Function and usage of format_for_editor() in wordpress


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    The format_for_editor() function in WordPress is designed to prepare text content for display and editing in the WordPress editor. Here's a detailed explanation of its usage and functionality:

    Function Signature

    format_for_editor( string $text, string $default_editor = null ): string


    • Purpose: The main purpose of format_for_editor() is to format text in a way that it's suitable for display and manipulation within the WordPress editor.
    • HTML Entity Encoding: This function is particularly important for handling special HTML characters like <, >, and &. In a textarea element, browsers treat all content as plain text. To ensure these characters are displayed correctly and don't interfere with the HTML structure, they are converted to their respective HTML entities (&lt;, &gt;, and &amp;).


    • Filter Application: The function applies the filter 'format_for_editor' to the text. This allows for additional custom formatting or processing through WordPress's filter mechanism.
    • Empty Text Handling: If the $text parameter is empty, the filter 'format_for_editor' is still applied, but to an empty string. This ensures consistent processing even when there's no actual text content.


    1. $text (string, required): This parameter is the actual text content that needs to be formatted for the editor.
    2. $default_editor (string, optional): Specifies the default editor for the current user. This can be either 'html' or 'tinymce', or any other editor that might be configured in WordPress. The default value is null, which lets WordPress decide the best editor based on the user's settings and context.

    Return Value

    • Type: string
    • Description: Returns the formatted text after the 'format_for_editor' filter is applied. This text is now ready to be used within the WordPress editor.

    Sample Usage

    Here’s an example of how you might use format_for_editor():

    $text_to_edit = "<div>Sample & Text</div>";
    $formatted_text = format_for_editor($text_to_edit, 'html');
    // Use $formatted_text in the editor

    In this example, $text_to_edit contains some HTML and an ampersand character. format_for_editor() will process this text, converting special characters to HTML entities and applying any additional formatting required for the specified editor ('html' in this case). The result is stored in $formatted_text, which can then be used in the WordPress editor.

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