In this documentation the word "templates" is used to refer to template files, that are the PHP files that contain markup.

Internally, Foil also has a class named "Template" but in your code you might never need to directly interact with that class. As better explained in the "Integrate Foil" docs section, you can integrate Foil with your code passing around Foil engine object and/or Foil API object.

It worth to say here that template files are included in the context of templates objects.

To better understand this concept, look at the following pseudo-code:

namespace Foil\Template;

class Template {

  function __construct($template_path)
    $this->path = $template_path;

  function render()
    return include($this->path);

Pseudo-code above is an over-semplification of what happen internally in Foil when a template is rendered. I shown it to better explain some basic concepts of Foil templates:

  • templates are just regular PHP files, treated as regular PHP files, you can and should use any PHP code: it will just work
  • the variable $this inside template files refers to an instance of Foil template class. However, template data you can access with $this->variable_name or template functions like $this->function_name() are not real object properties or methods, but they are handled using PHP overloading methods __get and __call

A note on namespaces. In PHP every file has its own namespace, so even if template files are included in the context of template objects don't assume Foil\Template as current namespace inside templates: if you don't define any namespace in template files (and you probably shouldn't) namespace will be the root one.

Get Templates Path (inside a template)

If inside a template you need to know the real absolute path of the file you can just use $this->path().

Any template can have a layout (see "Templates / Inheritance"). $this->layoutPath() inside a template file returns the real absolute path of template layout.

Get Templates Path (outside any template)

Having access to the Foil engine instance, is possible to get a template path using find() engine method that takes a template name and return the absolute path of template file.

$engine->find('a-template'); // returns: /path/to/templates/a-template.php

Same method can be used to check if a template file exists: it returns false if template doesn't exist.

find() follows all the rules for Foil methods that accept template names:

  • to pass the template file extension is optional, if not provided default extension will be used
  • if there are more templates with same name, but in different folders, the absolute path of the first template found is returned, where folders are searched in registration order
  • to search a template in a specific folder is possible to use the double colon syntax:


    to do that, the folder have to be registered into the engine using folder ID.

See "Getting Started / File Extensions" to know more about default extension and "Getting Started / Folders" to know more about folder IDs.

Search multiple templates

Since version 0.6, is possible to pass to find() method, an array of template names. The first found among them will be returned.

Note that Engine::render() method internally uses find(), so it is possible to pass an array of templates to render() method as well.

Custom Template Classes

Sometimes may be desirable having a custom template class to customize rendering behavior.

Custom template classes must extend Foil\Contracts\TemplateInterface interface.

There are 2 ways to make Foil use custom template classes.

First method is to use Engine::renderTemplate() method instead of Engine::render() method.

In fact, renderTemplate() accepts a third argument $class that can be a custom template class name.

Note that renderTemplate() needs the full path of template file as first argument, where render() needs only template name. However, is possible to use Engine::find() to retrieve the full path of a template.

$engine->renderTemplate( $engine->find('template-name'), $data, 'My\Custom\TemplateClass' );

When a custom template class have to be used for all templates, it's far easier change the default template class used by Foil.

That can be done via the 'template_class' engine option:

$engine = Foil\engine([
  'folders'        => ['path/to/templates'],
  'template_class' => 'My\Custom\TemplateClass'

After that any call to $engine->render() will use the custom template class.

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