Driving me nuts.

I have a shortcode which works -fine- but for one detail. I won't post the entire thing, but it pulls the content of a post (works fine) then should echo a portion of it to a new DIV in the footer.

I'm doing it this way because, apparently, you can't pass variables to an anonymous function with add_action.

add_shortcode('tooltip', 'tooltip');
function tooltip( $atts, $content=null) { 
  $output = '...some stuff from another post.';
  //...working fine...

  do_action( 'jch_tooltip_func', 'text to put in footer' );
  // the text arg is never passed to jch_tooltip_func();

  return $output;


add_action('wp_footer', 'jch_tooltip_func', 100, 1);

function jch_tooltip_func( $d ) { 
  echo('<p>DIV TEST:' . $d . 'END</p>' );

...so 'text to put in footer' should be passed to jch_tooltip_func() and then placed my footer via wp_footer. But the argument never gets passed.

Why oh why?



3 Answers 3


Use a class, store the value you need in the footer in a member variable.

Sample code, not tested:

add_shortcode( 'tooltip', array ( 'WPSE_69605_Tooltip', 'shortcode_callback' ) );

class WPSE_69605_Tooltip
    protected static $var = '';

    public static function shortcode_callback( $atts, $content = '' )
        self::$var = 'foo';
        add_action( 'wp_footer', array ( __CLASS__, 'footer' ) );

    public static function footer()
        echo self::$var;

it doesn't work because the first parameter provided to do_action is not function name but tag name. They work like this

add_action( 'tag-name', 'function_name' );

// some other code

do_action( 'tag-name' ); // will call the function 'function_name'


If your text to be added is static like in the example above, remove the add_action('wp_footer', ...) & replace the do_action with

 create_function( '', 'echo(\'<p>DIV TEST:\' . \'text to put in footer\' . \'END</p>\' );' ),

if your text is dynamic, then you can take one of the 2 approaches

First, use var_export() php function in the code of the above solution

Second, save the variable to some global/static variable(just make sure it's safe) & then where you used add_action above instead of create_function pass the name of the function that will read that variable & output it. A class variable works best for this case but it could be any variable as long as you're sure it's not modified by some other plugin

  • Fabulous help. I'm not yet proficient enough with PHP (coming from C) to get all this, but I understand enough to get it working for my needs. One follow up if I may... and this may be old school but... if you use create_function() (or any lambda or anonymous functions) is there proper garbage collection? I want to use this 'tooltip' shortcode several times on a given page and I wonder if overhead or general 'efficiency' is a concern? Thanks Again! ---JC
    – jchwebdev
    Oct 17, 2012 at 22:33
  • anonymous functions are only available in php 5.3 onwards. I don't know about garbage collection Oct 18, 2012 at 7:28

I know this is old but here is my answer and it can help anybody who's having similar challenge as mine. Based on @fuxia code, her code works perfectly but will only display one output. Assuming you have multiple instances of the shortcode on a page, Only one action hook will be added to footer.

If you want to add multiple action based on the number of times your shortcode is used on a page use the code below;

add_shortcode( 'izzycart_popup', array ( 'MFP_PopUP_Shortcode', 'load_shortcode' ) );

class MFP_PopUP_Shortcode {

    protected static $var = array();

    public static function load_shortcode( $atts, $content = '' ) {
        * Write all your shortcode stuff here.
        * Make sure you use either unique_id() or mt_rand() to generate ID in your
        * shortcode for later use

        * Depending on what you're using this for, send parameters from shortcode to
        * new function. I used this for a iPad frame Video, So i parsed the following
        * @params $video_url  -  Video URL from the shortcode_atts()
        * @params $video_poster  -  Video poster id from the shortcode_atts()
        * @params $el_id  -  element ID generated from either unique_id() or mt_rand()
        * @params array $OtherContent  -  Array of other values you want to parse to the function
        self::$var[] = self::load_the_popupcontent($video_url, $video_poster, $el_id, $OtherContent); 
        add_action( 'wp_footer', array ( __CLASS__, 'send_to_footer' ) );

    public static function send_to_footer() {
        foreach (self::$var as $theElementToFooter) {
             echo $theElementToFooter;
    public static function load_the_popupcontent( $url='', $poster='', $video_id = '', $args = array() ) {
        // Write all your code to be added to footer here and use all the variables where needed.

NOTE: If you want to add just one element to footer regardless of how many times the shortcode is used, @fuxia's answer is what you'd go for.

Tested and Works!
Happy Coding!

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