I would like to create a plugin which updates the post's content in the Admin panel. For example, on the Edit post page, the user sees his draft content. If he clicks on a button from a meta box plugin, I want new HTML to be appended to the post content. Ideally without refreshing the page. Zemanta does this and I am trying to figure out the right method for achieving that effect.

NOTE: I am brand new to coding with Wordpress, so please let me know if/how my question needs to be clarified further.

1 Answer 1


This type of thing is most easily done from the TinyMCE editor through a plugin. Details of creating one using WordPress filters can be found here:


function myplugin_addbuttons() {
   // Don't bother doing this stuff if the current user lacks permissions
   if ( ! current_user_can('edit_posts') && ! current_user_can('edit_pages') )

   // Add only in Rich Editor mode
   if ( get_user_option('rich_editing') == 'true') {
     add_filter("mce_external_plugins", "add_myplugin_tinymce_plugin");
     add_filter('mce_buttons', 'register_myplugin_button');

function register_myplugin_button($buttons) {
   array_push($buttons, "separator", "myplugin");
   return $buttons;

// Load the TinyMCE plugin : editor_plugin.js (wp2.5)
function add_myplugin_tinymce_plugin($plugin_array) {
   $plugin_array['myplugin'] = URLPATH.'tinymce/editor_plugin.js';
   return $plugin_array;

// init process for button control
add_action('init', 'myplugin_addbuttons');

The documentation on how to write the required editor_plugin.js file to perform your desired insert will be found on the TinyMCE site:




If you really must perform the insert by clicking a button in a meta box, then perhaps a close examination of the Zemanta plugin code will be helpful. Comment on this answer with a link to that plugin if you'd like some help with that.

  • Thanks marfarma. I went to the API and found the following function to give me all that I needed to keep making progress: tinyMCE.activeEditor.selection.getContent();
    – Shaan
    Sep 26, 2011 at 21:13
  • Please 'accept' the answer if your question was answered. It helps people, who find it later through search, to know that an answer was found.
    – marfarma
    Sep 26, 2011 at 21:28
  • FYI: all links goes to 404
    – Sisir
    Aug 29, 2013 at 9:57
  • Fixed the tinymce links - apparently the site was restructured without page level re-directs.
    – marfarma
    Aug 29, 2013 at 14:15

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