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How To Add a Read More Link to Copied Text in WordPress

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How To Add a Read More Link to Copied Text in WordPress

You may have noticed how some popular websites (like eHow etc) will attach a “read more” link to any text that is copied from their site. This is a great way to get new users. Often folks are copying and pasting text from websites into email. Some use it to save the information for future, while others are just sharing it with their friends, family, and colleagues. In this article we are going to show you how you can easily add a “read more” link to any copied text from your WordPress blog, so you can get additional traffic.

Note: To see this in action, copy anything on this post and paste it in your email or notepad.

First thing you need to do is copy the following code into your theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific plugin:

function add_copyright_text() {
	if (is_single()) { ?>

<script type='text/javascript'>
function addLink() {
	if (
document.getElementsByClassName('entry-content')[0], true)) {
    var body_element = document.getElementsByTagName('body')[0];
    var selection;
    selection = window.getSelection();
	var oldselection = selection
    var pagelink = "<br /><br /> Read more at WPBeginner: <?php the_title(); ?> <a href='<?php echo wp_get_shortlink(get_the_ID()); ?>'><?php echo wp_get_shortlink(get_the_ID()); ?></a>"; //Change this if you like
    var copy_text = selection + pagelink;
    var new_div = document.createElement('div');'-99999px';'absolute';

    body_element.appendChild(new_div );
    new_div.innerHTML = copy_text ;
    selection.selectAllChildren(new_div );
    window.setTimeout(function() {
        body_element.removeChild(new_div );

document.oncopy = addLink;


add_action( 'wp_head', 'add_copyright_text');

Now, whenever someone comes to your website and tries to copy your content a read more link will be included along with it. Don’t forget to change the copyright text, and add your own site’s title there.

Edit: Initially we were grabbing the window URL, but as one of our users pointed out that it made the URLs look clunky. We have updated the code to only show it on single post pages, and use wp_shortlink. So it would use something like this: If you are using a customized shortlink like we are:, then it will show the branded shortlink.

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi. Page maintained by Syed Balkhi.

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  1. Jasmine says:

    Thanks for this, it works great for posts but when text is copied from events it doesn’t pull the URL of the page through – any advice? Thanks.

  2. Meenu says:

    How can I limit the content?

  3. Dave says:

    Thank you very much, all the text formatting were changed and pasted as a single line. But I need the text formatting as it is. So please help me in getting this.

  4. Jens | Sir Apfelot says:

    Damn… I am stupid… I added it to the themes custom JS… thats not working. :-)

  5. Jens | Sir Apfelot says:

    Just added the script into my wordpress blog, but I dont get an appendix at the clipbiards end…

    Any ideas? I am not sure, if its because I am working on a mac… but I guess the javascript should work on Firefox on a mac too… :-(

  6. Yash Jhade says:

    While pasting it to blogger following error comes
    Error parsing XML, line 2237, column 96: The value of attribute “href” associated with an element type “a” must not contain the ‘<' character.
    Any Solutions ?

  7. matt says:

    this feature makes copying and pasting more frustrating. For instance, if I copy and paste a headline for editing Wikipedia it can mess up formatting if I’m not careful and requires extra work.

  8. Anon says:

    As a user, I can’t stand this. Please don’t add this.

  9. Alan says:

    Anybody knows how to keep the format?

    When using this plugin all the spaces, line break and format goes away.

  10. Philip-Daniel Kleudgen says:

    Works like a charm! The only thing i wish it would do is limit the amount of copied text to for example 150 words or something like that.

  11. Salud Casera says:

    No longer works for me.

    It was working before though but I think it has more to do with the theme rather than the WP version

  12. Alyson says:

    Unfortunately, the code does not work with WP 3.8

    I have tested it on a fresh install. Please feel free to confirm this. Do you have any plans to update the code to make it function?

    • WPBeginner Support says:

      We just tested it with a fresh WP 3.8 install and it is working perfectly on our side.

    • Roselle says:


      At first, I could not get this to work. But upon close examination, I figured out the culprit:

      On the 8th line of the code, you’ll see this:
      document.getElementsByClassName(‘entry-content’)[0], true))

      This is the line that tells the code, “hey, if anyone copies text from text with this class name, then put a read more link”

      All you need to do is use Firebug to figure out what class name your post content is under.

      I have a child theme that I’ve edited over and over again, so mine wasn’t the default, “entry-content”. I suspect your class name is different from that also.

      Good luck,

  13. Gabriel says:


    Many thanks for this great article, but I have a problem. I would like to get the permalink and not the shorthen link. Anyone can tell me how can I do that?


  14. Gretchen Louise says:

    Is there an easy way to make it work on single pages, too?

    • Editorial Staff says:

      Yes. Change line 2 code from:

      if (is_single()) to if (is_singular())

      • Gretchen Louise says:

        Thank you! That works, except it doesn’t grab a link for pages…just posts.

        • Editorial Staff says:

          That’s weird. get_the_id should work for both pages and posts.

        • Gretchen Louise says:

          I have it workign on KindredGrace . com but it doesn’t grab the id for pages, just posts.

        • Editorial Staff says:

          Try adding the global variable. Because get_the_id works for posts and pages are also a “post type”

      • Gretchen Louise says:

        I tried it like this and still no luck on grabbing the shortlink for pages:

        // Add copyright text
        function add_copyright_text() {
        global $post; { ?>

      • Brian York says:

        This change worked for me. However do double check that you have your content under ‘entry-content’ otherwise change that (F12 in Chrome). Thanks WPBeginner!!

      • Brian York says:

        Actually this doesn’t quite work right. It doesn’t work in IE at all and no matter what I do its not copying the HTML part but always converting it to plain text thus would never make a link.

        • alan says:

          I have the same problem, it removes all the format, does anybody knows a fix to this?

  15. VIVROCKS says:

    Great Trick. there is plugin too for this:

  16. Collin Weeks says:

    Love your website! Thanks for taking the time to share with everyone.

  17. Mairaj Pirzada says:

    Nice, Post but I always don’t like Codings, it confuses me!

  18. Helder says:

    It´s not working, even with content

  19. Rafiul Islam says:

    WOW… Many Many Thanks for share it,, I am suffering for this …
    Thanks again.

  20. Lorenzo Solís says:

    Does someone know how to do not show the “Read More Link” when the post title is copied?


    • Editorial Staff says:

      Yes it is possible. Change the selector tag from body to a div ID or what not. I have put the request in. Our developers will let me know, so I can update the article.

      • Lorenzo Solís says:

        Thanks. I’ve just tried with var div = document.getElementById(‘copyright’); in the line number 6 and adding de id=”copyright” to the div content, but I get the same result as with your code. Sorry, I am not a programmer.

  21. Paul says:

    Thanks, this looks interesting I’ll be trying it out soon

  22. Lisa says:

    It also worked fine in a new email composed from Outlook, so I’d say it’s a Gmail issue. Thanks!

  23. Lisa says:

    Interesting and useful; however, I was surprised that the copy test did not work (for me at least) when composing an email in Gmail — nothing showed after pasting the copied text, and the body text area in the compose email window just froze. Testing a copied bit in Notepad worked just fine, so I don’t know what the issue might be with Gmail.

    Thanks for the tip!

  24. Albert Albs says:

    That is good option Syed. Thanks for sharing. But if we can able to print short URL of the post means, that is even better for website owners.

    Currently it is printing long URL. If I came here by Feedburner newsletter subscription, the UTM tracking url also coming.

    Hope you understand. Is it possible?

    • Editorial Staff says:

      Ah hah. Good suggestion. Writing it down in the list of to-do things for WPBeginner.

      Edit: Just updated the code :)

      • Albert Albs says:

        That is fast and smart.

        One Question: Why you removed Author URL in the comment form? Always, I’m seeing, many of the WordPress powered blogs will give credit to the comment author at URL field with NoFollow attribute.

        Is there any specific reason for removing Author URI field? Or are there any experiments for Penguin update?

        Between, I’m not getting any comment notification, even after selecting the “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail” option.

  25. Gabe Diaz says:

    Wow, now this is a great tip! Makes it easy to quote and show attribution as well as drops a link for those who skim and steal content. Very cool!

  26. Emily Sandford says:

    Thanks so much for this. It was so easy to do, and something I wondered about for quite some time. Appreciate it!

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