Support » Fixing WordPress » Custom Fields: check, save and update multiple Check Boxes in Meta Box

Viewing 14 replies - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • Moderator Helen Hou-Sandi


    4.0 and 4.7 Release Lead

    Question: do you have the code written to save the metabox data? Could you post that? Having checkboxes as a CSV should be pretty easy with implode(), but saving your metabox data is a different issue.

    A little side note: you should look into the checked() function:

    Hi Helen, thanks for the suggestion about implode() I will look into that. I think I figured out how to use checked() function, but when I set a checkbox meta in my post, then if I unset the checkbox I’m not able to delete it anymore, value set previously stays there in the custom field.

    the code I use for saving my metabox data is the following (I have many fields, this is just a shortened code)

    add_action('save_post', 'ab_save_postdata');
    function ab_save_postdata( $post_id ) {
        global $post;
        if ( defined( 'DOING_AUTOSAVE' ) && DOING_AUTOSAVE ) { return $post_id; }
        if( $post->post_type == "product" ) {
            if( isset($_POST['product_slogan']) ) { update_post_meta( $post->ID, 'product_slogan', $_POST['product_slogan'] );}
            if( isset($_POST['product_specs']) ) { update_post_meta( $post->ID, 'product_specs', $_POST['product_specs'] );}
            if( isset($_POST['product_benefits']) ) { update_post_meta( $post->ID, 'product_benefits', $_POST['product_benefits'] );}
    ....----etc---...  }
    } ?>

    thank you so much!

    what I’m trying to achieve would be useful to estabilish post relationships – ie estabilish that one single post in a custom post type set is related to another (or several) single post(s) belonging to another custom post type. I figured out this would be achievable with

    1) one meta box with checkboxes;
    2) checkboxes could use IDs of related posts from other custom post type as values;
    3) data (IDs) is stored in one custom field as CSV and later retrieved in frontend with a normal wordpress query get_post_meta exploding the CSV and linking back all those IDs to actualy posts

    this is the idea behind my question

    Moderator Helen Hou-Sandi


    4.0 and 4.7 Release Lead

    Ahhh I see. I think this plugin may be way more helpful than writing some metabox code:

    But, if you want to continue down the metabox path, we can work on it 🙂

    Interesting plugin. But I think I’d better go to my route. For example for another custom post type I connected custom taxonomies of another custom post type rather than a specific post. I’m working at a theme for a company that needs specific things. I also would like to avoid an installation dependent of many plugins and try to stick as much as possible to basic WP functions.

    I understood that I need to review the way I save my custom fields.

    Will continue this later, making a move away from the computer in the next few hours after a weekend spent in front of it 🙂

    Thanks so much for your help

    This is my actual code, I’m playing with the implode() but I think I’m not doing it right…

      function ab_file_related_product(){
      global $post;
      $custom = get_post_custom($post->ID);
      $file_related_product = $custom["file_related_product"][0];
        <div class="ab_meta_box">
          <div class="ab_file_related_product ab_meta_normal">
              <ul><?php $args = array(
                         'post_type' => 'product',);
                        $ab_file_products = get_posts($args);
                          foreach( $ab_file_products as $post ) : setup_postdata($post);
                          $product_id = get_the_ID();
                          $file_id = 'file_related_product[' . $product_id . ']';
                                  <input type="checkbox" name="file_related_products[]" value="<?php echo get_the_ID() ?>"
                                  <?php if ( $file_id == $product_id) echo ('checked="checked""'); else echo (''); ?> />
                                  <label for="file_related_products[]" ><?php the_title(); ?></label>
                        if(isset($_POST['file_related_products'])) {
                            $file_related_checkboxes = $_POST['file_Related_products'];
                            $file_related_product_array = implode($file_related_checkboxes,",");
                            echo ('<input type="hidden" name="file_related_product" value="'. $file_related_product_array .'"/>');

    This outputs a list of “products” displayed as checkboxes; I selected a few and try to save the post. From the HTML they look fine, each checkbox has the ID value of each “product” and the titles are correct too. However when I attempt to save the products checked they won’t. This is how I’m trying to save the imploded array (just like other metas, for text inputs it works fine):

    if( isset($_POST['file_related_product']) ) { update_post_meta( $post->ID, 'file_related_product', $_POST['file_related_product'] );}

    tutorials I’ve found around use add_post_meta, update_post_meta and delete_post_meta in a different way, they are based on different setups and I still can’t handle those functions well…

    Moderator Helen Hou-Sandi


    4.0 and 4.7 Release Lead

    Can you pastebin your entire code for the metabox? It’s kind of hard to see what’s going on with just snippets. Also, is this you on the WordPress StackExchange?

    Basically, you need to use implode before you save the post_meta, and explode before you set your checked boxes in the metabox. From what I see, you’re now setting a hidden field with the CSV. This is not going to help with your checkboxes at all. Are you comfortable with checkboxes in PHP to begin with? They are perhaps the least friendly of the form fields.

    If you can’t handle using the post_meta functions very well, my opinion would be that you should really rethink trying to write this yourself, especially if this is for a client and you will need to continue to support the application. You can use custom taxonomies for more than one post type, and the really solid Posts 2 Posts plugin can help with the post relationships you’ve described. I can’t imagine why you’d want to reinvent the wheel with a metabox, and I can imagine memory usage getting out of control if there are a lot of items being loaded into those checkboxes. You’re loading up ALL of the post data just to get the ID and title. There is nothing wrong with using a solidly developed plugin in a business application. scribu (the plugin author) is very dependable and will not write bad code. Then again, perhaps you have some kind of usage idea that I’m not seeing. this is my whole php for all the metaboxes for my custom file types; if it’s unreadable, I will edit it to cut all other metaboxes (I’m still working on it and I know the code is not always very clean) – and yup that’s me on stackexchange, I noticed they suggested the same plugin

    I understood that I can use P2P to relate two posts of two different post types together. How about if I want to relate one post to a category of posts? In my case I want to related a product to “latest driver”; I would like to use a category for that and in the frontend fetch the latest “post” (“driver” that is) for that category. Suppose I have one “product” post type and one “driver” post type in the same taxonomy, how would you fetch the “latest” driver for one specific product that is related to that driver?

    Thanks for your help and sharing your ideas and concerns

    Moderator Helen Hou-Sandi


    4.0 and 4.7 Release Lead

    They suggest the same plugin because, well, it’s pretty awesome 🙂 And thank YOU for being receptive to concerns and other ideas. Sometimes people understandably get a little sensitive, but we’re all just trying to help each other out and get things done the best way possible. I always worry for those who have to continue to maintain a system that’s gotten out of hand, because I’ve been there. Sometimes it’s nice to use a plugin or at least write your own functionality plugin – then you can transfer the features even if the theme gets completely overhauled.

    So, for a custom taxonomy, you can add it to multiple post types by using an array for the $object_type argument (the second one) when registering your taxonomy. You can then associate the product with a category. So, even though maybe in terms of concept, the product isn’t really in that category, it’s now related to it in some way. Then, in the theme, look for the product’s category or categories, then use a separate query to pull in the latest item from the category in the relevant post type. So, an example query:

    $custom_query['post_type'] = 'post';
    $custom_query['posts_per_page'] = 1;
    $custom_query['tax_query'] = array(
    		'taxonomy' => 'tax_name',
    		'terms' => array($category->slug),
    		'field' => 'slug',
    $queryObject = new WP_Query($custom_query);
    // The Loop...
    if ($queryObject->have_posts()) {
    	while ($queryObject->have_posts()) {
    		// loop-type stuff to display your latest driver

    Note that the array value for terms probably would not work at all. You’d have to determine the category slug (probably using wp_get_object_terms()), and do a foreach if there’s more than one category.

    Thanks for posting all of your code, too. If we need to reference it again, it’s there. I did notice that you are using nonces 🙂

    (the meta box discussed in this thread is the last one at the bottom of that pastebin, just before I save the custom fields)

    (added this while you were typing reply above)

    You know, I’m testing the P2P plugin and I have to say it’s really awesome. I do wish something like this was embedded into WP core.

    Still, I would like to learn what was wrong with my checkboxes and how to save content from them using implode. 🙂 This could still be useful for checkboxes not related to my purpose now (which anyway I achieved partially, ie I was able to return post IDs as checkboxes). For how hard checkboxes are to handle I’d still wish to learn.

    Thanks Helen (and compliments for your piano skills, I’m listening music from your website as I type this 🙂 )

    Moderator Helen Hou-Sandi


    4.0 and 4.7 Release Lead

    Sure, we can still work on checkboxes! And thanks for listening 🙂 I am on my way out, unfortunately, but will be back later with (hopefully) fresh eyes.

    Moderator Helen Hou-Sandi


    4.0 and 4.7 Release Lead

    I was out a lot longer than I thought 🙂 I made an example metabox that works:

    In prose, you take the values of the checkboxes, implode them with a comma as the separator (but the separator can be anything, really), and then save the CSV. Then, when displaying the metabox, you explode the CSV using that same separator and then check if the value of the checkbox you are currently displaying is in the array produced by explode. Hope that helps!

    Oh thank you so much Helen,

    I am sorry too for this late reply I have been literally absorbed with work past week 🙂

    Anyway I really wish to thank you for the code you have shared with me

    I have solved many of the issues I had at the beginning with the p2p plugin and changed a bit the structure of my plan

    however the information you provided for the checkboxes will be certainly useful to me 🙂

    wish you a good day and keep up with your lovely music!


Viewing 14 replies - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
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