Update 27/01/10 - **BROKEN** This plugin uses the Tabbloid service to generate PDFs. Tabbloid recently updated there system removing API access, which has broken this plugin. I’m seeking clarification.

For Christmas 2008 I decided to develop my first Wordpress plugin. ‘Make Tabbloid’ integrates with the www.tabbloid.com service allowing you to provide your readers with a downloadable PDF version of your latest posts in an attractive magazine/newsletter format.

An example of what this looks like is available from the link on the right hand side under the section ‘Make Tabbloid’.

You can download the plugin here


Author: Martin Hawksey

Screenshot of sample PDF

The ‘Make Tabbloid’ plugin integrates with HP’s Tabbloid Service to automatically create printer friendly ‘tabloid’ editions of your Wordpress blog in an attractive magazine/newspaper format.

The plugin includes a widget to let you control how you advertise your ‘tabloid edition’. You can also choose to display a thumbnail of your custom newsletter (powered by http://view.samurajdata.se/) to let your readers see what they are missing.

Key features

  • NEW! - Option to include QR codes for each post
  • Customisable banner text (default is Today’s Tabbloid)
  • Option to automatically footnote all the links which appear in a post (using tinyurl to shorten long links)
  • Integrated widget to display thumbnail of your publication (or function code to include in your template)
  • Option to aggregate more than one RSS feed within your publication
  • New editions automatically generated when new posts are added

See the ’screenshot’ for a summary of the features.

For an example of it’s usage visit http://www.rsc-ne-scotland.org.uk/mashe/


  1. Upload the make-tabbloid directory to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory
  2. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress
  3. Go to http://www.tabbloid.com/developer and ‘agree to do no evil’ then click on ‘Make me cool’ to get an API key
  4. Via the ‘Settings’ menu enter your Tabbloid API key and then add the RSS feed of your blog
  5. You can then either add Make Tabbloid to your sidebar as a widget or by placing <?php do_makeTabbloid('linkName','fileName', showThumbnail); ?> in your template

The script needs write access to your Blog directory. Check out the WordPress Codex or have a look at the FAQ for help.


0.9.6 - Update

  • Option to include QR codes at the end of posts - Minor Fix

  • Minor fix to prevent slashes when using the widget - Minor Bug Fix and Readme update

  • Minor fix to a bug in the widget control panel

0.9.5 - Update/Fix

  • Implemented the ability to customise the banner/header text used in the pdf publication. It can be controlled via the widget menu or calling the function do_makeTabbloid(‘linkName’,'fileName’, showThumbnail, ‘bannerTitle’).
  • Minor fix to prevent “format error: Not a PDF or corrupted” (I think this was something to do with utf encoding, but I’m not sure) - Minor Bug Fix

  • Minor fix to prevent Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_IF, expecting ‘{’ in …/wp-content/plugins/make-tabbloid/make-tabbloid.php on line 371 - Minor Bug Fix

  • Minor fix to the prevent Feedburner redirect (Fixes: calluserfuncarray() [function.call-user-func-array]: First argument is expected to be a valid callback, ‘mt prevent_feedburner’ was given in /wp-includes/plugin.php on line 339)

0.9.4 - Bug Fix

  • Fixed custom feed (?feed=make-tabbloid) to prevent redirect to Feedburner

0.9.3 - Major update

  • Fixed the duplicate function
  • Included a custom feed for tabbloid which automatically footnotes all the links within posts and uses TinyURL to shorten any long links

0.9.2 - What was I thinking

0.9.1 - Bug Fix

  • Fix to get current list of feeds registered with Tabbloid

0.9 - Initial Release


I get an fopen error and / or permission denied

If you get permission errors make sure that the script has writing rights in your blog directory. Try to creating a file with your chosen pdf filename (e.g. mytabbloid.pdf) manually, upload it with a ftp program and set the rights to 777 with CHMOD. A good tutorial for changing file permissions can be found on the WordPress Codex.

Why is my PDF file blank

Either Tabbloid is struggling with your RSS feed or your feed is making its way to the front of the queue to be tabloided. Try going to www.tabbloid.com, adding your feed url and clicking ‘Generate sample issue now’. If it doesn’t generate a PDF either wait an hour and try again or drop a line to the techies at Tabbloid.

Why doesn’t the thumbnail appear?

The thumbnail is generated by http://view.samurajdata.se/ so there may by a problem with the 3rd party site. Images are also cached for 3 days so changes may take this long to filter through.