I would like to create a shortcode that will extract information for a custom post, and display it within a Page or regular Post.

Specific use case: I have a custom post type "Film" for a film festival website. The films are displayed with their own single-film.php, but occasionally the site owners want to write a post or page that mentions a particular film, and would like to be able to pull snippets of the info that has already been entered (eg, Film name, booking info, etc). This would go in a "box" at the bottom of the post, and I'd like to make it easy for them by providing some sort of shortcode.

How would I go about doing this? Any recommended resources/tutorials to get me on the right track? What gotchas should I be aware of (eg, multiple loops in a post)?

2 Answers 2


There are great tutorials about shortcodes all over the web and some good examples here

but just to get you started:

add_shortcode('film_q', 'film_shortcode_query');
function film_shortcode_query($atts, $content){
  extract(shortcode_atts(array( // a few default values
   'posts_per_page' => '1',
   'post_type' => 'film',
   'caller_get_posts' => 1)
   , $atts));

  global $post;

  $posts = new WP_Query($atts);
  $output = '';
    if ($posts->have_posts())
        while ($posts->have_posts()):
            $out = '<div class="film_box">
                <h4>Film Name: <a href="'.get_permalink().'" title="' . get_the_title() . '">'.get_the_title() .'</a></h4>
                <p class="Film_desc">'.get_the_content().'</p>';
                // add here more...
            $out .='</div>';
    /* these arguments will be available from inside $content
        get_the_category_list(', ')
        and custom fields
        get_post_meta($post->ID, 'field_name', true);
    return; // no posts found

  return html_entity_decode($out);

and to use it enter in any post/page:

[film_q p=FILM_POST_ID]

just change FILM_POST_ID to the actual Film post ID.

Hope this helps

  • Hi there... The shortcode is not extracting post_type=film correctly, for some reason? If I do a var_dump of $posts, those default values provided in the extract are not being used at all? Should I be returning something other than $atts to use in the new WP_Query()? Feb 19, 2011 at 18:52
  • I' guessing that the var_dump of $post is not in the shortcode function, now if i am right then you are calling var_dump in you theme loop the that is way you are not seeing the arguments you were looking for.
    – Bainternet
    Feb 19, 2011 at 18:59
  • Ah, I added this after the extract: $film_query = 'posts_per_page='.$posts_per_page.'&post_type='.$post_type.'&p='.$id; and used $film_query instead of $atts in the query. Thanks :) Feb 19, 2011 at 19:13
  • where do you see "$film_query = ...." ?
    – Bainternet
    Feb 19, 2011 at 19:16
  • What if my film $content contains shortcodes? How do I get that to parse correctly? Should I create a filter the content returned? Feb 19, 2011 at 19:45

Try to start from this tutorial.

In the callback function, do a custom_query (or use get_post) for the post and extract only the values that are relevant for you. (I.e: title, excerpt...)

example shorcode

[film id=10]

Use id in your function to retrive the content of the film.

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