trying to stop get_the_excerpt() from defaulting to the_content() if its empty.

this kinda works - well it seems to return 'xxx' so i think has_excerpt() isn't working?

function get_link_excerpt(){
        $LinkExcerpt = get_the_excerpt();
        return $LinkExcerpt."...";
    return 'no excerpt'; 
add_filter('get_the_excerpt', 'get_link_excerpt');

what's the best way to control this?


1 Answer 1


WordPress sets up a default filter for get_the_excerpt: wp_trim_excerpt(). It is this function that will generate an excerpt from the content "if needed". If you don't want this behavior, you can just unhook the filter:

add_action( 'init', 'wpse17478_init' );
function wpse17478_init()
    remove_filter( 'get_the_excerpt', 'wp_trim_excerpt' );

Now get_the_excerpt() will just return the contents of the post_excerpt database field. If you want to return something when it is empty, you only need to check this case:

add_filter( 'get_the_excerpt', 'wpse17478_get_the_excerpt' );
function wpse17478_get_the_excerpt( $excerpt )
    if ( '' == $excerpt ) {
        return 'No excerpt!';
    return $excerpt;

There is no need to call get_the_excerpt() - it could even introduce an endless recursion because it applies your filter again!

  • Cheers again Jan! - that works. What are the numbers placed in these functions for? ie 17478
    – v3nt
    May 17, 2011 at 16:45
  • 1
    @daniel: To make sure they will be unique when someone copies and and pastes this code in their own installation, I prefix all function names with wpse (WordPress Stack Exchange) and the number of the question.
    – Jan Fabry
    May 17, 2011 at 18:18

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