One of the headline features in WordPress 3.5 is the new media manager. The truth is that the WordPress media management functions have been lacking for quite a while now. Finally we have a major update in how it works and looks.
If you’d rather watch a screencast covering the same information, jump to the end.
When you click ‘Add Media’ you are now presented with a totally new screen to manage your media. It defaults to the media library and has a much nicer grid layout.
Uploads are still drag and droppable, but the interface has a nice refinement over what we had previously.
Once you upload a new file you also see a drastic UI change.
We now have the image metadata (alt text, caption…) on the side of the screen. All the same settings are there, they just saw a polish put on the UI.
Setting a featured image in now more easily accessible. Click on the ‘Add Media’ button above the WordPress post editor then click ‘Set Featured Image’. Choose the image then in the lower right corner click the button to set it as a featured image.
Dealing with featured images was always something I had to go over with clients more than once. I expect that the new process will be easier to explain.
The final thing I want to highlight is the search inside the media manager. The old search was mostly useless in my opinion. Now WordPress searches your images as you type, and it’s fast. This is a welcome change for me, as I have a bunch of projects where we get in to 3000 images and it can be a pain to find the items I’m looking for.
Unfortunately the search only looks at the title of the image, and does not include the other metadata as far as I can tell.
The media items pages get a total revamp as well. They now look more like a post edit screen. For those that didn’t know, media entries are really stored as a post type of ‘attachment’ so we just get to see more of the UI from other post types as it applies to the media items.
Finally, it’s way easier to edit an image with the built in WordPress image editing functions. Simply click edit on the media item and get going. Click save and, well it’s saved.
So what do you think about the new media manager in WordPress 3.5?
If you’re interested in other features of WordPress 3.5 check out my other post on the new admin post hooks.