I'm having trouble when I get variables from WP function come out very long. How do I trim that down? trim and substr do not see the spaces before or after. Why is it so long?

<?php  $image_alt = trim(get_post_meta(get_post_thumbnail_id(), '_wp_attachment_image_alt', true)); ?>
            <?php echo $image_alt;?>

when I view the source it looks like this:


                        HIPAA compliant Times-2 X2 Rotating Shelving Rotating Cabinet Starter and Add-on       " 
  • 1
    I see you've a lot of opening and closing tags with lots of spaces and tabs inbetween, are you sure those aren't what you're seeing? This doesn't look like a WP problem but a general PHP issue
    – Tom J Nowell
    Jul 1, 2020 at 19:11
  • FWIW the_post_thumbnail() outputs the alt text automatically. You should rarely need to manually get the text with get_post_meta(). Jul 2, 2020 at 5:36

1 Answer 1


To expand on @Tom J Nowell's comment, any whitespace after ?> and before <?php will get output, so if you are adding an alt tag you need to make there there's no extra white space outside the <?php ?>. Here's an example, and I've simplified your code a bit as you can do that in one command:

<img src="..." alt="<?php echo trim(get_post_meta(get_post_thumbnail_id(), '_wp_attachment_image_alt', true)); ?>">

If you need more help it's useful to put the whole bit of code you're using in your question

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