Custom styles for TinyMCE 4.0 in WordPress 3.9

The release of WordPress 3.9 saw the update of the included TinyMCE editor to version of 4.0 and this caused no small amount of havoc for people who’d been customizing the text editor. In the past, one was able to define one’s own custom styles and modify the block formats like so:

You’re a Real Button Now

But surprise! With the update this doesn’t work any more. Digging into the TinyMCE scripts, the formats appear to now be a custom tinyMCE button. You can see that the formatselect button is added to mce_buttons_2; in the class-wp-editor.php;. And then I tracked that to tinymce.js :

With that in mind, it appears that to modify the block formats, we’ll need to change the editor.settings.block_formats. And theme_advanced_syles; has now become style_formats; in the TinyMCE init object.

Putting it All Together

Small caveat: I’m not sure where to add the styles for the drop-down items themselves. In the TinyMCE sample, the “Red Headline“ option is red. I couldn’t figure this out. If you do please let me know in the comments!  

WooCommerce Name Your Price 2.0 released!

In the summer of 2012, I was visiting one of my best friends in New Orleans… cooking lots of tacos and mixing lots of margaritas. While there, one of my earliest clients contacted me and wanted to be able to sell his books for whatever the customer was willing to pay. Did I know a way to do that with WooCommerce he asked? Well no, but I’m only working on my taco recipes at the moment so maybe I can look into it?

I started to poke around and ask some questions at Github and someone else contacted me to tell me that he’d buy this right away if it existed. I took these two people as the least-scientific version of “Idea Validation” imaginable and decided to give this thing a whirl.

About a month later I had a working prototype up and for sale at WooThemes. It only worked on simple products and then with a little more effort on subscriptions. I was pretty content to leave it at that, but one request kept coming back… can this work with variable products?

For a long time the answer was no, or maybe, or I’m working on it, but mostly no. You see, I’m also a semi-professional athlete so I am not a full-time coder… and variable products are complicated! But after an extremely long “beta” process I am pumped to announce that Name Your Price 2.0 now supports variable products! You can pick and choose which variations will be Name Your Price enabled, so you can all customers to set a price on all a product’s variations or just one. This feature does require WooCommerce 2.1 or greater. Version 2.0 was a pretty major overhaul, so be careful if you were overriding any templates. There’s some documentation coming on that.

Finally, Name Your Price for variable products
Finally, Name Your Price for variable products

So if this was holding you back from purchasing Name Your Price, head over to Woothemes and pick up your copy!

Important: Support requests are not handled in the comments and must go through WooThemes.

Simple User Listing

This plugin has been out in the wild for some time now and it seemed appropriate to give it a post on my blog. Once upon a time I was working on a magazine site with a lot of authors and my client wanted to display all the authors in a cool way. Every other plugin I found was too rigid in its output, either markup or CSS or both. I needed to be able to customize and style this list to fit my theme. And while the original site I working on is now defunct, Simple User Listing lives on.

Basic Usage

Once you’ve installed and activated the plugin you only have to add the shortcode to any page (or post) where you’d like to display a full list of all your blog’s users. By default the plugin will display all of the blog’s users and ‘paginate’ the list based on the “Posts per Page” setting.


A directory list of users ready for your own custom styles
A directory list of users ready for your own custom styles

Custom Templates

I created this plugin to use templates that can be overridden and customized by theme developers. There are 4 templates in the plugin’s templates folder: content-author.php, navigation-author.php, none-author.php and search-author.php. The templates should be relatively self-explanatory and I suspect most of the customizations will happen in content-author.php which is responsible for how each user in the user loop is displayed.

To modify a template simply copy the template file from the simple-user-listing/templates folder of the plugin and paste it  into a simple-user-listing folder in the root of your theme (so my-theme/simple-user-listing). Now you can change the markup any way you please and the plugin will know to use your template instead of the default.

It will be similar to template parts for post loops, except you will have access to each user’s $user object instead of the $post object. For more details on what is available in the  $user object see the Codex reference on WP_User()

Custom Lists

Simple User Listing relies on the WP_Query class and supports almost all of WP_Query’s parameters. Here’s a full list of all parameters:

'query_id' => 'simple_user_listing',
'role' => '',
'include' => '',
'exclude' => '',
'blog_id' => '',
'number' => get_option( 'posts_per_page', 10 ),
'order' => 'ASC',
'orderby' => 'login',
'meta_key' => '',
'meta_value' => '',
'meta_compare' => '=',
'meta_type' => 'CHAR',
'count_total' => true

To use any WP_Query parameter merely add it to the shortcode. For example:

List of Authors

[userlist role="author"]

List of Specific Users

[userlist include="1,2,3,4"]

Order Users by Last Name

As of version 1.5.2 meta query parameters were rolled into the core of the plugin…. well single meta queries anyway. You can sort by any any meta key (much like querying posts).

[userlist meta_key="last_name" orderby="meta_value" order="ASC"]

WP-Pagenavi Bonus

Simple User Listings works with WP-Pagenavi out of the box. Simply activate WP-Pagenavi and your user lists will be paginated with numbers instead of the default previous/next links.

Search by Display Name

By default the search relies on username, but we can change this with some trickery via the pre_user_query hook. Similar to pre_get_posts this is your last chance to change the WP_User_Query query before it is executed. I’ve built in a query_id variable so that you don’t go willy-nilly filtering all user queries which could have some unintended side effects.

Search by User Meta

And finally, I’ll try to walk you through setting up a custom search.

First we’ll create a new search-author.php template in our theme’s simple-user-listing folder. This template will have a pair of radio buttons that will allow the user to decide between traditional search and searching by a meta field…. in this case “city”, but it really could be whatever you want.

You don’t have to change your search template, but I thought it might be nice.

Next we’ll register a query variable. This belongs in your theme’s functions.php or better still a site-specific mu-plugin, so that it isn’t tied to you theme. Remember that themes are for presentation. Plugins are for manipulating data in ways that should persist through theme changes.

Technically if you don’t change the search template you don’t need to do this either, but I’m going whole-hog here. Did someone say Bacon?

And finally, we need to adjust the Simple User Listing args before they are sent to WP_Query.


That should do it. This plugin isn’t in particularly ‘active’ development. Essentially meaning that I’m not looking to add features. However, if it breaks somewhere do let me know.

I apologize in advance but I can’t help you with your custom implementations via the comments or WordPress support forums. I am open to contract work though. Please contact me if you’d like to hire me.

Let me know where you are using my plugin. I’d love to see how you are styling it!

Featured Item Metabox

I found I constantly needed a way for clients to mark a post as something they wanted to feature and I’ve never found sticky posts particularly intuitive. In fact, the sticky post UI is about the least obvious thing possible for a WordPress newbie.  The simplest solution was a checkbox in prominently located metabox.

View of the metabox in the post edit screen.
View of the metabox in the post edit screen.

So I packaged up a quick metabox, with some good quick edit support.  The plugin, by itself, will not change how the posts are displayed. It just gives the UI to users and a meta key to theme developers to query for, though I am not 100% convinced that meta is the best way to go here. I have at times used a taxonomy for grouping featured posts, though this plugin is currently configured for post meta.

Simply click on the star to "feature" a post
Simply click on the star to “feature” a post

You can decide which post types should support this metabox directly from the plugin options. But of course, the best part of this plugin is that shortly after submitting it to the WordPress repo, I realized someone else had already built something practically identical!  #Doh!  Sometimes that happens, but it was a good exercise nonetheless. If you need a way to mark posts as featured, then grab it from the repo:

Featured Item Metabox

Add a Repeating Text Field to Options Framework Plugin

Options framework repeating field

Options framework repeating field
This is what we’ll be building.
I don’t hardly even know why I was working on this today.  Well a friend wanted to be able to control the radio buttons in a metabox, from the backend (since the otherwise brilliant WP-Alchemy is all dev-level coding) and for some reason  my brain went to theme option.  He ultimately went a different route and used Advanced Custom Fields.  But some days I just feel like not working and doing something fun, and the question of repeating fields in the theme options piqued my interest.  I asked Devin Price if his awesome Options Framework plugin has such a thing and he replied that no it didn’t exist…. yet. He wasn’t sure it was possible, which is like the worst thing to say to me. Of course it is possible! And now instead of working on something responsible, I will now solve this riddle. So I started digging into Options Framework. At first I thought that I would fork OF, but it turns out that all the functions/filters needed are already in place!   Wherever you have your $options array in your theme’s options.php to get a repeating field you’d define your custom option like so:

Then to handle all the parts of displaying this, scripting the repeat, and validating the data you’ll need the following group of functions, added to your theme’s functions.php.

Creating the Output

First, we need to output something when Options Framework gets running and encounters the custom option of type ‘repeat_text’. Devin has a catch-all filter already built-in, so we just have to attach a function to the {$option_type}_option_type filter, in this case repeat_text_option_type. This callback will create the input box (as many as needed by the array of values) plus one hidden one. It also creates the “Add New” button and for good fun we’ll throw in delete buttons next to each input. The markup (and later the script to handle the repeat) draws a lot of inspiration for WP Alchemy’s repeating groups.

Sanitation and Saving

Options Framework won’t save anything unless the data gets run through a sanitization filter. The neat thing, is that if you set up the input names as name="somefield[1]" and so on, WordPress will automatically save all the “somefield” fields in an array. So we just need to rifle through the array and sanitize each text field. We can do this quickly with array_map. Next

Style and Scripting the Repeating Fields

Finally, all the bells and whistles. What good is a repeating field if it doesn’t, you know, repeat. Again, I have to credit Dimas Begunoff for his WP Alchemy class. I’ve simplified some of what he was doing in metaboxes, by merely adding a data-rel to the hidden input. Then a few quick on handlers for the button click events and that hidden input we created earlier gets cloned and given a proper name attribute. Clicking a delete button, removes it’s associated input from the DOM.


Because we’ve saved an array of data the if you try to echo out the results of of_get_option('example_repeat'); you will get Array. You have to loop through the array to print out each on individually with a foreach loop.

This is definitely beta-ish. For instance, I know it doesn’t take into account a way to set an array of defaults… like if you wanted to have two fields set up as the default. Maybe it is Google Chrome, but I’m also having a little issue with tab indexing. And finally… there was something else, but my mind just went blank. Get the full code from my Gist. As beta code, I am totally open to suggestions and improvements, but I won’t be able to help you set this up on your own sites. I’m just putting it out there for information purposes only. What would you use a repeating field for in theme options?