The new generation of Articles Anywhere has arrived, and is now available! Articles Anywhere for Joomla 4 has been completely re-coded and comes with dozens of new features and improvements. It also comes with syntax changes, so here is everything you need to know.

Articles Anywhere is the powerful Joomla plugin that allows you to insert articles anywhere on your site based on any filters, place specific data (like title, text, images, custom fields, etc) and have full control over how you want to display the articles.

Today, we're proud to announce the release of the brand new Joomla 4 version of Articles Anywhere. Brand new is not just a catchphrase, as the extension has been re-worked from scratch (over 1 year in the making), and has a completely different approach to how things are done from a code perspective.

It also has a different way to gather and handle database queries, which are now optimized to only get the necessary data, making it all much more clean, fast, and streamlined.

Below we'll go through everything you need to know about Articles Anywhere 11.0 for Joomla 4, all the new features and improvements, the syntax changes, and what you need to do to migrate from Joomla 3 to Joomla 4.

New Joomla 4 Features

Up to 4x Times Faster

Articles Anywhere for Joomla 4 has been completely rewritten and is now a lot faster. In most cases, the execution time is twice as fast compared to the Joomla 3 version.

The speed improvements increase on more complex pages, when using multiple filters, if structures, custom fields, images, etc. We have seen pages where the speed is more than four times faster!

Data Tags Anywhere

Now, *all* available Data Types can be used not only as Data Tags in the output, but also in Filters, If Structures, and Ordering. In Joomla 4, you can use all of them anywhere, while in Joomla 3 there were some limitations.

Plus, the amount of Data Tags available itself has been multiplied! It's now possible, for every data type (article, category, user, custom fields, etc...), to use any attribute that matches the column name or attribute name in the respective database table.

This means you can now also use things like Article parameters, Category metadata, User data, Custom Fields attributes, and more. The sky is the limit.

New Article Selector Prefixes

The Joomla 3 version of Articles Anywhere has been having the ability to output data from a specific article by using prefixes such as this:, next: and previous:.

The Joomla 4 version of Articles Anywhere expands on this, now also adding the ability to output data from the first: and last: article in the list.

New Editor Button

Articles Anywhere for Joomla 4 comes with a brand new, revamped Editor Button.

While in Joomla 3 you could only use it to insert single articles, you can now use it to insert multiple articles with your desired Filters and Data Tags into the editor.

As you select options, you will see a "Preview" box updated in real-time to show you exactly what syntax will be inserted in the editor.

editor button data tags

You can even drag and drop the Data Tags to re-order them, and you also have other settings at your disposal such as Ordering, Limit, Separator, and more.

See the dedicated documentation for the Editor Button for more details!

External Database

Articles Anywhere really means articles... from anywhere! With the Joomla 4 version of Articles Anywhere, you can now get articles even from another Joomla site / database.

You can set up as many external Databases as you want in the plugin settings. You can then tell the {articles} tag to pull articles from the external database / site, by using the attribute database="...", where the value is the name that you set in the Database settings.

{articles category="Cats" tags="Hairy" database="My External Database"}...{/articles}

This extends the possibilities even further, allowing you to even handle multi-site installations and output articles from multiple sites!

New Foreach Structure

With Articles Anywhere for Joomla 4, you can use the new Foreach Structure inside the {articles} tag, to have more control over the output of data / fields that contain multiple values.

This is especially useful to create a custom output for the new Subform Field (formerly called "Repeatable Field" in J3), but also for simple Lists Custom Fields, Tags, or even comma-separated text!

For example, to use the Foreach Structure with Tags, the syntax would look like:

{foreach data="tags"}

This would give you the ability to fully control the output of each tag assigned to the article. The same can be done for Custom Fields, and more.

See the Foreach Structures documentation for details on how to use this feature.

Subform Field

The subform is a new Custom Field type in Joomla 4, which is an evolution and expansion over the former "Repeatable Field" of Joomla 3. The Subform Field allows you to create a "parent field" which contains a repeatable set of sub-fields.

Of course, with Articles Anywhere you can normally output the complete Subform Field through its layout, by simply using [name-of-the-subform].

But Articles Anywhere also allows you to control which sub-fields you want to display from each of the rows of the Subform field, thanks to the new Foreach Structure feature.

Field Groups

With the Joomla 4 version of Articles Anywhere, in addition to single Custom Fields, you can now also output entire Field Groups of an article.

For example, to output the Field Group with ID 5, you can simply use [fieldgroup:5].

More Text Options

More Text Options have been added for text data tags, in addition to the already existing options. The new features include:

  • Limit by Letters: Ability to limit text based on just the letters, without counting spaces
  • Convert Case: Ability to convert the casing and capitalization of the text in various ways
  • Search & Replace: Ability to search and replace inside text data tags
  • Part of Text: Ability to output part of text data tags by element ID

Also, these text attributes now work on any data tag in Joomla 4, while in Joomla 3 they only worked on a selection of text values.

See the Text Options documentation for details on how to use all these features.

And more additions!

And it's not all! There are a lot of more new Data Tags and possibilities available with the Joomla 4 version of Articles Anywhere, including:

Syntax Changes from J3 to J4

With this being a major release (Articles Anywhere 11.0) and a complete revamp of the extension for Joomla 4, it also comes with a lot of breaking changes compared to the Joomla 3 version.

For all the changes between J3 and J4 (listed below), we've also put together a full guide on how to update your syntaxes from the old ones to the ones. Check out the Articles Anywhere Migration Guide for what you need to do to upgrade your usage of the extension from J3 to J4.

Note: The "Backwards Compatible" message indicates whether the old syntax from Joomla 3 will or will not work on Joomla 4. Either way, we suggest migrating to the new syntaxes even in cases where the old one is still supported.

No more short syntax

The short syntax to pick a single article without attributes is no longer supported in the Joomla 4 version.

This means that you should not do this anymore:

{article Fox Terrier}...{/article}
{article fox-terrier}...{/article}
{article 123}...{/article}

You should instead use the syntax with the proper attribute (title, alias, or id):

{article title="Fox Terrier"}...{/article}
{article alias="fox-terrier"}...{/article}
{article id="123"}...{/article}


New Data Type Prefix

When getting Data Tags from the category attached to the article, the author, modifier, and from custom fields, there is now a consistent syntax with a dedicated prefix.

  • All Category data is prefixed with category: instead of category-
  • All Author data is prefixed with author: instead of author-
  • All Modifier data is prefixed with modifier: instead of modifier-
  • [NEW] Any Custom Field data can now be output with the prefix my-field-name:

This means that for example, the syntax for category-title has now changed to category:title. This applies to all category, author, and modifier data, as well as images and videos.


Out with Underscores, in with Dashes

All Data Tags or attributes that previously included underscores (_), have now been changed to use dashes (-) instead. This is so the syntax is consistent across all Data Tags.

So, for example, you should use publish-up instead of publish_up. You should use include-child-categories instead of include_child_categories. This applies to all cases.

The underscore syntax will still work as backward compatibility. But it's highly suggested to switch to the new dashes syntax.


Miscellaneous Changes

Below you find a list of various other Data Tags and attribute syntaxes that have been changed between the Joomla 3 and Joomla 4 versions of Articles Anywhere.

DescriptionJoomla 3Joomla 4Backwards Compatible
Limit text by characters [text limit="100"] [text characters="100"] YES
Strip HTML tags from text [text strip="true"] [text html="false"] NO
Strip images from text [text noimages="true"] [text images="false"] NO
Output Tags as plain links [tags clean="true"] [tags layout="false"] NO
Output Tags as plain text (no links) [tags strip="true"] [tags links="false"] NO
Filter attribute with multiple values where ALL values should be true at the same time (eg. article should have BOTH specified tags) {articles tags="Fluffy+Cuddly"} {articles tags="Fluffy && Cuddly"} YES
Output a custom field along with the label (via its field layout) [habitat-area label="true"] [habitat-area showlabel="true"] NO
Output only the value of a custom field, without any HTML markup around it [habitat-area layout="false"] [habitat-area:text] YES
Output the rawvalue of a custom field, without any HTML markup around it [habitat-area output="value"] [habitat-area:value] YES
Output only the Label of a custom field [habitat-area label="only"] [habitat-area:label] NO
The value_layout attribute for custom field values has been removed in favor of other methods [habitat-area value_layout="..."] - Use the Foreach Structure for List Fields
- Use [habitat-area custom_html="..."] for Articles Fields
A true/false value based on whether the current article is the first/last first / last is-first / is-last YES
A true/false value based on whether the current article is even/uneven even / uneven is-even / is-uneven YES
Calculations on numeric values are now made with a dedicated calc="..." attribute [count+10] / [count*3] [count calc="+10"] / [count calc="*3"] NO

No more K2 Support

Support for K2 was already limited in the Joomla 3 version of Articles Anywhere.

With the Joomla 4 version of Articles Anywhere, K2 is now not supported at all anymore.

K2 is an outdated component, that does not add much to the table anymore, now that Joomla supports Custom Fields out of the box. So if you're still using K2, our advice is to switch to Joomla core content (articles, categories, tags, custom fields).

Check out the Documentation

We hope you enjoy this massive update to Articles Anywhere in its newest Joomla 4 form!

Check out the Articles Anywhere Migration Guide for what you need to do to update your syntaxes from the Joomla 3 to the Joomla 4 version.

And see the full Articles Anywhere Documentation for Joomla 4 for more details on all these changes and new features!

For any question, or issue you may encounter with the extension, feel free to head to our Support Forum.