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Inline Images

Inline Images appear within the text of your book. Use one to add any kind of picture to your book: a historical photograph to your memoir, a map of the world in your fantasy novel, or an illustration to a story for young readers.

Adding an Inline Image

To add an Inline Image to your book, place the cursor in the Text Editor where you’d like the image to be inserted, then use the Text Feature menu to select the image to add (see more about accepted file formats below):

Vellum's Text Feature menu

Image Properties

Once added, you can control the layout and other properties of your image by selecting the image, then clicking to open the Image Properties popover:

The Properties popover for an Inline Image

Because these settings determine how your image is included in your ebook, their effect is only visible within the Preview.

Kind affects the appearance of the image, using the dedicated carousels for Photograph and for Portrait in the Styles pane. See the Kind section below for details.
Size / Flow
Size and Flow affect how large your image will appear and how your text will flow around it. See examples below.
Use this to add a description for accessibility
Use this section to make your image act as a Web Link, Store Link, or Internal Link


Use Kind to change the final appearance of your image based on the following categories:

Use this for pictures that should be styled using the Photograph Style Carousel in the Styles pane.
Use this for any type of figure, chart, or graphic. Figures always receive a simple, gray outline.
This category can be used, for instance, by images in the About the Author element. They will be styled using the Portrait Style Carousel in the Styles pane.
Images of this kind don't receive any styling at all.
Book Cover
Use this when adding covers for books that you’d like to feature. Images of this type always receive a drop shadow.

Note: Because Photographs are, by default, styled without any borders or shadows, initially they may not look any different in the Preview than an image with Kind set to Freestanding.

Size and Flow

Use Size and Flow to control how your image relates to accompanying text.

Flow controls are available only when you choose one of the two smallest size options for your image, and determine how your image will be positioned in a field of text. Below are some example combinations of these two controls:

A large, centered image in Vellum’s Preview A medium-sized image floating to the left of text in Vellum’s Preview A small image floating to the right of text in Vellum’s Preview
Size control for a large, centered Inline Image Size and Flow controls for a medium-sized Inline Image that floats on the left Size and Flow controls for a small Inline Image that floats on the right

You may notice that, on devices where there isn't much horizontal space, flow left and right do not take effect. Vellum does this automatically to make sure that your images look great even on small devices, like iPhones.

A Kindle Fire displaying an image where flow takes effect, and an iPhone where it does not

Separate Page

When your image is one of the largest two size options, the flow controls will be replaced with the On a separate page checkbox. Turning this on will cause your image to be placed on its own page.

The separate page checkbox in the Inline Image Properties popover


An image’s description contributes to the accessibility of your ebook. The description (sometimes referred to as “alt text”) is used by screen reading software to describe an image to a reader who might not be able to see it.

It is recommended that you make your descriptions meaningful to a reader unable to see the image and compatible with the surrounding text. ”A lighthouse is perched atop a grassy hill” makes for a better description than ”Lighthouse.”

Apple Books guidelines state that, unless an image is used solely for decoration, an accompanying description ”must be included.”

Images without descriptions will be displayed with a warning.


You can add a caption to any Inline Image:

Vellum’s Preview showing an Inline Image with a caption

Captions are an integral part of an Inline Image: they will stay attached as you move your image within the Text Editor, and in your ebook they will be formatted to correspond to your image’s Size and Flow.

With an image selected, use the nearby gear menu to add a caption:

The gear menu for an Inline Image

The caption will appear beneath the image in the editor. Click to edit it:

Editing a caption in Vellum’s Text Editor

You can customize the appearance of captions in your book in the Styles pane.

Edition-Specific Images

You may find that some images only make sense in your print edition, such as a QR code that links to the next book in your series.

An example of a QR code as an edition-specific Inline Image

You can use Include In, found in the gear menu, to indicate that an image should only be included in your ebook or print editions.

The Include In submenu in an Inline Image’s gear menu

When an inline image is edition-specific, you’ll see an icon that indicates whether it is ebook-specific or print-specific:

The edition-specific print icon

Accepted File Formats

As with the image you use for your cover, you can use a variety of file formats (such as png, tiff, or jpeg) for Inline Images. At generation time, Vellum automatically converts images to the proper format for each platform.


Especially after you first add it, you may find your image displayed with a Warning icon:

An Inline Image badged with a warning icon

A warning will appear for one of two reasons:

Open the Image Properties popover to see more details or to add a description.

Page Breaks

As you preview your ebook in Vellum, you may encounter blank space on the page before your image is shown. This is because ebook reading apps will avoid splitting an image across two pages.

Two pages in an ebook: one showing an empty space because the image on the following page won’t fit

The myriad combinations of screen size and font size makes this impossible to avoid in all cases. You can, however use the Flow options to let the text flow around small and medium-sized images.

File Size

Including inline images in your book will increase the size of generated ebook files, which can affect your royalties when selling through Amazon.

See Kindle Delivery Costs for more information.

Coneflower Colorburst photograph courtesy of Michelle Jensen.