Banner for the A to Z Listing Readme plugin

This plugin provides a widget which aggregates all pages into an A to Z listing. The widget includes just
the letters as links to the A-Z Index page. Also provided is an implementation for the A-Z Index page.
If a letter doesn’t have any pages then the widget will display the letter unlinked; likewise the index page
will omit the display for that letter entirely.

Both the Widget and Index page can be section-targeted or global-targeted. i.e. they can limit their output
to displaying only the pages below a single top-level parent page or they can display the entirety of the
site’s pages.

By default the widget and index page become section-targeted by including them on pages below a top-level page:
e.g. if your site layout has:


then placing the widget onto either section1, section1a or section1b will target the widget to displaying only children of section1.
placing the a-z index on a child of section1 will likewise limit the index page to display only children of section1.

Likewise for section2, section2a and section2b.

Your server will need

  1. PHP 5.3 is the minimum version supported. Preferably use the most-recent version of PHP your host offers; PHP 7.0 is ideal.
  2. The plugin requires mbstring turned-on in your PHP installation. Without this feature WordPress will issue a WSOD (White Screen of Death).


The plugin supplies a shortcode for the full A-Z listing allowing use without modifying your theme’s templates.

Basic usage is as follows:


To specify a post-type to display instead of page then use, e.g. Posts:

[a-z-listing post-type="post"]

To filter the posts by a term from a taxonomy:

[a-z-listing taxonomy="category" terms="my-term-slug"]

To show terms from a taxonomy instead of posts and pages, e.g. Terms from the Categories taxonomy:

[a-z-listing taxonomy="category" display="terms"]

To override the alphabet used by the plugin:

[a-z-listing alphabet="Aa,Bb,Cc,Dd,Ee,Ff,Gg,Hh,Ii,Jj,Kk,Ll,Mm,Nn,Oo,Pp,Qq,Rr,Ss,Tt,Uu,Vv,Ww,Xx,Yy,Zz"]

To add numbers to the listing:

[a-z-listing numbers="after"]

The numbers can also be shown before the alphabet:

[a-z-listing numbers="before"]

You can group the numbers into a single collection for all posts beginning with a numeral:

[a-z-listing numbers="after" grouping="numbers"]

To group the alphabet letters into a range:

[a-z-listing grouping="3"]

The arguments are all optional.

  • post-type: sets the listing to show a specific post-type.
    • Default value: page
    • You may specify multiple post-types by separating with commas (,) e.g. post-type="page,post"
  • taxonomy: does nothing by itself, see the combinations below
    • Default value: unset
    • Uses the slug of the taxonomy
    • When combined with:
    • terms, will filter your posts by the terms you set there, which appear in the taxonomy set here
    • display="terms", will switch from displaying post titles to displaying the names of terms from the taxonomy specified
  • terms: sets the taxonomy terms for filtering posts
    • Default value: unset
    • The taxonomy must also be specified in taxonomy
    • Uses the slug of the term(s)
    • Multiple terms can be specified by separating with commas: ,
  • display: specifies whether to display posts or terms from a taxonomy
    • Default value: unset
    • Can be set to either posts or terms.
    • Any value other than unset, posts or terms will default to displaying posts
  • numbers: appends or prepends numerals to the alphabet
    • Default value: unset
    • Can be set to either before or after.
    • Any value other than unset, before or after will default to appending numerals to the alphabet
  • grouping: tells the plugin if and how to group the alphabet
    • Default value: unset
    • Can be set to any positive number higher than 1 or the value numbers
    • Any value other than a positive number or the value numbers will default to disabling all grouping functionality
    • When set to a number higher than 1 the listing will group letters together into ranges
    • For example, if you chose 3 then a latin alphabet will group together A, B, and C into A-C. Likewise for D-F, G-I and so-on
    • When using this setting, if numbers are also shown via the numbers="before" or numbers="after" attribute then they will be shown as a single separate group 0-9
    • When set to the value numbers it will group numerals into a single group 0-9
    • This requires the numbers to be displayed via the numbers="before" or numbers="after" attributes
  • alphabet: allows you to override the alphabet that the plugin uses
    • Default value: unset.
    • When this attribute is unset, the plugin will either use the untranslated default, or if glotpress includes a translation for your site’s language as set in Admin -> Settings -> Site Language it will use that translation.
    • The current untranslated default is: AÁÀÄÂaáàäâ,Bb,Cc,Dd,EÉÈËÊeéèëê,Ff,Gg,Hh,IÍÌÏÎiíìïî,Jj,Kk,Ll,Mm,Nn,OÓÒÖÔoóòöô,Pp,Qq,Rr,Ssß,Tt,UÚÙÜÛuúùüû,Vv,Ww,Xx,Yy,Zz
    • Accepts a single line of letters/symbols, which need to be separated via the comma character ,
    • Including more than one letter/symbol in each group will display posts starting with any of those under the same section
    • The first letter/symbol in each group is used as the group’s heading when displayed on your site



the_a_z_listing( $query ); or `get_the_a_z_listing( $query );`

$query is any valid [`WP_Query`]( array definition, a `WP_Query` object formed from `new WP_Query();`, or a single string containing a taxonomy which will switch the listing to display terms from that taxonomy instead of posts.


Full API documentation is available at A-Z-Listing Reference

Multi Column Output

If you want the multi-column output support, you need to copy the file a-z-listing-multi-column.example.php from the plugin inside the templates directory to your theme. The file needs to also be renamed to a-z-listing.php when copied to your theme. The Templates and Theming section of this Document details the functions used within templates and The Loop process this plugin follows.

Templates and Theming

The plugin allows the site owner, developer, or themer to provide custom templates for the A-Z Listing output.

NOTE: These functions have changed name and method of access in 1.0.0. We have dropped the _a_z_ moniker in the function name and within the template file they are accessed via the $a_z_listing object. The former function names are still accessible, but are largely deprecated.

To add a template to your theme, you need a file similar to the templates/a-z-listing.php file in the plugin folder. Your copy needs to be placed within your theme at the theme root directory and called a-z-listing.php or a-z-listing-section.php (where -section is an optional top-level page slug for the section-targeting feature).

The Loop

The theme system this plugin implements is very similar to the standard WordPress loop, with a few added bits.

Important functions to use in your template are as follows:

  • $a_z_query->the_letters() prints the full alphabet, and links the letters that have posts to their section within the index page.
  • $a_z_query->have_letters() returns true or false depending on whether there are any letters left to loop-through. This is part of the Letter Loop.
  • $a_z_query->have_items() this behaves very similarly to Core’s have_posts() function. It is part of the Item Loop.
  • $a_z_query->the_letter() similar to Core’s the_post(), this will set-up the next iteration of the A-Z Listing’s Letter Loop. This needs to wrap-around the Item Loop.
  • $a_z_query->the_item() similar to Core’s the_post(), this will set-up the next iteration of the A-Z Listing’s Item Loop, the same way the normal WordPress Loop works. This needs to be within the Letter Loop.

When you are within the Item Loop you can utilise all in-built WordPress Core post-related functions such as the_content(). Note that titles and permalinks have helper functions to cope with the A-Z Listing showing taxonomy terms (see the next section).

I advise that you start with a copy of the default template or the multi-column template when customizing your own version. The supplied templates show the usage of most of the functions this plugin provides.

Helper functions

The plugin supports displaying taxonomy terms as though each term were a post. This means that the WordPress functions related to posts such as the_title() and the_permalink() are unreliable. We have therefore added helper functions which will return or print the correct output for the item.

NOTE: These functions have changed name and method of access in 1.0.0. We have dropped the a_z moniker in the function name and within the template file they are accessed via the $a_z_listing object. The previous function names are still accessible, but are largely deprecated.

These helper functions cope with the dual usage of the plugin supporting both WP_Query-based (returning WP_Post objects) and Taxonomy Terms (returning WP_Term objects) listings. These are:

  • $a_z_query->the_title() – prints the current item’s Title
  • $a_z_query->get_the_title() returns the current item’s Title but does not print it directly
  • $a_z_query->the_permalink() prints the current item’s Permalink
  • $a_z_query->get_the_permalink() returns the current item’s Permalink but does not print it directly