When you search for an item in the WordPress media library, the only fields used to determine a match are the Title and Description fields. If you have hundreds of images and media files with vague file names or blank fields, it’s nearly impossible to find an image. Media Search Enhanced is a new plugin created by Yoren Chang that enables all fields for a media item to be searchable. With the plugin activated you can:
- Search through all fields in the Media Library, including the: title, caption, alternative text and description.
- Search Taxonomies for Media, including the name, slug and description fields.
- Search media file name.
There are no options to configure and it works out of the box. I tested the plugin by using specific text in each field. I then searched for the text in the media library. The results are accurate and pointed me to the correct media file.
Media Search Enhanced gives users a reason to populate all of the fields attached to an item. By adding information to each field, the chances you’ll find the file you’re looking for increase. Some of the features Chang plans on incorporating into a future release include:
- Searching the media file name
- Adding a result snippet column showing text snippets around the found keyword
- Searching Media Categories, Tags or Custom Taxonomies
One of the features on Chang’s to-do list may end up in the core of WordPress. There is a ticket open on WordPress trac that, if committed, would enable users to search the media library by file name.
Media Search Enhanced is simple to use and once it’s activated, you’ll forget it’s installed. If you’re having a hard time locating items in the WordPress media library, give this plugin a shot.
What is the one feature to the WordPress media library you’d like to see added or enhanced?
I rarely need to search my image library so I think an even better use would be to allow users to search for images by caption. I’ve been looking for that for a long time.