I use a theme that calls get_the_content() to display short excerpts of the latest blog posts on the home page. Now I noticed that the excerpt sometimes starts with an image caption, if the blog post contains a picture at the very beginning. I usually do that and make the text float around it.

I always set the first three caption fields on an image (Alt Text, Title, Caption).

Is there any way to strip these image captions from the return value of get_the_content() or is there any other method that I could possibly call instead? I checked the documentation, but there seems no argument to exclude images from the return value.

  • 1
    have a look at developer.wordpress.org/reference/functions/strip_shortcodes
    – Michael
    Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 18:38
  • 1
    it might be easier to add some CSS to hide img and/or caption tags in the targeted area.
    – majick
    Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 22:01
  • strip_tags() and strip_shortcodes() are applied to the excerpt already, but the image caption is plain text. There is no CSS identifier either. Is there no alternative to get_the_content()? Commented Jan 18, 2020 at 13:23
  • "a theme that calls get_the_content() to display short excerpts of the latest blog posts" - please post the corresponding code
    – Michael
    Commented Jan 19, 2020 at 4:39
  • @Michael: Sure, just for you: $output = get_the_content(); Commented Jan 19, 2020 at 12:25

1 Answer 1


It turned out that the method called strip_tags(preg_replace(" (\[.*?\])", '', $output)) before strip_shortcodes($output), which caused aforementioned issue, since the code removed shortcode in square brackets, but retained contained image captions.

I could fix it by swapping the two method calls like this:

$output = get_the_content();
$output = strip_shortcodes($output); // Strip WordPress shortcodes first!
$output = strip_tags(preg_replace(" (\[.*?\])", '', $output));

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