So I'm using HTML5 on a website and am trying to wrap a div in an anchor tag, which is supposedly acceptable in HTML5 websites. But when I do this...

<a href="#mylink"><div class="some_class">Some content</div></a>

...through the WordPress Tiny MCE editor, I get this output:

<p><a href="#mylink">&nbsp;</a></p>
<a href="#mylink"><div class="some_class">Some content</div></a>
<p><a href="#mylink"></a></p>

All kinds of messed up. If I flip to the visual editor and back to Text in Tiny MCE, it has changed the code to this:

<a href="#mylink"> </a>
<div class="some_class">Some content</div>

Does anyone know how to force Tiny MCE to allow this? (ideally without resorting to the advanced plugin version of Tiny MCE)

Thanks for any advice.


1 Answer 1


You need to modify the TinyMCE settings, specifically the valid_children setting. To accomplish this in Wordpress, use the tiny_mce_before_init filter reference.

Something like this (untested):

add_filter('tiny_mce_before_init', 'modify_valid_children');

function modify_valid_children($settings){
    return $settings;

You may be able to use +a[*] to capture all elements, but you'll want to take care to avoid nested anchor tags.

  • Thanks Matt but I still can't get this to work. FYI, I had to remove the ) on line 6 - it errored otherwise
    – Xav
    Apr 23, 2013 at 16:52
  • Ah, good catch. Looks like I've been writing too much jQuery lately. :) You should also remove the semi-colon. I've updated my answer to reflect this. Not sure if this will make a difference for you, but I don't suspect it will.
    – Matt
    Apr 25, 2013 at 16:10
  • Setting "valid_elements", "invalid_elements" and "extended_valid_elements" can be done through this filter. from a comment in the core file
    – Ralf912
    Apr 25, 2013 at 21:48
  • 1
    Why don't you use just a <span> or <p> instead of a <div>?
    – Ralf912
    Apr 25, 2013 at 22:09

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