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Simple Breaks

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Simple Breaks adds in shortcodes for everyday html elements that get removed by visual mode such as [ br ] and [ hr ], as well as providing support for Clear left, clear right and clear both css attributes.


To use Simple Breaks, place the shortcode below into your post or page to get the desired result (without the spaced next to the [ and ]).

[ br ] Adds in a line break, accepts the attributes id and class
[ clearright ] Pushes all the content below it down until no content is floating to the right, accepts the attributes id, class and span.
[ clearleft ] Pushes all the content below it down until no content is floating to the left, accepts the attributes id, class and span.
[ clearboth ] Pushes all the content below it down until no content is floating to the right or the left, accepts the attributes id, class and span.
[ hr ] Horizontal Rule, draws a line across the page, accepts the attributes id, size class and color
[ space ] Blank space, empty, nothing, pushes content down, accepts the attributes id, size and class

The span attribute in [ clearleft ] [ clearright ] [ clearboth ] allows an override of the default tag used. when span=false (default) the tag used will be a div, however when span=true the tag used will be a span.

for example [ clearleft span=true ] will use a span tag instead of a div tag, and [ clearleft ] will use a div tag as default


Installation is Quick, just upload the Simple Breaks files to a Simple Breaks folder within wp-content/plugins and then activate the plugin through the admin dashboard, or find the plugin using the WordPress plugin search and click install

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Where can the plugin be used?
Currently the plugin can be used anywhere that allows shortcodes.
Q. How can I customise the elements?
To customise the elements you can apply a css class using the “Class” attribute, or an ID using the “ID” attribute.


  1. Downloaded and installed your plugin, and it works wonderfully. The break, hardrule and space codes will be particularly useful.

    Any chance you could add buttons to the visual editor for the different functions and attributes? We do site setups for customers, and in many instances, expecting them to remember shortcodes when they just want to get a post up is asking a lot (they are of course focused on their business). I know adding buttons can be added to the editor, it is just not in my skill level.



    • Chris Gilchrist says:

      Hey James, we just finished our latest version of the plugin which you can download shortly and it includes … buttons in visual editor. Hope you and your clients enjoy. It would be great if you could give us a link to our site to help others find our plugin and show you appreciate our work :)

  2. Very useful tool, I love it. Thanks for sharing!
    One thing I’d change (and I did so and added the code in the first version of the plugin, with version 2 I have to upgrade): -Tag as block-level can not be used as widely as I need to use the clear:both, so I added “clearfix”-rule for the clear:both and used a -Tag.

    • ok, arrow-brackets are not very useful in comments 😉
      Meant div-Tag (which is block-level) and replaced this by using a span-Tag instead.

      • Hi Heiki,

        Thank you for your comment :)

        You can further customise the tags though the use of the id and class attributes for example [ clearleft class=’myClass’ ] then in the stylesheet you can add “.myClass { display: inline; }” this will remove the block attribute and change it to be more like the span class :)


        • True for CSS, but sometimes a div-Tag would generate invalide code, and I love valide code

          • Hi Heiki,

            I have never known a div tag to cause invalid code :) if you bear with us, we shall release a new version of the plugin which will have an options page allowing you to choose between spans and divs :)


            • Hi Jamie,

              nesting a div-tag in a p-tag causes invalid markup, and I often use floating images. Sometimes I need to clearfix inside the paragraph, thus I prefer using a span-Tag for the clearfix.

              • Good News Heike,

                We have released simple breaks version 2.1, this version has a span override ability added to the clear tags.

                By changing [ clearleft ] to [ clearleft span=true ] the output will now be in span tags instead of div tags. This works the same for clear right and clear both :)


  3. Jamie, your the best! Thanks a lot.

    • Thank you 😀

      Please remember to rate our plugin on the WordPress plugins site too :)


      • Jamie, could you please check, if version 2.1 causes trouble with the tinymce. In my case there is no toolbar within the editor after activating simple breaks v 2.1, deactivating the plugin the toolbar is displayed.

        • strange, it was fine on my own testing site! i have released (yet) another! version (2.1.1) which should address this problem :)


          • Sorry Jamie, but 2.1 and 2.1.1 come without Tiny MCE buttons. Unzipping the plugin I’m getting the plugin-folder, but inside this, I miss the scripts and the folder for Tiny MCE (js and buttons)

            • Apologies Heike, there appears to be a problem with the plugin delivery SVN, i have completely wiped the svn folder and changed the file names, in about 15 minutes the 2.1.2 will be available which (fingers crossed) will work!


  4. Really pleased to have found this, was looking for a non-html way of setting clear:both esp for text by an image.
    However for one site I am building I would like to have just the clearboth button and maybe one other, as there will be content managers nervous of anything to do with computers! If the option of which buttons to show could be added that would be really useful.

    • Chris Gilchrist says:

      Hi Teresa, thanks for letting us know it was useful. We’ll add this feature request to the consideration list for a future release.

    • Hi Teresa,

      An update has now been release which allows this functionality.


      • Thank you, that’s great.
        At least, it is on a site I’ve got for trying out themes and plugins, it is on the site where I was hoping to use it.
        But I’ve just inserted the plugin on another site, and it stops any TinyMCE buttons appearing – and the Simple Breaks ones don’t appear either! If I deactivate the Simple Breaks plugin or just un-tick all the options, the TinyMCE icons reappear.

        All use WP 3.2 and the same theme, and have TinyMCE advanced in use. Same versions in each case. Other plugins and styling are different.
        I’ve tried various things on the site where it’s not working: deactivated TinyMCE Advanced and the standard set of TinyMCE icons don’t appear either. Deactivated all other plugins as I suspected an interaction, no joy; set TinyMCE Advanced options to be identical to those on a site where it’s working, it still doesn’t work; de / re-activated, deleted and reinstalled. Nothing works.
        2 (a working and non-working) of the 3 installs of it I did this afternoon, one I upgraded from previous version. I think the upgrade and the other working version had all options on by default, the non-working all off – but I could be wrong, didn’t expect a problem and so wasn’t attentive enough to be certain.
        On the site where it’s not working it’s not that important, but I would have liked to understand in case I want to use it elsewhere, but don’t have time to investigate any further now.

        • Oops – realised I am using a different version of the theme afterall, I’ll see if that’s causing the problem when I get time.

  5. Hello there,

    I have been pulling my hair out over how to format my posts for a ‘step-by-step’ guide, so your plugin with the [clearright] function was a godsend.

    I believe they only work though in IE? I have tried the page given in both Firefox and Chrome and the text just stacks up on the right hand side without the page breaks…


    • Hi Clare,

      Thank you for your comment. clearright, clearleft and clearboth are compatible with all browsers.

      Can you tell me what page you are having problems with.


      • Hi Jamie

        That’s good news! The page is:

        The text appears to the right of each image in IE, but in Chrome and Firefox the text doesn’t keep the layout.

        Many thanks


        • Hi Clare,

          Instead of using clearright, you should use [clearleft] as the image is floating to the left, alternatively if you use [clearboth] it wont matter which side the image is on, it will still move the text down.


          • Thanks, Jamie! Strange it worked still in IE!! I’ll make the changes and fingers crossed it will work in all browsers. I’ll keep you posted!


            • Sometimes IE likes to do things it’s not supposed to do :)

              never rely on it!

              • Hurrah! It works. Amazing – thanks so much for your plugin and your help. I’ve rated it with a most deserved 5 stars! Best, Clare

              • Chris Gilchrist says:

                Thanks Clare! If you do one of the support suggestions listed on the plugins’ admin page like tweeting to help promote it that would be amazing :)

  6. I have been using your plug in successfully for months and really love it. It has all been working fine until today when suddenly my horizontal rules are showing up as black bars that appear to be overlapping the normal dotted green line that used to appear. Regular line breaks are still working fine (these are the only two I have tried).

    If I am not mistaken, I think I updated my plugin today. Is it possible there is a bug or something else going on? I went back to past posts and the HR is messed up there too, even though as of yesterday they were fine.

    I appreciate any help you can give! Thanks!

    • Hi JayHJay,

      To further aid helping your issue, can you give me a url to a page on your site with the shortcode on and the exact shortcode used please.


      • Thanks for getting back to me Jamie. Here is an example of a page that has both HR and BR code. As you can see, the BR code is still working fine but the HR is now those black boxes. (there is BR code around the banner as well as around some of the text right below it)

        I first noticed this yesterday when I went to preview a post with HR shortcode. That is when I first saw the boxes. I went back through several weeks worth of previous posts and in all cases the BR is working fine but the HR is now boxes where previously it was a fine ruled, light green dotted line (like the lines dividing the posts on my home page). If you look closely, you can almost see the line still there at the very top of the black box. I haven’t changed anything on my end with my site or graphics. I thought I remembered the plugin having an update so I thought maybe that is the cause. If not, I am not sure why it is suddenly not working.

        FWIW, here is a quick excerpt of the code I am using. As I said, it appeared fine a few days ago so I assume the code is not the issue. This is from toward the end of the post. Thanks so much for your help! Jay

        “I’m not about to waste an opportunity to be with you.”


        L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer currently living in the glamorous and ultra-futuristic metropolis of Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband, two cats, and a disembodied penguin brain that communicates with her telepathically. In addition to writing smut and disturbing the locals, L.A. is said to be working with the US government to perfect a genetic modification that will allow humans to survive indefinitely on Corn Pops and beef jerky. This is all a cover, though, as her primary leisure activity is hunting down her arch nemesis, erotica author Lauren Gallagher, who is also said to be lurking somewhere in Omaha.

        L. A.’s backlist is available on her website, and updates (as well as random thoughts and the odd snarky comment) can be found on her blog or on Twitter (@GallagherWitt).



        • Hi Jay

          I have taken a quick look at the page,

          if you add “background: none !important;” to your CSS: “hr{} line 147 that should hopefully remove the black background, alternatively, all instances of [hr] should be replaced by [hr color=none]

          I hope this helps :)


          • Thanks Jamie, sorry I just saw this, somehow it ended up in my Spam folder. Yes, adding that extra part to the shortcode worked perfectly. I am not super knowledgeable about CSS so I wasn’t brave enough to try the other fix but this seemed to solve it.

            Your original message said you were updating the plug in (though I see this one here does not). Out of curiosity, are you still planning to make that change? Thanks so much for your help, Jay

  7. Using WP 3.5.1. The supposedly compatible Simple Breaks plugin makes the Visual Editor inoperable. If I disable the plugin, then the Visual Editor works again. I’m using this plugin in lots of sites and love it. But now I fear to upgrade to 3.5.1 on those sites. Help?

    • Hi Jason,

      I tested Simple breaks on a fresh install of WordPress 3.5.1 and it doesn’t break the editor.

      Is it possible it is conflicting with another plugin you have installed? what other plugins do you use that add items to the visual editor bar?


      • I disabled all plugins and still had the issue. The only other plugin that I have that involves the visual editor is MCE Table Buttons. And on or off that doesn’t help. I suppose it could be the files of that, or another plugin, and maybe I have to delete the plugin altogether. That would be a whole other headache. I tried switching themes to 20-Eleven but that didn’t solve it either. I appreciate your followup though. Thanks.

        • The creators of this plugin worked with me quite a bit to get it operating on this site again. I use this plugin on dozens of other sites with absolutely no issue at all. It is great.

          Due to the theme I’m using and/or other plugins and/ caused an issue in the editor. I’m confident that this is a rare situation but note and acknowledge the help that they gave me in getting it to work in this unusual situation.


          • Hi there,

            i’ve just encountered the same problem. This occurs, when the siteurl differs from pageurl. The fix is quite easy. Change line 21 in simple-breaks.php to:
            define( “SB_PLUGIN_URL”, get_bloginfo( ‘wpurl’ ).”/wp-content/plugins/” . SB_PLUGIN_DIR );

            That’s all.

            Regards and thx for this fine plugin.


  8. This is one hot f**king plugin! I use a fair amount of HR tags in some of my clients’ sites and just being able to click a button reduces my coding time by at least 40%. Thanks!

  9. This worked for me too on version 3.6 of WP! thanks!

  10. That fix worked for me. Something like this should be in the production code, test if siteurl differs from pageurl, then do something different.

    Great plugin!

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