When I put -- into a post it is automatically converted to the – – character in the output by wordpress.

How can I get normal '--' double dashes in my content.

4 Answers 4


In your functions.php:

remove_filter( 'the_content', 'wptexturize' );

And the same for the_excerpt or the_title (if required).

  • what else does this disable, or does it just target the -- conversion?
    – radman
    Aug 1, 2012 at 19:36
  • @radman View codex - wptexturize for what this function does, obviously filtering this function will stop all other conversions mentioned there.
    – Amit Kosti
    Aug 3, 2012 at 18:29
  • Is there a way to disable 'wptexture' specifically for embeds (github gists)? I've had readers on my blog unable to copy a line from a gist with a minus sign. They would get syntax errors because it was replaced by an emdash.
    – Antonvh
    Oct 7, 2020 at 9:29
  • @Antonvh What is the embed plugin/code you're using? I'm not aware of core WordPress supporting gist embeds. Oct 7, 2020 at 11:00
  • I used the default Gutenberg embed URL block. Pasted a link to my gist inside: gist.github.com/antonvh/695ab1c36b61171714a84f700858cdb3
    – Antonvh
    Oct 12, 2020 at 18:18

I found a solution: If you are using WordPress, in the beginning of your file single.php add these lines:

remove_filter( 'the_title', 'wptexturize' );
remove_filter( 'the_content', 'wptexturize' );
remove_filter( 'the_excerpt', 'wptexturize' );

And do your test. I am 99.99% sure that will work because I had the same problem and I fixed it using that lines 10 seconds ago. ;)


Another solution that override the origin function of wptexturize and update all related filters.

define('EXCERPT_RARELY_2', '{[2}]');
function wptexturize_custom($text = '')
    $text = preg_replace('!(^|[^\-])\-\-([^\-]|$)!', '$1' . EXCERPT_RARELY_2 . '$2', $text);

    // get through origin filter
    $text = wptexturize($text);

    return str_replace(EXCERPT_RARELY_2, '--', $text);

// remove default filter
remove_filter('the_content', 'wptexturize');

// add custom filter
add_filter('the_content', 'wptexturize_custom');

// remove default filter
remove_filter('the_excerpt', 'wptexturize');

// add custom filter
add_filter('the_excerpt', 'wptexturize_custom');

I had the same problem as the OP and the solution proposed by @TheDeadMedic almost worked for me. But my WP version has several function_something.php files and I had to add this to them all (making sure to add them after the php opening code <?php):

remove_filter( 'the_title', 'wptexturize' );
remove_filter( 'the_content', 'wptexturize' );
remove_filter( 'the_excerpt', 'wptexturize' );

Of course only one of them would be needed if you only want to remove the filter for titles, content or excerpt.

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