Supercharge Advanced Custom Fields With These (Free) Tools

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Advanced Custom Fields (ACF) is the go-to custom metabox and Gutenberg block framework for thousands of developers. If you haven’t got the pro version, then you probably should have by now as it gives you the joys of the repeater field, flexible content, Gutenberg blocks and much more.

Did you know there are extensions?

Not only is ACF a great framework, but it can be extended by third party developers to add more fields and functionality. There are some great premium extensions, but this article is only going to focus on those that are free.

ACF Extended

We can’t believe this plugin doesn’t have more downloads. This plugin adds a lot of extra functionality to ACF whilst abiding by some amazing principles of no ads and no extra menus. It integrates seamlessly.

Here’s some of the awesome features:

New Field Types

  • 14 new field types, including:
    • Code Editor – allows you to have a code editor (Codemirror). Useful for programming blogs.
    • Post Status Selection
    • Post Type Selection
    • Taxonomy Selection
    • Taxonomy Terms Selection – select specific terms.
    • User Role Selection

Some of the fields have quite niche use-cases, but are certainly useful for the ACF power user.

Bidirectional Relationships

This is a big one. Bidirectional relationships allow for a link between two objects, for example post types. Bidirectional relationships in ACF can be achieved but only through a series of custom code. Using ACF Extended makes this a breeze.

Options Pages

You can make custom options meta in ACF, but you need some code to create the pages themselves. ACF extended gives you an easy visual way to do this.


In ACF Extended you can create permissions on a field by field basis. Simply choose which roles can view & edit fields. This can also be combined with field groups permissions. Very powerful.

Developer Tools

ACF has great documentation, but ACF Extended provides some extra tools to help developers:

  • Display Local Field Groups – this allows you to view any field groups that are registered in PHP directly within the ACF window.
  • Print Arrays & JSON values – no more print_r and echoing. Instead use update_setting(‘acfe/dev’, true) or define(‘ACFE_dev’, true).

Give It A Try!

There’s simply too many features to list here. Spin up a dev site and give ACF Extended a spin.

Get ACF Extended from WordPress.og.

Image Aspect Ratio Crop Field

The Image Aspect Ratio Crop Field is a free plugin in the WordPress repository and is an addon to ACF. It solves an age old problem of clients being bad at uploading images. The field works in a very similar way to the image field from a development standpoint, but for the user it forces them to crop their image to either a specified width and height or aspect ratio on upload. Problem solved.

Get ACF Image Aspect Ratio Crop from

ACF Tools Browser Extension

This is a new tool, but its quickly becoming our favourite browser extension. Available for Chrome based browsers and Firefox, this extension inserts a ‘copy code’ button on ACF fields. This copies the PHP code needed to display he field which saves a bunch of time, and from our testing it produces some pretty good code. It even works with repeater fields, flexible content and options meta.

ACF Tools is MIT licensed, and the source code can be viewed on Github.

Get for Chrome | Get for Firefox

Simply click the copy buttons to copy the generated PHP code

That’s All Folks

There are many other ACF extensions available, here we’ve just listed our most used. Have we missed any killer extensions? let us know in the comments.