OK, I have looked and read quite a few message boards about this problem and I can not seem to find an answer.

I am uploading thousands of photos for a photographer and using the WP Gallery shortcode. I do not want to manually input captions for every thumbnail, I want the image title to automatically populate that area.

How do I modify the Gallery output to make this change?

edit here is a link to a gallery I have up. The image titles are currently manually input into the caption field. http://maryannerussell.com/afsp/

2 Answers 2


The quick & dirty way, to set the title as caption, would be to use SQL (untested):

UPDATE wp_posts 
SET post_excerpt = post_title 
        post_excerpt    = '' 
    AND post_type       = 'attachment' 
    AND post_status     = 'inherit'
    AND post_mime_type  = 'image/jpeg'
    AND ID              = 123

Here we target the jpeg image with ID 123 and empty caption.

Note I added the ID = 123 and post_mime_type = 'image/jpeg' as extra restrictions that you can adjust while testing. Also remember to adjust the table name of wp_posts.

WARNING: Backup your database before testing!

If you're looking for a dynamic way, then my answer here might be related.

It might also be possible for you to add the caption while uploading your images:

 * Automatically set the title as caption, when uploading an attachment.
 * @see https://wordpress.stackexchange.com/a/188708/26350
add_filter( 'wp_insert_attachment_data', function( $data, $postarr )
    // Let's target only the uploading process and not the updating of attachments:
    if( empty( $data['post_excerpt'] ) && isset( $postarr['ID'] ) && 0 == $postarr['ID'] )
        $data['post_excerpt'] = $data['post_title'];

    return $data;
}, 10, 2 );    
  • The quick and dirty way just saved me many hours of work tonight, thank you! It solved my problem for today. I am however looking for a dynamic way to solve the problem permanently. Ultimately I will not be uploading her image galleries any longer, someone who will not have access to running SQL will. I am hoping to find a hook or a function change that can always display the image name in place of the caption.
    – Donovan
    May 19, 2015 at 2:11
  • Great to hear that. How are you importing your images? @Donovan
    – birgire
    May 19, 2015 at 17:31
  • I am using the wordpress media import.
    – Donovan
    May 19, 2015 at 18:01
  • Please check out my updated the answer @Donovan
    – birgire
    May 20, 2015 at 12:02
  • this does add the image title as the caption but leaves the title blank, resulting in no image showing up in the gallery. postimg.org/image/hiyimfldx postimg.org/image/qs0owju9x
    – Donovan
    May 20, 2015 at 16:22

There is a filter called post_gallery which allows you to create your own html for your gallery. You could copy and edit the code from the gallery_shortcode function, (which creates the gallery code? and use that in the filter, with titles included/

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