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WordPress Wednesday: Turn Any Shortcode into a Template Tag

March 3, 2010 18 comments

I previously discussed WordPress’s shortcode API, which allows you to turn any function into a shortcode that you can embed in the content of your pages or posts. Though the example I gave was for a function I wrote, you can use this API for WordPress template tags. The easiest way is to get the Template Tag Shortcodes plugin by Justin Tadlock, although you can also write your own by adding the following line to your functions.php file:

add_shortcode('shortcode_name', 'template_tag');

But what about the other way around? The solution is just as simple with the do_shortcode function.

You may remember that my previous shortcode allowed a client to enter [link pagename=’example’] into the content of any page, and the function would insert the named page’s permalink into the content for him. If I wanted to call that shortcode as a template tag, the tag would look like this:

<?php echo do_shortcode("[link pagename='example']"); ?>

All you have to do to turn any shortcode into a template tag is substitute your shortcode (with the desired parameters defined) between the double quotes (“) and you’re good to go. This is especially helpful when plugins come with shortcodes included but not template tags (like NextGen Gallery).

What will you use the do_shortcode function for?



Update: Thanks to Holling for pointing out that I forgot to include the echo statement. Fixed now.