A-Z Listing

Description


Show your posts, pages, and terms alphabetically in a Rolodex-, catalogue-, or directory-style list with the A-Z Listing plugin!

The plugin has a short-code for the list, and a widget so you can link to the list from anywhere on your site. If a letter doesn’t have any pages then the widget will display the letter unlinked. The list page will omit the display for that letter entirely.

Show posts from any or multiple post types including the in-built posts and pages. Also supported are post-types from plugins like WooCommerce products. Alternatively, show terms like categories or tags.

short-code

The plugin supplies a short-code for the full A-Z listing allowing use without modifying your theme’s templates.

Basic usage is as follows:

[a-z-listing]

To specify a post-type to display instead of page then use, e.g. post:

[a-z-listing display="posts" post-type="post"]

To filter the posts by a term from a taxonomy:

[a-z-listing display="posts" taxonomy="category" terms="my-term-slug"]

To display pages that are direct children of the page with ID 24:

[a-z-listing display="posts" post-type="page" parent-post="24"]

To display pages that are children of any depth below the page with ID 24:

[a-z-listing display="posts" post-type="page" parent-post="24" get-all-children="yes"]

To show terms from a taxonomy instead of posts and pages, e.g. Terms from the Categories taxonomy:

[a-z-listing display="terms" taxonomy="category"]

To show terms from the Categories taxonomy that are direct children of the term with ID of 42:

[a-z-listing display="terms" taxonomy="category" parent-term="42"]

To show terms from the Categories taxonomy that are children of any depth in the tree below the term with ID of 42:

[a-z-listing display="terms" taxonomy="category" parent-term="42" get-all-children="yes"]

To override the alphabet used by the plugin:

[a-z-listing display="posts" alphabet="Aa,Bb,Cc,Dd,Ee,Ff,Gg,Hh,Ii,Jj,Kk,Ll,Mm,Nn,Oo,Pp,Qq,Rr,Ss,Tt,Uu,Vv,Ww,Xx,Yy,Zz"]

To add numbers to the listing:

[a-z-listing display="posts" numbers="after"]

The numbers can also be shown before the alphabet:

[a-z-listing display="posts" numbers="before"]

You can group the numbers into a single collection for all posts beginning with a numeral:

[a-z-listing numbers="after" group-numbers="yes"]

To group the alphabet letters into a range:

[a-z-listing grouping="3"]

** The arguments are all optional **

Common options

  • display: specifies whether to display posts or terms from a taxonomy.
    • Default value: posts.
    • May only contain one value.
    • Must be set to either posts or terms.
    • Any value other than posts or terms will default to displaying posts.
  • numbers: appends or prepends numerals to the alphabet.
    • Default value: unset.
    • May only contain one value.
    • Must be set to either before or after.
    • Any value other than before or after will default to appending numerals to the alphabet.
  • grouping: tells the plugin if and how to group the alphabet.
    • Default value: unset.
    • May only contain one value.
    • Must be set to any positive number greater than 1 or the value numbers.
    • Any value other than a positive number or the value numbers will default to disabling all grouping functionality.
    • When set to a number higher than 1 the listing will group letters together into ranges.
    • For example, if you chose 3 then a Latin alphabet will group together A, B, and C into A-C. Likewise for D-F, G-I and so-on.
    • When using this setting, if numbers are also shown via the numbers="before" or numbers="after" attribute then they will be shown as a single separate group 0-9.
    • When set to the value numbers it will group numerals into a single group 0-9.
    • This requires the numbers to be displayed via the numbers="before" or numbers="after" attributes.
  • group-numbers: tells the plugin to group all items beginning with a numeral into a single collection.
    • Default value: false.
    • May only contain one value.
    • Must be set to true, yes, on, or 1 to group items beginning with a numeral in a single collection. All other values will keep the default behaviour.
  • alphabet: allows you to override the alphabet that the plugin uses.
    • Default value: unset.
    • When this attribute is not defined, the plugin will either use the untranslated default, or if glotpress includes a translation for your site’s language as set in Admin -> Settings -> Site Language it will use that translation.
    • The current untranslated default is: AÁÀÄÂaáàäâ,Bb,Cc,Dd,EÉÈËÊeéèëê,Ff,Gg,Hh,IÍÌÏÎiíìïî,Jj,Kk,Ll,Mm,Nn,OÓÒÖÔoóòöô,Pp,Qq,Rr,Ssß,Tt,UÚÙÜÛuúùüû,Vv,Ww,Xx,Yy,Zz.
    • Accepts a single line of letters/symbols, which need to be separated via the comma character ,.
    • Including more than one letter/symbol in each group will display posts starting with any of those under the same section.
    • The first letter/symbol in each group is used as the group’s heading when displayed on your site.

Posts options

  • post-type: sets the listing to show a specific post-type.
    • Default value: page.
    • Multiple post-types may be specified by separating with commas (,) e.g. post-type="page,post".
    • Must be the slug of the post-type(s).
  • parent-post: sets the parent post that all displayed posts must be descended from.
    • Default value: unset.
    • May only contain one value.
    • Must be the ID of the parent post.
    • Add get-all-children="yes" to also include all descendants of any depth below the parent post.
  • exclude-posts: remove these posts from the list.
    • Default value: unset.
    • Multiple posts may be specified by separating by commas: ,.
    • Must be the ID of the post(s).
  • taxonomy: sets the taxonomy containing the terms specified in the terms="" option.
    • Default value: unset.
    • May only contain one value.
    • Must be the slug of the taxonomy.
  • terms: sets the taxonomy terms for filtering posts.
    • Default value: unset.
    • The taxonomy must also be specified in taxonomy.
    • Multiple terms may be specified by separating with commas: ,.
    • Must be the slug of the term(s).

Terms options

  • taxonomy: sets the taxonomy to display terms from in the listing.
    • Default value: unset.
    • Multiple taxonomies may be specified by separating with commas: ,.
    • Must be the slug of the taxonomy.
  • terms: sets the taxonomy terms to include in the listing.
    • Default value: unset.
    • The taxonomy must also be specified in taxonomy.
    • Multiple terms may be specified by separating with commas: ,.
    • Must be the ID of the term(s).
    • Cannot be used with exclude-terms="".
  • exclude-terms: sets the terms to exclude from display.
    • Default value: unset.
    • The taxonomy must also be specified in taxonomy.
    • Multiple terms may be specified by separating with commas: ,.
    • Must be the ID of the term(s).
    • Cannot be used with terms="".
  • parent-term: set the parent that all displayed terms must be descended from.
    • Default value: unset.
    • May only contain one value.
    • Must be the slug of the parent term.
    • Add get-all-children="yes" to also include all descendants of any depth below the parent term.
  • get-all-children: when a parent term is chosen this option is used to show all children of any depth or only direct children.
    • Default value: false.
    • May only contain one value.
    • Must be set to true, yes, on, or 1 to include all children of any depth. Any value other will use the default behaviour of only showing direct children.
  • hide-empty-terms: hide terms that have no posts associated.
    • Default value: false.
    • May only contain one value.
    • Must be set to true, yes, on, or 1 to hide the empty terms. Any other value will use the default behaviour of showing all terms.

Internal-use options for completeness

** You should not need to touch these, as they are meant for internal use by the plugin only**

  • target: the default target for a listing that doesn’t show any items.
    • Default value: unset.
    • May only contain one value.
    • Must be set to a URL which will be used as the target for the letters’ hyperlinks.
  • return: what type of listing to show, either listing or letters.
    • Default value: listing.
    • May only contain one value.
    • Must be set to either listing to display the default view, or letters to show only the letters without any items (posts or terms).

PHP

Synopsis

<?php
the_a_z_listing( $query ); // or
get_the_a_z_listing( $query );
?>

Where $query is one of the following:

  • any valid WP_Query parameter array
  • a WP_Query object formed from new WP_Query();
  • any valid get_pages() parameter array. This array must include a child_of key or a parent key to tell the plugin that it is a get_pages() query
  • a single string containing a taxonomy which will switch the listing to display terms from that taxonomy instead of posts

Reference

Full API documentation is available at A-Z-Listing Reference

Multiple Column Output

Multiple column layout is the default on wide screens. A letter’s group of items must contain at least 15 items to create two or more columns. This is to provide a more aesthetically pleasing view when a list is short with only a few items.

Templates and Theming

The plugin allows the site owner, developer, or themer to provide custom templates for the A-Z Listing output.

NOTE: These functions have changed name and method of access in 1.0.0. We have dropped the _a_z_ moniker in the function name and within the template file they are accessed via the $a_z_listing object. The former function names are still accessible, but are largely deprecated.

To add a template to your theme, you need a file similar to the templates/a-z-listing.php file in the plugin folder. Your copy needs to be placed within your theme at the theme root directory and called a-z-listing.php or a-z-listing-section.php (where -section is an optional top-level page slug for the section-targeting feature).

The Loop

The theme system this plugin implements is very similar to the standard WordPress loop, with a few added bits.

Important functions to use in your template are as follows:

  • $a_z_query->the_letters() prints the full alphabet, and links the letters that have posts to their section within the index page.
  • $a_z_query->have_letters() returns true or false depending on whether there are any letters left to loop-through. This is part of the Letter Loop.
  • $a_z_query->have_items() behaves very similarly to Core’s have_posts() function. It is part of the Item Loop.
  • $a_z_query->the_letter() similar to Core’s the_post(), this will set-up the next iteration of the A-Z Listing’s Letter Loop. This needs to wrap-around the Item Loop.
  • $a_z_query->the_item() similar to Core’s the_post(), this will set-up the next iteration of the A-Z Listing’s Item Loop, the same way the normal WordPress Loop works. This needs to be within the Letter Loop.

When you are within the Item Loop you may utilise all in-built WordPress Core post-related functions such as the_content(). Note that titles and permalinks have helper functions to cope with the A-Z Listing showing taxonomy terms (see the next section).

I advise that you start with a copy of the default template template when customizing your own version. The supplied templates show the usage of most of the functions this plugin provides.

Helper functions

The plugin supports displaying taxonomy terms as though each term were a post. This means that the WordPress functions related to posts such as the_title() and the_permalink() are unreliable. We have therefore added helper functions which will return or print the correct output for the item.

NOTE: These functions have changed name and method of access in 1.0.0. We have dropped the a_z moniker in the function name and within the template file they are accessed via the $a_z_listing object. The previous function names are still accessible, but are largely deprecated.

These helper functions cope with the dual usage of the plugin supporting both WP_Query-based (returning WP_Post objects) and Taxonomy Terms (returning WP_Term objects) listings. These are:

  • $a_z_query->the_title() – prints the current item’s Title
  • $a_z_query->get_the_title() returns the current item’s Title but does not print it directly
  • $a_z_query->the_permalink() prints the current item’s Permalink
  • $a_z_query->get_the_permalink() returns the current item’s Permalink but does not print it directly

Screenshots

  • An example of the index listing page
  • The Widget is shown here

Installation

This section describes how to install the plugin and get it working.

Requirements

  1. PHP 5.6 is the minimum version you should be using. Preferably use the most-recent version of PHP your host offers; PHP 7.2 is ideal. Older versions of PHP than 5.6 are unsupported.
  2. The plugin requires mbstring turned-on in your PHP installation. Without this feature the plugin might behave oddly or fail.

Instructions

  1. Upload the a-z-listing folder to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory.
  2. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress.
  3. Use the [a-z-listing] short-code on the page or post that you want to show the listing.
  4. Add the A-Z Site Map widget to a sidebar.

FAQ

Why is the list layout completely broken?

If you are using a page-builder such as WPBakery or Elementor you need to ensure that you put the short-code into a normal text area. Placing the short-code into a preformatted text area will add <pre> tags around the listing output. These extra tags break the layout considerably.

Why is my list in a single column?

The list of items under each letter heading needs to have at least 11 items for a second column to be created. Once you hit the magic 11 items, the list will break into two columns with 6 items in the first column and 5 items in the second. When you get to 21 items a third column will be added if there is room on your page; and so-on up to a maximum of 15 columns if there is enough space, though it is unexpected that any web-page be wide enough for more than a few columns to fit. The columns will fill-up evenly once you have more than one column on the page.

How do I show posts of a different post-type (not pages) or multiple post-types (e.g. posts AND pages)?

This can be achieved using the short-code or PHP. In these examples the generic phrase post-type-slug is used to describe the concept. The default post types provided by WordPress are called “Posts” and “Pages”. Their slugs are post and page respectively. You need to use these names in place of the examples (i.e. your-post-type-slug, type1-slug, and type1-slug).

short-code method

Single post-type

[a-z-listing post-type="your-post-type-slug"]

Multiple post-types

For multiple post-types just separate them with a comma.

[a-z-listing post-type="type1-slug,type2-slug"]

PHP method

PHP code needs to be added to your theme files, and cannot be used as post or page content in the way that a short-code can.

Single post-type

<?php
the_a_z_listing( array(
    'post_type' => 'your-post-type-slug'
) );
?>

Multiple post-types

<?php
the_a_z_listing( array(
    'post_type' => array( 'type1-slug', 'type2-slug' )
) );
?>

The argument to the_a_z_listing() is an array and takes the same parameters as WP_Query

The code above needs to be within a php block which is denoted by the <?php and ?> pair. Depending on your theme, you might not need the opening and closing php tags shown in the above snippet; if that is the case, you are free to omit them in your code.

How do I show posts from a specific category only?

This can be achieved using the short-code or PHP. In these examples the generic phrase taxonomy and term are used to describe the concept. The default taxonomies provided by WordPress are called “Categories” and “Tags”. Their slugs are category and post_tag respectively. Each Category and Tag are then known as “terms”. You need to use the slug for each individual category or tag in place of the example slugs (i.e. term-slug, term1-slug, and term1-slug).

short-code method

Single term

[a-z-listing taxonomy="taxonomy-slug" terms="term-slug"]

Multiple terms

For multiple terms just separate them with a comma.

[a-z-listing taxonomy="taxonomy-slug" terms="term1-slug,term2-slug"]

PHP method

PHP code needs to be added to your theme files, and cannot be used as post or page content in the way that a short-code can.

<?php
the_a_z_listing( array(
    'tax_query' => array(
        'taxonomy' => 'your-taxonomy-slug',
        'field' => 'slug',
        'terms' => array( 'term1-slug', 'term2-slug' )
    )
) );
?>

Any number of terms may be added to the terms array, including one or none.

The argument to the_a_z_listing() is an array and takes the same parameters as WP_Query

The code above needs to be within a php block which is denoted by the <?php and ?> pair. Depending on your theme, you might not need the opening and closing php tags shown in the above snippet; if that is the case, you are free to omit them in your code.

How do I show terms from a taxonomy instead of posts?

This can be achieved using the short-code or PHP. In these examples the generic phrase taxonomy and term are used to describe the concept. The default taxonomies provided by WordPress are called “Categories” and “Tags”. Their slugs are category and post_tag respectively. You need to use the slug for the taxonomy in place of the example slugs (i.e. taxonomy-slug).

short-code method

[a-z-listing taxonomy="taxonomy-slug" display="terms"]

The taxonomy parameter takes a single taxonomy’s slug, e.g. category or post_tag.

The display="terms" attribute is required to display taxonomy terms instead of posts.

PHP method

PHP code needs to be added to your theme files, and cannot be used as post or page content in the way that a short-code can.

<?php
the_a_z_listing( 'taxonomy-slug' );
?>

The argument to the_a_z_listing() is a string and contains the slug of a single taxonomy, e.g. category or post_tag.

The code above needs to be within a php block which is denoted by the <?php and ?> pair. Depending on your theme, you might not need the opening and closing php tags shown in the above snippet; if that is the case, you are free to omit them in your code.

How do I remove section targeting or limit which sections are available?

In your theme’s functions.php file add the following code:

<?php
add_filter( 'a-z-listing-sections', '__return_empty_array' );
?>

This filter may also be used, by removing entries which are standard $post variables, to limit which top-level pages are used as section identifiers.

If there is code already in your functions.php then add just the lines between <?php and ?> on the line directly after the very first instance of <?php.

I am not using the short-code so the styles are not working, can I still use the in-built styles without the short-code?

Yes you can. This needs the following code added to your theme’s functions.php file. We purposely only display the stylesheet on pages where the short-code is active.

<?php
add_action( 'init', 'a_z_listing_force_enable_styles', 99 );
?>

If there is code already in your theme’s functions.php file then add just the lines between <?php and ?> on the line directly after the very first instance of <?php.

The sidebar widget styling also works in a similar manner, and will also respond to the same code above to forcibly enable it.

You can add code which detects the page which the user is browsing and only enable the override on that page so that network requests are kept to a minimum (this is the same reason we detect usage of the short-code).

<?php
add_action( 'init', 'your_override_wrapper_function', 99 );
function your_override_wrapper_function() {
    if ( ! is_page( 'your-a-z-listing-page-slug-or-ID' ) ) { // ID is numeric, slug is a string.
        return; // we don't want to run for anything except the page we're interested in.
    }
    a_z_listing_force_enable_styles(); // this is the page we want, so run the function to enqueue the styles.
}
?>

If there is code already in your theme’s functions.php file then add just the lines between <?php and ?> on the line directly after the very first instance of <?php.

How do I disable the in-built styling?

In your theme’s functions.php add the following code:

<?php
add_filter( 'a-z-listing-add-styling', '__return_false' );
?>

If there is code already in your functions.php then add just the lines between <?php and ?> on the line directly after the very first instance of <?php.

How do I display the listing as a tabbed panel?

In your theme’s functions.php add the following code:

<?php
add_filter( 'a-z-listing-add-tabs', '__return_true' );
?>

If there is code already in your functions.php then add just the lines between <?php and ?> on the line directly after the very first instance of <?php.

Reviews

Super useful, great support

This plugin is great for pulling together posts and/or pages into nicely formatted lists. Very useful, fairly easy to set up, and excellent support.

Where is a-z-listing-multi-column.example.php

I can't find that file, so I can't organize multi-column listing. It's appears to be a great plugin, but a little bit more help to implement multi-column query would be fine. Otherwise is almost useless, unless you want to have a never-ending scrolling pages.

Very useful

Thank you for the beautiful plugin. It has really helped me get the look and feel I wanted. Your support section answered all my questions. Suggestion: 1.) The reason for not obtaining the correct format: The incorrect formatting is because the shortcode is inside a page builder’s preformatted text area instead of a normal text area. This puts html tags (pre) around the output which breaks the layout. Try checking whether your listing is wrapped inside a "pre" tag. 2.) Multiple column display: Just need to have many entries of the list to break up into multiple columns. If you add these directly in the description of the plugin or retain them as the top two FAQ of it would be really helpful. Also, an example or two of how to use the arguments would also help beginners like me. Again, thank you for the very functional plugin.
Read all 34 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“A-Z Listing” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.

Contributors

“A-Z Listing” has been translated into 5 locales. Thank you to the translators for their contributions.

Translate “A-Z Listing” into your language.

Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.

Changelog

2.3.0

  • Add multiple taxonomy support to taxonomy terms listing.
  • Add site health-check feature compatibility.
  • Fix hide-empty-terms in a taxonomy terms listing. Previously completely broken.
  • Fix hard-coded admin-ajax.php URL in widget configuration javascript.
  • Improve documentation in the readme.txt file, which is shown on the plugin page at WordPress.org.

2.2.0

  • Add get_the_item_post_count and the_item_post_count template methods to get or display the number of posts associated with a term.
  • Add support for get-all-children when specifying a parent-term.
  • Add extra filename for template matching: a-z-listing-$slug.php where $slug is the slug of the post containing the short-code.
  • Deprecate PHP 5.3-5.5. Please ensure you are running at least PHP 5.6. The plugin may work on older PHP versions, but compatibility is not guaranteed.
  • Bugfix for incorrect behaviour of exclude-terms in the short-code. Thanks go to Chris Skrzypchak for finding this.

BREAKING CHANGES in 2.0.0+

Multi column example

  • If you have copied the multi-column example in previous releases to your theme folder then you will need to perform some manual steps.
  • If you have not edited the file, just delete it and the new template from the plugin will take control and perform the same functionality.
  • If you have modified the example template then you will need to compare with the file in the plugin at templates/a-z-listing.php and merge any changes into your template.

Template customisations

  • If you have customised the in-built templates or written your own then you may experience breakage due to the post object not being loaded automatically.
  • If you require the template to access more than the post title and URL then you will need to add an additional call after the_item() to load the full WP_Post object into memory.
  • To load the post object you need to call $a_z_query->get_the_item_object( 'I understand the issues!' );.
    The argument must read exactly as written here to confirm that you understand that this might cause slowness or memory usage problems.
    This step is purposely omitted to save memory and try to improve performance.

Previous

See the file called changelog.md for the full release history.