I want to get rid of undesired HTML, mostly being published by my editors when copying text from other sources, like other pages or from Word

Therefore I use

add_filter( 'content_save_pre' , 'my_function', 10, 1 );

for the content in posts.

I want to do the same for the taxonomies/terms and their description, but I didn't find any filter in the WordPress documentation, nor could I find anything in the code.

1 Answer 1


There are e.g. the following dynamic sanitize_term_fields() filters:

  • edit_term_{$field} filter for the edit context
  • pre_term_{$field} filter for the the db context
  • term_{$field}_rss filter for the the rss context
  • term_{$field} filter (default)

and also the taxonomy-specific ones:

  • edit_{$taxonomy}_{$field} filter for the edit context
  • pre_{$taxonomy}_{$field} filter for the the db context
  • {$taxonomy}_{$field}_rss filter for the the rss context
  • {$taxonomy}_{$field} filter (default)

If the context is raw then none of the above filters are applied.

The db context is used within the wp_insert_term() and wp_update_term():

$args = sanitize_term($args, $taxonomy, 'db');

There's also the pre_insert_term filter wihtin wp_insert_term().

 * Filters a term before it is sanitized and inserted into the database.
 * @since 3.0.0
 * @param string $term     The term to add or update.
 * @param string $taxonomy Taxonomy slug.
 $term = apply_filters( 'pre_insert_term', $term, $taxonomy );

Here are simple demo examples for the term description in the case of the post tags taxonomy:

edit context:

add_filter( 'edit_post_tag_description', 'wp_strip_all_tags' );

db context:

add_filter( 'pre_post_tag_description', 'wp_strip_all_tags' );

You might want to test and restrict this further to your needs.

Note: It might be better to just strip it where you output the term description on the front-end, so you don't mess with the user input in the backend?

  • That looks pretty much like what I need. Is there a generic one, that fires for all taxonomies? Or do I have to hook into all manually. Jun 21, 2016 at 8:52
  • Since both wp_insert_term() and wp_date_term() use it in the "db" context, you could try that first. Yes we can adjust it for all taxonomies, I will update the answer @ChristophDaum
    – birgire
    Jun 21, 2016 at 9:04

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