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I'm working on a site, largely managed by categories. Two of the categories have apostrophes in them... ex. "Joe's Place" and "Tina's Lounge". (Actual titles changed, these are examples...) The category slugs are "joes-place" and "tinas-lounge".

The customer asked for a breadcrumb on the site... Unfortunately the breadcrumb call fails whenever the category has an apostrophe in its name. The failure occurs at the call to get_cat_ID. Oh, and when the breadcrumb fails, the whole page fails. Here is a fragment of my breadcrumb code...

if ( is_category() )
        {
            // single_cat_title() Displays or returns the page title if a category
            // or tag archive is queried. 
            $catTitle = single_cat_title( "", false );   
            echo '<!-- $catTitle:'.$catTitle." -->";  // troubleshooting line... 
            $cat = get_cat_ID( $catTitle );
            echo '<!-- $cat: '.$cat."-->";   // troubleshooting line
            echo "<li>  ". get_category_parents_custom( $cat, TRUE, ' &raquo; ' ) ."</li>";
        }

get_cat_ID simply returns a 0. Uh-oh... when I look close at my troubleshooting code, I can see that $catTitle returns Joe&#8217;s Place

Ouch.. Its really not clear on exactly what format is required where the apostrophe is concerned. When I dig further and further in codex core, I can see get_cat_ID calls a function get_term_by() that warns "$value is not HTML-escaped for the 'name' $field. You must do it yourself, if required." I'm assuming that's my issue. but, what does it mean to "HTML-Escape" a string?

I tried $catTitle2 = htmlspecialchars_decode($catTitle); no go there.
I tried $catTitle2 = esc_html($catTitle); no go there. In both of those previous functions, the string never changes a bit.

I tried manually introducing the string "Joe's Place" to the call, and WOW, that totally worked.

In the meantime I will do a simple string replace function, but that seems like such a hack.

Is there a php or wordpress function that will convert the string &#8217; back to a simple apostrophe? What is the right way to fix this problem?

Update: I stumbled upon this posting: My quick fix consists of a bit of code suggested there with a small modification:

     $catTitleCorrected = html_entity_decode(str_replace("&#8217;","'",$catTitle)); 
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You can use this. May it will help you.

ent2ncr

Converts named entities into numbered entities.

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So it seems that your final aim is obtain the current category id to use in a get_category_parents_custom function and you are using single_cat_title to get current cat name an pass it to get_cat_ID to get current category id.

I think you are making your life harder, because you can use get_queried_object_id to get the current category id when is_category() is true, or you can access the category object using get_queried_object and then make use of category ID and name form that object. Example code:

if ( is_category() ) {
  $cat = get_queried_object();
  // if you also need category name uncomment next line
  // $catTitle = $cat->name;
  echo "<li>  " . get_category_parents_custom( $cat->term_id, TRUE, ' &raquo; ' ) . "</li>";
}
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