Expand the WordPress Quick Edit Menu

The WordPress Quick Edit menu allows us to quickly modify certain object attributes without having to go into the full object Edit Screen. The Quick Edit menu uses javascript to display the edit interface, thereby saving us time and additional calls to our WordPress server.

The first step towards expanding our WordPress Quick Edit Menu is to add a custom column to our target Edit Screen. In this example tutorial, we will expand the Quick Edit menu for Post objects. Therefore, we start by adding a custom column to our Posts screen.

1. Add a Custom Column

We add a custom column called Widget Set which shows some custom meta data associated with our Post objects.

// Add to our admin_init function
add_filter('manage_post_posts_columns', 'shiba_add_post_columns');

function shiba_add_post_columns($columns) {
	$columns['widget_set'] = 'Widget Set';
	return $columns;

The code above adds a new but empty column to our Posts screen.

To fill our new column with the relevant meta-data values, we use the manage_posts_custom_column action hook.

// Add to our admin_init function
add_action('manage_posts_custom_column', 'shiba_render_post_columns', 10, 2);

function shiba_render_post_columns($column_name, $id) {
	switch ($column_name) {
	case 'widget_set':
		// show widget set
		$widget_id = get_post_meta( $id, 'post_widget', TRUE);
		$widget_set = NULL;
		if ($widget_id) 
			$widget_set = get_post($widget_id);
		if (is_object($widget_set)) echo $widget_set->post_title;
		else echo 'None';				

Line 2 – Add the manage_posts_custom_column action hook to our admin_init function.
Lines 5 to 6 – Check for our new custom column.
Lines 8 to 13 – Render our custom Post object meta-data values.

Now, our new column is filled with the relevant meta-data values.

2. Expand the WordPress Quick Edit Menu

After adding our custom column, we are ready to expand our Post Quick Edit menu using the quick_edit_custom_box action hook.

Note – The quick_edit_custom_box action hook will not fire unless there are custom columns present. That is why we started by adding a custom column.

// Add to our admin_init function
add_action('quick_edit_custom_box',  'shiba_add_quick_edit', 10, 2);

function shiba_add_quick_edit($column_name, $post_type) {
	if ($column_name != 'widget_set') return;
    <fieldset class="inline-edit-col-left">
	<div class="inline-edit-col">
		<span class="title">Widget Set</span>
		<input type="hidden" name="shiba_widget_set_noncename" id="shiba_widget_set_noncename" value="" />
		<?php // Get all widget sets
			$widget_sets = get_posts( array( 'post_type' => 'widget_set',
							'numberposts' => -1,
							'post_status' => 'publish') );
		<select name='post_widget_set' id='post_widget_set'>
			<option class='widget-option' value='0'>None</option>
			foreach ($widget_sets as $widget_set) {
				echo "<option class='widget-option' value='{$widget_set->ID}'>{$widget_set->post_title}</option>\n";

Line 5 – Only render our Quick Edit extension on the relevant screen.
Lines 7 to 25 – Render our custom drop-down menu for selecting widget sets.

3. Save Custom Quick Edit Data

We save our new quick edit menu data in the same way that we save new custom meta-box data – through the save_post action hook. The save_post function below was adapted from the example found on WordPress.org.

// Add to our admin_init function
add_action('save_post', 'shiba_save_quick_edit_data');

function shiba_save_quick_edit_data($post_id) {
	// verify if this is an auto save routine. If it is our form has not been submitted, so we dont want
	// to do anything
	if ( defined('DOING_AUTOSAVE') && DOING_AUTOSAVE ) 
		return $post_id;	
	// Check permissions
	if ( 'page' == $_POST['post_type'] ) {
		if ( !current_user_can( 'edit_page', $post_id ) )
			return $post_id;
	} else {
		if ( !current_user_can( 'edit_post', $post_id ) )
		return $post_id;
	// OK, we're authenticated: we need to find and save the data
	$post = get_post($post_id);
	if (isset($_POST['post_widget_set']) && ($post->post_type != 'revision')) {
		$widget_set_id = esc_attr($_POST['post_widget_set']);
		if ($widget_set_id)
			update_post_meta( $post_id, 'post_widget', $widget_set_id);		
			delete_post_meta( $post_id, 'post_widget');		
	return $widget_set_id;	

4. Update the Quick Edit Menu with Javascript

Now comes the really fun part – notice that while our new custom input shows up in the Quick Edit menu, it is not properly updated to show which ‘widget_set‘ the current Post object is set to. I.e., our widget set meta-data is not getting through to our custom Quick Edit menu.

The set_inline_widget_set javascript function below updates our Quick Edit menu with the relevant meta-data.

// Add to our admin_init function
add_action('admin_footer', 'shiba_quick_edit_javascript');

function shiba_quick_edit_javascript() {
	global $current_screen;
	if (($current_screen->id != 'edit-post') || ($current_screen->post_type != 'post')) return; 
	<script type="text/javascript">
	function set_inline_widget_set(widgetSet, nonce) {
		// revert Quick Edit menu so that it refreshes properly
		var widgetInput = document.getElementById('post_widget_set');
		var nonceInput = document.getElementById('shiba_widget_set_noncename');
		nonceInput.value = nonce;
		// check option manually
		for (i = 0; i < widgetInput.options.length; i++) {
			if (widgetInput.options[i].value == widgetSet) { 
				widgetInput.options[i].setAttribute("selected", "selected"); 
			} else { widgetInput.options[i].removeAttribute("selected"); }

Lines 5 to 6 – Only add the javascript quick edit function to the Posts screen.
Line 13 – Make sure that Quick Edit menu is closed. The revert function (defined in inline-edit-post.js) ensures that our Quick Edit custom inputs are properly updated when we switch Post objects.
Lines 15 to 16 – Set nonce value for our custom inputs. If we want, we can expand our save_post function to do a nonce check.
Lines 18 to 22 – Set the proper widget set option on our custom Quick Edit drop-down menu.

5. Link Javascript to the Quick Edit Link

Finally, we want to link our set_inline_widget_set javascript function to the Quick Edit link so that it will update all our custom input values when a Quick Edit link is clicked.

We do this by hooking into the post_row_actions filter. Post object link actions are originally defined in the WP_Posts_List_Table class.

// Add to our admin_init function
add_filter('post_row_actions', 'shiba_expand_quick_edit_link', 10, 2);

function shiba_expand_quick_edit_link($actions, $post) {
	global $current_screen;
	if (($current_screen->id != 'edit-post') || ($current_screen->post_type != 'post')) return $actions; 

	$nonce = wp_create_nonce( 'shiba_widget_set'.$post->ID);
	$widget_id = get_post_meta( $post->ID, 'post_widget', TRUE);	
	$actions['inline hide-if-no-js'] = '<a href="#" class="editinline" title="';
	$actions['inline hide-if-no-js'] .= esc_attr( __( 'Edit this item inline' ) ) . '" ';
	$actions['inline hide-if-no-js'] .= " onclick=\"set_inline_widget_set('{$widget_id}', '{$nonce}')\">"; 
	$actions['inline hide-if-no-js'] .= __( 'Quick&nbsp;Edit' );
	$actions['inline hide-if-no-js'] .= '</a>';
	return $actions;	

Lines 5 to 6 – Only expand Quick Edit links for the Posts screen.
Lines 8 to 9 – Get nonce and other custom input values associated with the current post.
Line 12 – Add the onclick event to our Quick Edit link and associate it to our set_inline_widget_set javascript function.

Related Quick Edit Menu Source Files

Related Articles


  1. Trisha says

    Thank you SO much for this very clear tutorial! Still works great (I’m using WP 4.4.2) and it was easy to follow along and modify to fit my particular custom field to be added.

  2. Nazakat Ali says

    Hi, i read this post..its nice..but ..i have a custom field “Download Link” i want to show this in quick edit mode how i can do this..

  3. says

    hi, tanks for this post …

    but i have a question … Is it possible that change custome feild data in in line edit in wordpress panel and how add this form …!!!?

  4. says

    Followed your tut line by line and adapted to my needs (adding a custom column with each linked Mailpress draft’s title). Everything worked like a charm! Thanks a ton, mainly because I feel I’ve learned a lot while reading your code, editing it and debugging my mistakes. That’s unvaluable.


  5. says

    Sorry, I “feel” it will work. But it doesยดnt. It is the POST_TYPE. But I like to have a sidebar (widgets) selection. What is to do?


    Mark from Germany.

  6. Fer says


    I’m testing this article in my WP installation.
    For testing purposes, I’ve modified the code to do the following:

    add_action(‘save_post’, ‘shiba_save_quick_edit_data’);

    function shiba_save_quick_edit_data($post_id) {
    // OK, we’re authenticated: we need to find and save the data
    if (isset($_POST[‘post_widget_set’]) && ($post->post_type != ‘revision’)) {
    echo ‘Show this’;
    return $widget_set_id;

    The problem is “Show this text” is printing two times.
    This is a problem because I’m trying to insert data in my database and I’m getting duplicates.
    Is there a way to have only one “Show this” text?

    Thankyou so much!

  7. fernando says

    Hi, Thanks for this post shiba, it help me so much but,
    I need insert checkboxes, in the dropdown only I choose a option, but in the checkboxes, I can choose multiple options . How can I do the change?

    • says

      Examples for several input types would be amazing. I tried to get this with just a simple text field and it took quite a bit. Also I have no idea how to get the JS part working, its very deep. Thanks for this TUT!

  8. Josh says

    Hey, thanks for the walkthrough. Really helpful, fantastic research.

    One thingโ€ฆ any idea how it’s possible to add the quickedit box to a different column? At the moment it just dumps it at the end of the quickedit html and sits below everything else.


    • ShibaShake says

      The entire quick edit menu is rendered in the inline_edit function.

      I did a quick scan through the function and didn’t see any obvious way to flexibly change the quickedit menu structure through hooks.

      Two possible options-
      1. Add in empty fieldset cells to skip columns.
      2. Use javascript.

  9. says

    Hey All,
    If you want to prepopulate your field with jQuery it’s much simpler. Just inclue this script after your fieldset.

    ;(function($) {
    jQuery(‘tr.inline-edit-row .keywords’).val(jQuery(‘tr.inline-edit-row’).prev(‘tr.type-equipment’).find(‘td.keywords’).text());

  10. ideamining says

    thank u first

    then my ask:
    my onclick=\”set_inline_slider1()\”
    remove after i click on update button.
    what’s the problem.

    • ideamining says

      in oder word
      my quck edit link just have first value of my custom field and not refresh value after update

      thanks a lot

  11. Mel says

    Thanks so much – I’ve got further with this than any other tutorial and think I will get it working, but I really need it for pages and custom post types more than standard posts. Could you tell me which fields I should be looking to update for this to work. Also, would I need to add this code to my functions file 3 times if I wanted it to work for 3 types of post? Sorry for complete idiocy, but this is such a great function I really want to understand it!

  12. says

    In this listing :

    // Add to our admin_init function
    add_action('manage_posts_custom_column', 'shiba_render_post_columns', 10, 2);
    function shiba_render_post_columns($column_name, $id) {
    	switch ($column_name) {
    	case 'widget_set':
    		// show widget set
    		$widget_id = get_post_meta( $id, 'post_widget', TRUE);
    		$widget_set = NULL;
    		if ($widget_id) 
    			$widget_set = get_post($widget_id);
    		if (is_object($widget_set)) echo $widget_set->post_title;
    		else echo 'None';				

    why are you printing post title instead of custom field value? this line should print custom field value, isn’t it?

    and this code isn’t work, it’s return NULL though there is a value and it’s print the default value ‘NONE’.

    But if i set the default value to print $widget_id (line 13) it’s gone right, but the rest (that haven’t a value in the custom field) didn’t print anything.

    a little help and explanation would be appreciated.

      • Jenny says

        Hey, awesome post, but you got me a little confused now with the custom post type. So, when using this with regular posts, should I replace every instance of ‘widget_set’ with ‘post’? And where would I put my own custom field ‘website_url’ in this case (which is just a plain old text field, by the way)?
        Thank you for clarifying for me!

  13. says

    Awesome post!

    I have the same problem (however for post tags) as mentioned already that I would like to retrieve the present settings and mark them with selected=”selected”. Is there any way to get the present ID of the element in that particular row?


    • Chris says

      I have to reply to my own comment. I managed to get this working. For taxonomy editing you need to call the JS inlineEditTax.revert(); Thanks again, saved me lots of work!

  14. Anonymous says

    Hi, your code is really magic but i’m not a php expert developer, is there a way to insert custom fields instead the ID post?

    I need to show the 3 custom field options into the “option” form.

    I’m using this:

    'numberposts' => -1,
    'post_status' => 'publish') );

    Inside the form:

    foreach ($estatus_columns as $estatus_column) {
    echo "ID}'>{$estatus_column->post_title}\n";

    I’m trying to do this with no success:

    Inside the form:

    foreach ($estatus_columns as $estatus_column) {
    echo "estatus}'>. get('estatus') .\n";

    Thank you in advance.

  15. Amy says

    Very interesting work, I was wondering if there is a way to remove items from quick edit, for example the categories box?

  16. says

    HI Shiba,

    Is there a way to add desired columns such as postmeta field to quick edit
    option without creating columns? I did this by calling method but i could’t make it work since those values are not saving could you walk through it once please guide me to achieve this.

  17. says

    as a heads up if you are using this on a hierarchical post type, then you must change post_row_actions to page_row_actions. got stuck on that for a while. and to touch back on my old comment about setting the thumbnail from the edit.php screen, i was able to accomplish this except that the new image wouldn’t fade in. i couldn’t find any way to hook onto the completion of the ajax save. still looking for the appropriate callback.

  18. says

    I have to get the current post meta inside the function and update the data with conditions of new and existing data. But seems like get_post_meta is not working. I tried this: get_post_meta($post_id, ‘_vm’, TRUE) while there is some existing data with meta key _vm but. It outputs nothing. It works good on other function. I need quick help.

    • says

      Not sure why. It could be an issue with the wrong $post_id or that the meta key starts with an underscore. I would print out the $post_id to make sure it is the post that I want. If that is not the issue, I would try using a different meta key.

      Anyway, let us know what works out.

      • says

        Sorry for late reply. That doesn’t work. The post id and meta key is accurate. I tried printing them and also tried with some other meta before doing the comment. It looks like the get_post_meta function doesn’t work inside the function for me. If you have time you may try. I used same code and data to get the meta data on edit post page and other places and that works fine.

  19. jonathan says

    Im struggling to follow this. the first bit add a custom column Widget Set to the admin I cant follow as you dont illustrate which file is needed to be edited. It would be easier if you pointed out edit the /wp-admin/admin.php file (or what ever file it is)

    Im trying to just add a new field in the pages edit menu so that it will just display the page file name eg left-handed-widgets.html. ultimatly I just want to export a list of the page file names my site has. but dont want it in xml. just want a text file or CSV. cant find a plugin to to this anywhere. Ijust need to record on a table each page file name and its inherant google page rank. So I can get a at the glance view of which pages need a bit of sculpting.

    does anyone know if there is a plugin that will do this. I could follow the instructions if didnt have to second guess while file is being edited. or is that just the arrogance of the person writing the tutorial “if your wanting to edit this code, then you should know what file we are using, else get lost” how much extra effort does it take to just put in a step that says ‘open wp-admin/edit-xyz.php’ .

    • says

      In general, you do not want to edit WordPress core files.

      The best ways to add in new functionality is through a child theme or through a plugin. Some people edit their current theme file for a short term solution.

      There are a variety of articles out there on child themes and how to write a plugin. I would start with the WordPress Codex. I also have an example plugin that you can use –

      I can understand your frustration with WP programming, but striking out at others is perhaps not the best way to get questions answered.

  20. kathy says

    hi! i love this. i just noticed that when you update the post after quick editing the ‘widget set’.. that if you go back to the quick edit, the drop down doesn’t remember the value. this probably b/c there is no comparison of the the current value to the value in the foreach loop

    foreach ($widget_sets as $widget_set) {
    echo "ID}'>{$widget_set->post_title}\n";

    and setting selected=”selected”. though there might be more to the javascript side of things

  21. kathy says

    thumbs up to Jan’s idea! i also have been wondering for a while if the thumbnail (added from your other tutorial) could be changed/set from the quick edit menu.

  22. Friend says

    I get these errors in the Firebug console when I use this code. Clicking the quick edit link doesn’t work when I use my copied and pasted version of the code.

    ReferenceError: Can’t find variable: inlineEditPost
    ReferenceError: Can’t find variable: set_inline_widget_set

    • ShibaShake says

      Where are you trying to add the quick edit expansion? What version of WP are you running?

      inlineEditPost should be defined in inline-edit-post.js (a native WP file) which automatically gets loaded in the Edit Post screen.

  23. Friend says

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! You are amazing.
    I think there’s a typo, in the last bit of code:
    It looks like you have an extra “)” here:
    // Add to our admin_init function
    add_filter(‘post_row_actions’, ‘shiba_expand_quick_edit_link’), 10, 2);

  24. Perry says

    You are my hero – the only person I could find that may have a chance at helping me!

    Is there any way you would take a paying job to help me create a column in my wp-admin post screen? I just installed the la petite URL plugin, and want the shortened URL’s to display on my main admin posts screen (for quick reference). I don’t need it in the quick edit function – just a column that displays the link/data.

    Please contact me at the email I put into the comment. Thanks!

  25. says

    This was an amazing article! I’m still fairly new to WordPress, so I’m learning as much about cutomizing it and using it as I can. This was some great info for me; it is helping me to better understand the programming side of WordPress, since I am trained more on the graphic side ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. says

    I think I love you ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks so much for this.. I can’t tell you how much help this was for me.

    With more appreciation than you could shake a stick at..


  27. jan says

    I wonder if you could use it to add a “quick edit” button to the Media Library? It would be very useful to modify the captions and alts from there…


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