I have registered a custom tax to my CPT. On the edit screen the tax meta box appears with an autocomplete field.

Is it possible to display it as checkboxes or dropdown instead?

3 Answers 3


You probably did not set the 'hierarchical' argument to true in your register_taxonomy. This would mean that it defaults to false, which gives you a tag-like interface.

Add 'hierarchical' => true to your register_taxonomy.

  • Oh yeah... Thanks! BUT Would it now possible to change it to checkbox or even select? I want to be able to put this as setting into my plugins settings. Commented Aug 7, 2013 at 17:51
  • 1
    Changing hierarchical to true should change the interface to checkboxes on your edit screen for the CPT.
    – vancoder
    Commented Aug 7, 2013 at 18:06
  • Yes, it does – but I want to be able to switch between these options. I don't think that it is good practice to switch between hierarchal and not. It does not change ONLY the interface, am I right? Commented Aug 7, 2013 at 18:09
  • Well, hierarchical makes it... hierarchical :) You cannot switch between the 2 interfaces to my knowledge.
    – vancoder
    Commented Aug 7, 2013 at 18:33
  • This solution doesn't create a checkbox or drop down menu. Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 9:28

As of WP 3.7 (https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/14206) you can add this argument to register_taxonomy:

'meta_box_cb' => 'post_categories_meta_box'

to get the built-in checkbox category style metabox without having to make your taxonomy hierarchical.

Also you could instead provide your own callback function to create your own metabox (i.e. with a dropdown).

  • 1
    Great, this is exactly what I needed without having to make the taxonomy hierarchical. Thanks Commented Dec 29, 2016 at 21:20
  • The issue with this is that the non-hierarchical and hierarchical taxonomies have a different data structure that needs to be saved. For how to fix this issue see here gist.github.com/gschoppe/… Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 6:18
  • This solution doesn't create a checkbox or drop down menu. Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 9:28
  • 1
    This is huge! Thank you... I never knew it existed Commented Feb 10, 2019 at 20:00
  • Where do I change the information as suggested by Justin Fowell? Sorry if this is very obvious for all, I am just learning. Emily Commented Jun 23, 2021 at 11:43

if you want to change the term of existing plugin to checkbox you need to edit the existing register_taxonomy().

add_action( 'init', 'change_room_term_to_checkbox', 999);
function change_room_term_to_checkbox()
    $tax = get_taxonomy('roomtype');
    $tax->meta_box_cb = 'post_categories_meta_box';
    $tax->hierarchical = true;

'roomtype' is the name of term used on register_taxonomy('roomtype', array(.....

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