5 WordPress Photo Editing Tools Available To Use On The Block Editor

Did you know that WordPress has added some basic photo editing tools to the ‘Image‘ block on the Block editor?

Some of these tools are available in the WordPress media library, but others aren’t. But what are they, and how do you use them?

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5 WordPress Photo Editing Tools Available To Use On The Block Editor

Let’s get started

First, open up a new draft post and, using the image block, add a photo or image from your WordPress media library. I’m using a picture of my dogs, Austin and Toby. 

Now let me take you through each tool and how to use them.

1. Add Text Over Image

  • Click on the ‘Add Text Over Image’ button on the image toolbar.
Screenshot showing the location of the 'Add Text Over Image' button on the Block editor
Add text over image button
  • ‘Type/To Choose A Block’ will appear on the image.
Screenshot showing where to add text on a photo on the image block on the Block editor on WordPress
Where to add text
  • Click on it and add your text.
Screenshot showing text being added to an image on the WordPress Block editor
Adding text to an image on the WordPress Block editor

But that text is in the wrong position. How do you change it?

  • Easy. Click on the ‘Change Content Position‘ button and choose where you want the text to appear. I decided bottom right. 
Screenshot showing the 'Change Content Position' button on the WordPress Block editor
Changing the position of the text on a photo

2. Toggle Full Height

  • Click on the ‘Add Text Over Image’ button on the image toolbar.
Screenshot showing the location of the 'Add Text Over Image' button on the Block editor
‘Add text over image’ button
  • Click on the ‘Toggle Full Height’ button.
Screenshot showing the position of the 'Toggle Full Height' button on the WordPress Block editor
Toggle Full Height

3. Zoom In And Out On An Image

  • On the image toolbar, click on the ‘Crop‘ button.
Screenshot showing the position of the 'Crop' button on the WordPress Block editor
The ‘Crop’ button
  • The image gets divided into nine squares (see next image).
  • Click on the ‘Zoom‘ button (see the next image).
  • To zoom in and out on an image, move the slider button forwards and backwards (see the next image). 
  • Click the apply button to save any changes.
Screenshot showing the 'Zoom' photo editing functions on the WordPress Block editor

4. Rotate The Image

  • On the image toolbar, click on the ‘Crop‘ button.
Screenshot showing the position of the 'Crop' button on the WordPress Block editor
The ‘Crop’ button
  • Click the ‘rotate‘ button to rotate the image.
Screenshot showing the position of the 'Rotate' button on the WordPress Block editor
The ‘Rotate’ button
  • Click the ‘apply‘ button to save any changes.

5. Change The Aspect Ratio

  • On the image toolbar, click on the ‘Crop‘ button.
Screenshot showing the position of the 'Crop' button on the WordPress Block editor
The ‘Crop’ button
  • Click the ‘Aspect Ratio‘ button and make your selection. There is much more choice than when you perform this task in the WordPress media library. I have chosen the ‘square‘ option (see the next image).
  • Click the ‘apply‘ button to save any changes.
Screenshot showing the position and functions of the 'Aspect Ratio' function on the WordPress Block editor
The ‘Aspect Ratio’ function

All these functions are basic but will suit many users who do not want to edit their images too much.

Do you use the WordPress photo editing tools? Do you have any questions about them? Leave me a comment, and I’ll get back to you. 

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75 thoughts on “5 WordPress Photo Editing Tools Available To Use On The Block Editor

  1. Hugh – interestingly, I went into my comments earlier tonight and my SPAM was reduced from 1.1K to under 300 and I just looked now and it was reduced to 15 and I deleted the rest. I have to guess that the Happiness Engineer who last helped me maybe did a follow-up and did the bulk delete for me. I feel badly I didn’t get back to it. I am horribly behind in Reader and promised each of the bloggers that I routinely comment on that I’d catch up with posts, but at 10-11 days behind, it looks a little hopeless now and I feel like that hamster running the wheel that you often mention. I may just start anew and try to keep current. P.S. – I still can’t create a caption under photos.

    1. That’s great to hear about the issues with spam being sorted, Linda. I had the same issue, but all that spam had been cleared for me one day. Now I’m back to just a few spam messages every day. I believe WordPress has improved its anti-spam software so that much of it gets deleted even before it hits the spam folder.
      Please don’t stress about not reading blog posts. Most bloggers don’t expect us to read and comment on everything they publish. Read and comment when you can – keep blogging fun.

      1. I was pleasantly surprised to find it gone Hugh. I hope that never happens again. I watched it grow by 100s within a day or so and hoped no one legitimate was caught in there. You are right and I think I’m going to just start current. It has became too burdensome to try and catch up and you are right … the fun of blogging has gone knowing I had those posts to catch up on.

  2. I am very behind in Reader and trying valiantly to catch up (yes this far behind Hugh – maybe I should just jump ahead but don’t like to exclude anyone’s posts). Anyway, I did a post today for tomorrow and while I don’t often use captions, sometimes I like to do them. I loaded the picture and the caption drop down (for lack of a better description) didn’t work. I switched browsers. Is the “text in image” how we are to do it now or was I out in the heat too long and missed something? I did my post without using them.

    1. Hi Linda. No, the caption option should still appear underneath each image and photo you add to blog posts. It could be that while you were adding them, the option was temporarily unavailable. It happened to me a few days ago when the option to add background colour to blocks was not available. The next day, it was back. I put it down to WordPress doing some updates. If it’s still not there in a few days, I recommend you contact the WordPress Happiness Engineers. They’ll be able to take a closer look into the problem.

      1. Thank you Hugh – I am sorry for the tardy reply to you. At work we lost our e-mail when Outlook crashed and it has been terrible getting things done the last few weeks until we are completely up and running since we lost data. I will try again – I just tried now and it was not back either. I was hoping they didn’t eliminate the captions in favor of the text inside the image instead. Thanks again for your insight.

        1. I still see the ‘add caption’ option underneath any images or photos I’m adding to blog posts, Linda. So adding text hasn’t replaced the ‘captions’ option. I’m sure a call to the Happiness Engineers will sort out the bug.

        2. I have a post tomorrow for Wordless Wednesday so no captions, so if the issue is not resolved, I guess I will need to contact them. I don’t want to be a pest because I just reached out about two weeks ago when I had a SPAM situation. It was one website mostly, but other similar names to that site and I was getting one hundred SPAMs a day. I have not cleared out the 1.1K SPAMs yet as I can bulk delete them, page by page, but there are 54 pages of SPAM currently. I reached out and a Happiness Engineer blocked the domain for me.

  3. I have never used the photo edit functions in WordPress. I always edit the photos before importing them into the library. However, I can see where this would be useful if you wanted to use the same photo more than once with different features. Thanks, as always, for the helpful hints, Hugh.

    1. You’re welcome, Christie. I only tend to resize my photos outside of WordPress. The editing features they offer seem to suit me as I don’t do much editing to my photos. It’s something I’ve always meant to get to but haven’t quite got there yet.

  4. Thank you so much for comprehensively showing us how to edit photos with the block editor. I’m still finding my way around it so this is very helpful. Agree the functions are basic but some people like basic and basic works for them, and I think that is many of us. It is great to read the comments and see people appreciating your tips. Sometimes it can be some effort to use a photo editing tool and that’s where the image editor in the editor comes in handy.

    I like to use a mix of photo editing tools on my phone and laptop to edit my photos. Different editing programs work for different things I want to achieve with my photos.

    1. The Block Editor is vast, Mable. I’m still learning lots about it. It has so much to offer bloggers and has taken those using it to a new level of blogging. I’m trying out new things on it all the time.
      WordPress is adding new features to the blocks weekly — something for everyone. And I’ll be passing on as much information as I can about it on here.

      1. Interesting to hear new features are being added to the block regularly. Sounds like it will stay around for a while. Looking forward to reading your updates and thoughts on the changes. Great stuff, Hugh. Take care.

        1. I don’t think the Block editor is going anywhere fast, Mable. It’s the old Classic editor that will soon exit the door.
          You too. Take care and stay safe.

  5. Your posts are always so helpful and our JULIE has chosen it to be featured in our next Blogger’s Pit Stop.

  6. Very helpful, thank you. Now if I can just get used to using the Block editor rather than classic.

    1. I always say, ‘Practice makes perfect.’ The more you use the Block editor, the easier it gets. I set up a draft test post on my blog and practised using it. It’s not hard to use, just different. And WordPress have some great tutorials on how to use it. There’s also the Classic block for those who want to stay with the Classic editor. By the end of this year, it’ll be the only way to access the Classic editor.

  7. Thank you for these tips. I’ve been afraid to upgrade to the block editor because I’m not ready for a new learning curve and now do most writing on Medium. I wish I had such a clear tutorial on how to move from the Classic editor plug-in to using WordPress with the block editor. I’ve afraid of messing up my blog. The Classic editor is so straight forward and easy to understand, but Weebly used an editor more like the block editor, and I didn’t like it. That’s one reason I abandoned that blog.

    1. The Block editor on WordPress offers the Classic block for those who want to stick with the Classic editor. It’s the only block you need to use if none of the other blocks are tempting.

      However, I’d recommend watching and reading the WordPress tutorials on using the Block editor. I created a draft test post on my blog and practised using the Block editor. Once I was confident with using it, I published my first post using it. Since then, I’ve never looked back.

      I also have some other posts about using the Block editor. You can check them out by clicking on the ‘Block Editor – How To’ button on the menubar of my blog. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to ask any questions on how to use it. The more you use it, the easier it becomes to use.

  8. I can’t see how to reply to your reply, Hugh! To answer your question, the moment I saw what a horrid mess my pictures were I took it down and removed the pics with the captions.

    1. Ahh, that’s why I did not see the post then, Mary. It could be something to do with the theme you’re using for your blog. I know that some of them are not ‘Block’ friendly and that WordPress has stopped supporting them. My recommendation would be to contact the WordPress Happiness Engineers. They’ll be able to see your screen and what is happening.

        1. They look great, Willow. And I see you’ve used the ‘Wave’ feature too. I’m glad these new tools have all worked out for you. Your posts are eyecatching and look wonderful.

  9. Thanks, Hugh, this is really helpful (well, I think it will be!). I was trying to put captions over the image. It looked all right in the draft but when I posted it the live version was a horrible mess. Everything below the text was a different colour.

    1. Hi Mary, I’ve just tried adding an image on an old post and added text to it. It came out fine.

      I can’t think what has happened to your post. Can I check and ask if you’re using the Block editor?

      1. Thanks, Hugh. Yes, I am using the Block editor but I’m not very adventurous. I think part of my problem is I never seem to have time to play around and find out what does what and what works. I’ll have another go when I next post on the blog – giving myself time to play about a bit.

        1. It’s good to hear you’re having a play around with the Block Editor, Mary. Don’t let it frighten you. It’s not hard to use, just very different to the old Classic editor. You mentioned in your other comment that you’d published a new post where you’d used the ‘add caption/text’ option. I didn’t get a notification about that post. Unless, of course, you have another blog I’m not following. 🤔

        1. Yes, I agree. Especially given that there are still a lot of complaints about the Block editor. I love it, though. It’s taking Blogging to a whole new level.

  10. I guess it is nice that the editing can get done within WordPress. I prefer to do it with another tool and then save those adjusted photos on my computer as well. I like to keep a copy of everything I do online. Text and photos. Just in case. 🙂

    I still haven’t been able to post a photo and have the text (caption) appear underneath it in a normal way. Last time I tried, the text would appear alongside, every word underneath the previous one. I’m still using the Classic option to deal with media. It works for now.

    1. Are you referring to the Classic block option with your photos, Liesbet? WordPress seems to be adding more and more options to the blocks. I’ve found lots of new features just from playing around with the settings they now offer (many of which I had no idea were there). Do you use the caption option under photos and images?

      1. Yes, I still use the Classic Block option to add photos, captions, and galleries to my blog posts, Hugh. Thanks to a tip from you way back after I kept struggling with the photos in the new editor. I’m still not happy with how the photos in Gutenberg show within my theme. When I have more time, I might play with it again. Maybe improvements have been made. But, for now, I’ll keep using the Classic Block option for my photos as I know it works and I don’t have to spend too much time creating my galleries. I add my captions, one by one, within the media feature by selecting the photo in the collection and adding a caption in the section to the right of the page. Every theme is probably different. Thanks for keeping up the blogging tips!

        1. It’s good to know you’re using the Classic block rather than the old Classic editor (which I understand is causing some bloggers a few problems). I’ve lots of catching up to do with new features and tools WordPress has added to the Block editor.

  11. I love the text over image option. As Terri said, it would be great for quick watermarking. Are there options for font styles and sizes? Also, I assume after adding the text to your post, the base image is stored in your media library without the text… right?

    1. Hi Janis, I haven’t found any options for styles or the size of the font…yet. But it might be something WordPress will add.

      Yes, only the base image is stored in the media library. So if you wanted to add the same image with the same text to another post, you’d have to insert the image and add the text to it again.

  12. Now that I can use wifi with reckless abandon again, these tips will be helpful for a last minute changes once the image is in the post. Does the text feature have a fade option? Good for watermarking. Thanks for taking the time to show us, Hugh!

    1. I couldn’t see a way of changing the font size or any other features for it, Terri. I think it’s very basic stuff for now, but who knows what WordPress will introduce to these new tools.

  13. Thanks again Hugh, I was aware of some of these options but haven’t used them much. I might try and experiment now as I feel a bit more knowledgeable after reading your post!

    1. You’re welcome, Debbie. I’m glad they have improved these tools for the Block editor. They’re simple functions but can make all the difference. The only option not available on the Block editor seems to be to flip an image (but it’s still available in the media library). However, it may be available in one of the photo gallery blocks.

      1. It’s really good to get to know about these tools, as many of us would never find out, let alone use them, if you weren’t telling us about them!

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