Little Big Trick: Bulk Editing

The Trick, Said Quick

Make changes to a whole lot of posts, all at once.

The Trick, In Intricate

Sometimes you just need to do some house cleaning- add new tags or categories to posts to organize them better. Or maybe change the author. Or switch a pile of published posts to draft. Or maybe turn comments on or off.

There’s no need to tediously edit and save one by one when you can do them all at once. Bulk Edit is here to save the day.

The first part of the trick is using the various tools in the WordPress posts (or pags) dashboard listing to filter out the posts to edit. You have choices to do this by month published, by category, by keyword search, or even using the numerical page counter to jump pack in time.

If you want to edit more at a time, here is a bonus truck. Click Screen Options in the upper right, and bump up the number per page value from 20 to higher (I once did 500).

Change the number of posts you see per screen in the posts dashboarrd

Then check the boxes next to the posts that you wish to edit at once (or click the box at the top to select all on the screen). From the Bulk Actions menu (top left) select Edit and click Apply.

Now you can make changes to all selected posts. The left side of the pane shows the titles of all posts that will be affected.

You can:

  • Add Categories to all posts
  • Add Tags to all posts
  • Change the author of all posts
  • Turn comments on or off for all posts
  • Set the status of all posts (e.g. draft, publish)

plus a few more things rarely used (Post format? Make ’em all sticky?).

The one limitation is that you can add categories and tags but you cannot remove (if someone knows a bulk way of doing that, outside of complex database queries, please let me know).

If you every doing these changes on just one post, try the Quick Edit link that appears when you hover over a post title- you can do these more quickly then jumping into the full editor if it’s a simple change to one of the above items.

The Trick, Give it a Kick

Tweet back a reply with an example you tried and/or how might you use this?

Featured dog trick image by Free-Photos from Pixabay