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TWiki Templates

Definition of the templates used to render all HTML pages displayed in TWiki


The new modular template system offers flexible, easy control over the layout of all TWiki pages. The master template approach groups parts that are shared by several templates - like headers and footers - in a common file. Special variables allow individual layouts to include parts from a master template - variables are mixed with regular HTML markup for template-specific content. Templates are used to define page layout, and also to supply default content for new pages.

Major changes from the previous template system

Where the old templates were each complete HTML documents, the new templates are defined using variables to include template parts from a master file. You can now change one instance of a common element to update all occurrences; previously, every affected template had to be updated. This simplifies the conversion of templates into XHTML format, and provides a more versatile solution for templates and for TWikiSkins. The new system:

How Template Variables Work

Types of Template

There are three types of template:

Master Templates

Common parts, appearing in two or more templates, can be defined in a master template and then shared by others: twiki.tmpl is the default master template.

Template variable: Defines:
%TMPL:DEF{"sep"}% "|" separator
%TMPL:DEF{"htmldoctype"}% Start of all HTML pages
%TMPL:DEF{"standardheader"}% Standard header (ex: view, index, search)
%TMPL:DEF{"simpleheader"}% Simple header with reduced links (ex: edit, attach, oops)
%TMPL:DEF{"standardfooter"}% Footer, excluding revision and copyright parts
%TMPL:DEF{"oops"}% Skeleton of oops dialog

HTML Page Templates

TWiki uses HTML template files for all actions, like topic view, edit, and preview. This allows you to change the look and feel of all pages by editing just a few template files.

Templates are in the twiki/templates directory. As an example, twiki/templates/view.tmpl is the template file for the twiki/bin/view script. Templates can be overloaded by individual webs. The following search order applies:

  1. twiki/templates/$webName/$scriptName.tmpl
  2. twiki/templates/$scriptName.tmpl

HELP NOTE: TWikiSkins can be defined to overload the standard templates.

Special variables are used in templates, especially in view, to display meta data.

Template Topics

Template topics define the default text for new topics. There are three types of template topic:

Topic Name: What it is:
WebTopicViewTemplate Error page shown when you try to view a nonexistent topic
WebTopicNonWikiTemplate Alert page shown when you try to view a nonexistent topic with a non-WikiName
WebTopicEditTemplate Default text shown when you create a new topic.
All template topics are located in the TWiki web. The WebTopicEditTemplate can be overloaded. When you create a new topic, TWiki locates a topic to use as a content template according to the following search order:

  1. A topic name specified by the templatetopic CGI parameter.
  2. WebTopicEditTemplate in the current web
  3. WebTopicEditTemplate in the TWiki web

Edit Template Topics and Variable Expansion

The following variables get expanded when a user creates a new topic based on a template topic:

Variable: Description:
%DATE% Current date, e.g. 24 Mar 2017
%WIKIUSERNAME% User name, e.g. Main.TWikiGuest
%URLPARAM{"name"}% Value of a named URL parameter
%NOP% A no-operation variable that gets removed. Useful to prevent a SEARCH from hitting an edit template topic; also useful to escape a variable like %URLPARAM%NOP%{...}%
%NOP{ ... }% A no-operation text that gets removed. Useful to write-protect an edit template topic, but not the topics based this template topic. See notes below. Example:
   * Set ALLOWTOPICCHANGE = Main.TWikiAdminGroup


All other variables are unchanged, e.g. are carried over "as is" into the new topic.

Template Topics in Action

Here is an example for creating new topics based on a specific template topic:

The above form asks for a topic name. A hidden input tag named templatetopic specifies ExampleTopicTemplate as the template topic to use. Here is the HTML source of the form:

<form name="new" action="%SCRIPTURLPATH%/edit%SCRIPTSUFFIX%/%INTURLENCODE{"%WEB%"}%/">
   * New example topic: 
     <input type="text" name="topic" value="ExampleTopic%SERVERTIME{$yearx$mox$day}%" size="23" />
     <input type="hidden" name="templatetopic" value="ExampleTopicTemplate" />
     <input type="hidden" name="onlywikiname" value="on" />
     <input type="submit" value="Create" />
     (date format is <nop>YYYYxMMxDD)

The onlywikiname parameter enforces WikiWords for topic names.

TIP TIP: You can use the %WIKIUSERNAME% and %DATE% variables in your topic templates to include the signature of the person creating a new topic. The variables are expanded into fixed text when a new topic is created. The standard signature is:

Templates by Example

Attached is an example of an oops based template oopsbase.tmpl and an example oops dialog oopstest.tmpl based on the base template. %A% NOTE: This isn't the release version, just a quick, simple demo.

Base template oopsbase.tmpl

The first line declares a delimiter variable called "sep", used to separate multiple link items. The variable can be called anywhere by writing %TMPL:P{"sep"}%

%TMPL:DEF{"sep"}% | %TMPL:END%
  <title> %WIKITOOLNAME% . %WEB% . %TOPIC% %.TMPL:P{"titleaction"}%</title>
  <base href="%SCRIPTURL%/view%SCRIPTSUFFIX%/%WEB%/%TOPIC%">
  <meta name="robots" content="noindex">
<body bgcolor="#FFFFFF">
<table width="100%" border="0" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="0">
    <td bgcolor="%WEBBGCOLOR%" rowspan="2" valign="top" width="1%">
      <a href="%WIKIHOMEURL%">
      <img src="%PUBURLPATH%/wikiHome.gif" border="0"></a>
      <b>%WIKITOOLNAME% . %WEB% . </b><font size="+2">
      <B>%TOPIC%</b> %TMPL:P{"titleaction"}%</font>
  <tr bgcolor="%WEBBGCOLOR%">
    <td colspan="2">
--- ++ %TMPL:P{"heading"}%
<table width="100%" border="0" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="0">
  <tr bgcolor="%WEBBGCOLOR%">
    <td valign="top">
      Topic <b>%TOPIC%</b> . {

Test template oopstest.tmpl

Each oops template basically just defines some variables and includes the base template that does the layout work.

%TMPL:DEF{"titleaction"}% (test =titleaction=) %TMPL:END%
%TMPL:DEF{"webaction"}% test =webaction= %TMPL:END%
Test heading %TMPL:END%
Test =message=. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah...

   * Some more blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah...
   * Param1: %PARAM1%
   * Param2: %PARAM2%
   * Param3: %PARAM3%
   * Param4: %PARAM4%
Test =topicaction=:
[[%WEB%.%TOPIC%][OK]] %TMPL:P{"sep"}%
[[%TWIKIWEB%.TWikiRegistration][Register]] %TMPL:END%

Sample screen shot of oopstest.tmpl

With URL: .../bin/oops/Sandbox/TestTopic2?template=oopstest&param1=WebHome&param2=WebNotify


Known Issues

-- PeterThoeny - 01 Feb 2003
-- MikeMannix - 14 Sep 2001
-- TWiki:Main/DavidLeBlanc - 11 Mar 2002

Topic TWikiTemplates . { Edit | Attach | Ref-By | Printable | Diffs | r1.18 | > | r1.17 | > | r1.16 | More }
Revision r1.18 - 01 Feb 2003 - 12:46 GMT - PeterThoeny?
Parents: WebHome
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TWiki.TWikiTemplates moved from TWiki.TWikiTemplateSystem on 12 Sep 2001 - 06:49 by MikeMannix? - put it back