How to Set a Character Limit for WordPress Post Excerpt

Snippets by IsItWP

Do you want to set a character limit for your post excerpt in WordPress? This snippet helps you set a limit for your post excerpt and also removes everything after the last sentence within the excerpt. That way the excerpt will NOT cut off mid-sentence.

// Variable & intelligent excerpt length.
function print_excerpt($length) { // Max excerpt length. Length is set in characters
	global $post;
	$text = $post->post_excerpt;
	if ( '' == $text ) {
		$text = get_the_content('');
		$text = apply_filters('the_content', $text);
		$text = str_replace(']]>', ']]>', $text);
	$text = strip_shortcodes($text); // optional, recommended
	$text = strip_tags($text); // use ' $text = strip_tags($text,'&lt;p&gt;&lt;a&gt;'); ' if you want to keep some tags

	$text = substr($text,0,$length);
	$excerpt = reverse_strrchr($text, '.', 1);
	if( $excerpt ) {
		echo apply_filters('the_excerpt',$excerpt);
	} else {
		echo apply_filters('the_excerpt',$text);

// Returns the portion of haystack which goes until the last occurrence of needle
function reverse_strrchr($haystack, $needle, $trail) {
    return strrpos($haystack, $needle) ? substr($haystack, 0, strrpos($haystack, $needle) + $trail) : false;

Here is an example how to use the function in your theme templates.

<?php print_excerpt(50); ?>

Note: If this is your first time adding code snippets in WordPress, then please refer to our guide on how to properly copy / paste code snippets in WordPress, so you don’t accidentally break your site.

If you liked this code snippet, please consider checking out our other articles on the site like: Best WordPress Page Builders (Compared).

Comments   Leave a Reply

  1. Thanks for the above. I’ve added the snippet using code snippet plugin.

    Where do I put this though:

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