I've been pounding my head on the pavement for some time now regarding implementing the_editor functionality outside the post/page/cpt editor and retaining the look and feel of the function without having to rewrite a ton of things.

The problems I've run into are all problems within WP Core. the_editor and it's surrounding JS scripts that pull in TinyMCE, handle the Visual / HTML tabs, and Media Bar are not meant to be used more than once. Furthermore, the_editor is not self-contained, meaning you've gotta load a number of styles and scripts in the header / footer to enable functionality.

My question is, has anyone seen or built a self-contained editor function that standardizes the_editor-like implementation for use by plugins?

I hired a developer to put their spin on the script and they ended up needing a new set of PHP functions and replicating many WP Core JS functions. This seemed to me tricky, especially for upgrades. For instance, 3.0 to 3.1 nuked the TinyMCE link button.

Am I doomed here or is there someone out there who feels my pain?

2 Answers 2


You might take a look at scribu's Front End Editor. It makes many things editable on the web-facing part of your site. It's of interest here because it appears to be a lightweight WYSIWYG editor that can support multiple, simultaneous instances without getting confused.

  • Contacted the guy who's heading up the TinyMCE stuff for WP Core, going to see if I can help make it worth his while to fix the bugs currently limiting plugin devs in their implementations. Mar 28, 2011 at 1:23
  • Always a good idea. Most people don't have the ability/motivation to "make it worth his while" so I heartily support your doing this. Mar 28, 2011 at 1:28

The solution was actually to contact Andrew Ozz and he was already planning on working on a new TinyMCE API which would allow for the functionality needed here. It's currently in use as of Pods 1.9.6+, and we're hoping that it makes it into WP 3.3 if everything goes right.

  • 1
    To follow up, it was indeed added to WP 3.3, and now using <?php wp_editor( $value, $field_id, $settings ); ?> works awesomely w/ the Visual and Text tabs (as of 3.5, HTML tab is now called the Text tab). Jan 16, 2013 at 4:40

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