I use wordpress a lot, i develop for it a lot too!

I have a client website that i have added 10 custom meta boxes to the post edit screen in functions.php . All the meta boxes have an editor using wp_editor()

This all worked find in wordpress 3.8 and 3.9 but now the site has been upgraded to wordpress 4 the editor is refusing to show the visual/text tabs on the editor pane.

I have verified this by deactivating all plugins on my development copy, and the issue persisted. I then installed a second copy of wordpress but 3.9 and the tabs came back!

Any idea why this is happening on wordpress 4?

  • 1
    check you javascript console, what error do you get there? Commented Oct 13, 2014 at 16:47
  • there is nothing in the console to indicate any problems.
    – Glen
    Commented Oct 14, 2014 at 9:09
  • Found the problem: "Notice: wp_editor() was called with an argument that is deprecated since version 3.9! TinyMCE editor IDs cannot have brackets. in C:\xampp\htdocs\desc\wp-includes\functions.php on line 3193"
    – Glen
    Commented Oct 14, 2014 at 9:19

3 Answers 3


Yes as per @Nibbr Web Development, TinyMCE editor IDs cannot have brackets. Which is the html field ID, so what we will do is create a different but similiar name for the ID attribute and still use our desired name in for the text area field name, like so.

$content = $options['textareafield'];
// editor_id cannot have brackets and must be lowercase
$editor_id = 'textareafield';
// textarea_name in array can have brackets!
$settings = array('media_buttons' => false, 'textarea_name' => 'my_options[textareafield]');
wp_editor($content, $editor_id, $settings);

This should solve this problem. Also for those of you that have problems with the popup windows such as inserting a link.


Another reason can be using custom user agent. WP does not recognise it as supported browser, and so these buttons are disabled. So check if $_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'] value is correct.

Also you can force using rich editor buttons with user_can_richedit filter.

add_filter('user_can_richedit', 'user_can_richedit_custom');
function user_can_richedit_custom($value){
    $value = true;
    return $value;      

Just in case anyone else is having this problem, I've found that a pretty reliable way to get your visual editor tab back after upgrading to Wordpress 4.0 is:

  • disable all plugins
  • Change the theme to one of the defaults (e.g. TwentyFourteen)
  • Go to "my profile" and check the "disable visual editor" box.
  • Save
  • Go back to "my profile" and uncheck the "disable visual editor" box.
  • Save

Voila, your edit posts and pages screens should now have the editor tabs back. You can now swap themes back to whichever you want to use.

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