Enable WordPress shortcodes for menu and widgets

Imagine you want to show your related posts in the sidebar, social share icons in the navigation, or anything else you created a shortcode for.

By default, you can’t add a shortcode to your navigation menu or as widgets (footer, sidebar…). However, since the text from a text widget runs trough a filter called widget_text, enabling them is pretty easy.

Make sure to use this in combination with shortcode_unautop. This will ensure you that the output of our shortcode callback is not wrapped in paragraph tags.

Add a priority so that do_shortcode runs after wpautop. The default filter priority for shortcodes in posts is 11 (source).

Add the following PHP code to your child-themes’ functions.php

Enable shortcodes for menu navigation:

 * Enable shortcodes for menu navigation.
if ( ! has_filter( 'wp_nav_menu', 'do_shortcode' ) ) {
    add_filter( 'wp_nav_menu', 'shortcode_unautop' );
    add_filter( 'wp_nav_menu', 'do_shortcode', 11 );

Enable shortcodes for widgets (footer, sidebar…):

 * Enable shortcodes for widgets (footer, sidebar...).
if ( ! has_filter( 'widget_text', 'do_shortcode' ) ) {
    add_filter( 'widget_text', 'shortcode_unautop');
    add_filter( 'widget_text', 'do_shortcode', 11);

That’s it! ✌️

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