Insert image

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Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 2.5. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version of Moodle may be available here: Insert image.

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This page will assist a new user in mastering the Picture insert icon.png insert image tool. This tool creates HTML code for the user. The Image Icon on the HTML editor's toolbar brings up this popup window. We should mention here that JPG, GIF and PNG files are recognized Moodle images file types.

Moodle 2.0 has changed the insert/edit image tool interface and added more features.

Table of Contents

Insert/Edit image in Moodle 2.0

The process for inserting an image is different from earlier versions. First selecting the file uses the new File bank system with its File picker. Second there are more features which have been placed on the top of the insert/edit window. These hold all of the previous features described below.

After clicking on the "Insert/Edit image" icon you will be ready to start.

Minimum steps

  1. Click on the Insert image icon
  2. Click on "Find or upload and image.." . This is the Insert/edit image popup window tool.
  3. Use File picker to select and existing image or upload a new one.
  4. After selecting the file it will appear in the "Insert/edit image" window
  5. Next put in an image description (alternative text) which will appear when the student moves their mouse over the image.
  6. Insert. You have done the minimum and you will then return text editor tool.


The teacher wanted to add the "Insert/Edit image" icon in a line of text. In the text editor tool, the teacher typed some words, used the insert/edit image tool, inserted their picture and went on adding more text.

HTML Insert Image tool result1.png

Overview of more things you can do

Before saving, or by clicking on the image and the using the insert image icon, you can do other things to the image with the tool. This includes uploading an image into the course file structure, changing the layout, spacing and resizing the displayed image, as well as some file maintenance.

The sections below will cover each of these operations.

General settings

The general tab is the place to start to upload or change the image. It will show the current image location, the image title and give a preview of the image.

General tab in Moodle 2.0
General tab in Moodle 2.0 after an image was added


Appearance settings

The appearance tab is the place to

  • Set alignment (with a generic preview screen to show the position of the picture)
  • Adjust the picture size
  • Surround the picture with vertical and/or horizontal space
  • Create a border
  • Style
Appearance tab in Moodle 2.0


Advanced settings

The advanced tab has many new features in Moodle 2.0

  • Swap images on mouse roll over and mouse roll off. Both use the File picker.
    • When student puts mouse on image it changes to the roll over and will not change unless rolloff is set
    • The rolloff image is what the student sees when the mouse leaves the image. If no rolloff is set, the image does not change.
  • Miscelleous contains more image information
Advanced tab in Moodle 2.0




The width and height of the displayed image can be adjusted 2 ways. The teacher can click on the image and then grab one of the resizing points along the edge and visually re-size it. Or the teacher can click on the image and then on the . Then go to the appearance tab to set the dimensions.

Example resizing

The teacher has favorite course image that is placed in every activity called "Moodle.jpg". This file was uploaded once and was 240 pixels wide and 60 pixels high. On the first page of a lesson activity the teacher wants the image to be only 120 pixels wide. Using the "Insert/edit image" icon the teacher sets their first dimension box for 120 (width) and the second box (height) at 30.

HTML Insert Image tool. result2.JPG



Alignment and border thickness allow the image to be adjusted in relation to the line of text and place a border around the image. There is a popup window for alignment. "Not set" is the default.

  • HTML toolbar Inser image alignment menu.JPG

When creating content in Moodle, especially web pages, it is often desirable to make your content with images visually appealing. Using the image align dropdown menu (pictured above in the image editor) can help you do this. After uploading and clicking to insert an image, you have the option to align the image in relation to the text. Two most common uses of this align feature are align "left" or align "right".

ImageAlignRight small.jpg
The image above has been aligned to the right of the text so that the text flows around the image.

ImageAlignLeft small.jpg
The image above has been aligned to the left of the text so that the text flows around the image.

Example layout

Here the teacher added a 5 pixel border and aligned the image with the bottom. HTML Insert Image tool. result3.JPG



Horizontal and Vertical refers to the area that surrounds the image. Adding pixels of padding around the image moves text away from the image. See the appearance tab.

Example spacing

Here the teacher added 10 pixels of horizontal spacing to separate the image from the text. HTML Insert Image tool. result4.JPG


Radical example

The teacher decided to play with the image to see what some different effects might have upon the original. HTML Insert Image tool. result5.JPG


Selection or file maintenance

The selection part of the Insert image tool allows the teacher to delete, move, zip,and rename files and folders in a course.

Tips & cautions


  • Don't forget the Insert image tool can edit existing images. Click on the image you want to edit. You will see the corner boxes appear around it that indicates you have selected it. Now click on the Insert image icon on the toolbar.
  • If you are going to use a lot of pictures, consider zipping many of them into 1 file on your computer. Then upload the single zip file to a folder using the course administration block's files icon. This will allow you to unzip them and not have to upload each one separately with the insert image tool.
  • Want to replace an image and keep the same file name? Create the new image on your computer and give it the same name as the old file. Using the Insert image tool, delete the old file, then upload the new file to the same folder. If both the old and new images are the same height and width, you will not need to make any adjustments.
  • The Insert image tool creates HTML code. You can use the HTML toolbar's "Toggle HTML source" icon to see and edit that code.
  • Images can enhance course content. Be careful if you are always reducing the size that the image appears. A 2000x2000px image file reduced to 20x20px will still take as long to load on the screen as the original size. A best practice is to resize the image before you upload it into your course.



  • Images in page content generally works just fine IF nothing is changed in the actual url address of the file. When the image is lost you may see the famous red x, or the alternative text in place of the image. The first thing to do is to refresh your browser, then click on the image and use the insert picture tool again. Go through the steps again of finding the picture in the file structure in the file browser window.
  • Remember if you change your domain name, your moodle folder name, the image link won't work. In some cases, a backup and restore the course as a new copy or on another server, the link might be broken.
  • If you shorten the URL to:
    • /moodle/file.php/5/courseFolder2/pic1.jpg it will work even if your domain is changed, but not if restored as new course.
    • courseFolder2/pic1.jpg it will work even if your course file is backuped and restored as a new course, even on another server.

Remember anyone with the URL can access files there. Files in a specific course generally are restricted to access only from that course.

    • A link like: /moodle/file.php/1/siteFolder2/test.jpg will work, and should even work if the site is mirrored on another server (AND the moodle folder name is not changed).
  • Moral, linking within Moodle is like linking on the internet. Sometimes things change and the teacher is the last to know.


See also