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I have this idea for linking to a paragraph within a post. It would work by every paragraph within the_content() on post pages having an anchor tag automatically placed before it, like this: <a href="#p1"></a> where '1' is the first paragraph and it would increment for every subsequent paragraph, eg p2, p3, p4...

Anyone fancy taking a shot at it would be great? Maybe something in functions.php?


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I've created a rudimentary plugin that does this job, here: robertsharp.co.uk/paragraph-level-ids Would love to know what everyone thinks, and welcome any improvements. – Robert Oct 2 '13 at 23:31
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I think that should really be <a name="p1"> around the paragraphs with link to the paragraphs being <a href="#p1">.

If that is what you are trying to accomplish ( what used to be called a named anchors ), that technique is not valid in HTML 5. You can instead link to any id in the page, so with that in mind.

$count = 0;
function auto_id_p_cb($matches) {
  global $count;
  $ret = '<p id="p_'.$count.'"';
  if (!empty($matches[1])) $ret .= $matches[1];
  $ret .= '>';
  return $ret;
function auto_id_p($content){
  $content = preg_replace_callback('/<p([^>]*)>/','auto_id_p_cb',$content);
  return $content;

Minimally tested but it does preserve existing attributes in the <p> tags. I am sure it would produce a duplicate id if one already existed in the <p> so watch that. Think of it more as "proof of concept".

If you do still what to do it with actual <a> tags, you should be able to adapt that.

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Thanks for this. The ID on the <p> is a better solution. I might adapt the anchor to be p_<postID>_<count> so there's a unique id for every <p> across the whole site. – davebowker Dec 1 '12 at 17:21

Sounds like a job for Jquery.

Jquery would look like this:

var i = 0;
$('.entry p').each(function(){
   $(this).attr('id', 'p'+i); //labels the paragraph tags with unique ids.
   $('.entry-anchors').append('<a href="#p'+i+'">'+i+'</a>');


Then either add a <div class="entry-anchors"></div> wherever you want those links to appear within your template. Or you could even add it dynamically via Jquery with something like:

$('.entry').before('<div class="entry-anchors"></div>');

You would want to make sure that you declare the "entry-anchors" div before assigning values to it in jquery of course.

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Thanks. I had similar in jQuery myself, but @s_ha_dum's input below looks more like what I'm after. – davebowker Dec 1 '12 at 17:20

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