The WordPress TinyMCE editor mercilessly strips tags at will. Some will tell you that in order to avoid this problem you should disable the visual editor, but this is not a realistic solution since a. Many people feel more comfortable using a visual editor and b. The editor should not remove code from the coding editor, period.

This problem is becoming even more acute with the proliferation of embeddable services available on the web for easily sharing rich content like videos, slideshows, and documents. In order to display these services on your blog, you need to embed the code within your post, but doing so will often break your blog layout since the divs are stripped.

There are many topics on the WordPress forum related to this issue, none of which have been resolved satisfactorily. The question is – do the folks behind WordPress have any intention of fixing this problem?

How to fix it

A few days ago I wrote about a way to make the WordPress TinyMCE text editor stop stripping div tags. The original code that I wrote didn’t work, but I subsequently found a solution that I tested and did work, and have since corrected the original post.

While I was searching for a way to get the hack to work, I found a bunch of other hacks and plugins that help you force the WordPress editor to stop stripping tags, or show you how to customize the editor. So here are some other options you may find useful:


  1. TinyMCE Advanced – Among the many things this plugin does, it says it supports XHTML specific tags and (div based) layers. This may mean that it doesn’t strip div tags.
  2. Disable wpautop Plugin – This plugin disables the WordPress wpautop function. The wpautop function changes double line-breaks in the text into HTML paragraphs (<p>...</p>), and this plugin disables that annoying feature.


  1. To stop the WordPress editor from stripping out div tags, replace line 25 in the wp-includes/js/tinymce/plugins/tiny_mce_config.php file with the following: $valid_elements = ‘#p[*],-div[*],-strong/-b[*],-em/-i[*],-font[*],-ul[*],-ol[*],-li[*],*[*]’;
    (This method was described in my previous post on this subject.)
  2. To stop the editor from removing line breaks, open wp-includes/formatting.php, and change line 402 to this: $content = str_replace('<br />', '<br clear="all" />', $content);. Alternately, you can use <br clear=”none”/>.
  3. To get the advanced toolbar functions to open by default, instead of needing to click on the Show/Hide Advanced Toolbar button, open wp-includes/js/tinymce/tiny_mce_config.php and change line 34 to read $mce_buttons_2 = apply_filters('mce_buttons_2', array('formatselect', 'underline', 'justifyfull', 'fontselect', 'separator', 'pastetext', 'pasteword', 'separator', 'removeformat', 'cleanup', 'separator', 'charmap', 'separator', 'undo', 'redo')); (via 1000 Miles or Bust)

That’s it for now. I’ll probably update this post as I find more information on hacking the TinyMCE editor.