I wrote a WordPress theme for a non-profit where I use templates to style individual pages. I select the template for an individual page in the editor on the right:

Template selection in editor

For styling of a template page, I simply add a css class to the outer most element in the template and style the rest based on the presence of this class - in this example layout-krankenbett-gruen:


<?php /* Template Name: Krankenbett grün */ ?>

<?php get_header(); ?>
    <main class="layout-krankenbett-gruen">
        <?php if ( have_posts() ) : while ( have_posts() ) : the_post();
            get_template_part( 'content', get_post_format() );
        endwhile; endif; ?>
<?php get_footer(); ?>

I can style the page similar to the display in the editor using this code in functions.php

// enable style sheet for normal page display also in editor

such that all styles that get applied to the page get also applied in the editor.

I want to have the editor also show the templates as they look on the page later. But somehow the css tag which I add for the template is not present in the editor and therefor the display of the template in the editor is not correct.

How can I recognize a template in the editor such that I can display it in the editor in the same style as on the page?


I saw that the Twenty Twenty Theme also has Templates (Standard-Template, Cover-Template and Template for wide pages). If I change the template in this Theme, the page in the editor does not change, but the page itself does. Is that intended behavior? I feel like the user would like to see how a template looks (in the editor) before he applies it. Am I getting it wrong?


welcome to this forum. :-)

I'm not an expert, BUT I did do something similar by following the instructions and tutorials I found at these links below, hopefully these will help guide you.

In a nutshell, you have to go beyond just enabling the stylesheet in the editor, you have actually add a stylesheet specifically for the editor (editor-styles.css) and declare your styles in that (being sure to keep them the same as your front-facing style.css file).

Also, way below I put my own code if it also helps to serve as an example.

Good luck!!




http://wplift.com/how-to-add-custom-styles-to-the-wordpress-visual-post-editor (note this last link is a great tutorial but adding the style declarations that way didn’t work, I had to use the code below)

More tutorials: https://www.wpkube.com/add-dropdown-css-style-selector-visual-editor/


My use:

// Unhides the Styles drop down selector in the 2nd toolbar in Visual Editor
function bai_tinymce_buttons( $buttons ) {
  //Add style selector to the beginning of the toolbar
  array_unshift( $buttons, 'styleselect' );

  return $buttons;
add_filter( 'mce_buttons_2', 'bai_tinymce_buttons' );

// Adds some styles to the visual editor formats (styles) dropdown, styles are in editor-style.css
function bai_mce_before_init_insert_formats( $init_array ) {
// Define the style_formats array
$style_formats = array(
    // Each array child is a format with it's own settings
        'title' => '.pull-right',
        'block' => 'blockquote',
        'classes' => 'pull-right',
        'wrapper' => true,
        'title' => '.tips',
        'block' => 'blockquote',
        'classes' => 'tips',
        'wrapper' => true,
        'title' => '.nutshell',
        'block' => 'div',
        'classes' => 'nutshell',
        'wrapper' => true,
// Insert the array, JSON ENCODED, into 'style_formats'
$init_array['style_formats'] = json_encode( $style_formats );
return $init_array;
add_filter( 'tiny_mce_before_init', 'bai_mce_before_init_insert_formats' );
  • I couldn't make your code run. Where should the new classes actually appear on the page? I didn't find them. Your resources look quite interesting, I have to dig deeper into that - but that will take some time. – Mathias Bader Apr 11 at 15:22
  • The styles go into both your Theme's style.css file AND in your editor-styles.css file, and they should match so that your back-end preview matches your front end display. The code goes into your (Child Theme's) functions.php file, or a custom plugin file if you prefer to use that instead of the Theme's file.....then you'll see the new styles in a dropdown in your Editor, although in some cases you may need to toggle the second row if you're using the Classic Editor. – Trisha Apr 11 at 16:43
  • When I add the method add_filter( 'mce_buttons_2', 'bai_tinymce_buttons' );, it doesn't change anything in my admin edit window. What is supposed to be happening when I add it? – Mathias Bader Apr 12 at 19:36
  • It adds a "Formats" dropdown to the second row of buttons in the old Visual Editor, I don't use the Blocks/Gutenberg Editor so I don't know where it would get added there, but in the old Visual Editor the rightmost button on the top row toggles the display of the second row on/off. It may appear elsewhere in the Gutenberg or Blocks Editor. Of course, until you have some styles to display there, which you do by adding your editor-styles.css as show above, the dropdown would have nothing to show, and might not appear. So you first add your styles, then enable the Formats dropdown. – Trisha Apr 13 at 18:39


I had a simliar problem. You can set the class in the editor using javascript. Load a javascript file in functions.php.

add_action('admin_enqueue_scripts', 'prf_admin_enqueue');
function prf_admin_enqueue(){
    global $pagenow;
    /* Replace 'page' with the post type you want */
    if (( $pagenow == 'post.php' ) || (get_post_type() == 'page')) {
        global $post;
        $current_template = get_post_meta( $post->ID, '_wp_page_template', true );
        wp_enqueue_script('css-editor-enqueue', get_template_directory_uri() . '/js/admin-do-set-class.js', array('jquery'));
        wp_localize_script('css-editor-enqueue','adminDoSetClass',array('current_template' => $current_template));

Then in this javascipt file do the following:

    /* The template on page load as arranged in the function.php file. */
    var currentTemplate = adminDoSetClass.current_template;
    /* See whether we are on Gutenberg or on the old editor */
    var onTinyMCE = !!$('#content_ifr').length;
    /* Track which class was set last */
    var classSetEarlier = '';
    /*  When we enter the page, set the class and add an event listener. */
        /* For TinyMCE we just need to use the event that they provided */
        $( document ).on( 'tinymce-editor-init', function( ) {
        /* Listen for changes and set new value accordingly. */
            var newValue = $('#page_template').val();
    else if(!onTinyMCE){
        /* For Gutenberg there is probably also an event/Promise, but I cannot find that, so we try again and again until the editor-styles-wrapper element is there. */
        var intervalID = setInterval(function(){
                /* Set class on page load */
                /* Add event listener to body so we can wait until the selctor gets avaitable. */
                $('body').on('change', '.editor-page-attributes__template .components-select-control__input', function(){
                    var newValue = $('.editor-page-attributes__template .components-select-control__input').val();
    /* Function to set the right class on the editor body */
    function setClassOnEditor(newTemplateValue){
        var newClass = '';
        if(newTemplateValue === 'templates/KrankenbettGruen.php'){
            newClass = 'layout-krankenbett-gruen';
        /* Remove any class set earlier and add the new class to the editor */
        else if(!onTinyMCE){
        classSetEarlier = newClass;
    /* The two function to set the class on the editor, one for the old editor and one for Gutenberg */
    function setClassTinyMCE(newClass){
    function setClassGutenberg(newClass){

EDIT: edited above code. The Gutenberg editor is now also included, not only the old editor.

  • Hmmm, I understand your idea. The page_template id is in my editor inspector-select-control-0 I'm not sure whether that would change sometimes. Also what is the id content_ifr you are using? I didn't find that on my page. Yes I use the newest WordPress version with Gutenberg. I couldn't make your code run in my system. – Mathias Bader Apr 11 at 15:21
  • I rewrote the code to include the Gutenberg editor. This should actually be done more from the React side, I presume... – Klaassiek Apr 11 at 20:24
  • Thanks! Still not working for me. In the prf_admin_enqueue method when calling get_current_screen() the attribute parent_base is always empty, it's never 'edit', so the if-clause is not parsed ... – Mathias Bader Apr 12 at 19:33
  • I see. Sorry about that. I updated that part of the code. As you can see, you can check for the post type in case you need it on a different post type than 'page'. Hope it works for you. – Klaassiek Apr 13 at 12:07

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