I have a plugin setting that uses wp_editor() to handle the input and will get echoed as part of a shortcode. Everything is working great on the admin side but when I echo the output on the client side, in the shortcode, the content does not echo with line breaks and paragraph breaks, like the_content().

Is there an existing method (or function) for echoing wp_editor() content from other sources, e.g. a plugin setting? Or do I need to parse and build paragraphs and line breaks manually (I feel like I'm reinventing the wheel here!)?

Example code for reference:

add_action('admin_init', 'my_plugin_settings');

function my_plugin_settings() {


    register_setting('my_settings', 'my_failure_message');

        'Failure Message',


function my_failure_message_input() {
    wp_editor(get_option('my_failure_message'), 'my_failure_message');

function my_plugin_shortcodes() {
    add_shortcode('my_shortcode', 'my_messages_shortcode');

add_action('init', 'my_plugin_shortcodes');

function my_messages_shortcode($atts = [], $content = NULL, $tag = '') {
    echo get_option('my_failure_message');

Desired output:

<p>There was an error. Please try again later.</p>

Actual output (that folds into one line):


There was an error. Please try again later.

the_content filter can be used to filter the content after it is retrieved from the database and before it is printed to the screen.
The Core filters on the_content are:

add_filter( 'the_content', 'wptexturize'        );  
add_filter( 'the_content', 'convert_smilies'    );
add_filter( 'the_content', 'convert_chars'      );
add_filter( 'the_content', 'wpautop'            );
add_filter( 'the_content', 'shortcode_unautop'  );
add_filter( 'the_content', 'prepend_attachment' );

Reference to some of above filters:

In general; this should get your job done.

function my_messages_shortcode($atts = [], $content = NULL, $tag = '') {
    return apply_filters('the_content', get_option('my_failure_message') );
  • Please edit your answer, and add an explanation: why could that solve the problem? – fuxia Apr 23 at 9:46
  • The function name is apply_filters and not apply_filter.. – Sally CJ Apr 24 at 1:34
  • 1
    @SallyCJ Thanks for correction. – Qaisar Feroz Apr 24 at 3:15

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