Add Editor Styles in WordPress

The Five Minute Guide to Add Editor Style

Do you add regular content to your WordPress site? If so, you know the drill… Log in to the admin dashboard, click that “add new” post button, and proceed to stare at the screen write captivating and meaningful content.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent as much time tinkering with my site design and typography as I have writing content. Wouldn’t it be nice if I could enjoy all of my site styles from within the post editor screen? Turns out I can! And so can you.

Today I’ll show you how, in 5 minutes or less, to apply your site’s styles to your post editor. That means you can see your site fonts, colors, and sizes within your editor, making it easier to preview your content without actually previewing it. πŸ™‚

Add Editor Style to Your Site

We’re going to use add_editor_style, a function available in WordPress core, to do the trick. Simply drop the following into your site’s functions.php file (or wherever you add custom functionality in your site).

add_action( 'init', 'cd_add_editor_styles' );
* Apply theme's stylesheet to the visual editor.
* @uses add_editor_style() Links a stylesheet to visual editor
* @uses get_stylesheet_uri() Returns URI of theme stylesheet
function cd_add_editor_styles() {
add_editor_style( get_stylesheet_uri() );

Now go check out a post and you’ll see the magic in action! That’s it!

Note that I’m just using my theme’s stylesheet, which may bring in some styles to my editor that I don’t want (i.e. set widths, padding, margins, etc.). If you only want to bring in font-related styles, create a separate stylesheet and link to that instead of your theme stylesheet.

In the function above, remove get_stylesheet_uri() and replace it with 'your-custom-styles.css' (in quotes).


Thanks toΒ  AJ Clarke over at for introducing me to style in the post editor screen and pointing me to the add_editor_style function reference in the WordPress Codex.

33 thoughts on “The Five Minute Guide to Add Editor Style”

  1. Hey Carrie this looks promising. Hoping this makes writing more comfortable for our members.

    I’m having a wee bit of trouble getting this to work. I suspect its how I’m referencing the theme css file [].

    Do I use the entire path? If not, what portion. Thanks.

    1. Hi Brad, you should be able to use the code snippet as is. get_stylesheet_uri() will pull in your theme’s stylesheet. Otherwise, if you wanted to do a special stylesheet, you could just name the file (not full path), assuming it’s in your theme’s root directory.


  2. Pretty cool stuff, Carrie. Thanks for the post.

    Just to clarify would this be added to the functions.php file in the framework directory? (My site uses Genesis.)

    Or, in the child-theme directory? (I’m using StudioPress’ sixteen-nine-pro theme.)

    My host provider, Synthesis, requires file edits via sFTP; the edit files option is removed from WP admin–so I wasn’t sure. Thanks again.

    1. Hey Steve,
      It’ll be your child theme’s functions.php file. You don’t ever want to edit Genesis Framework files. πŸ™‚

      Glad to see you ’round these parts again.


      1. Yeah, duh me.

        I just saw the warning in the framework’s function.php file: “WARNING: This file is part of the core Genesis Framework. DO NOT edit this file under any circumstances. Please do all modifications in the form of a child theme.”

        Works like a charm! (in only 2-minutes)

        Thanks, it’s good to be back.

  3. I added this code to my child theme’s functions.php file but, I’m not sure what’s different when I am using my Post editor? I work almost all of the time in the Text tab and seldom in the Visual tab.

  4. Carrie, just tried this (with Beautiful Pro Genesis child theme), and it looked like it was working great, but I noticed that unordered and ordered lists don’t show up as such anymore in the visual editor, though they do when published. Ideas/workarounds? I tested the other WSYISYG buttons and seems like everything else pretty much shows up okay. Could be a point of confusion to my students (am setting this up for them)…Thanks, Jim

    1. Ah, I think that has to do with the margin/padding on lists (the bullets are offscreen to the left). In that instance, it’d be helpful to have an additional stylesheet that adds in extra styles just for the editor for cases like this.

  5. Yes, understood! But now we’re getting into >5 minutes ;-). Actually, what seems to happen across browsers in the visual editor is that all text is now disturbingly sent to the right side with a wide window, and the and markers disappear when all is sent to left side with a narrower visual editor window. I played a bit with adding e.g. a .wp-editor-container style to the stylesheet’s .entry-content specification (so that they’d be the same), but no luck…ideas welcome!…Jim

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