Taxonomy Advanced

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The taxonomy advanced field allows you to select one or multiple taxonomy terms. This field has several settings that can be displayed as a: simple select dropdown, checkbox list, or beautiful select dropdown with select2 library.

If the taxonomy is hierarchical, you are able to display the field as a select or checkbox tree, e.g. show childen terms when parent term is selected.

The taxonomy advanced field is very similar to taxonomy field. Both fields display terms to users to select. The only difference is how they store selected terms in the database:

  • taxonomy: doesn’t store any terms in the post meta. Instead, it sets post terms. Think about it like a replacement of Category or Tag meta box of WordPress. – taxonomy_advanced: store terms’ IDs in the post meta and doesn’t set post terms.


Beautiful select with select2 library (default):

taxonomy select

Checkbox list:

taxonomy checkbox list

Checkbox tree:

taxonomy checkbox tree

Radio list:

radio list

Radio list inline:

radio list inline

Select tree:

taxonomy select tree


Besides the common settings, this field has the following specific settings:

Name Description
taxonomy Taxonomy slug. String. Required.
query_args Query arguments for getting taxonomy terms. Uses same arguments as get_terms(). Optional.
placeholder The placeholder for the select box. Default is “Select a {taxonomy label}”. Applied only when the field_type is a select field.
field_type How the terms are displayed? See below.

This field inherits the look and field (and settings) from other fields, depending on the field_type, which accepts the following value:

Field type Description Settings inherited from
select Simple select dropdown. select
select_advanced Beautiful select dropdown using the select2 library. This is the default value. select_advanced
select_tree Hierachical list of select boxes which allows to select multiple items (select/deselect parent item will show/hide child items). Applied only when the taxonomy type is hierarchical (like pages). select
checkbox_list Flatten list of checkboxes which allows to select multiple items. checkbox_list
checkbox_tree Hierachical list of checkboxes which allows to select multiple items (select/deselect parent item will show/hide child items). Applied only when the taxonomy type is hierarchical (like pages). checkbox_list
radio_list Flatten list of radio boxes which allows to select only 1 item. radio

Note that for select_tree, checkbox_list, checkbox_tree, the multiple setting is always set to true.

Sample code

This code shows pages in select2 dropdown:

    'name'       => 'Taxonomy',
    'id'         => 'taxonomy',
    'type'       => 'taxonomy',

    // Taxonomy slug.
    'taxonomy'   => 'category',

    // How to show taxonomy.
    'field_type' => 'select_advanced',

The code below shows pages in a checkbox tree format:

    'name'       => 'Taxonomy',
    'id'         => 'taxonomy',
    'type'       => 'taxonomy',

    // Taxonomy slug.
    'taxonomy'   => 'category',

    // How to show taxonomy.
    'field_type' => 'checkbox_tree',


Unlike the taxonomy field, this field saves terms’ IDs in the database.

If field is not multiple, then a single term ID is saved in the database. Otherwise, the field saves multiple term IDs in a single row in the database in the comma separated strings (e.g. format 1,2,3).

If the field is cloneable, then the value is stored as a serialized array in a single row in the database.

Template usage

Getting value of this field can be done via the helper function:

$terms = rwmb_meta( $field_id );
if ( ! empty( $terms ) && ! is_wp_error( $terms ) ) {
    foreach ( $terms as $term ) {
        echo '<p>', $term->name, '</p>';

If the field is neither cloneable or multiple, e.g. it has single value, then the rwmb_meta() function returns the single term object:

$term = rwmb_meta( $field_id );
echo '<p>', $term->name, '</p>';

If you just want to output selected terms in an unordered list, use this code:

rwmb_the_value( $field_id );

Read more about rwmb_meta() and rwmb_the_value().