Apr 3, 2008
Tip and Trick Editorial

Workaround to Override WordPress Shortcode and Display the [] Brackets Tags

WordPress has added a new function named shortcode with API that WordPress developers and programmers to write plugins that create macro codes for use in post content beginning from WordPress version 2.5. Essentially shortcode is an easy-to-use feature where bloggers just need to insert a bracket-delineated strings that can be magically expanded at runtime to reflect actual dynamic contents., without the need to deal with complex HTML and embed codes.

The problem is that to embed shortcode in WordPress posts or pages, authors have to enclose the shortcode in [ and ] brackets, with certain sting inside. What if you need to write and display the a true and genuine text, which is not shortcode, but have to enclose within brackets (“[” and “]”), and so coincidentally, the the whole text with brackets is one of the shortcodes created and declared in WordPress environment? For example, WordPress comes built-in with [gallery] shortcode, distracting users ability to type “gallery” word in brackets.

If the text in bracket that you type magically disappear and appear as some other content type (will likely to happen more as more plugins embrace shortcode), you can simply leave a space between one of the bracket and the affected text string in the bracket. But this workaround would make the text appears to be weird and not beautiful.

The more recommended way is to type the brackets using numeric character reference, aka ISO Latin-1 code. The “[” and “]” brackets do not have HTML entity, thus users will have to remember the numeric character reference for the brackets.

[ => [
] => ]

As shown in figure above, to type “[” and make sure that it’s always appear as “[” without affecting by shortcode, type [ replacing the [. The same applied to ], which should be replaced with ].

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