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I'm collecting data via a form plugin and saving that data in form of a post with several custom fields. I then display the content of the post and the custom fields on my post template using...

if( get_post_meta( $post->ID, '_aboutus', true ) ) :                        
    echo '<div class="companyaboutus">' . get_post_meta($post->ID, '_aboutus', true) . '</div>';

The form field for the "About Us" text is a textarea and most contributors add several lines of text into the field. Displaying the content/text via the code above doesn't show any line breaks though - any idea how to preserve the line breaks?

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You could add the CSS white-space: pre-wrap. Check out this answer on StackOverflow – Druzion Jan 17 at 9:45

This could probably help,


This converts the new lines into html <br/> tags

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What I like to do is re-create all the default filters that are applied to the_content by adding the following in functions.php.

 * Recreate the default filters on the_content
 * this will make it much easier to output the meta content with proper/expected formatting
add_filter( 'meta_content', 'wptexturize'        );
add_filter( 'meta_content', 'convert_smilies'    );
add_filter( 'meta_content', 'convert_chars'      );
add_filter( 'meta_content', 'wpautop'            );
add_filter( 'meta_content', 'shortcode_unautop'  );
add_filter( 'meta_content', 'prepend_attachment' );

Then the template code would look like:

if( $about = get_post_meta($post->ID, '_aboutus', true ) ): 
  echo '<div class="companyaboutus">'. apply_filters( 'meta_content', $about ) . '</div>'; 

You could, of course, use the_content but I found that plugins also like to hook into that for displaying sharing buttons and the like and so this method avoids sharing buttons from taking over your page.

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I stuck with the same question and actually tested wpautop(). It worked, e.g.

echo wpautop(get_post_meta($post->ID, '_aboutus', true));

Still, I came around one issue. When sanitizing the user input, don’t use a sanitization method that removed the line breaks before using wpautop :)

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I dont't know which form plugin you use and how it saves data to the database. But I would asume that the linebreaks are saved to the database.

But as you might know, a line break in the source code of a HTML page does not show a line break on the browser. The is a very handy PHP function called nl2br() which will add a
tag for each line break in the user content text.

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This seems to work fine:

<? $source = get_post_meta($post->ID, '_aboutus', true);
$source = explode("\n", $source); ?>
<? for($i = 0;$i<sizeof($source);$i++){ ?>
<? echo $source[$i]; ?><br />
<? } ?>
<? } ?>
<?php if(get_post_meta($post->ID, '_aboutus', true)):                                       echo '</div>'; endif; ?>
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Concerts \n to <br>

nl2br(get_post_meta($post->ID, '_aboutus', true));
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Use wp_kses with an empty array as the allowed_html parameter. This will sanitize the string without removing line breaks and should pass most coding standards

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