| Drupal

scaldUntil now, when people asked us how to handle media in Drupal, we recommended a couple of solutions:

  • A WYSIWYG module with the IMCE module
  • The Media module

However, lately we've started to experiment with Scald which promises to be a really interesting and powerful option.

Here's our quick-start guide to help you start exploring the power of Scald.

Step #1. Download and enable

  • You'll also see 6 providers. Scald can handle images, audio files and video files, depending on which of these modules you enable. If you want more providers, you can download them via this page.

Step #2. Add Scald to Drupal fields

Scald needs to be enabled for each Drupal field we want to use it with.

  • Go to Structure > Content types.
  • I'm going to edit my body field for the Basic page, so next I'll click "Basic page" and then click "edit" next to Body.
  • In the settings for the body field you'll see 4 different Scald setting. At least make sure to check the first two boxes and to change "Scald default context" to "Full page".

Step 3. Upload media

  • Go to Add content > Basic Page.
  • You'll now see a toolbar on the right-hand side of the site. The buttons are:
    • Library
    • Audio
    • Video
    • Flash
    • Image

I'm going to add an image, so I'll click the last icon marked:

  • You'll now see a pop-up screen when you can upload an image.
  • Follow the prompts through and click Finish.

Step 4. Insert media

  • Click the Library icon as marked:
  • You'll now see the image you uploaded.
  • Click "Insert" next to your image.
  • You'll now see a shortcode appear inside the Body field as in the image below:
  • Click Save and the image will show in your content:

More about Scald

One of the great things about Scald is that it treats each media item as an entity (or Atom in Scald terms).

Using Scald you can add all fields or features to media that would to the other content on your site.

One very practical example of this is that you can (by default) add authors and taxonomy terms to your media:


Go to Structure > Scald and you'll see that each type of media (Audio, Video, Flash, Image) can have it's own settings.

Let's see one example of how useful this can be:

  • Go ahead and click on the "contexts" link next to one media type.

You'll now see a series of different contexts and display formats:

  • Title
  • Full Page
  • Editor Representation
  • Preview Representation
  • Library Item

This allows you to control how the media is shown across different areas of your site.


Scald also has a powerful search feature that allows you to drill down through a large library of media:


There is much more to Scald than we've been able to describe in this short tutorial, but hopefully we've been able to open your eyes a little to potential available with Scald.

About the author

Steve is the founder of OSTraining. Originally from the UK, he now lives in Sarasota in the USA. Steve's work straddles the line between teaching and web development.