This plugin hasn’t been tested with the latest 3 major releases of WordPress. It may no longer be maintained or supported and may have compatibility issues when used with more recent versions of WordPress.

Shortcake (Shortcode UI)


Used alongside add_shortcode, Shortcake supplies a user-friendly interface for adding a shortcode to a post, and viewing and editing it from within the content editor.

Once you’ve installed the plugin, you’ll need to register UI for your shortcodes. For inspiration, check out examples of Shortcake in the wild.

To report bugs or feature requests, please use Github issues.

Running tests

We have test coverage for PHP using PHPunit, and JavaScript using Jasmine.

Running tests locally

Jasmine tests can be run using grunt jasmine and are also run as part of the grunt scripts task. To update the core WordPress files used by the Jasmine test suite, run grunt updateJasmineCoreScripts --abspath="/path/to/wordpress-install".


  • Without Shortcake, shortcodes have a minimal UI.
  • But with Shortcake, TinyMCE will render the shortcode in a TinyMCE view.
  • And add a user-friendly UI to edit shortcode content and attributes.
  • Add new shortcodes to your post through “Add Media”.


Shortcake can be installed like any other WordPress plugin.

Once you’ve done so, you’ll need to register the UI for your code.

New in 0.4.0 is the ability to attach javascript functions to event attribute updates. Action hooks can be used to dynamically show or hide a field based on the value of another, or to implement custom validation rules.


How do I register UI for arbitrary key/value pairs as shortcode attributes?

Shortcake doesn’t support custom key => value pairs as shortcode attributes because it isn’t a great user experience.

After upgrading to Shortcake 0.7.x, some of the shortcode UI fields (post select, user select, etc) don’t work as expected. What can I do?

In version 0.7.0, we updated to the most recent branch of the Select2 library, which provides the enhanced select fields in these field types. This causes a known conflict with plugins that enqueue older versions of Select2. (Popular plugins with known conflicts include WooCommerce and Advanced Custom Fields Pro, among others.)

If you find that you’re experiencing conflicts with these plugins, you can set a flag to load select2 in a distinct namespace by defining the constant SELECT2_NOCONFLICT in your wp-config.php (or anywhere that’s defined before the ‘init’ hook.)

define( 'SELECT2_NOCONFLICT', true );


November 2, 2019
Love using short codes, The block editor is handy too, but short codes are so nice. Good job.
December 13, 2017
This plugin is god awful. Not only does it break parts of woocommerce their update notifications are insanely irritating when combined with profilepress. Shortcodes aren’t that hard to add so it baffles me why people need a plugin like this to do such a simple task.
November 29, 2017
This is a fantastic idea, it retains the normal functionality of WordPress Shortcodes where as developers can properly control the output and the end users simply use the shortcode in a more intuitive way. Please develop THIS and NOT GUTENBERG. PS bonus round: WooCommerce is training wheels for Magento, if you are using Woo and not liking it then its time for you to get off the the pedal bike and buy a real car, ie: Magento.
Read all 24 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“Shortcake (Shortcode UI)” has been translated into 9 locales. Thank you to the translators for their contributions.

Translate “Shortcake (Shortcode UI)” into your language.

Interested in development?

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


0.7.4 (January 16, 2019)

  • Block editor compatability: prevent templates from being output before the document head, which forced the browser into quirksmode, breaking some CSS styles in the block editor.
  • Bug fix: the above bugfix.
  • Bug fix: Fix a javascript error which would cause the Insert Post Element modal to be blank if any shortcode contains a select field with no visible options and no default set.
  • Bug fix: Fix a bug where the “Select Files” button in the media controller became unresponsive after a post element has been inserted.
  • Enhancement: add an optional “allow clear” field attribute to be passed to select2 fields (post, user, or term select) so that multi-select fields can be cleared with a single click. (This option defaults to off and should not affect existing fields.)

0.7.3 (September 5, 2017)

  • Security: Use nonce validation in ajax render shortcode callback to protect against CSRF.
  • Bug fix: Make sure that the same js hooks fire on all field types.
  • Bug fix: Fix bugs affecting multiple select fields (values could not be unset once set, and multiple default values couldn’t be set).
  • Bug fix: Prevent encoded fields containing two percent characters from breaking.
  • Bug fix: Fix some issues where the media modal state was not reset properly if a shortcode was closed without saving.
  • Bug fix: Support cases where there are multiple WP_Editor instances on a page, and make sure that the shortcode being edited is sent to the correct page.
  • Enhancement: When post_select field is selecting from more than one post type, show the post type alongside the post name for easier selection.
  • Enhancement: Show attachment thumbnails for any attachment type, not just images.
  • Enhancement: Add more helpful error messages if no shortcodes with Shortcake UI are registered.
  • Update Norwegian translation

0.7.2 (April 24, 2017)

  • Bug fix: Fix behavior in WordPress 4.7.4 where editing a shortcode would insert a new shortcode into the editor rather than updating the shortcode being edited.
  • Bug fix: The replacement used to escape percent (%) characters in attributes only replaced the first appearance
  • Bug fix: For select fields with multiple=true, allow multiple options to be selected by default
  • Added i18n for all strings in attachment field template
  • Added Finnish translation

0.7.1 (March 16, 2017)

  • Change shortcode formatting to add a space before the self-closing trailing slash.
  • Fix alignment of attachment previews with long filenames.
  • Bug fix: Set an initial value on select fields (previously, no value would be set for a select field unless the user interacts with the field).
  • Enhancement/fix: Reuse one copy of the media modal and reset its state upon closing, rather than creating duplicate markup each time the modal is accessed.
  • Compatability: Uses “full” version of select2.js 4.0.3 to prevent plugin conflicts with other plugins which expect the full version to be enqueued.
  • Compatability: Add SELECT2_NOCONFLICT flag to load Select2 in a unique namespace to prevent conflicts with other plugins which are loading select2.js version 3.
  • Added Norwegian translation.
  • Multiple coding style fixes.

0.7.0 (November 18, 2016)

  • Adds “Add post element” button to media buttons – one click to open the shortcode list, rather than clicking “Add media” button and then finding “insert post element” in the menu.
  • Added “Term Select” field type.
  • Added “User Select” field type.
  • Added new hooks that fire on rendering/editing/closing a shortcode, which can be used for field types which require custom javascript initialization or cleanup.
  • Select fields: add full support for multiple select fields.
  • Select fields: support custom ordering of options.
  • Select fields: support grouping option in <optgroup>s by passing them as a nested array.
  • Attachment fields: support multiple selection.
  • Attachment fields: support SVG images (if svg uploads are enabled by a plugin or theme).
  • Bug fix: Handle percent signs when decoding fields with encode=true specified.
  • Bug fix: fix issue where it takes two clicks on a shortcode in editor to bring up the Edit Shortcode modal.
  • Bug fix: fix issue when searching for shortcodes by name where if multiple shortcodes start with the search string, only the first is returned.
  • Bug fix: only output a description field on an attribute if it’s not empty.
  • Compatability: Remove shims for handling the media modal in WP 4.1 and 4.2.
  • Compatability: Upgrade Select2 library to 4.0.3 to avoid conflicts with other plugins which use the latest version of Select2.
  • Added Turkish translation.
  • Added Finnish translation.
  • Added Swedish translation.
  • Added Hungarian translation.

0.6.2 (November 12, 2015)

  • Bug fix: Listens for “change” event on radio buttons and checkboxes to ensure shortcode attributes are updated.
  • Bug fix: Ensures register_shortcode_ui is always run before calling get_shortcodes(). Fixes post select AJAX callback when using register_shortcode_ui hook.

0.6.1 (November 9, 2015)

  • Fixes JavaScript TypeError when clicking media frame menu items.
  • Corrects links in readme.

0.6.0 (November 2, 2015)

  • Supports an optional encode=true argument for attributes, to allow limited HTML support. Attributes need to be run through shortcode_atts() in order to be properly decoded.
  • Defines a SHORTCODE_UI_DOING_PREVIEW constant when rendering a shortcode preview, which enables callbacks to serve a different representation of the shortcode in TinyMCE.
  • When an attachment is already selected for a shortcode attribute, opening media library will include it selected.
  • Cleaned up icon vertical alignment in the Insert Post Element UI.
  • Added CSS utility classes to all field HTML. For instance, the attachment field is now wrapped with shortcode-ui-field-attachment.
  • Added filters to modify shortcode UI arguments on registration.
  • Cleaned up the example plugin, so it’s a much more useful developer reference.
  • Uses core’s JavaScript regex for parsing shortcodes, instead of maintaining separate regex.
  • Permits HTML in field labels and descriptions.
  • Added Danish translation.
  • Added Italian translation.
  • Added German translation.
  • Core integration: Fully supports PHP 5.2.
  • Bug fix: Persists shortcode attributes and inner content when there isn’t UI registered for them. Previously, they would be discarded.
  • Bug fix: Display the description on the post select field.
  • Bug fix: Attribute field change event binds to input event rather than keyup.
  • Full release notes

0.5.0 (August 26, 2015)

  • Attachment field: Made it easier to change the attachment by clicking on the thumbnail; added attachment metadata in the field view.
  • Attachment field: Refactored JavaScript to trigger events.
  • Added a range input type.
  • Introduced a register_shortcode_ui hook for plugins to more safely register UI with.
  • Removed Preview tab to bring Shortcake’s user experience closer to Core, in which the inline visual preview is preferred over a separate preview in the media modal.
  • Cleaned up JavaScript using JSHint.
  • Added Russian translation.
  • Added Portuguese translation.
  • Added PHPDoc to all classes.
  • Bug fix: Persists inner_content for a shortcode even when UI isn’t defined.
  • Bug fix: Hitting esc in a Shortcake view will now close the modal. (Fixed in Core.)
  • Bug fix: Hitting delete when a Shortcake preview is selected in the Visual editor now results in the shortcode being removed. (Fixed in Core.)
  • Bug fix: The Shortcake ‘search’ function no longer visually conflicts with the shortcode grid at small screen sizes. (Fixed in Core.)
  • Bug fix: Use get_post_type() instead of get_current_screen()->post_type so context is properly set on the frontend.
  • Full release notes

0.4.0 (June 22, 2015)

  • Using carldanley/wp-js-hooks for a basic API to register JS callbacks on shortcode attributes.
  • Attachment field uses a loading indicator when the preview for an attachment is loading.
  • Added Chinese translation.
  • Added French translation.
  • Added Spanish translation.
  • Bug fix: Prevents fataling when editor is loaded in the frontend context.
  • Bug fix: Color field also supports meta argument.
  • Bug fix: Removes trailing whitespace from shortcodes without attributes.
  • Bug fix: Removes double slash in editor css path.
  • Full release notes

0.3.0 (April 27, 2015)

  • Breaking change: We’ve removed the compatibility shim for the magical content attribute. If you were using this to support editing inner content, you’ll need to change your UI registration to use inner_content.
  • New post_select field type for selecting from a list of posts. Supports an additional query parameter to modify the search query.
  • Using a new post_type argument, shortcode UI can be registered for specific post types. This is helpful if you want the UI for a given shortcode to only appear on specific post types.
  • For each shortcode attribute, a meta argument can be specified to add arbitrary HTML attributes to the field. We’ve added a compatibility shim for the existing placeholder argument. This compatibility shim will be removed in v0.4.
  • When inserting a shortcode, UI shows a helpful message when the shortcode doesn’t have attributes to configure. Previously, the user was presented with a relatively blank screen.
  • Our example plugin can be activated through the WordPress admin.
  • Clicking “Insert Post Element” in the left menu effectively acts as back button to selecting a shortcode.
  • Language around the editing experience reflects the shortcode you’re editing. For instance, with a pullquote shortcode, “Edit Post Element” becomes “Edit Pullquote”.
  • Added Dutch translation.
  • Source JavaScript files moved to js/src for clarity between source and built JavaScript.
  • PHP files are scanned using PHP_CodeSniffer.
  • Bug fix: Unquoted shortcode attributes are properly supported.
  • Bug fix: Attachment field properly registers dependencies.
  • Bug fix: “Insert Post Element” experience should work when visual editor is disabled. Shortcake is only loosely coupled with TinyMCE.
  • Bug fix: Editor styles are loaded on after_setup_theme to prevent fatals.
  • Full release notes.

0.2.3 (April 8, 2015)

  • Fix WP 4.1 backwards compatibility issue by restoring arguments passed to TinyMCE view compatibility shim.

0.2.2 (April 6, 2015)

  • Update arguments passed to TinyMCE View Render for WP 4.2 compatibility. Previously passed argument wasn’t necessary, so removing doesn’t break backwards compatibility.

0.2.1 (March 18, 2015)

  • Ensure use of jQuery respects jQuery.noConflict() mode in WP.

0.2.0 (March 18, 2015)

  • JS abstracted using Browserify.
  • Enhancements to “Add Post Element” UI: shortcodes sorted alphabetically; search based on label.
  • Much easier to select shortcode previews that include iframes.
  • WordPress 4.2 compatibility.
  • Added color picker to list of potential fields.
  • Bug fix: IE11 compatibility.
  • Bug fix: Checkbox field can now be unchecked.
  • Full release notes.

0.1.0 (December 23, 2014)

  • Supports all HTML5 input types for form fields.
  • Shortcode preview tab within the editing experience.
    }* Re-labeled the UI around “Post Elements”, which is more descriptive than “Content Items.”
  • Many bug fixes.
  • Full release notes.