No further development of the WP_hiero plugin is planned because it has been surpassed by the new Egyptological Hieroglyph plugin.

WP-Hiero is a simple WordPress plugin for displaying the Gardiner set of Egyptian hieroglyphs. It relies upon the NewGardiner font by Mark-Jan Nederhof. This font is only licensed for personal, non-commercial or academic use. If you are a company and wish to use this plugin you must seek permission from Mark-Jan to the use of the font.


Download the attached .ZIP. In your WordPress admin, browse to Plugins / Add New and Upload the .zip. This will install the Plugin as WP-Hiero. No further setup is needed.


To use, just specify [wp-hiero]A12[/wp-hiero] where you want your hieroglyph to appear. Replace A12 with the Gardiner code of the hieroglyph you want. You may also use phonetics like anx or Htp

You may also use simple Manuel de Codage using the – * and : separators. So something like [wp-hiero]sxt-t:Z4-A1-p*Z7:n-sxt-t:N23-H-mA-A-t[/wp-hiero] is possible. The plugin can also handle cadrat groups like [wp-hiero]p*(t:Z4):pt[/wp-hiero]:


There are a few further options:

  1. You can specify the colors used like this [wp-hiero color=”red” background=”green”]p*(t:Z4):pt[/wp-hiero]
  2. You can specify text direction as td (top-down) or rl (right-to-left). There is no need to specify the default lr (left-to-right). So top down would be entered like this [wp-hiero direction=”td”]A1-A2-A3[/wp-hiero].
  3. Individual signs can be mirrored by using a trailing / Please note that this is not the usual MdC So A1/ will mirror the glyph (flip it horizontally)


I am working on a full function plugin called Glypheer. The first version is being tested but it is enormous and will take weeks or months before it is ready for public release. WP-Hiero was developed as a solution for use until Glypheer is ready. It was developed in a single day so it is not terribly advanced: it is intended for single glyphs and short hieroglyphic fragments in part because the algorithm used is inefficient and will use a lot of server time.

The biggest limitation is that it cannot draw cartouches.

The biggest difficulty is that different versions of PHP (the computer language on which WordPress relies) seem to layout images differently. Kate has tried the plug-in on two totally different hosts and after a lot of revisions produced a version which she thinks works consistently. However, it’s possible that it won’t work on some versions of PHP. In general, the layout produced is very rudimentary for anything other than single glyphs.

Finally, there is no error checking. Ask it to display rubbish and it will display rubbish. That was a conscious decision. This is intended as a small, compact plugin.

Future Development

WP-Hiero is too compromised to merit further development.  It has seeded the development of the Hieroglyph plugin which should be more efficient and, within the constraints of the Manuel de Codage options it supports, offer superior layout.  However, WP-hiero is in use on other sites.  It works: it just could be very much better.

5 responses to “WP-Hiero”

  1. Michele Moglia

    In Installation section you talk about “Download the attached .ZIP” but I was not able to find any attached file.
    The question is: is this wordpress plugin available under GPL? Or are you thinking about it yet?

  2. Paul Ridgeway-Le-gresley

    hi kate could i please have the download link aswell please thank you take care regards paul

  3. Diana Brown

    If you remember Kate, you very kindly sent me your prototype version some time ago.
    I would be most grateful if you could send me the download for the WP-HIERO or the latest that you recommend, Glypheer?.
    I would use it for teaching purposes.

  4. Pedro Sebe

    Kate, could you send me the download link? Thank you, anyway!

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