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Hi I am building a plugin options page. What I'd really like to do is implement repeatable tabs (which I know is possible with the Settings API), but with a twist I haven't seen in any options panel till now. I'd like to create new tabs on the fly, exactly like the 'Menus' section in the admin UI works.

Is there any standard way to do this?

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What have you tried already? Show us your research efforts. –  toscho Jul 12 '12 at 23:57

2 Answers 2

up vote 12 down vote accepted

WordPress Tabs are non-standard, static html markup. You can only add the markup within your functions.php theme file or inside your plugin.

<h2 class="nav-tab-wrapper">
    <a href="#" class="nav-tab">Tab #1</a>
    <a href="#" class="nav-tab nav-tab-active">Tab #2</a>
    <a href="#" class="nav-tab">Tab #2</a>

WP Tabs

In this helper plugin (WordPress Admin Style) you'll find the class references for the default markup of the admin area.
Full plugin snapshot. The previous snapshot is a detail located at the bottom of this one.
Click to enlarge:

full plugin snapshot wordpress-admin-style

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Hi Frank, I hope my edit translated your message with the best possible fidelity. Prost! ;) –  brasofilo Jul 18 '12 at 2:00
Thanks for your help, my english is gruesome. –  bueltge Jul 18 '12 at 7:07
Yah, yah, grauen Englisch, als mein Deutsch, jejeje, but of course, IMO, you're like the Goethë of coding!. . . . . If you check the Edit Summary, you'll see "Translated from Bueltgian to English." :))) –  brasofilo Jul 18 '12 at 13:48
Yes, I had read your comment to my Bueltgian; thanks for creating this word. But, your german example here is also cruesome. ;) BUT - THANKS for the praise via Goethe; nice comparison. An better coder in WP is @toscho, an admin here in WPSE and I learn much often from him. –  bueltge Jul 18 '12 at 15:53

Create an array of tabs you would like to create on your admin page. This would most likely contain your menu pages added by your plugin. The array keys would be the page slug, and the array values would be the tab text.

Echo the function where you want the tabs to display within your plugin.

// Create WP Admin Tabs on-the-fly.
function admin_tabs($tabs, $current=NULL){
            $current = $_GET['page'];
    $content = '';
    $content .= '<h2 class="nav-tab-wrapper">';
    foreach($tabs as $location => $tabname){
        if($current == $location){
            $class = ' nav-tab-active';
        } else{
            $class = '';    
        $content .= '<a class="nav-tab'.$class.'" href="?page='.$location.'">'.$tabname.'</a>';
    $content .= '</h2>';
        return $content;

$my_plugin_tabs = array(
    'my-plugin-overview' => 'Overview',
    'my-plugin-settings' => 'Settings',
    'my-plugin-uninstall' => 'Uninstall'

echo admin_tabs($my_plugin_tabs);
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Michael, I think the OP is asking for Repeatable tabs of plugin options (repeatable fields but saved as plugin options). . . . . Although he says "I know is possible with the Settings API", he doesn't shows how (-1 mine), and it contrasts with Frank's answer, a deeply knowledgeable fellow. . . . Anyway, too much research to code and give an answer for my taste :) –  brasofilo Jul 18 '12 at 3:28
Michael, thanks for this! Even if it's not what OP wanted it's exactly what I was looking for. –  Cleanshooter Sep 8 at 20:35

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