How to Add Captions to Images in WordPress

Everybody loves captions.

Visitors may not read every word of your post, but they’ll probably read every image caption. In this post, you’ll learn:

  • How to add captions to new images
  • How to add captions to existing images
  • How to add captions to Featured Images

How to add captions to images in posts

Captions can be added when you include an image, or after you’ve already included an image. First, let’s add a caption to a brand new image.

Add a caption to a new image

Navigate to your Posts menu and select the post you want to add an image to. Place your cursor where you’d like to include the image, then press the Add Media button.

adding an image with WordPress

A new window will popup where you can upload an image or select an existing one. Either way, a set of options on the right-side will appear once you select an image. Among these options is the captions text box.

screenshot of an image's settings
You can set the image’s title, size, and alt text here too

It’s up to your theme how it displays the caption, but most likely it will place the caption right below the image with a small font size.

Once you’ve added your caption, press the blue Insert into post button at the bottom of the popup window to add the image.

Add a caption to an existing image

If you’ve already added the image, there’s no reason to remove and re-add it for a caption. Instead, click on the image and a toolbar will appear.

the image editing toolbar

There are four alignment options and a button to close the toolbar. In addition, there is a less obvious pencil icon for the image editing options. Click the pencil icon and you’ll be presented with the Image Details window.

The Image Details window includes all the same options included when adding a new image including the caption text box.

screenshot of the image details window
There are also advanced options not available when initially adding the image

Once you add a caption, click the Update button at the bottom of the popup, and the caption will be added. Make sure to save your post too, or the new caption won’t be saved.

How to add captions to Featured Images

As you may have noticed, Featured Images don’t usually display their captions. This is a standard practice for most themes, but you may want those captions displayed.

The solution comes in a simple plugin called Featured Image Caption.

screenshot of the Featured Image Caption plugin

Once activated, it adds a simple meta box below the Featured Image box, like this:

the meta box added by Featured Image Caption

Enter your caption in the Caption text box and save. Simple, right? There’s also an option to add an attribution link to the original image source.

Most themes will support this plugin, and all of our themes have a special integration with the plugin. Here’s how it looks with the Apex theme.

The Featured Image caption added with the Apex theme

WordPress captions conquered

Adding image captions is pretty straightforward. You’ll have the option right away when adding new images to posts. Finding the caption box for existing images can be a little tricky, but it’s easy once you know where to look.

If you have any ideas or questions about image captions in WordPress, leave a comment below.

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