How to translate galleries with WPML and Justified Image Grid?

Introduction to translation

Translate your site and create multilingual galleries using WPML and Justified Image Grid. Every text that appears on the frontend (even the back-end) is made with the possibility of translation in mind. There are over 1500 strings that can be translated, most of this is the admin area. For example, you can basically rewrite certain labels to your client's language, to make it easier for them. WPML takes care of managing the translation of all texts using a nice interface that is easy to use if you follow this article. The best thing is that you can create multilingual galleries without having to upload the same images multiple times.

What are the requirements for translation?

Please make sure you have the latest version of all plugins at all times. You'll need the following for the complete experience:

  • WPML Multilingual CMS - WPML combines multilingual content authoring with powerful translation management. Obtain a "Multilingual CMS" or "Multilingual CMS Lifetime" version at
  • WPML String Translation - WPML add-on: Allows translating texts in the theme, in other plugins and in the WordPress Admin.
  • WPML Media - Turns the WordPress Media management into multilingual and allows showing the same images on translated galleries.
  • WordPress content (posts, pages, images to translate) and Justified Image Grid v2.3 or newer.
Getting started with translation

Read the getting started guide at WPML first. You need to install the plugins in the above order. Justified Image Grid is ready for translation out of the box.

How to create multilingual galleries?
Translating WordPress media
  1. Check out the workflow with WPML media
  2. Upload a photo to the Media Library: Media >  Add New
  3. Set the image metadata fields such as title in your default base language, such as English.
  4. Switch the current language in the dashboard admin bar (at the top) to another.
  5. Provide the image's information in the other language as well.

Note: WPML does not duplicate the image on the server, so it does not take up extra space! However, it makes a copy of the image in the library as assigns a new, language-specific ID.

Workflow with Justified Image Grid
  1. Create a gallery containing translated content in your post, using your default, main language. Use the Shortcode Editor to do this. Use images attached to the post/page (attribute-less shortcode), IDs or even categories, tags.
  2. When providing the translation in other languages, you can just use the same JIG shortcode with IDs, categories or tags from the default language.

Note: In case you use WordPress galleries without JIG shortcodes you would normally re-create the gallery with the translated images. Just by looking at the WordPress gallery preview in the visual editor, you will only see preview images when the dashboard set to your default language. However, when JIG is taking over WordPress galleries automatically, the translated version appears on the frontend without any extra effort.

In JIG shortcodes:

  • Default language image IDs or categories, tags work for all languages, they show the translated version automatically.
  • Don't use language-specific image IDs or translated categories, tags.
Recent Posts

Justified Image Grid only shows posts that are in the selected language. If a post doesn't have a translation in that language, it is hidden. In other words, you will not see a mixed language Recent Posts grid. Translate (or duplicate to fill, in the meantime) the content you wish to see in other languages.

Translating NextGEN image metadata
  1. Insert a JIG gallery containing NextGEN content into the translated post/page.
  2. Once you view that page at least once, go to WPML > String translation > Select strings within domain and choose plugin_ngg where your captions are prepared.
  3. Provide translation (check the box that says the translation is complete).

Learn more about WPML translation management and translation workflow:

How to translate user-changeable frontend texts of Justified Image Grid?
Admin texts

Go to WPML > String translation > Select strings within domain and choose the admin_texts_plugin_justified-image-grid option. These are the user-changeable settings which you can translate to your desired languages. If you don't see a setting, set a value for it in your default language in JIG settings first.

Shortcode editor

When providing translation for a post or page, you can change settings in the JIG shortcode, just for the translated post/page. This includes user-changeable texts such as the text for Load More button and everything else that may have a global version as well. This allows a more custom and local translation, following the "every instance can be different" mindset of Justified Image Grid.

How to translate built-in strings of Justified Image Grid?
Text on the back-end (admin areas)
  1. Go to WPML > Theme and plugins localization
  2. Choose Translate the theme and plugins using WPML's String Translation and save. Re-visit this page, more options will show up.
  3. Scroll down until Strings in the plugins and check the box next to Justified Image Grid.
  4. Hit Scan the selected plugins for strings at the very bottom.
  5. After it finished scanning, check out the row of JIG again. You'll see a new total for translatable strings (> 1500). Click the View strings that need translation button.
  6. Search for the desired text, then translate it (check the box that says the translation is complete).
  7. You'll only see the change if the WordPress dashboard itself is set to that language, not your WPML language. Go to Users > Your Profile and change your language.
Lightbox texts

It's best to use universal words such as "X" instead of "Close" and "/" instead of "of". Some lightboxes are this way out of the box, others can be set up to be so. Lightboxes get their words from their JavaScript files.


If you wish to create multilingual galleries, it's best to use the WordPress source with WPML and Justified Image Grid. Most of the work happens outside JIG, using WPML's standard media workflow that teaches you how to translate with native WordPress solutions. NextGEN source is also compatible but less convenient to work with. Other image sources are not translatable as they are not managed inside WordPress. To change admin texts and settings on a nice interface you'll need the String Translation module of WPML. Aided with these tools you'll be able to translate just about anything Justified Image Grid shows from WordPress.

Learn more about WPML String Translation and changing plugin strings:

This FAQ entry was posted in Behavior on October 11, 2015