Practical WordPress Development

WordPress Autocomplete for Atom

One piece of functionality that’s useful that isn’t natively built-in to Atom: WordPress autocomplete.

To clarify, earlier this month I talked about how I’d made the switch to Atom as my IDE of choice. I’d also shared a package and a few steps necessary to get PHP CodeSniffer working with Atom. And though that’s nice, there’s something to be said for having other features available (more of which I’ll share in the future).

This isn’t to say that I think we should be using autocomplete as any crutch but if it comes down to having the various hooks and functions appear while typing versus opening up a Codex reference, I’d much prefer the former.

WordPress Autocomplete

As the project page states:

Autocomplete support for WordPress actions and filters in the Atom editor.

And the nice thing is that it’s put together by Joe Hoyle, someone highly reputable and capable in the community.

WordPress Autocomplete for Atom

Personally, I’m a fan of having packages like this available not only for WordPress but a variety of languages. I know some see them as a way to shortcut truly learning an API, but when you have a large API, or you need to work with lesser known functions, it’s not to have this kind of stuff available.

Microsoft has had their IntelliSense available in Visual Studio for decades now. We’ve had Java autocomplete functionality in a variety of IDEs, and even Coda has a plugin for WordPress autocomplete.

Bringing something like this to Atom makes sense.

As I said earlier in the post: This shouldn’t be used as a crutch, though. More as a tool for improving the efficiency with something you already know. On the flipside, perhaps you’ll stumble across a function you’ve not heard of before.

In that case, open the Codex or the WordPress source code and maybe you’ll learn something new.


  1. Joe Casabona

    Love Atom and I haven’t really been looking for something like this but am excited to give it a try.

    The Dev Doctor workflow for Alfred has been great for me as well –

    • Tom

      Love Atom and I haven’t really been looking for something like this but am excited to give it a try.

      I stay on the hunt for packages that I think will help streamline development, but that’s about it. When I find something I like and use (that’s key, of course) I share it here.

      The Dev Doctor workflow for Alfred has been great for me as well

      I used to use Alfred but not really up to its full potential. Since the upgrades in Yosemite and El Capitan improved on Spotlight search (and the various, minor tasks you can do in the field), I’ve been using it.

  2. Nino van den heuvel

    I started using Atom this year. Still on the lookout for good working packages.

    Still looking for a good way to use a debugger for WordPress theme and plugin development.

    Thanks for this update on a good Atom Package.

    • Tom

      Sure thing! One of these days I’ll write a post about all of the packages I use and maybe my general workflow. Then again, most people have their own so I don’t want to necessarily push the way I get things done over how they may get things done.

      We’ll see :).

  3. Kyle Laverty

    Good find. I’ll have to give it a shot. Atom is pretty great. I have been using it for awhile now and was previously a user of Sublime Text. I have been utilizing the emmet package for awhile and found another one for WordPress called wordpress-api by azizur.

    • Tom

      Ah, thanks for the share on the package. I’m always interested to hear what other people use, as well.

  4. Eric Dye

    I started using this shortly after you shared this. It’s been great! Thanks for sharing your toolbox insights. :D

    • Tom

      Of course. Sometimes things change and, when they do, I think it’s important to share what you were using in place of what you’re using now.

      This is something that I’m actually working on doing at the moment since a number of articles on this blog end up being outdated (since it’s been a few years at this point).

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