User Guide to Shortcodes Available in Sunnyside Times

This user guide lists the shortcodes available in Sunnyside Times for the creation of content. Some shortcodes are custom creations in SsT and others are provided by the underlying system.

When using shortcodes, please be alert for issues/needs where there may be a more effective variant (such as an additional argument). We really want to improve the system to create something of maximum convenience and understandability for the users.

Custom Shortcodes

Add Meta Information Shortcode

This shortcode adds things like titles and bylines. We can easily add other such info as the need is identified.

{{% meta_info info_type="title" %}}2 horse powered 2 tone Cadillac!{{% /meta_info %}}

Note the space before the forward slash terminating the shortcode.

The info_type specifies what is to be added. The choices are:

  1. title which adds a title to the story/page.
  2. byline which adds the list of writers to the page. The result is a line starting with Written by: followed by the content in the shortcode. There is no need to put "By" or the like.
  3. photo which adds the photo credits to the page. Similar to byline, except that it applies to the photographers.
  4. stop_flow is used to prevent subsequent text from flowing around a prior photo that had a float:right or float:left attribute.

Add Disposition Shortcode

This shortcode adds a note at the end of a story giving the date of publication. (not implemented yet:) I will also record a target removal date and specify the ultimate disposition of the story (discard, archive, ...).

{{% disposition post_date="date story published" remove_date="date to remove" on_removal="archive" %}}

post_date (optional) specifies a date (typically in mm/dd/yyyy format) that the story is published. It will be added to story in a small font as "published: date". remove_date (optional) specifies a date when the story will be taken down (--undecided if this is a report for the admin to follow or is an automatic removal - probably the former). on_removal (optional) is one of archive or discard telling the system what to do with the story when it is removed.

Links Shortcode

This shortcode provides the means to link (html "a" tag) items or locations in a document. In particular, it is used to add downloads such as pdf files and to link to either external or internal urls.

{{% links purpose="download" reference="url or document" target="new" display="button" display_text="Read More" %}}

purpose (required) specifies the intent of the link. Possible values are:

  1. download indicates that the link specifies a document (reference attribute) that may be downloaded by the user. The document must occur in the files directory of the website.
  2. transfer indicates a transfer (launch) of an external website. The target attribute may be used to indicate whether the new page should replace the existing page (default) or open in a new page. When transferring to an different website, you must include the full url (e.g.,

reference (required) specifies the url identifying the page or document the link goes to.

target (optional) specifies where to open a linked document. If it has the value new, it will open in a new browser page. Alternatively, it may use any of the attribute values specified in the html spec for the target attribute. (Note that "new" simply duplicates the html value "_blank")

display (optional) specifies whether the link should display as a button or a link (default).

display_text (optional) specifies the text to display on the link or button. If nothing is specified, a button will display as "Go To" or a link will display as "here".

Gallery Shortcode

The gallery shortcode defines a "gallery" of pictures. Galleries are currently a bit of a work in progress. There are two parts to using a gallery:

  1. Create the gallery itself.
  2. Insert the gallery at the desired location in the story.

Inserting the gallery in the story simply requires inserting the gallery shortcode:

{{% gallery gallery_name %}}

Creating the gallery requires the creation of a folder containing the actual images to be included in the gallery and the creation of a specifier file named metadata.yml which tells how the gallery is to be rendered. An example of a metadata.yml file:

Gallery path: /galleries/some_dir_for_content name: IMG_0842.JPG
order: 0

name: IMG_0843.JPG
caption: Photo Caption
order: 1

name: IMG_0845.JPG
caption: Another Photo Caption
order: 2

The metadata.yml file has one entry for each photo with photos separated by "---". Each line is an attribute that has a name followed by a colon and space. The value of the attribute immediately follows on the same line. Each photo must have a "name". It may optionally have a "caption" and/or an "order". Additionally, one entry must have a path name where the gallery will be saved in the system (Ideally, the gallery path would not be in a photo entry, but for technical reasons fixing that would require more effort than its worth).

The actual display of the gallery is handled by a "Lightbox" named "baguetteBox". Additional description can be found here.

Singlepic shortcode

The singlepic shortcode is used to insert a single image into a page. It closely mirrors the Wordpress singlepic shortcode. The major difference is that images are identified by pathname rather than id.

{{% singlepic image="/images/Art/artists/WhilliamsHalloween.jpg" width="400px" height="300px" alignment="center" caption="" title="" has_borders="False" %}}


Image provides the path to the image. All images are stored in a local directory named images which is the parent directory for the path. The remainder of the path is set by whatever layout you use for images. The initial structure reflects the storage location used by Wordpress at the time of importing.

"width=", "height="

Width and height of the image are set as was done in Wordpress. The default value in each case is 300px.


Alignment is a bit tricky as there are five (5) separate possible values depending on whether you want text to flow around an image or not. The values left, center, right will position the image within its containing structure, but text will not flow around it. The values float-left, float-right will cause text to flow around the image.

Note that when trying to flow text around an image, the singlepic shortcode needs to be placed in the stream of text that will flow around it. If there are paragraph separators (line breaks) around the singlepic, then it will end up defaulting to a left side placement.

"title=", "caption="

Title and caption are optional, but the intent will be to take them from the photo metadata if they exist. A title or caption specified in the shortcode will supercede something contained in the photo.


By default, individual pictures have a border. For cartoons and similar fill-ins, it often looks better without a border. In that case, adding the has_borders attribute and setting it to "False" (or "No") will remove the border.

Child_Links Shortcode

This shortcode generates a list of links to the child pages of a page (such as Stories by Residents). Pages are listed in time sorted order with most recent first. The name of the file (generally also name of the article) is used as the link name.

{{% build_links_to_children %}}

This shortcode currently has no arguments or other specifiers though developing them seems reasonable.

Layout Shortcode

This shortcode provides the ability to specify layout for a document. It is based on the CSS Flexbox model which is described in this basic tutorial.

The general idea is to place parts of a web page (think picture, or a few paragraphs of text) in a container that specifies how to organize the content such as in a row or a column. While the Flexbox is a very general and powerful facility, our use is typically much more limited.

Each container (box) can specify how other containers (which may themselves be boxes) that are contained within it are arranged.

Care needs to be exercised to ensure that boxes do not overlap one another and that boxes containing boxes do not overlap improperly. Because it may be visually difficult to ensure proper containment in some cases, the box shortcode differs from all other shortcodes in that the ending element (the /box section) includes a name attribute. Having a name attribute in both the start and ending shortcode specifier for a box allows the system to more easily check for improper nesting and make a more useful error report.

{{% box name="xxboxnamexx" direction="row" %}} xx box content xx {{% /box name="xxboxnamexx" %}}


The name parameter serves to connect the beginning and end of the shortcode. The value of the name attribute must be unique within the document.


The (optional) direction parameter has a value of "row", "row-reverse", "column", or "column-reverse". The default value is row. Row specifies left-to-right, row-reverse specifies right-to-left. Column specifies top-to-bottom while column-reverse specifies bottom-to-top.

"other attributes"

While seldom used, boxes may have other attributes such as the html style element. Any other attributes on the shortcode are added to the underlying html without modification or checking.