I am using the tinyMCE visual editor to allow users of my site to submit some content.

I would like to layout the guidelines of their post to them (eg: "Be specific, be thorough"). The most obvious way to do this is ordinarily with the placeholder attribute.

However, I understand this is not an option with the visual editor.

Therefore, I though of showing a bootstrap popover on focus of the visual editor. However, I am not able to achieve this either (perhaps because the visual editor iframe uses elements that don't trigger focus).

Is there a way that I can do either of the above two things?

If not, how can I present the user with some guidelines for writing the post? (I feel like if I don't place the guidelines within the editor or as a response to focusing on the editor, it will receive less attention).


  • You can use jquery to display some text into the given area, then remove it either on hover, on focus or if the content area has text typed into it.
    – klewis
    Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 10:47
  • Can you specify how to do this? It's not a textarea element, it's a iframe. Therefore I was unable to do this (specifically, I couldn't select the p element within the iframe in order to manipulate it via jQuery.
    – theyuv
    Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 12:34

1 Answer 1


If you use the build-in tinyMCE editor you can do it this way:

$content = '';
$editor_id = 'mycustomeditor';

wp_editor( $content, $editor_id );

Fill $content with your guidelines and they are shown if you open it.

See https://codex.wordpress.org/Function_Reference/wp_editor

  • But this fills it with actual content, the user needs to highlight it and delete it. It's confusing and I don't think it's meant to be used to show the user guidelines and messages.
    – theyuv
    Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 6:55

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