Is there a plugin that would restrict non-admin users to only existing tags? I could have used categories for this, but it will be difficult to display with a large population (~1000) of tags.


If you do not already have your tags created, you can use the "Bulk Add Tags" plugin - http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/bulk-add-tags/

Then to restrict all users except admins from adding new tags via the "New Post" screen, add this code to your theme's functions.php file:

//Hide Post Page Options from all except Administrator
if (!current_user_can('administrator')){
function hide_post_page_options() {
global $post;
$hide_post_options = "<style type=\"text/css\"> .jaxtag { display: none; }</style>";
add_action( 'admin_head', 'hide_post_page_options'  );

This will simply hide the box for entering new tags from all users except administrators.

I actually use this method to hide many areas of the "New Post" page. Simply find and add the element's div class or id before { display: none; } and separated by commas. If you're unfamiliar, you can use the Firebug plugin with Firefox, or simply right-click and select "Inspect Element" in Chrome.

I prefer this method over many plugins because it does not remove functionality completely from Wordpress, the functionality is simply hidden from users who do not need it.

  • Thanks for you answer. If the tag box is hidden, how would non-admin user tag the post with existing tags? – ltfishie Apr 11 '12 at 13:17
  • There are two options in the Tags meta box: 1 - Enter your own tags. 2 - "Choose from the most used tags". The code only hides the ability to enter new tags. – Travis Pflanz Apr 11 '12 at 13:39
  • Ah ok, that might work. But given 1000s of tags, that display will be a bit unwieldy. But that's not a bad way to start. I might be able to do some front-end treatment to make it look better. – ltfishie Apr 11 '12 at 13:43
  • 1
    Curious, with 1000s of tags for users to choose from, how do you envision users selecting their tags? I ask so maybe others can find a more accurate solution. – Travis Pflanz Apr 11 '12 at 13:48
  • I was thinking type-ahead where you can only select from the dropdown. – ltfishie Apr 11 '12 at 14:38

None of these solutions did exactly what I needed to allow non-admin users to use existing tags on a post, but not create new tags. So I created the following solution, which works great - although it does not provide any feedback to the user that their tags weren't added (it really just undoes the tag creation immediately):

add_action('create_term','undo_create_term',10, 3);

function undo_create_term ($term_id, $tt_id, $taxonomy) {
    if ( !current_user_can( 'administrator' ) )  {
        if($taxonomy == 'post_tag') {

Your question has really intrigued me. I can see a huge use for this situation, so I will do whatever I can to help you find the answer.

Here is another solution, not exactly what you mentioned in your comment on the other answer, but it does make it a little easier for users to find the tags they want, as the tags are listed alphabetically.

Manage Tags Capability plugin - http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/manage-tags-capability/

Also, should note: This method allows users to select from ALL available tags. I just realized, the other method only allows users to select from the "most used" tags.

Wordpress already does an auto-predict when typing tags, so essentially, we need to find a way to allow users to type the tag they want, but not add a new one if they cannot find it.

  • The manage tags capability seems to be a good fit, I will play with it a bit. – ltfishie Apr 11 '12 at 16:55
  • The manage tags capability seems plugins fits what I am asking for here exactly. – ltfishie Apr 11 '12 at 17:23
  • Glad it fit your needs. I will let you know if I find a predictive text option. Let me know if you find one as well. – Travis Pflanz Apr 11 '12 at 17:56

This is how I solve same problem (in functions.php of your theme):

/* Removing Tags for users */
if (is_admin()) :
function my_remove_meta_boxes() {
 if(!current_user_can('publish_posts')) { 
   remove_meta_box('tagsdiv-post_tag', 'post', 'normal');
add_action( 'admin_menu', 'my_remove_meta_boxes' );

First we check if it's admin area, then we check if user can publish posts (usually it's admins and editors), than we do our magic with remove_meta_box.

  • By removing the meta box completely, how can users use existing tags? – shea Dec 27 '12 at 20:00
  • He just removes the MetaBox if the user cannot publish Posts. – fischi Dec 27 '12 at 20:44

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