all your images inserted on a page or post as long as you have them linked to the media file and NOT the attachment page.

While this is pretty cool, NextCellent Gallery is still number one in my books for image organization and management. Imagine having to sort through 100’s of images in the media library to find all the images you want to include in a tiled gallery. Even with the new Media library (which is fantastic compared to the old version) I think the Tiled Gallery is better suited for mini galleries that you don’t need to add and subtract your fine art images from on going. Suggested uses would be to visually show the steps in a creation process or images from your exhibition opening in a blog post.

That said, it still begs the question…Do you think the WordPress Gallery Using Jetpacks Tiled Gallery with Thickbox is appropriate for fine art image galleries?

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