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IVN Guide to Short Codes

by Shawn M. Griffiths, published

As part of the improvements made to IVN, contributors can add what we call “short codes” to the article to improve the overall aesthetics of the post. Short codes serve multiple functions: promotion, interactivity and functionality, improving the structure of content, or just polishing up the article.

To select short codes, click on the green star in the formatting toolbar in the edit screen above the body of the article.


Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 11.22.25 AM

Short codes are divided into 3 categories:

  • Promotion
  • Elements
  • Columns


Use promotion codes not only to make sharing your article easier, but to promote internal links and ads.

Story Highlights

Use story highlights to improve navigation in the article if it is long or split into multiple parts by subheaders. If readers are interested in checking out a specific section of the post, they can click on the highlight and it will take them directly to that section.

You can add more than one highlight by clicking “Add Highlight.” All highlights can be added in a single short code without having to go back and add them individually.

In the “Highlight” space, enter the name of the section you wish to highlight. Under “Highlight Link,” type #. The best anchor word to use is a single word from the section name. Once you have added all the highlights you want, click “Add Shortcode.”

To link the highlight to the desired section, go to short codes, and look under "Elements" for “Anchor.” Type in the anchor word you used without the hashtag and add the short code above the section. (Additional uses for Anchor will be explained later).

Here's an example:

How to Highlight

Posts by Category

Since most articles will only have one category, this short code will feature the last four articles to publish under the selected category for the article.

Posts by Tag

This is a short code we like to use often with articles. It does the same thing as “Posts by Category,” except with a specific tag used for the article. The title of the short code, though technically optional as it will automatically give it a title, should be entered manually, especially with tags with more than one word.

For example, the short code for featuring articles tagged with ‘independent voters’:

Title: Check Out The Latest Articles on Independent Voters

Tag: independent-voters

It is very important for tags with more than one word to connect the words with a hyphen. This short code should only be used with tags that are common on the site.

Example of "Posts by Tag" short code:

Posts By Author

Does the same thing as Posts by Category and Posts by Tag, except it will list the last four articles the author of the post published on IVN.

Example of Posts by Author:

Comment Call to Action

This feature prompts the reader to answer a question. When a reader clicks the question, they will be sent directly to the comment section of the article. Comments are an important and effective way of increasing traffic, engagement, and overall success of any article.

Example of a "Comment Call to Action":


Adding an advertisement will create a square advertisement to the left of your text ("Outset") or in a rectangular full-width bar above your your text ("Full-width"). Generally, for formatting purposes, we usually use the "Outset" style.

Pullout Blockquote

This code allows you to feature a quote from the article on the left of the text. Pullout quotes should not replace the quote in the body of the article.

(See below for example)

Twitter Blockquote

Works similar to the “Pullout Blockquote,” except it will prompt the reader to send the quote directly to Twitter to share on the person’s Twitter feed. This option is often preferred over the “Pullout Blockquote” as it enhances the promotion of the article. Please remember there is a 140-character limit.


Twitter Link

If you want to add a link so the user can send a quick tweet based on your text, just replace the sentence with a Twitter link. The link will be displayed like the first sentence in this paragraph.


Use short codes under “Elements” to improve the structure and aesthetics of the article, as well as the interactivity on the article and linking out to internal or external links.


This creates headers and subheaders to use in the article. While you can already do this through WordPress, the short code offers an alternative option and look for adding headers and subheaders to an article.

Example of a "Heading" short code:


Creates a large button for either an internal or external link. Use this short code when you want to give readers a Call to Action.

Example of a Jumbotron button:


Creates a button of various sizes (depending on the author's choice of small, medium, or large) that can link to an internal or external link. Buttons can be added anywhere in the body of the article and should link to an article that is relevant to the topic or issue being discussed. Make sure to select the option to open the link in a new tab/window.

Example of a button:




You can add different icons to the body of the article. This is a short code is fairly self explanatory.

Here are examples of what an icon looks like:

Toggle Panels

Toggle Panels create sub-sections within the article that readers can click on to reveal more information. It may be a good short code to use if there is excessive content that may not be needed for the body of the article, but it provides additional information about multiple topics.

Here's an example of toggle panels:

When asked about redistricting, 35 percent of those surveyed said that legislative district lines should be drawn by a bipartisan commission of selected state officials, 28 percent say the state legislature and governor, and 22 percent say the state supreme court, BPC reports. When asked if independents should be allowed to vote in primary elections, Americans overwhelmingly said yes, by a 67 to 24 percent margin. Independents responded with an even larger margin, with 72 percent supporting the inclusion of independent voters in the primary election. When asked if citizens should be allowed early voting at regular polling places in the days leading up to Election Day, 74 percent of Americans said yes. When it comes to Voter ID laws, 84 percent support requiring people to show a government-issued photo ID.

Tabbed Section

Similar to “Toggle Panels,” this can break up sections of the article into different tabs. Chances are this short code won’t be used too often, but it can be used for content that may not be necessary for the body of the article, but can provide multiple sections of information without requiring the reader to down scroll so much.

Example of tabbed sections:

Enter additional information -- such as data or statistics -- that is relevant to the topic of the article, but may not specifically fit into the body of the article. This short code should not be used with only one tab. It wouldn't look good. Using this feature, or the Toggle Panels, is a good way to add extra information the reader will be interested in reading while limiting the amount of times they have to scroll down.

Progress Bar

This would be a good short code to visualize poll results. It marks the progress of something based on percentage.

Example of Progress Bars:


In addition to being used for Story Highlights, an Anchor can be used to hyperlink to a specific section in an article. When an author shares a link with an anchor at the end the links sends a person directly to a specific section in the article.


Contributors can use these short code options to break certain sections of the article into multiple columns or set an image on the outset of the article.


If a contributor ever has any questions about short codes, how best to use them, or anything else about the editorial process, they can contact [email protected]

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