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I imported over 1000 posts from a Tumblr gallery. All the posts are untitled, but each has a photo and name inside of the post. How do I make take the content of each post and make it the post name?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Hook into the_post – called when the post is actually used – and fill the title. Be aware the slug has to be changed too.

If you are used not to enter a title, hook into save_post too, and let the same code do this for you.

The code

Download on GitHub

 * Plugin Name: T5 Lazy Title Updates
 * Description: Fill missing post titles from content when a post is called
 * Plugin URI:
 * Version:     2013.01.08.02
 * Author:      Thomas Scholz
 * Author URI:  http://toscho.de
 * Licence:     MIT
 * License URI: http://opensource.org/licenses/MIT

add_action( 'the_post', 't5_lazy_title_update' );
add_action( 'save_post', 't5_lazy_title_update_save', 10, 2 );

 * Add atitle when the post is called in setup_postdata().
 * @wp-hook the_post
 * @param   object $post
 * @return  void
function t5_lazy_title_update( $post )
    if ( ! empty ( $post->post_title )
        and strip_shortcodes( $post->post_title ) === $post->post_title

    $clean_content = wp_strip_all_tags( $post->post_content, TRUE );
    $clean_content = strip_shortcodes( $clean_content );

    if ( '' === $clean_content )

    $words = preg_split( "/\s+/", $clean_content, 40, PREG_SPLIT_NO_EMPTY );
    $title = implode( ' ', $words );
    $title = rtrim( $title, '.;,*' );
    $slug  = wp_unique_post_slug(
        sanitize_title_with_dashes( $title ),

        array (
            'ID'         => $post->ID,
            'post_title' => $title,
            'post_name'  => $slug

    // $post is passed by reference, so we update this property in realtime
    $post->post_title = $title;
    $post->post_name  = $slug;

 * Fill title from post content on save
 * @wp-hook save_post
 * @param   int $post_ID
 * @param   object $post
 * @return  void;
function t5_lazy_title_update_save( $post_ID, $post )
    t5_lazy_title_update( $post );
share|improve this answer
+1 for lazy updating. Iterating over the entire ~1000 item set at once seems like a good way to exceed the max execution time and prematurely terminate the script. – bosco Jan 8 '13 at 3:26
Thanks I used the plugin (above) it worked, well a little too well because a few posts had [gallery] in them and now I have the that word preceding some of the titles...any suggestions, or is that a new question. – Cecily Jan 8 '13 at 4:08
@CecilyWiggins Ah, I did not expect shortcodes, sorry. I made an update, it will fix titles with shortcodes too. – toscho Jan 8 '13 at 4:16
No worries, I should have been more specific. Where can I grab the update? – Cecily Jan 8 '13 at 4:28
@CecilyWiggins It is on GitHub, and the code here is updated too. – toscho Jan 8 '13 at 4:30

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