This plugin is for WordPress 3.9 or later!

HomeForumsPTA ShortcodesThis plugin is for WordPress 3.9 or later!

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    • #497
      Stephen Sherrard

      This plugin works with the new TinyMCE version 4 editor in WordPress 3.9 or later. This plugin replaces the PTA Zilla Shortcodes plugin. If you are still working with a version of WordPress earlier than 3.9, please use the PTA Zilla Shortcodes plugin instead.

    • #3411
      trish dardine

      how do you actually generate the short code? I have it installed, and I’ve created a sign up form but not sure where to get/create the code to put it in a post. Can you help?


    • #3426
      Stephen Sherrard

      Once you install and activate the plugin, when you go to the visual editor for a page or post, you will see “PTA” with a drop down arrow next to it in the top row of text formatting icons. Just click on that and a list will drop down with the 4 types of shortcodes that can be generated with that plugin (for a couple of my plugins). When you select one, a dialog box will pop-up for you to enter any arguments. Most of the time you will just leave them blank if you want the default display. When you click OK, the appropriate shortcode will automatically be pasted into your editor window at the current cursor location.

    • #4974
      Robert Schmitt

      Anyway you could just list the possible shortcodes? For some reason, the PTA is not in my editor.


    • #4976
      Stephen Sherrard

      Sorry for any confusion. As stated, this shortcode generator (PTA Shortcodes) only works with WordPress version 3.9 and later, since that’s when WordPress changed the TinyMCE Editor version, and broke all the previous shortcode generator plugins. I hope nobody is still using versions of WordPress older than 3.9, as that’s not very safe any more… lots of important security updates since then, in addition to all the new features. But, if you still are using versions before version 3.9, you need to use my older PTA Zilla Shortcodes plugin to create the shortcode generator button in the editor.

      If that still doesn’t work for you, the shortcodes are clearly laid out in the documentation, which is linked to from both of the free plugins (and the Member Directory plugin has extensive built-in help that covers all its shortcodes).

      Here is the docs page for the PTA Volunteer Sign-up Sheets plugin:

      Here is the docs page for the PTA Member Directory & Contact Form plugin:

      For those who don’t like reading documentation, here is the main shortcode for the PTA Volunteer Sign-Up Sheets (copied right from the docs page):


      And, here is the main shortcode for the Member Directory (which you can find in the very extensive built-it help system for the plugin — click on the “Help” tab at the upper right corner of any of the Member Directory settings pages):

      And, for those who don’t want to use online help in the Member Directory plugin, or who don’t want to follow the link to the docs page for the Sign-Up Sheets plugin, here is a copy and paste of the shortcode documentation and help page for both plugins:

      Public Side use

      All you really need to make all the features available to the public is to create a page for your Vounteer sign-up system and insert the main shortcode:


      However, if you want to use any arguments in the shortcode, or simply have trouble remembering (or copying and pasting), it is highly recommended that you download the free PTA Shortcodes plugin, which will add a PTA icon to your page/post editor to create the shortcodes for you.

      It is also recommended that you don’t put any other content in the content area of the page or post that you insert the main shortcode since the shortcode will generate different content depending on actions that the user takes.

      Public functionality (Volunteer Sign-Up Sheets)

      On the page that you put the shortcode, there will first appear a simple list-table of current volunteer sign-up sheets with start date, end date, and links to “View & sign-up” for each sheet. The default heading of “Current Volunteer Sign-up Sheets” above that table can be changed by adding a “list-title” argument to the shortcode, such as:

      list_title=”My New Title”

      Again, this is made easier if you use the PTA Shortcodes plugin.

      This list will ONLY show sheets where there are still items/tasks whose dates have not already passed. If it’s a recurring or multi-day event, the sheet will still be in the list as long as there still are some dates for items/tasks that have not expired yet. Expired tasks/items will not be counted in the “Open Slots” calculations.

      If a user is logged in and has already signed up for anything, then below that main list will be another list showing everything they have signed up for along with a “clear” link that they can use to remove themselves from a sign-up.

      When a volunteer clicks on a sheet title or the “View & sign-up” link, the page refreshes and they will see the details for that specific sheet/event. Title, contact info, and any details will be shown at the top, followed by a table of all upcoming tasks/items. For each available spot that has not been filled yet, there will be a “Sign up” link.

      When a volunteer clicks on the sign up link for an open spot, the page refreshes and they are shown a simple sign-up form where they enter first name, last name, email, and phone. If the task/item requires details, then there will be an input box for them to enter the task/item details (such as what dish they are bringing to a lunch). If the user is logged in, then their contact info will already be filled in for them if it has already been stored in their user profile (as a minimum, each user account needs an email, so that will always be filled in for logged in users). If they don’t have first name, last name, or phone already stored in their user meta, then after they sign up for their first volunteer slot, that information will be added to the user’s meta, and they won’t have to fill it in for future volunteer sign-ups.

      After a user signs-up for a slot, they will immediately be emailed a confirmation with all the details, and a copy of that will also be sent to the contacts specified for the event.
      Displaying a Sign-up Sheet on its own page

      If you have a page where you always want to show the list of available sign-ups for a particular event/sheet, you can add the “id” argument to the shortcode. You need to look at the All Sheets list on the admin side to find the ID for a sheet, and then add the argument to the shortcode in the format:


      Again, this is made easier if you use the PTA Shortcodes plugin.

      With this argument included, the main list of all sign-up sheets will not be displayed, instead you will see the details and list of available sign-ups for that particular sheet. Sheet title and Contact info will NOT be shown for the sheet, allowing you to add other content to the page in the format that you want. If they click on a sign-up link for a task/item, it then takes them to your main Volunteer Sign Up Page, but passes the sheet & task ids so that they go right to the sign-up form. Thus, it’s very important that you still use the main shortcode without any id argument on whatever page you want as your main volunteer page, and make sure you select that page in the Main Settings for this plugin.

      PTA Member Directory & Contact Form – Shortcodes Help

      To display the directory on a page, use the shortcode:

      To display the contact form on a separate page (instead of being dynamically generated from the directory page), use the shortcode: [pta_member_contact]

      To display a simple admin contact form, without the recipient select box, on a page, use the shortcode:
      This Admin contact form will send the message to the site’s admin email address.

      If you have locations enabled, you can show a member directory for a specific location by passing in a location argument in the shortcode. For example, if you have an office in Seattle, pass in the slug version of your Seattle location:
      [pta_member_directory location=”seattle”]

      The location argument also works with the contact form (whether dynamically generated or on a separate page with the contact form shortcode). If you have locations enabled, and you have a directory set up for a specific location, when you click on a contact link, the location will be passed to the contact form as well, and the contact form will only show other members from that location. However, you can also use the argument within the contact form shortcode in case you want a separate contact form that only shows members from a specific location. The argument is the same:
      [pta_member_contact location=”seattle”]

      Make sure you use the slug for the location argument! Go to the Locations page and view the list of all locations to see the slug for each location.

      When you set a location with a shortcode argument, the location will be shown at the top of the directory or contact form, using whatever display name you set in the options for “location”.

      Locations can also be passed in as arguments in links instead of hard-coded into a shortcode. See the custom links section for help on creating those links.

      You may also generate a directory for a specific position by passing in a position argument in the shortcode. For example, if you have a position called Management, pass in the slug version of the position:
      [pta_member_directory position=”management”]

      If the position argument is used, either in the directory shortcode or via an argument in a link, the position will be displayed above the directory list table, and the position column will be removed from the table. A link to send the whole group a message will appear below the table. Clicking on the group message link in this case will also pass the position argument on to the contact form, which will send a message only to that group (the recipient select box will not show).

      The position argument also works with the contact form shortcode. If you specify a position in the contact form shortcode arguments, or if it is passed in via a url argument (such as described above), then the contact form will act as a contact for for only that position, and no recipient select box will be shown. This way you can set up different contact forms for specific positions without letting the user select an alternate receipient.

      Make sure you use the slug for the position argument! Go to the Positions page and view the list of all positions to see the slug for each position.

      Positions can also be passed in as arguments in links instead of hard-coded into a shortcode. See the custom links section for help on creating those links.

      You can now also pass in id as an argument in the contact form shortcode, so that you can hardcode the recipient for a form on a page. Format is id=”12″ where the number is the member post ID. In addition, there is a hide_select argument that allows you to hide the recipient select box on the contact for when you set its value to “true”. The select box will only be hidden if an id has been passed in via either a shortcode argument or a link.

    • #24072
      Jason Driedger

      I am currently using WordPress 5.0.3 and a having trouble finding the Shortcode generator button when creating a new web page and trying to use the generate to insert Shortcode. Can you please advise as to where I can find the Shortcode generator icon.


    • #24074
      Stephen Sherrard

      I’m assuming you already installed the PTA Shortcodes plugin:

      Once that is installed, there will be a PTA button on the visual editor. It’s needs to be in visual mode to see that.

      If you have upgraded to 5.0.3 and are now using the crappy Gutenberg “blocks” editor, then, no, you won’t see a shortcodes button, as that editor is not compatible with shortcode generators that were made for the classic TinyMCE editor. I have not built any “blocks” for the PTA plugins, nor do I have any plans to do so in the near future.

      I highly recommend you install the “Classic Editor” plugin (one of the most installed plugins these days, with over 2 million active installations, since everyone hates the Gutenberg editor) so you can get back to the regular “classic” WordPress editor:

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