Triggering content plugins in your extension
From Joomla! Documentation
A common example of using plugins is to run the content plugins on some text. This is useful if you want to support plugins that usually work on Content from a custom extension. For the content prepare trigger you can simply call:
$text = JHtml::_('content.prepare', $text);
For any other content triggers you must call:
$article = new stdClass; $article->text = $text; // add more to parameters if needed $params = new JObject; // Note JDispatcher is deprecated in favour of JEventDispatcher in Joomla 3.x however still works. JPluginHelper::importPlugin('content'); $dispatcher = JDispatcher::getInstance(); $dispatcher->trigger('onContentPrepare', array('some.context', &$article, &$params, 0));
You might want to look at core components (for example com_content) for an example. See the triggers page for the possible content plugin triggers.
Also for PHP5.3 compliance please look at the discussion page.