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Remove Featured Image From WordPress Image Gallery

WordPress Offers a Simple Way to Add Gallery Images to Posts + Pages

WordPress Offers a Simple Way to Add Gallery Images to Posts + Pages

WordPress has a simple gallery function built in, it provides a straight forward way to add a gallery of images into your post or page with an auto generated shortcode. It works great for displaying a gallery in one of your posts or pages, but there is one tweak that a lot of people seem to ask about; how do keep my featured image from being displayed as a gallery item?
Before we dive into removing the featured image from your gallery let’s go over how to create a gallery within a WordPress post or page (if you are familiar with this skip to the next part).
Adding a gallery of images is a really easy process in WordPress. Want to see a live example? Check out our iPhone 5 review post, we create a gallery that has 6 images being displayed in 2 rows and 3 columns.

Adding a WordPress Gallery To a Post or Page

To create a WordPress gallery that can be displayed in either a post or page follow these three steps:

  1. Upload images To Media Center.

  3. Compile the images you plan to insert into your gallery.

  5. Configure the gallery settings to your preferences, then click “Insert Gallery” to output the shortcode into your post.

Your gallery is now complete, the shortcode WordPress generated should similar to this:

    [<span>gallery link="file" columns="2" orderby="rand"</span>]

Removing The Featured Image From Your Gallery

The WordPress Gallery doesn’t allow you to automatically exclude the featured image from displaying. Many theme’s display a featured image in your loop; and having the same featured image appear in multiple places can be repetitive. To build image galleries that exclude your featured image, you’ll need to add some new code to your functions.php file (if you’re using a standard WordPress theme you will want to create a child theme first).

Add this code to your functions.php file

Add the following code to your functions.php file. You can access it via ftp: **yoursite**/themes/**yourthemename**/functions.php

        function exclude_thumbnail_from_gallery($null, $attr)
        if (!$thumbnail_ID = get_post_thumbnail_id())
        return $null; // no point carrying on if no thumbnail ID

        // temporarily remove the filter, otherwise endless loop!
        remove_filter('post_gallery', 'exclude_thumbnail_from_gallery');

        // pop in our excluded thumbnail
        if (!isset($attr['exclude']) || empty($attr['exclude']))
        $attr['exclude'] = array($thumbnail_ID);
        elseif (is_array($attr['exclude']))
        $attr['exclude'][] = $thumbnail_ID;

        // now manually invoke the shortcode handler
        $gallery = gallery_shortcode($attr);

        // add the filter back
        add_filter('post_gallery', 'exclude_thumbnail_from_gallery', 10, 2);

        // return output to the calling instance of gallery_shortcode()
        return $gallery;
    add_filter('post_gallery', 'exclude_thumbnail_from_gallery', 10, 2);

Credit for the following code goes to member TheDeadMedic.


Did this WordPress Tip Work for you?

Did this post help you use your your image gallery more effectively? Do you have any suggestions or better ways to automatically exclude a featured image in an image gallery? Let us know what you think, and leave us a comment.


By John Horne – December 3rd, 2012.

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