Customize WordPress Quicktags

Note: This condensed tutorial assumes you are working with WordPress 2+ and are familiar with editing .php and/or .js files.

WordPress quicktags1 provide shortcuts for adding certain bits of code to your posts. The default set of quicktags includes some handy shortcut buttons for tags such as <strong>, <a>, and <img>, as well as a few others. While the default set of quicktag buttons is occasionally useful, a quick bit of quicktag customization can easily transform your personal set of quicktag buttons into a deadly arsenal of time-saving code shortcuts.

First, open the quicktags.js file, usually located in the wp-includes/js directory. Next, scroll down to around line #40 and look for the following chunk of code:

edButtons[edButtons.length] = 
new edButton('ed_strong'
,'b'
,'<strong>'
,'</strong>'
,'b'
);

edButtons[edButtons.length] = 
new edButton('ed_em'
,'i'
,'<em>'
,'</em>'
,'i'
);

Now, to assist in the editing process, copy and paste this next bit of code in between any two of the edButtons[] statements. As this will be used as reference only, ensure that remains commented out:

/*

THIS IS THE GENERAL FORMAT OF A QUICKTAG BUTTON:

function edButton(id, display, tagStart, tagEnd, access, open) {
	this.id = id;             // used to name the toolbar button
	this.display = display;   // label on button
	this.tagStart = tagStart; // open tag
	this.tagEnd = tagEnd;     // close tag
	this.access = access;     // access key
	this.open = open;         // set to -1 if tag does not need to be closed
}

*/

With that in place, it is time to add a new button. Choose a code element that you find yourself frequently adding to your posts. Let’s say that you are always linking to a content directory called "content". In that case, let’s add a quicktag button that will automatically create a link to the content directory:

edButtons[edButtons.length] = new edButton('ed_content-link'
,'content-link'
,'<a href="http://yourblog.com/path/content/" title="">'
,'</a>'
,''
);

After saving and uploading the edited quicktags.js file, adding a link to your content directory is as easy as pressing the "content-link" quicktag button!

The process of adding other tags is essentially the same. Play around a bit and see what you come up with. Hopefully, this is enough information to get you started. Remember to delete the reference example after you have finished adding/editing buttons. For newer versions of WordPress, the same block of reference code is included near the top of the quicktags.js file itself. For more information on customizing quicktags, check out the tutorial2 listed in the reference section below.

References