Compare the_excerpt() to the_content()

Is there a way to compare the_excerpt() to the_content() to know if the_excerpt() is actually showing the entire post content? for instance, if a post were particularly short.

ultimately i’d like to have a “Read more” link at the end of excerpts. but i want it to say 1 thing for posts and another for posts of the video format (ie… ‘watch the video’ instead of ‘read the rest’). but at the same time i don’t want to manually tack this on after the excerpt, but i have plenty of posts that are short enough they don’t need a ‘read more’ link, since the_excerpt displays the full post.

but adding the permalink to the excerpt_more filter isn’t quite right since it won’t add a link to the video posts that have no other content.

so i’m stuck between the two. i hope that made sense. if it didn’t it’s late and i will try to re-explain in the morning.

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What you’re trying to do with the video is exactly what Post Formats were created to handle.

Add this to functions:

add_theme_support( 'post-formats', array( 'video' ) );

And then this to handle your Read More link:

if( !has_post_format( 'video' ) ) {
    echo '<a href="' . get_permalink() . '">Read More&hellip;</a>';
} else {
    echo '<a href="' . get_permalink() . '">Watch the Video&hellip;</a>';
}

@mrwweb is right, post formats are very useful in most cases.

As a more generic solution you could combine the_excerpt() and the_content() in one function:

function wpse_51699_conditional_excerpt( $more_link_text = null, $stripteaser = false )
{
    $excerpt = apply_filters( 'the_excerpt', get_the_excerpt() );

    $content = get_the_content( $more_link_text, $stripteaser );
    $content = apply_filters('the_content', $content);
    $content = str_replace(']]>', ']]&gt;', $content);

    $stripped_content = strip_tags( $content );
    $content_length   = mb_strlen( $stripped_content, 'utf-8' );
    $excerpt_length   = mb_strlen( $excerpt, 'utf-8' );

    // $content is just 20% longer than excerpt. Adjust this to your needs.
    if ( ( $excerpt_length * 1.2 ) >= $content_length )
    {
        print $content;
        return;
    }
    echo $excerpt . $more_link_text;
}

In your theme you call now …

wpse_51699_conditional_excerpt( sprintf( '<a href="%1$s">Read more</a>', get_permalink() ) );

… instead of the_excerpt();.