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Capability Manager

Role Actions sidebar

The Capability Manager plugin is like a trusty old utility knife that’s always within reach. For years I have included it automatically on most of my plugin development sites and some production sites. There are other good WordPress role editors out there, some no doubt more efficiently coded. But CM has always got the job done for me with just the right combination of aesthetics and geeky dashboard aura.

However, over the year I have accumulated a few improvement requests. The original author, Jordi Canals, has not updated the plugin since early 2010. Since he was unreachable by web or email, I decided to take on the project myself. Since Press Permit uses WordPress roles definitions but eliminates the need to direct-assign capabilities in many scenarios, I have also cooked up some PP-awareness to make it the ideal WP role editor for Press Permit sites.

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Capability Manager Enhanced change log (changes from CM 1.3):

  • Organized capabilities UI by post type and operation
  • Separated WP core capabilities and 3rd party capabilities
  • Clarified sidebar captions
  • Don’t allow a non-Administrator to add or remove a capability they don’t have
  • Fixed PHP Warnings for unchecked capabilities
  • Optional Press Permit integration:
    • switch type-specific capability definitions on/off
    • show capabilities which Press Permit adds to the role by supplemental type-specific role assignment
  • Reduce memory usage by loading framework and plugin code only when needed

WP Role Management Interface (standalone under Users > Capabilities)


WP Role Management Interface (with Press Permit activated, under Permissions > Role Capabilities)

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24 Comments (Add Yours)

  1. I was seriously in a pickle since Capability Manager was not working any longer for my installation. I found your site and this solution and am so grateful.

    This plugin is amazing!!

    Thank you for doing this work. I even looked for a donation button but didn’t find one so I could show my thanks that way.

    Thanks again!

  2. Thanks for the good report. For the record, I do have a donation link in the left sidebar of

  3. Kevin,
    I am the webmaster of an International non profit religious organization that has 77 chapters in the United States and around the world. We have a parent website and then an Intranet site for Leadership Team stuff and then a formation site for Formation business.

    I downloaded the capability manager and it is pretty straightforward except that I do not see a place to designate the part of the website that an editor can edit.

    The pages that I need editors for are on the parent site.
    ( Under Chapters, then Chapter Websites.

    We want to enable each of our chapters to be able to have a piece of the real estate if you will to be able to have a page. I will be putting a cookie cutter site up for each one.. but beyond teaching them how to work it, the business of updating the website will belong to the editors of that site.

    Sooo I want to allow at least 77 editors to be able to edit their page ONLY and not any of the other chapter pages. They can also upload pictures to their page. they will be able to Publish ONLY that page and can delete ONLY items on that page. I do not want them to be able to delete the page but they can edit it.

    I need to know how to designate their page that they are able to edit and any other helpful information that you can give to me.

  4. Hello, I installed and activated the plugin and can’t find it anywhere in the toolbar/dashboard. Please help, I will be glad to make a donation!

    • The role editor is normally accessed from Users > Role Capabilities.

      If Press Permit is active, the link is on the Permissions menu instead.

    • NM I found it, and checked permission to upload files, but when I log in as a contributor it still won’t let me upload files and pics …. there is no icon and won’t let me upload featured images

      • Yes, same problem with me.. even though i have selected the upload files option for ‘Contributor’ yet there is no icon on the page to upload file. I am also using mingle forum.

      • Capability Manager’s job is to flip the switches which are provided by WordPress or other plugins. If possession of the upload_files capability (or any other capability_ does not produce the expected results, you will have to seek support for the code which is implementing the capability check.

    • If you reload the role definition, can you confirm that the upload_files capability is saved? This works for me.

      Does the post the contributor is editing have a custom visibility or editability? If not, try disabling other plugins and/or switching to default theme to isolate the conflict.

  5. Hi Kevin,

    Does your plugin support Multi-Site? Is there a way to create a global Role for all sites in a MU install?



  6. I’ve restricted a role so they cannot delete users. They have most other capabilities. However, they can still create an “admin” account, then log in with that and delete whoever they want. Is there a work around for this?

    Thanks. Great work by the way.


    • Dan, you’ll need to pursue that as an issue with the code which is responsible for applying or the capability in questions. Capability Manager Enhanced is only concerned with flipping the switches.

  7. Ive got it so users of my blog can post articles from the site, and when they login as a user they can view and trash them articles they submitted! THE PROBLEM i have is that i dont want them to be able to publish when they login….. they go to post and then the “add new” button appears…any idea how i can refrain a certain user NOT to be able to do this??

    I know i can hide this but thats not the way to do it as some users will know the direct URL to this admin page.

    Cheers in advance.

    • WordPress 3.5 may support a separate “create_posts” capability. But until then, your next best easy solution is to hide the “Add New” menu link with Adminimize.

  8. Thank you for producing what I hope to be the answer to our needs.
    Advanced Access Manager was tried and would not work for us.

    Can your plugin manage which plugins our users have access to? For example, I set access to Event Expresso for a role and then logged in as that user. However, that plugin was not visible. Any ideas?

    • Capability Manager Enhanced allows you to edit the capabilities assigned to any WordPress role, but it is not responsible for enforcing those capabilities. Only capabilities which are implemented by WordPress or other plugin code will be meaningful. If you get unexpected results after assigning a capability which Event Expresso supports, you’ll have to take that up with the EE author(s).

  9. This is probably a really silly question:

    What I am wanting to do is allow users to write articles and upload images connected to that article. I don’t want them to be able to publish until the article has been reviewed.

    I have checked and unchecked all the boxes that I think will do that, but I just get a page that says ‘You are not allowed the edit this post’ whenever I press the submit for review and I CANNOT get the permission right for them to upload an image.

    I hope you can help

  10. Nice Plugin! ~ I’d be happy to make a donation – but first would like 1 thing fixed. I’m using this on a clients site where they have a “non – administrator login – but have assigned a role to this user that enables them to create users. The problem is, this user (even though not an administrator – can create users with admin rights. They can also change other user roles to admin role). I’m not sure if this is because this role also has the “edit user” item checked..? But have a need for a particular type of user to be able to create other users (but not set admin roles and not have the ability to create roles above their own). I don’t have any of the role options selected so not sure why it isn’t working.

    • Capability Manager is strictly a role editor. It does not regulate the implementation of capabilities.

      Press Permit does provide a user editing filter which is is based on the “role level” number. Users are prevented from assigning a role higher than their own, or editing a user of a higher level.

  11. thanks , but it’s not working with a new WP Ver 3.5

    please , help me with that !

  12. Hi, I have a number of Custom Post Types on my WordPress install which come from two plugins WooComerce and my own custom plugin. Some months ago both were visible on the CME page now only the WooComerce Custom Posts privileges are visable. Did you make a change or did I make a change? Why wouldn’t a Custom Post appear on the CME page?

    • Russ, CME will display any custom post type as long as it’s registered and has at least one post capability defined distinctly (meaning its edit_posts cap is not “edit_posts” etc.) I don’t know what code you had defining the custom type capabilities, but that’s probably what changed. My installation of CME 1.4.9 has the custom type capability checkboxes.