Display commas in WordPress tags

How to display WordPress tags with commas in them? Normally, in a WordPress post all tags are comma seperated: php, wordpress, functions.php. But what if you want to use a tag with commas in it? For instance cafe, bar, restaurants. Easy, create a filter in your WordPress functions.php, here is how.

Allow commas in WordPress tag names

Sometimes you may want to display commas in tag names. For example if you have a business directory listing and want to create one single taxonomy (tag name) “cafe, restaurant, bar. This post shows you how to create a filter in your functions.php file to display WordPress tags with a comma, enjoy!

Found on WordPress Development Stack Exchange, and is an over 5 year old enhancement request on Trac: allow commas in tag names.

Open up your theme’s functions.php file, and add the following code:

/* WordPress filter for tags with commas
 * replace '--' with ', ' in the output - allow tags with comma this way 
 * e.g. save tag as "Fox--Peter" but display like "Fox, Peter" 
 * or "cafe--restaurant" for "cafe, restaurant"
 * Follow me on Twitter: @HertogJanR

// make sure the filters are only called in the frontend
if( !is_admin() ){
    function comma_tag_filter( $tag_arr ){
        $tag_arr_new = $tag_arr;
        if( $tag_arr->taxonomy == 'post_tag' && strpos( $tag_arr->name, '--' ) ) {
            $tag_arr_new->name = str_replace( '--', ', ', $tag_arr->name );
        return $tag_arr_new;    
    add_filter( 'get_post_tag', 'comma_tag_filter' );

    function comma_tags_filter( $tags_arr ) {
        $tags_arr_new = array();
        foreach( $tags_arr as $tag_arr ) {
            $tags_arr_new[] = comma_tag_filter( $tag_arr );
        return $tags_arr_new;
    add_filter( 'get_terms', 'comma_tags_filter' );
    add_filter( 'get_the_terms', 'comma_tags_filter' );

(code by “Andi” on WordPress Development Stack Exchange)

Now when you save a tag with a double dash (--), the double dash will be displayed as a comma (,). So you’re kinda cheating in the presentation :-)

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Extend the filter to display custom taxonomies comma separated

get_the_taxonomies() Retrieve all taxonomies associated with a post.

Jason, founder of Pretty Code Machine, asked a question in the Advanced WordPress Facebook group about how to display a comma separate custom taxonomy.

What he wanted to create is:

Comma separate taxonomies in WordPress
Comma separate taxonomies in WordPress

Of course without saving two Locations taxonomies (Brattleboro and VT), but one: Brattleboro, VT.

I replied and pointed him to this post and filter mentioned above.

After we had some further contact back and forth, Jason came up with the following code to include a taxonomy filter to display the comma separated custom taxonomy for Locations he needed:

// filter for tags (as a taxonomy) with comma
//  replace '--' with ', ' in the output - allow tags with comma this way
if( !is_admin() ) { // make sure the filters are only called in the frontend
    $custom_taxonomy_type = 'location'; // here goes your taxonomy type
    function comma_taxonomy_filter( $tag_arr ){
        global $custom_taxonomy_type;
        $tag_arr_new = $tag_arr;
        if( $tag_arr->taxonomy == $custom_taxonomy_type && strpos( $tag_arr->name, '--' ) ){
            $tag_arr_new->name = str_replace( '--' , ', ', $tag_arr->name);
        return $tag_arr_new;    
    add_filter( 'get_' . $custom_taxonomy_type, comma_taxonomy_filter );
    function comma_taxonomies_filter( $tags_arr ) {
        $tags_arr_new = array();
        foreach( $tags_arr as $tag_arr ) {
            $tags_arr_new[] = comma_taxonomy_filter( $tag_arr );
        return $tags_arr_new;
    add_filter( 'get_the_taxonomies', 'comma_taxonomies_filter' );
    add_filter( 'get_terms', 'comma_taxonomies_filter' );
    add_filter( 'get_the_terms', 'comma_taxonomies_filter' );

Pretty neat, isn’t it?! :)

Did this post helped you solve a problem? Or dit you find it interesting? Support Sysadmins of the North with a direct donation via Paypal of by bank wire transfer IBAN: NL31 ABNA 0432217258 (Jan Reilink). Just $ 5,- or € 5,- is more than enough, thanks!


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  1. Hi Jan- thank you for this extremely helpful post! One question- how would you go about extending your custom tax filter to accept an array of custom taxonomy names, instead of one? Thanks again.

  2. Thank you so much for posting this- particularly that last bit about dealing with the custom taxonomy. This saved the day!

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