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I am trying to change the checkboxes for the terms on the backend to radiobuttons. I found this topic: Altering the appearance of custom taxonomy inputs however wich helped me doing this. However, this will turn ALL terms checkboxes to radio buttons.

Is it possible to apply this only for one taxonomy?

My code:

function mysite_add_meta_boxes($post_type, $post) {
function mysite_dbx_post_sidebar() {
  $html = ob_get_clean();
  $html = str_replace('"checkbox"','"radio"',$html);
  echo $html;


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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

However, this will turn ALL terms checkboxes to radio buttons.

Not only that, it'll turn any checkbox in a meta box - not ideal!

Instead, let's specifically target the wp_terms_checklist() function, which is used to generate the list of checkboxes across the admin (including quick edit).

 * Use radio inputs instead of checkboxes for term checklists in specified taxonomies.
 * @param   array   $args
 * @return  array
function wpse_139269_term_radio_checklist( $args ) {
    if ( ! empty( $args['taxonomy'] ) && $args['taxonomy'] === 'category' /* <== Change to your required taxonomy */ ) {
        if ( empty( $args['walker'] ) || is_a( $args['walker'], 'Walker' ) ) { // Don't override 3rd party walkers.
            if ( ! class_exists( 'WPSE_139269_Walker_Category_Radio_Checklist' ) ) {
                 * Custom walker for switching checkbox inputs to radio.
                 * @see Walker_Category_Checklist
                class WPSE_139269_Walker_Category_Radio_Checklist extends Walker_Category_Checklist {
                    function walk( $elements, $max_depth, $args = array() ) {
                        $output = parent::walk( $elements, $max_depth, $args );
                        $output = str_replace(
                            array( 'type="checkbox"', "type='checkbox'" ),
                            array( 'type="radio"', "type='radio'" ),

                        return $output;

            $args['walker'] = new WPSE_139269_Walker_Category_Radio_Checklist;

    return $args;

add_filter( 'wp_terms_checklist_args', 'wpse_139269_term_radio_checklist' );

We hook onto the wp_terms_checklist_args filter, then implement our own custom "walker" (a family of classes used to generate hierarchical lists). From there, it's a simply string replace of type="checkbox" with type="radio" if the taxonomy is whatever we've configured it to match (in this case "category").

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Beware, this is a great answer but poses an issue for Quick Edit. While it does transform quick edit checkboxes into radio buttons it doesn't select the checked radio, it instead clears the list. If you quick-edit you have to check the category each time otherwise it gets removed. –  Howdy_McGee Jun 2 at 18:02

You can use the meta_box_cb parameter of the register_taxonomy function to define your own function for the meta_box. With the help of this article I have created this snippet:

function YOUR_TAXONOMY_NAME_meta_box($post, $meta_box_properties){
  $taxonomy = $meta_box_properties['args']['taxonomy'];
  $tax = get_taxonomy($taxonomy);
  $terms = get_terms($taxonomy, array('hide_empty' => 0));
  $name = 'tax_input[' . $taxonomy . ']';
  $postterms = get_the_terms( $post->ID, $taxonomy );
  $current = ($postterms ? array_pop($postterms) : false);
  $current = ($current ? $current->term_id : 0);
<div id="taxonomy-<?php echo $taxonomy; ?>" class="categorydiv">
  <ul id="<?php echo $taxonomy; ?>-tabs" class="category-tabs">
    <li class="tabs"><a href="#<?php echo $taxonomy; ?>-all"><?php echo $tax->labels->all_items; ?></a></li>

  <div id="<?php echo $taxonomy; ?>-all" class="tabs-panel">
    <input name="tax_input[<?php echo $taxonomy; ?>][]" value="0" type="hidden">            
    <ul id="<?php echo $taxonomy; ?>checklist" data-wp-lists="list:symbol" class="categorychecklist form-no-clear">
<?php   foreach($terms as $term){
      $id = $taxonomy.'-'.$term->term_id;?>
      <li id="<?php echo $id?>"><label class="selectit"><input value="<?php echo $term->term_id; ?>" name="tax_input[<?php echo $taxonomy; ?>][]" id="in-<?php echo $id; ?>"<?php if( $current === (int)$term->term_id ){?> checked="checked"<?php } ?> type="radio"> <?php echo show_symbol( $term->name ); ?></label></li>
<?php   }?>

To make use of this meta_box, you have to pass this parameter to the register_taxonomy function:

'meta_box_cb'                => 'YOUR_TAXONOMY_NAME_meta_box'

The beauty of this code is that you have to pass in no parameters at all, because it relies on the parameters passed to it by the register_taxonomy function. These are the post object and an array containing info on the metabox itself.

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