By David - Posted on 02 October 2008
Current Drupal version compatibility: 5, 6
WYSIWYG Editor compatibility: TinyMCE, FCKEditor, WYMEditor, Whizzywig, BUEditor


  • If you prefer to work with images as just normal "files" as you would on your own computer's file system and nothing more, then IMCE is a good choice. It treats images as normal "files" and lets you upload and organize them in directories within a user interface similar to Windows explorer, Mac's Finder, etc.
  • IMCE is not only an image module - it also allows you to upload and browse non-image file types.
  • IMCE can create various thumbnail or other derivative image versions based on the original version of the image you upload. You can pre-define a variety of preset sizes.
  • The user interface for IMCE isn't perfect but it's among the more understandable / easy to use ones (particularly for clients or other end-users of the site). The interface is substantially improved in the Drupal 6 version.
  • IMCE can show actual previews of the images you insert into the content when using some WYSIWYG editors such as TinyMCE and FCKeditor.
  • With IMCE you can insert an unlimited number of images "within" the content of a page, not just attached to the page or next to the content.
  • You can upload groups of images easily into your Drupal site's files directory using FTP or other methods and they will be immediately available to use within IMCE.
  • Extensible with add-on modules such as:


  • The user interface is improved, but not great. It works best with the Garland theme, while other themes may require some adjustments.
  • Depending on your needs this could be either a benefit or drawback, but since IMCE treats images as just "files" rather than embedding them into Drupal nodes, the versatile features available to Drupal nodes are not available to your images.
  • IMCE uses its own system for scaling/resizing derivative versions of your images, and is not as versatile in this area as the popular Imagecache image-processing module (which is capable of other advanced features such as cropping images, or applying a variety of advanced image processing presets). You can define presets which scale and crop an image to a specific size, but there is no way to make a preset which only scales an image down without cropping it, retaining its original aspect ratio. The only way to scale and maintain aspect ratio is to do it manually using the Resize menu option (type in the width value and the correct value is automatically entered in for the height). Also IMCE cannot currently "auto generate" any derivative images as you upload them (to generate derivative images, a checkbox/link must be manually clicked in the interface either during the upload process or any time after).
  • With IMCE it's not as easy to get an "automatic" Lightbox effect as it is with modules like Imagefield or Image + Image Assist. There has been some progress in this area, but it's too complex for most people to set up quite yet.

Tips and Tricks

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