You can filter the
title of each nav menu item. Unfortunately, the filter is named
'the_title' – if we just add a simple filter for it, we may catch strings outside of nav menus too.
So we need a second function to switch our nav menu title filter on when the menu class starts and off when it ends.
Let’s start with the second function:
add_filter( 'wp_nav_menu_args', 'wpse_14037_filter_switch' );
add_filter( 'wp_nav_menu', 'wpse_14037_filter_switch' );
* Switches the registration of out title filter on and off.
* @param mixed $input Array or string, we just pass it through.
* @return mixed
function wpse_14037_filter_switch( $input )
$func = 'wp_nav_menu_args' == current_filter() ? 'add_filter' : 'remove_filter';
$func( 'the_title', 'wpse_14037_filter_title' );
'wp_nav_menu_args' is called in
wp_nav_menu() very early. When
wpse_14037_filter_switch() is running in this context (
current_filter) we turn the title filter on.
'wp_nav_menu' is called after all item are rendered. Now we turn the title filter off.
Now we need the
wpse_14037_filter_title() we just registered:
* Adds a <span class="partNUMBER"> to each word of a menu item title.
* @param string $title
* @return string
function wpse_14037_filter_title( $title )
$title = trim( $title );
$parts = explode( ' ', $title );
$out = array ();
$i = 1;
foreach ( $parts as $part )
$out = '<span class="part' . $i++ . '">' . $part . '</span>';
return join( ' ', $out );
I decided to make the function more generic than you wanted it. Other people may want to style the third word … or the 15th.
To address the second word in your stylesheet just use the new class:
/* Your menu may have the class 'menu'. */