The media Settings screen (Figure 3-12) allows you to determine the maximum dimensions of your uploaded images and videos. When you upload images to be embedded in your posts and pages, WordPress generates several copies of the image at different sizes: thumbnail, medium, and large, in addition to the original size. You'll be able to include the smaller sizes in your post and link to the original if your image would otherwise be too large to fit in your layout, or if you don't want to make your visitors download the full size until they've seen a preview. Set your default image dimensions based on your site's layout: if you're using a fixed-width layout, and your post area will be 600 pixels wide, use 600 as the max width for your large size. If your image is small to begin with, only those sizes smaller than the original will be generated.

Note that the default settings for thumbnails result in a 150-pixel square, even though (as the screen says) "normally thumbnails are proportional." Square thumbnails are ideal for magazine-style themes, but you might find that your photos are badly cropped using these settings. If you decide later that square thumbnails are not ideal, you can change this setting. If you need to, you can then use the Regenerate Thumbnails plugin to correct the thumbnails for images you've already uploaded.

Like images, movie dimensions can be limited using the maximum sizes specified on this page. In addition, you can choose to turn off WordPress's media auto-discovery, which will attempt to embed videos based on URLs found in your post or page content.

Figure 3-12. The Media Settings screen
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