Last updated Aug 9, 2023


The Taxonomy field allows the selection of one or more taxonomy terms.


Creating a Taxonomy field in an ACF field group. The tab shown depicts General settings for the field: Field Type, Field Label, Field Name, Taxonomy, Create Terms, Save Terms, Load Terms, Return Value, and Appearance. The other tabs are Validation, Presentation, Conditional Logic, and Advanced.

Creating a Taxonomy field in an ACF field group.

The Taxonomy field UI as it might appear to content editors, in this case showing parent and child categories.

The Taxonomy field UI as it might appear to content editors, in this case showing parent and child categories.


  • Split setting load_save_terms into load_terms and save_terms in version 5.2.7.
  • Create Terms added in version 5.2.3


  • Taxonomy
    Selects the taxonomy you wish to select term(s) from.

  • Create Terms
    Allows new terms to be created while editing. Defaults to on.

  • Save Terms
    Connects selected terms to the post. Defaults to off.

  • Load Terms
    Loads values from the post terms. Defaults to off.

  • Return Value
    Specifies the format of the returned data. Choose from Term Object (WP_Term) or Term ID (int).

  • Appearance
    Selects the type of interface displayed (Checkbox, Multi Select, Radio Buttons, or Select).

  • Required
    Enabling this prevents the field from accepting empty values. Defaults to off.

  • Instructions
    Shows instructions when submitting data.

  • Conditional Logic
    Enabling this setting allows you to customize the logic which determines if the current field should be visible. Groups of conditional logic rules can be created to allow for multiple and/or statements.

  • Bidirectional
    Found on the Advanced tab, enabling this setting allows you to update a value in the target fields for each value selected for this field, adding or removing the Post ID, Taxonomy ID, or User ID of the item being updated. Please see Bidirectional Relationships for more information on using this setting to create bidirectional relationships directly in ACF’s UI.

Template usage

The Taxonomy field will return one or more values (objects or IDs) depending on the Return Value setting. Below are some examples of how you can use this data.

Display single value

This example demonstrates how to get and display a single term object. This would imply that your Appearance setting is Radio Buttons or Select.

$term = get_field('taxonomy_field_name');
if( $term ): ?>
    <h2><?php echo esc_html( $term->name ); ?></h2>
    <p><?php echo esc_html( $term->description ); ?></p>
<?php endif; ?>

Display multiple values

This example demonstrates how to get and loop over multiple selected term objects. This implies that your Appearance setting is Checkbox or Multi Select.

$terms = get_field('taxonomy_field_name');
if( $terms ): ?>
    <?php foreach( $terms as $term ): ?>
            <h2><?php echo esc_html( $term->name ); ?></h2>
            <p><?php echo esc_html( $term->description ); ?></p>
            <a href="<?php echo esc_url( get_term_link( $term ) ); ?>">View all '<?php echo esc_html( $term->name ); ?>' posts</a>
    <?php endforeach; ?>
<?php endif; ?>

Display values from a selected term

The Advanced Custom Fields plugin can be used to add custom fields to taxonomy terms. Building on this, the following examples demonstrate how to load a custom field value from a selected term value.

$term = get_field('taxonomy_field_name');
if( $term ): ?>
    <h2>Term name: <?php echo esc_html( $term->name ); ?></h2>
    <p>Term color: <?php the_field('color', $term); ?></p>
<?php endif; ?>


Customizing query args

The query arguments used to find and display taxonomy terms can be customized via one of the following filters depending on the Appearance setting of your Taxonomy field.

Customization of Text

The text displayed for each taxonomy term can be customized via the acf/fields/taxonomy/result filter.