Brendan McKenzie

Troubleshooting Hyphens in Elementor's Select Control Values in PHP

Monday, 15 May 2023


Elementor is a popular WordPress page builder plugin that allows users to create custom layouts. However, users have reported issues with using hyphens in the select control values while working with Elementor in PHP. This blog post aims to explain the underlying reasons for this limitation and provide potential workarounds.

Why Elementor Disallows Hyphens in Select Control Values: Elementor's select control values are used as identifiers and are processed by JavaScript. JavaScript treats hyphens as subtraction operators and can cause conflicts or parsing errors. To ensure compatibility and prevent unexpected behaviour, Elementor restricts the use of hyphens in select control values.

Workarounds for Using Hyphens in Elementor's Select Control Values

While you cannot directly use hyphens in select control values, you can employ the following workarounds:

  1. Replace hyphens with underscores Instead of hyphens, substitute them with underscores in your select control values. For example, instead of option-one, use option_one. This ensures compatibility and allows you to differentiate between different options.
  2. Use camel-case Another approach is to use CamelCase notation, where the first letter of each word is capitalized, and there are no spaces or hyphens. For example, instead of "option-one," use "OptionOne" or "optionOne." This maintains readability and resolves the issue.
  3. Encode and decode hyphens Encode the hyphens in your select control values using URL encoding or any other suitable encoding method. For instance, encode the hyphen as "%2D" or "+". When processing the value, decode it back to the original hyphen. This approach ensures the proper functioning of the select control while allowing you to use hyphens as needed.


Elementor restricts hyphens in select control values to ensure compatibility and prevent conflicts with JavaScript parsing. By replacing hyphens with underscores, using CamelCase, or encoding and decoding hyphens, you can work around this limitation and still achieve the desired functionality in Elementor's select controls.