Using Custom Bulk Actions

Sorry it’s been such a long time since my last blog!

I’m happy to tell you that in WordPress 4.7, developers can register their own bulk actions on list table screens.

custom-bulk-action-screenshot

Let’s walk through the steps required to add one.

An option in the dropdown

To add an option in the Bulk Actions dropdown HTML element, register a callback on the bulk_actions-{screen_id} filter that adds the new option onto the array. Replace {screen_id} with the ID of the admin screen to offer the bulk action on.

To add a bulk action “Email to Eric,” we could use the following code:

add_filter( 'bulk_actions-edit-post', 'register_my_bulk_actions' );

function register_my_bulk_actions($bulk_actions) {
  $bulk_actions['email_to_eric'] = __( 'Email to Eric', 'email_to_eric');
  return $bulk_actions;
}

Handling the form submission

To handle a bulk action form submission, register a callback on the handle_bulk_actions-{screen_id} filter for the corresponding screen. The filter expects the redirect URL to be modified, so be sure to modify the passed $redirect_url. This allows us to carry success or failure state into the next request to display a notice to the user. The other callback arguments will differ depending on the screen here to include contextually relevant data.

To add a bulk action handler for emailing the selected posts, we could use the following code:

add_filter( 'handle_bulk_actions-edit-post', 'my_bulk_action_handler', 10, 3 );

function my_bulk_action_handler( $redirect_to, $doaction, $post_ids ) {
  if ( $doaction !== 'email_to_eric' ) {
    return $redirect_to;
  }
  foreach ( $post_ids as $post_id ) {
    // Perform action for each post.
  }
  $redirect_to = add_query_arg( 'bulk_emailed_posts', count( $post_ids ), $redirect_to );
  return $redirect_to;
}

Showing notices

We could use the existing notice hooks to let the user know what happened, depending on the state we set in the URL:

add_action( 'admin_notices', 'my_bulk_action_admin_notice' );

function my_bulk_action_admin_notice() {
  if ( ! empty( $_REQUEST['bulk_emailed_posts'] ) ) {
    $emailed_count = intval( $_REQUEST['bulk_emailed_posts'] );
    printf( '<div id="message" class="updated fade">' .
      _n( 'Emailed %s post to Eric.',
        'Emailed %s posts to Eric.',
        $emailed_count,
        'email_to_eric'
      ) . '</div>', $emailed_count );
  }
}

For the curious, see the related changeset and Trac ticket.