I'm assigning some posts to some users whom are not the author of those posts. Typically private posts are visible only to the post authors. So, if the author has 3 posts, on his logged in edit.php they will get 3 posts. But if another post is assigned to them by custom field (not as a post author), how can I add the post to the post list table?

What I tried so far is: making a function (custom_get_assigned_posts()) to retrieve all the posts that are assigned to a user_id as an array. But then found that there's no easy way including post IDs into the existing query:

function add_assigned_posts( $query ) {
    if( is_admin() && in_array( $query->get('post_type'), array('mycpt') ) ) {
        global $current_user;
        $query->set('post__in', custom_get_assigned_posts( $current_user->ID ) );
    return $query;
add_filter( 'pre_get_posts', 'add_assigned_posts' );

But post__in doesn't additionally include things, it actually specified posts to retrieve.

How can I include posts that are assigned to a non-author of posts, and are assigned by postmeta?

  • This is a good question. I'm wondering whether though rather than modifying the admin queries, looking to add capabilities to the user might work? I'm not entirely sure, just a suggestion
    – Tim Malone
    May 22, 2016 at 6:43
  • Adding capabilities provide access to all the posts, not to specific posts only. I tried that. May 22, 2016 at 8:08
  • You should add that when you say 'What I tried so far' :)
    – Tim Malone
    May 22, 2016 at 8:09
  • Coming back to this, I think you can do this with capabilities - by filtering them to change them on a per post basis. I've just added an answer, let me know if this solves it for you.
    – Tim Malone
    May 22, 2016 at 10:20
  • I'd recommend updating the title of your question too - it doesn't explain what you want to do and will make it harder for people to find and help :)
    – Tim Malone
    May 22, 2016 at 10:39

1 Answer 1


I think you should be able to do this with the user_has_cap filter.

Because that filter passes through the post ID in the $args for the edit_post capability, you can use that to check if the current user has been artificially given this capability - and if so, force the edit_post capability to be true for that instance.

Building from the example in the docs linked above, you'd be looking at something like this:

add_filter( 'user_has_cap', 'wpse_227418_edit_extra_posts', 10, 3 );

function wpse_227418_edit_extra_posts($allcaps, $cap, $args){

  if($args[0] != "edit_post"){
    return $allcaps; // bail out, we're not talking about editing a post here

  if(get_post_meta($args[2], "additional_author", true) == $args[1]){
    // get the meta key 'additional author', checking that it matches the User ID we're looking at the capabilities for
    $allcaps[$cap[0]] = true; // make sure edit_posts is true for this author and this post ID

  return $allcaps;


This is pretty quickly put together and is untested so you'd certainly want to test and modify to your needs, but I think this will get you what you want. Of course, adjust the meta_key referred to above to match the key you're after.


  • Tim, nice shot. This filter is really useful. Upvote for that. But I forgot to mention that (probably I forgot many thing :( and disappointed you), I'm using private status for all my posts. But user_has_cap filter works for published and pending. So the post list is already populated with only private posts to that user, I can't push the assigned posts to them. :( May 22, 2016 at 21:13
  • 1
    No, you did mention that - I forgot to take that into account when listing the posts, but thinking about it again perhaps WP is just checking a different capability when loading the posts list? Looking at the capabilities list, perhaps as well as checking for edit_post we also need to check for edit_private_posts, maybe also read_private_posts. Can you do a bit of debugging on that filter and see what is called on the posts page?
    – Tim Malone
    May 22, 2016 at 21:31
  • How did you go with this @MayeenulIslam?
    – Tim Malone
    Jul 6, 2016 at 4:07
  • I failed initially. Tried thrice, but failed. Then I altered the query, and granted access to assigned tickets. It may need another shot sometime, but currently not possible for me. Jul 6, 2016 at 8:21

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