Function and usage of esc_html_x() in wordpress


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    The esc_html_x() function in WordPress is a specialized function designed for internationalizing text strings, particularly when they need to be both translated and safely used in HTML output. This function is a part of WordPress's extensive internationalization (i18n) framework, which enables developers to build themes and plugins that can be easily translated into different languages.

    Function Signature

    esc_html_x( string $text, string $context, string $domain = 'default' ): string

    Function Description

    • Purpose: esc_html_x() translates a string with a specific context for the translators, and then escapes the translated output for safe use in HTML. This is important to avoid cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities.

    • Behavior: If there is no available translation for the string, or if the specified text domain isn’t loaded, the function will return the original text but escaped to ensure it’s safe for HTML output.


    1. $text (string, required): The text string to be translated. This is the string that you want to internationalize.

    2. $context (string, required): Context information for the translators. This is crucial when the same string might have different translations based on its context.

    3. $domain (string, optional): The text domain. It's a unique identifier used to retrieve translated strings, usually pertaining to a specific theme or plugin. The default value is 'default'.

    Return Value

    • Type: string
    • Description: The function returns the translated text. If translation is not available, it returns the original text, but escaped for HTML.

    Sample Usage

    Here's an example of how esc_html_x() might be used in a WordPress theme or plugin:

    echo esc_html_x( 'Read More', 'button text', 'my-text-domain' );

    In this example:

    • 'Read More' is the text to be translated.
    • 'button text' provides context, indicating that this string is used as text for a button.
    • 'my-text-domain' is the text domain specific to the theme or plugin.

    This function is particularly useful when the same string might have different meanings in different contexts, requiring distinct translations. The use of esc_html_x() ensures both accurate translation based on context and secure rendering in HTML output.

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