how do I force a single column layout in screen layout

The question:

I am using multipress, but users with small screens cannot access the HTML tab as the Publish meta box has a div that slides above it, disabling the ability to click it. One idea is to force a single column layout, but there are no options for this in screen options. Is there another way to do it?

The Solutions:

Below are the methods you can try. The first solution is probably the best. Try others if the first one doesn’t work. Senior developers aren’t just copying/pasting – they read the methods carefully & apply them wisely to each case.

Method 1

You can use the filter screen_layout_columns to set only one column for the post screen get_user_option_screen_layout_post to force the user option to 1.

If you want to use that for custom post type then use

The following code will do it:

function so_screen_layout_columns( $columns ) {
    $columns['post'] = 1;
    return $columns;
add_filter( 'screen_layout_columns', 'so_screen_layout_columns' );

function so_screen_layout_post() {
    return 1;
add_filter( 'get_user_option_screen_layout_post', 'so_screen_layout_post' );

Method 2

simply you can do that :

add_filter('get_user_option_screen_layout_{$post_type}', 'your_callback' );

example with “message” post type :

add_filter('get_user_option_screen_layout_message', function() {
   return 1;
} );

You can use ‘__return_true’ in your callback.


Method 3

To clarify: there are options under Screen Options for forcing a one column layout, but they are only available choices when on an WordPress editor page like Posts or Pages.

The Screen Options button appears like a tab next to the Help button in the top right corner of the WordPress Dashboard.

@sorich87 has the best possible solution. Including that code in functions.php will force all users into one column layout in the editor, which could help alleviate confusion for less technical users.

Method 4

This one worked for me:

$post_type = 'post'; // Change this to a post type you'd want
function my_screen_layout_post( $selected ) {
    if( false === $selected ) { 
        return 1; // Use 1 column if user hasn't selected anything in Screen Options
    return $selected; // Use what the user wants
add_filter( "get_user_option_screen_layout_{$post_type}", 'my_screen_layout_post' );

It will override the default option with whatever option a user has explicitly selected in the Screen Options panel in WP admin. This is better for usability in my opinion.

Method 5

  • Use a theme that supports smaller

    Edit your CSS directly.

    Add a CSS media query stylesheet.

Method 6

Just another alternative using the same techniques as accepted solution:

add_filter( 'screen_layout_columns', function ( Array $columns = array() ) {

    $current_screen = get_current_screen();

    $screen_ids = array(); // Add screen ID's here

    if ( in_array( $current_screen->id, $screen_ids ) ) {

        $columns[ $current_screen->id ] = 1;
        update_user_meta( get_current_user_id(), "screen_layout_{$current_screen->id}", 1 );


    return $columns;

}, 9999 );

Method 7

Just add the below line into function.php

add_filter( "get_user_option_screen_layout_{post-type}", function(){return '1';}, 10, 3 );

All methods was sourced from or, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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