Simple Image Editing in WordPress

If you’ve ever uploaded an image to your WordPress post or page and realized it needs some tweaking, don’t worry! Editing images in WordPress is easy and doesn’t require a plugin. Most users are unaware of the built-in image editor, which is a fantastic tool to resize, crop, and manipulate images after they’ve been uploaded to your media library. Follow these simple steps to learn how to edit images in WordPress right from your dashboard.

Step 1: Select Your Image

To upload a new image, navigate to Media > Add New. You can either drag and drop your image or click the “Select File” button to choose your image. Alternatively, you can use an image you already have by going to Media > Library and selecting an image from there. Click on the image title to open it.

Step 2: Open The Editor

Once you’ve chosen an image and opened it, you should see a page similar to this one. From here, you can give your image a title, captions, alt text, and description. But what we’re interested in is the “Edit Image” button just below the image preview so you can start to edit images in WordPress.

Step 3: Edit Your Image

When the editor opens, you’ll see a few options to alter your image.


To crop the image, simply use your mouse cursor to set your crop selection. You can adjust the cropping size by dragging and dropping the edges of your selection. Once you’re happy with the cropping border, just click on the icon to crop your image to its new size.

Rotate Counter-Clockwise

Use this option to rotate your image counter-clockwise. Each click will rotate the image 90 degrees (or a quarter turn) to the left.

Rotate Clockwise

Use this option to rotate your image clockwise. Each click will rotate the image 90 degrees (or a quarter turn) to the right.

Flip Vertical

Flip your image vertically, so the bottom of the image will now be at the top.

Flip Horizontal

Flip your image horizontally, so the left side of the image will now be on the right.

Undo Edit

Click to undo any changes you’ve made. Click back one change at a time.

Redo Edit

Click to redo a change you’ve undone. Click forward one change at a time.

Scale Image

Use the scale image option to proportionally resize your image. This is a great tool if you like the image but just need it to be a certain number of pixels or wide or tall. Just type in the pixels you want (width x height) and click the “Scale” button to resize.

Crop Image

In addition to the drag and drop cropping tool, you can also use this section to crop your image to a specific dimension. Enter in your cropping ratio (width by height). Then hold down shift as you click and drag to make your cropping selection. As you drag your cursor, the crop selection size in pixels will be displayed below the ratio you set. You can also set your aspect ratio after you have already made your cropping selection.

Thumbnail Settings

The last image edit option is the thumbnail settings. You can choose to apply your changes to all variations of the image, just the thumbnail, or everything except the thumbnail.

Save Your Changes

Don’t forget to save! When you edit images in WordPress, you must save, or else you’ll lose your changes. You don’t want to have to go back and redo all your edits, do you?


Just in case you are an indecisive person or if you accidentally edited the wrong image, there is a built-in WordPress safety net. After you’ve saved your changes, you will be taken back to the media item page. Just click on the edit button again. You will now notice a new option for “Restore Image” just to the right of the image preview. Click this button, and your image (and its thumbnail) will be reverted back to the way it was originally.

Advanced Image Editing Options

If you want more advanced options to edit images in WordPress, like shape overlays, added text, or image filters, then the WP Pro Image Editor Plugin is just right. Simply install this premium plugin to have added image editing options similar to Canva or Photoshop built right into your dashboard.

Wrapping Up

Now that you know how to use all the WordPress image edit features and options, go try it out! It’s a super handy and useful tool when adding images to posts or pages and can even save you a few seconds (compared to opening up image editor software/apps on your computer). And once you’re done, give some of these image optimization tips a try. Do you have any other tips to edit images in WordPress? Or any questions? Leave a comment below – we’d love to hear from you.

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