Kentico CMS 4.1 - Insertion of images and media was never easier

One of the new things in version 4.1 is the improved usability of the WYSIWYG editor for easier insertion of images, video, flash and links into the page. Let's have a look a little bit closer...I'm sure you will like it.

1) WYSIWYG editor - How it was in version 4.0
2) WYSIWYG editor - What we did in version 4.1
3) Media selection in version 4.1 
4) Summary

WYSIWYG editor - How it was in version 4.0

Before introducing the improvements I would like to remind you of using WYSIWYG editor in previous versions. The insertion of images, video, flash and links was enabled using the following dialogs:

WYSIWYG editor toolbar in version 4.0

1) Insert image - inserting images from Content or Media libraries
2) Insert flash - inserting flash from Content or Media libraries
3) Insert link - inserting links to documents from Content or links to files from Media libraries

In fact, each of the insertion above was done using two separate dialogs. After the specified icon in the toolbar was clicked the standard WYSIWYG editor dialog was opened. Another dialog was opened after clicking the Browse server button - that dialog were used for selecting file or document managed by CMS. These two separate dialogs made the insertion quite complicated and slow. Also uploading new files wasn't as straightforward as it could be. See the schema bellow:

Insertion using old dialogs red line      - inserting image/flash/link
green line  - uploading new file
Open in full size  

4) Insert media - inserting images, audio, video and flash from Media libraries

This dialog was opened immediately after the specified icon in the toolbar was clicked however the dialog was really simple without any additional functionality (only width and height parameters were available). Plus all files were inserted as simple inline control which was displayed as text without any preview. See the schema bellow:

Insertion using old dialogs red line      - inserting image or media from Media libraries
green line  - uploading new file
Open in full size  

Main disadvantages of the old dialogs

  • too many different dialogs
  • too complicated and slow insertion
  • too complicated and slow upload of new files
  • poor possibilities of the Insert media dialog
  • no view modes
  • no file search
  • location the last file was inserted from was not remembered so the user should navigate there again when inserting another file from the same location

WYSIWYG editor - What we did in version 4.1

Simply, we threw old dialogs away and created new dialogs from scratch. Our goals were to:
  • simplify and speed up the process of insertion
  • simplify and speed up the process of new file upload
  • create unified dialogs with improved UI and functionality
As the result the following dialogs were created and built-in into the WYSIWYG editor:

WYSIWYG editor toolbar in version 4.1
  • Insert image or media - replaces Insert image, Insert flash and Insert media dialogs
  • Insert link  - replaces old Insert link dialog
  • Quickly insert image - completely new dialog
  • Insert YouTube video - completely new dialog

1) Insert image or media

This dialog allows you to insert images, flash, audio or video into the page. It means the dialog can manage insertion of all media and you don't have to think which dialog to choose any more. See the dialog's overview bellow:

'Insert image or media' dialog
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You can select the files from all available sources:
  • Document attachments (new in version 4.1) - offers attachments of the current document
  • Content - offers documents stored in the content tree
  • Media libraries - offers media files stored in Media libraries
  • Web - enables you to insert the content which is not handled by your web application
To make the file selection much more comfortable and easier the dialog allows you to switch between the different views which give you different level of details of the listed files, following views are available:
List view Tiles view Thumbnails view
List view Tiles view  Thumbnails view

The process of insertion is really simple. After selecting a specified file in the current view you can see its preview and specify its properties. When you are finished you can click 'Insert button' to paste it into the text. No more dialogs are opened like in previous version, all is handled by single dialog. Also uploading new files is faster and easier. See the schema bellow:

'Insert image or media' dialog red line      - inserting image/audio/video/flash
green line  - uploading new file
Open in full size  


2) Insert link

This dialog allows you to insert links to the different content like document attachments (Attachments tab), documents (Content tab), media files (Media libraries tab) and web content (Web tab). In fact the dialog is very the same as the 'Insert image or media' dialog because we know that the unified UI makes the work easier than working with many different dialogs. The only difference is in the properties which are available when some file is selected. Another thing is the possibility to insert the mail-to links (E-mail tab) and links to anchors (Anchor tab) on the current page. See the dialog's overview bellow:

'Insert link' dialog
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3) Quickly insert image

Imagine the following situation: You are currently writing your article and you have already prepared all required images you would like to use. All you want is to paste them into the text. This is the right time for the completely new dialog 'Quickly insert image': 
  1. Click the 'Quickly insert image' icon in the WYSIWYG editor toolbar, 'Browse dialog' is opened.
  2. Locate the image on your local disk and click 'Open button'.
  3. Image is inserted into the text in original size. At the same time the image is automatically uploaded and stored as attachment of the current document.
  4. Optional: Of course, additionally you can modify its properties like dimensions or style, or you can add some link etc.
Quickly insert image red line      - inserting image
green line  - uploading image as attachment of the current
                    document (automatically)
Open in full size  
Just few clicks and the image is both placed in your text and uploaded into your web application, isn't it great?  

4) Insert YouTube video

I think many of you have already used YouTube as the place where you can upload your videos and show them to your friends and to other people all around the world. In version 4.1 you can use the advantage of the built-in dialog 'Insert YouTube video' which helps you to paste any YouTube video into your page.

How it works

All you need is the URL of the YouTube video you wish to insert into your page. That URL must be pasted into the URL field in the dialog. Then the dialog provides you with the possibility to configure YouTube video player parameters. Of course, you can see the video player preview before it is inserted into the page. See the schema bellow:

'Insert YouTube video' dialog
Open in full size

Media selection in version 4.1

One more thing I would like to mention is a new type of field which can be used in your document types for media selection. It is Media selection control which uses that new dialog for image and media selection. It means you can easily use any file from all sources (from Document attachments, Content and Media libraries) in your document types. Following example demonstrates how you can achieve this:

1) Create your custom document type called "Test document type" with 3 fields which enable content editor to select image, video and document. I have created ItemPhoto, ItemVideo, ItemDocument fields of type Media selection:

Document type fields

2) Switch to Transformations tab while editing properties of your custom document type "Test document type" and specify its new transformation as follows:


3) Create a new document of type "Test document type" and specify its data on Form tab:

Document form data


4) Use some of the viewers (e.g.: CMS Repeater web part) to display data of your new document using your defined transformation:

Document preview

As you can see the control MediaControl is able to identify the type of content from its URL property automatically. It is recognized according to the following URL parameters:

width = width of the image or media player
height = height of the image or media player
ext = extension of the file (= type of media) 

These parameters are automatically attached to the selected file URL when selecting the media using the Media selection field:

Media selection


I hope this post will help you to identify the main improvements concerning the insertion of images and media faster than looking for updated chapters in our documentation, however I recommend you to go through the WYSIWYG editor documentation to get the deeper knowledge of all its improvements.

Then I recommend you to test the version 4.1 to touch the improvements by yourself. You will be really surprised how document attachments
together with new dialogs in WYSIWYG editor can speed up and simplify the use of the additional content like images and media in your web projects.

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Petr Vozak

Technology Partnership Product Owner at Kentico. He works with technology partners to enrich the Kentico product offering and bring greater value to those using our products.


Steve commented on

This is a dramatic improvement over V4.0, and came just in time for a project that will really benefit from it. Many thanks.

One thing I just noticed, is that if you insert several images on a page, then rename the page (so that its URL changes) then of course all the links to the attached images are broken, and no images display.

Is easy to fix by editing the links in source view, but this could throw a Content Editor who may not understand what has happened?



petr.vozak-kentico commented on

Hi Jeroen, I am happy that you like Media libraries. I have a good news for you. We are currently working on replacing media libraries' UI with the same UI like in the new dialog, it means you will be able to switch between the views while managing the files etc. As for your question: Unfortunatelly, it is not possible to select group of images in the dialog. In some of the next version we only plan to extend image Behavior tab with one more option: "Open larger size in Lightbox". After clicking such image Lightbox dialog with image larger size will be displayed.

Jeroen commented on

Hi Petr, thanks for the quick response. Yes that is what I meant. I am a big fan of the media library and I used the new media dialog to add images to the library. When I did this and noticed that I needed to update it with a newer version I had to switch to the tools section and replace the file in the media library. Overall I really like the idea of having 1 central position for handling media.

I do have another question: is it possible to select a group of images in the media dialog and insert them for example as a lightbox gallery?

petr.vozak-kentico commented on

Hi Jeroen, thank you for your feedback. Do you mean updating/deleting images and other files directly from the dialog? You are allowed to do so only with document attachments (Attachments tab). Other files including documents of type cms.file and media files from media libraries are read only. You can manage (update, delete, copy, move, ...) media files in CMS Desk -> Tools -> Media libraries and documents of type cms.file in CMS Desk -> Content like other document types. Anyway, we will consider improving new dialogs in this way in some of the next version.

Jeroen commented on

Cool but is it possible to update/delete images? commented on

COOL ! Cannot wait to try this out, the current method of inserting images etc was always (fopr me anyway) a little long winded, will give it a test right now ;-)