When using self-hosted WordPress, you have the option of writing in "Visual" or "Text" mode.

visual and text tabs in WordPress editor

Assuming there's no plugins installed,

  1. Is this "Text" format a well defined standard or pseudo standard? (like markdown, textile, etc.)

  2. Is there a single place in a plugin-less 3.5.1 WordPress where this text is converted into HTML?

  3. If the answer to number 2 is "No", how is this text converted into html?

  • 2
    1. It's a psuedo standard. It will tolerate HTML but also will auto-generate <p> tags. It sometimes removes excess whitespace (I find this to be inconsistent, and based on how many trips to the visual editor one makes). More info here: codex.wordpress.org/TinyMCE – GhostToast May 31 '13 at 21:19

Text its just plain text, just as its saved in your db.

Wordpress changes line breaks with paragraphs with the function wpautop, through the filter the_content and the_excerpt.

If you need to remove the wpautop behavior, you can remove the filter by doing this in your theme's functions.php:

remove_filter( 'the_content', 'wpautop' );
remove_filter( 'the_excerpt', 'wpautop' );

And maybe adding your own customized function:

add_filter( 'the_content', 'my_custom_format' );
add_filter( 'the_excerpt', 'my_custom_format' );

function my_custom_format ($text) {
  // do something with $text
  return $text;

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