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Template Languages:

New in v1.0.0

Eleventy now allows the addition of custom template extensions, meaning that you can use Eleventy to process any arbitrary file extension and compile it to your site’s output folder.

Introductory Example: *.clowd #

clowd is a pretend templating language that we’ve just created. It uses the .clowd file extension. The purpose of the language is to translate any occurrences of the word cloud to the word butt instead.

Filename .eleventy.js
module.exports = function(eleventyConfig) {
// Add as a valid extension to process
// Alternatively, add this to the list of formats you pass to the `--formats` CLI argument
eleventyConfig.addTemplateFormats("clowd");

// "clowd" here means that the extension will apply to any .clowd file
eleventyConfig.addExtension("clowd", {
compile: async (inputContent) => {
// Replace any instances of cloud with butt
let output = inputContent.replace(/cloud/gi, "butt");

return async () => {
return output;
};
}
});
};

Situations where you might want to use addExtension but probably shouldn’t:

  1. If you want to post-process the content of an existing template language (a file extension already processed by Eleventy), use a Configuration API Transform instead.
  2. If you want to pre-process md or html files using another template language, change the Default Template Engine for Markdown Files or HTML Files, respectively. This can also be done on a per-template basis. We will likely add additional hooks for preprocessing in the future.

Example: Add Sass support to Eleventy #

For a more realistic sample, here’s an example of Eleventy looking for all .scss files in a project’s input directory to process them to your output directory.

Filename .eleventy.js
// Don’t forget to `npm install sass`!
const sass = require("sass");

module.exports = function(eleventyConfig) {
eleventyConfig.addTemplateFormats("scss");

// Creates the extension for use
eleventyConfig.addExtension("scss", {
outputFileExtension: "css", // optional, default: "html"

// `compile` is called once per .scss file in the input directory
compile: async function(inputContent) {
let result = sass.compileString(inputContent);

// This is the render function, `data` is the full data cascade
return async (data) => {
return result.css;
};
}
});
};

We’re using compileString from the Sass library above for speed benefits over their asynchronous counterparts (reported by the Sass documentation).

Note also that the data is not used in the above example. This is the full Eleventy data cascade and may be more useful in other templating languages.

The above extension would process a file located at subdir/test.scss to the output directory at _site/subdir/test.css.

Using inputPath #

You can pass in both the file’s inputPath and the Eleventy includes folder to provide a set of directories to look for when using Sass’ @use, @forward, and @import features. Read more about loadPaths on the Sass documentation.

Filename .eleventy.js
const sass = require("sass");
const path = require("node:path");

module.exports = function(eleventyConfig) {
// add as a valid template language to process, e.g. this adds to --formats
eleventyConfig.addTemplateFormats("scss");

eleventyConfig.addExtension("scss", {
outputFileExtension: "css", // optional, default: "html"

// can be an async function
compile: function (inputContent, inputPath) {
let parsed = path.parse(inputPath);

let result = sass.compileString(inputContent, {
loadPaths: [
parsed.dir || ".",
this.config.dir.includes
]
});

return (data) => {
return result.css;
};
}
});
};

Skipping a template from inside of the compile function #

To add support for Sass’ underscore convention (file names that start with an underscore aren’t written to the output directory), just return early in the compile function (don’t return a render function).

    // some configuration truncated …
compile: async function (inputContent, inputPath) {
let parsed = path.parse(inputPath);
if(parsed.name.startsWith("_")) {
return;
}

let result = sass.compileString(inputContent);

return async (data) => {
return result.css;
};
}

This functionality is more-or-less identical to the compileOptions permalink: false overrides, documented later on this page.

Overriding an Existing Template Language #

You can override existing template languages too! (Thank you to Ben Holmes of Slinkity for this contribution).

In these example, we switch from the Eleventy default markdown-it to marked for markdown processing.

const { marked } = require("marked");

module.exports = function(eleventyConfig) {
eleventyConfig.addExtension("md", {
compile: function (inputContent, inputPath) {
let html = marked.parse(inputContent);

return function (data) {
// Example: use `marked` only if useMarked is set in the Data Cascade
if(data.useMarked) {
return html;
}

// You can also access the default `markdown-it` renderer here:
return this.defaultRenderer(data);
};
}
});
};

Note that overriding md opts-out of the default pre-processing by another template language Markdown Files. As mentioned elsewhere, improvements to add additional hooks for preprocessing will likely come later.

Full Options List #

compile #

compile is an async-friendly function that takes two parameters:

compile can return:

  compile: async (inputContent, inputPath) => {
return async () => {
return inputContent;
};
}

The render function is passed the merged data object (i.e. the full Data Cascade available inside templates). The render function returned from compile is called once per output file generated (one for basic templates and more for paginated templates).

inputContent will not include any front matter. This will have been parsed, removed, and inserted into the Data Cascade. Also note that if read: false (as documented below), inputContent will be undefined.

outputFileExtension #

When the output file is written to the file system, what file extension should be used?

init #

An async-friendly function that runs once (no matter how many files use the extension) for any additional setup at the beginning before any compilation or rendering.

{
init: async function() {
// has access to current configuration settings in `this.config`
},
}

read #

Set to false to opt out of reading the contents of files from the file system. This is useful if you’re using an external bundler to read the files (e.g. the Vue plugin uses rollup to read and compile .vue files).

{
read: false,
}

Use with compileOptions.setCacheKey to get more fine-grained control over how the template is cached.

isIncrementalMatch #

Docs coming soon

getData and getInstanceFromInputPath #

Controls if and how additional data should be retrieved from a JavaScript object to populate the Data Cascade. If your templates aren’t compiling JavaScript objects, you probably won’t need this.

Notably, this is separate from (in addition to) front matter parsing (which requires read: true). As an example, this is used by the Vue plugin to retrieve the return from the Vue data() function in the Vue component to feed back into the Data Cascade.

{
// this is the default
getData: false // no additional data is used
}
{
getData: async function(inputPath) {
// DIY, this object will be merged into data cascade
return {};
},
}
{
// get the `data` property from the instance.
getData: ["data"],
// * `getData: true` is aliased to ["data"]
// * You can use more than one property name! ["data", "otherPropName"]

getInstanceFromInputPath: function(inputPath) {
// Return the JavaScript object from which the `data` property will be retrieved.
let instance = doSomethingMyselfToFetchAJavaScriptObject(inputPath);
return instance;
}
}
Advanced Use Case: overriding getData keys for one instance

If the JavaScript object returned from getInstanceFromInputPath has an eleventyDataKey property, this is used to override the keys returned from the getData Array for this specific instance only. Anything you can pass into a new Set() constructor works here (Array, Map, another Set).

{
// if getData is `false`, `eleventyDataKey` will not be used.
getData: true,

getInstanceFromInputPath: function(inputPath) {
return {
// Overrides `getData` for this instance
eleventyDataKey: ["myOverrideData"],

// Will not be used
data: {
notAvailableOnGlobalData: 456
},

// Will be used.
myOverrideData: {
availableOnGlobalData: 123
}
}
}
}

In the above example, the data cascade will include a top-level variable availableOnGlobalData with a value of 123. Using eleventyDataKey overrides any keys set in getData, which means (for this instance) data will be ignored and notAvailableOnGlobalData will not be present.

compileOptions #

This has the same signature as the compile function and expects a reusable render function to be returned.

{
compileOptions: {
permalink: function(contents, inputPath) {
return (data) => {
// Return a string to override: you’ll want to use `data.page`
// Or `return;` (return undefined) to fallback to default behavior
}
}
}
}

This provides another way to implement Sass’ underscore convention to skip writing the file to the output directory:

Filename .eleventy.js
// … some configuration truncated

{
compileOptions: {
permalink: function(contents, inputPath) {
let parsed = path.parse(inputPath);
if(parsed.name.startsWith("_")) {
return false;
}
}
}
}

compileOptions.spiderJavaScriptDependencies #

Enable to use Eleventy to spider and watch files require’d in these templates. This allows you to control the Watch JavaScript Dependencies feature on a per-template language basis. Most template languages will want the default here and keep this feature disabled.

compileOptions.cache for advanced control of caching #

This controls caching for the compilation step, which saves the compiled template function for reuse if another template attempts to compile with the same key (usually a file’s contents).

By default, whether or not cache is enabled is tied to boolean value of read. If read: true, then cache will also be true. It’s unlikely you will need this, but you can override this to mismatch read.

You can also control the caching key using getCacheKey. It might be useful to change this when using read: false and contents are unavailable.

{
read: false,
compileOptions: {
cache: true,
getCacheKey: function(contents, inputPath) {
// return contents; // this is the default
return inputPath; // override to cache by inputPath (this means the compile function will not get called when the file contents change)
}
}
}

Other pages in Template Languages: