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Templates

Documentation of Meteor's template API.

When you write a template as <template name="foo"> ... </template> in an HTML file in your app, Meteor generates a “template object” named Template.foo. Note that template name cannot contain hyphens and other special characters.

The same template may occur many times on a page, and these occurrences are called template instances. Template instances have a life cycle of being created, put into the document, and later taken out of the document and destroyed. Meteor manages these stages for you, including determining when a template instance has been removed or replaced and should be cleaned up. You can associate data with a template instance, and you can access its DOM nodes when it is in the document.

Read more about templates and how to use them in the Spacebars package README and the Blaze article in the Meteor Guide.

Template Declarations

Client
Template#events(eventMap)
import { Template } from 'meteor/templating' (blaze/template.js, line 477)

Specify event handlers for this template.

Arguments

eventMap Event Map

Event handlers to associate with this template.

Declare event handlers for instances of this template. Multiple calls add new event handlers in addition to the existing ones.

See Event Maps for a detailed description of the event map format and how event handling works in Meteor.

Client
Template#helpers(helpers)
import { Template } from 'meteor/templating' (blaze/template.js, line 443)

Specify template helpers available to this template.

Arguments

helpers Object

Dictionary of helper functions by name.

Each template has a local dictionary of helpers that are made available to it, and this call specifies helpers to add to the template’s dictionary.

Example:

Template.myTemplate.helpers({
  foo() {
    return Session.get("foo");
  }
});

Now you can invoke this helper with {{foo}} in the template defined with <template name="myTemplate">.

Helpers can accept positional and keyword arguments:

Template.myTemplate.helpers({
  displayName(firstName, lastName, keyword) {
    var prefix = keyword.hash.title ? keyword.hash.title + " " : "";
    return prefix + firstName + " " + lastName;
  }
});

Then you can call this helper from template like this:

{{displayName "John" "Doe" title="President"}}

You can learn more about arguments to helpers in Spacebars Readme.

Under the hood, each helper starts a new Tracker.autorun. When its reactive dependencies change, the helper is rerun. Helpers depend on their data context, passed arguments and other reactive data sources accessed during execution.

To create a helper that can be used in any template, use Template.registerHelper.

Client
Template#onRendered
import { Template } from 'meteor/templating' (blaze/template.js, line 78)

Register a function to be called when an instance of this template is inserted into the DOM.

Arguments

callback Function

A function to be added as a callback.

Callbacks added with this method are called once when an instance of Template.myTemplate is rendered into DOM nodes and put into the document for the first time.

In the body of a callback, this is a template instance object that is unique to this occurrence of the template and persists across re-renderings. Use the onCreated and onDestroyed callbacks to perform initialization or clean-up on the object.

Because your template has been rendered, you can use functions like this.findAll which look at its DOM nodes.

This can be a good place to apply any DOM manipulations you want, after the template is rendered for the first time.

<template name="myPictures">
  <div class="container">
    {{#each pictures}}
      <img class="item" src="/{{.}}"/>
    {{/each}}
  </div>
</template>
Template.myPictures.onRendered(function () {
  // Use the Packery jQuery plugin
  this.$('.container').packery({
    itemSelector: '.item',
    gutter: 10
  });
});

Client
Template#onCreated
import { Template } from 'meteor/templating' (blaze/template.js, line 65)

Register a function to be called when an instance of this template is created.

Arguments

callback Function

A function to be added as a callback.

Callbacks added with this method are called before your template’s logic is evaluated for the first time. Inside a callback, this is the new template instance object. Properties you set on this object will be visible from the callbacks added with onRendered and onDestroyed methods and from event handlers.

These callbacks fire once and are the first group of callbacks to fire. Handling the created event is a useful way to set up values on template instance that are read from template helpers using Template.instance().

Template.myPictures.onCreated(function () {
  // set up local reactive variables
  this.highlightedPicture = new ReactiveVar(null);

  // register this template within some central store
  GalleryTemplates.push(this);
});

Client
Template#onDestroyed
import { Template } from 'meteor/templating' (blaze/template.js, line 91)

Register a function to be called when an instance of this template is removed from the DOM and destroyed.

Arguments

callback Function

A function to be added as a callback.

These callbacks are called when an occurrence of a template is taken off the page for any reason and not replaced with a re-rendering. Inside a callback, this is the template instance object being destroyed.

This group of callbacks is most useful for cleaning up or undoing any external effects of created or rendered groups. This group fires once and is the last callback to fire.

Template.myPictures.onDestroyed(function () {
  // deregister from some central store
  GalleryTemplates = _.without(GalleryTemplates, this);
});

Template instances

A template instance object represents an occurrence of a template in the document. It can be used to access the DOM and it can be assigned properties that persist as the template is reactively updated.

Template instance objects are found as the value of this in the onCreated, onRendered, and onDestroyed template callbacks, and as an argument to event handlers. You can access the current template instance from helpers using Template.instance().

In addition to the properties and functions described below, you can assign additional properties of your choice to the object. Use the onCreated and onDestroyed methods to add callbacks performing initialization or clean-up on the object.

You can only access findAll, find, firstNode, and lastNode from the onRendered callback and event handlers, not from onCreated and onDestroyed, because they require the template instance to be in the DOM.

Template instance objects are instanceof Blaze.TemplateInstance.

Client
Blaze.TemplateInstance#findAll(selector)

Find all elements matching selector in this template instance.

Arguments

selector String

The CSS selector to match, scoped to the template contents.

template.findAll returns an array of DOM elements matching selector.

Client
Blaze.TemplateInstance#$(selector)

Find all elements matching selector in this template instance, and return them as a JQuery object.

Arguments

selector String

The CSS selector to match, scoped to the template contents.

template.$ returns a jQuery object of those same elements. jQuery objects are similar to arrays, with additional methods defined by the jQuery library.

The template instance serves as the document root for the selector. Only elements inside the template and its sub-templates can match parts of the selector.

Client
Blaze.TemplateInstance#find(selector)

Find one element matching selector in this template instance.

Arguments

selector String

The CSS selector to match, scoped to the template contents.

Returns one DOM element matching selector, or null if there are no such elements.

The template instance serves as the document root for the selector. Only elements inside the template and its sub-templates can match parts of the selector.

Client
Blaze.TemplateInstance#firstNode

The first top-level DOM node in this template instance.

The two nodes firstNode and lastNode indicate the extent of the rendered template in the DOM. The rendered template includes these nodes, their intervening siblings, and their descendents. These two nodes are siblings (they have the same parent), and lastNode comes after firstNode, or else they are the same node.

Client
Blaze.TemplateInstance#lastNode

The last top-level DOM node in this template instance.

Client
Blaze.TemplateInstance#data

The data context of this instance's latest invocation.

This property provides access to the data context at the top level of the template. It is updated each time the template is re-rendered. Access is read-only and non-reactive.

Client
Blaze.TemplateInstance#autorun(runFunc)

A version of Tracker.autorun that is stopped when the template is destroyed.

Arguments

runFunc Function

The function to run. It receives one argument: a Tracker.Computation object.

You can use this.autorun from an onCreated or onRendered callback to reactively update the DOM or the template instance. You can use Template.currentData() inside of this callback to access reactive data context of the template instance. The Computation is automatically stopped when the template is destroyed.

Alias for template.view.autorun.

Client
Blaze.TemplateInstance#subscribe(name, [arg1, arg2...], [options])

A version of Meteor.subscribe that is stopped when the template is destroyed.

Arguments

name String

Name of the subscription. Matches the name of the server's publish() call.

arg1, arg2... Any

Optional arguments passed to publisher function on server.

Options

onReady Function

Passed to Meteor.subscribe.

onStop Function

Passed to Meteor.subscribe.

connection DDP Connection

The connection on which to make the subscription.

You can use this.subscribe from an onCreated callback to specify which data publications this template depends on. The subscription is automatically stopped when the template is destroyed.

There is a complementary function Template.instance().subscriptionsReady() which returns true when all of the subscriptions called with this.subscribe are ready.

Inside the template’s HTML, you can use the built-in helper Template.subscriptionsReady, which is an easy pattern for showing loading indicators in your templates when they depend on data loaded from subscriptions.

Example:

Template.notifications.onCreated(function () {
  // Use this.subscribe inside onCreated callback
  this.subscribe("notifications");
});
<template name="notifications">
  {{#if Template.subscriptionsReady}}
    <!-- This is displayed when all data is ready. -->
    {{#each notifications}}
      {{> notification}}
    {{/each}}
  {{else}}
    Loading...
  {{/if}}
</template>

Another example where the subscription depends on the data context:

Template.comments.onCreated(function () {
  // Use this.subscribe with the data context reactively
  this.autorun(() => {
    var dataContext = Template.currentData();
    this.subscribe("comments", dataContext.postId);
  });
});
{{#with post}}
  {{> comments postId=_id}}
{{/with}}

Another example where you want to initialize a plugin when the subscription is done:

Template.listing.onRendered(function () {
  var template = this;

  template.subscribe('listOfThings', () => {
    // Wait for the data to load using the callback
    Tracker.afterFlush(() => {
      // Use Tracker.afterFlush to wait for the UI to re-render
      // then use highlight.js to highlight a code snippet
      highlightBlock(template.find('.code'));
    });
  });
});

Client
Blaze.TemplateInstance#view

The View object for this invocation of the template.

Client
Template.registerHelper(name, function)
import { Template } from 'meteor/templating' (blaze/template.js, line 556)

Defines a helper function which can be used from all templates.

Arguments

name String

The name of the helper function you are defining.

function Function

The helper function itself.

Client
Template.instance()
import { Template } from 'meteor/templating' (blaze/template.js, line 505)

The template instance corresponding to the current template helper, event handler, callback, or autorun. If there isn't one, null.

Client
Template.currentData()
import { Template } from 'meteor/templating' (blaze/template.js, line 537)

  • Inside an onCreated, onRendered, or onDestroyed callback, returns the data context of the template.
  • Inside an event handler, returns the data context of the template on which this event handler was defined.
  • Inside a helper, returns the data context of the DOM node where the helper was used.

Establishes a reactive dependency on the result.

Client
Template.parentData([numLevels])
import { Template } from 'meteor/templating' (blaze/template.js, line 546)

Accesses other data contexts that enclose the current data context.

Arguments

numLevels Integer

The number of levels beyond the current data context to look. Defaults to 1.

For example, Template.parentData(0) is equivalent to Template.currentData(). Template.parentData(2) is equivalent to {{../..}} in a template.

Client
Template.body
import { Template } from 'meteor/templating' (templating/templating.js, line 47)

The template object representing your <body> tag.

You can define helpers and event maps on Template.body just like on any Template.myTemplate object.

Helpers on Template.body are only available in the <body> tags of your app. To register a global helper, use Template.registerHelper. Event maps on Template.body don’t apply to elements added to the body via Blaze.render, jQuery, or the DOM API, or to the body element itself. To handle events on the body, window, or document, use jQuery or the DOM API.

Templates
{{> Template.dynamic template=template [data=data] }}

Choose a template to include dynamically, by name.

Arguments

template String

The name of the template to include.

data Object

Optional. The data context in which to include the template.

Template.dynamic allows you to include a template by name, where the name may be calculated by a helper and may change reactively. The data argument is optional, and if it is omitted, the current data context is used. It’s also possible, to use Template.dynamic as a block helper ({{#Template.dynamic}} ... {{/Template.dynamic}})

For example, if there is a template named “foo”, {{> Template.dynamic template="foo"}} is equivalent to {{> foo}} and {{#Template.dynamic template="foo"}} ... {{/Template.dynamic}} is equivalent to {{#foo}} ... {{/foo}}.

Event Maps

An event map is an object where the properties specify a set of events to handle, and the values are the handlers for those events. The property can be in one of several forms:

eventtype

Matches a particular type of event, such as ‘click’.

eventtype selector

Matches a particular type of event, but only when it appears on an element that matches a certain CSS selector.

event1, event2

To handle more than one type of event with the same function, use a comma-separated list.

The handler function receives two arguments: event, an object with information about the event, and template, a template instance for the template where the handler is defined. The handler also receives some additional context data in this, depending on the context of the current element handling the event. In a template, an element’s context is the data context where that element occurs, which is set by block helpers such as #with and #each.

Example:

{
  // Fires when any element is clicked
  'click'(event) { ... },

  // Fires when any element with the 'accept' class is clicked
  'click .accept'(event) { ... },

  // Fires when 'accept' is clicked or focused, or a key is pressed
  'click .accept, focus .accept, keypress'(event) { ... }
}

Most events bubble up the document tree from their originating element. For example, 'click p' catches a click anywhere in a paragraph, even if the click originated on a link, span, or some other element inside the paragraph. The originating element of the event is available as the target property, while the element that matched the selector and is currently handling it is called currentTarget.

{
  'click p'(event) {
    var paragraph = event.currentTarget; // always a P
    var clickedElement = event.target; // could be the P or a child element
  }
}

If a selector matches multiple elements that an event bubbles to, it will be called multiple times, for example in the case of 'click div' or 'click *'. If no selector is given, the handler will only be called once, on the original target element.

The following properties and methods are available on the event object passed to handlers:

typeString

The event’s type, such as “click”, “blur” or “keypress”.

targetDOM Element

The element that originated the event.

currentTargetDOM Element

The element currently handling the event. This is the element that matched the selector in the event map. For events that bubble, it may be target or an ancestor of target, and its value changes as the event bubbles.

whichNumber

For mouse events, the number of the mouse button (1=left, 2=middle, 3=right). For key events, a character or key code.

stopPropagation()

Prevent the event from propagating (bubbling) up to other elements. Other event handlers matching the same element are still fired, in this and other event maps.

stopImmediatePropagation()

Prevent all additional event handlers from being run on this event, including other handlers in this event map, handlers reached by bubbling, and handlers in other event maps.

preventDefault()

Prevents the action the browser would normally take in response to this event, such as following a link or submitting a form. Further handlers are still called, but cannot reverse the effect.

isPropagationStopped()

Returns whether stopPropagation() has been called for this event.

isImmediatePropagationStopped()

Returns whether stopImmediatePropagation() has been called for this event.

isDefaultPrevented()

Returns whether preventDefault() has been called for this event.

Returning false from a handler is the same as calling both stopImmediatePropagation and preventDefault on the event.

Event types and their uses include:

click

Mouse click on any element, including a link, button, form control, or div. Use preventDefault() to prevent a clicked link from being followed. Some ways of activating an element from the keyboard also fire click.

dblclick

Double-click.

focus, blur

A text input field or other form control gains or loses focus. You can make any element focusable by giving it a tabindex property. Browsers differ on whether links, checkboxes, and radio buttons are natively focusable. These events do not bubble.

change

A checkbox or radio button changes state. For text fields, use blur or key events to respond to changes.

mouseenter, mouseleave

The pointer enters or leaves the bounds of an element. These events do not bubble.

mousedown, mouseup

The mouse button is newly down or up.

keydown, keypress, keyup

The user presses a keyboard key. keypress is most useful for catching typing in text fields, while keydown and keyup can be used for arrow keys or modifier keys.

Other DOM events are available as well, but for the events above, Meteor has taken some care to ensure that they work uniformly in all browsers.

Spacebars

Spacebars is the language used to write Meteor templates. It is inspired by Handlebars. It shares some of the spirit and syntax of Handlebars, but has been tailored to produce reactive Meteor templates when compiled.

For more information about Spacebars, see the Spacebars README.

© 2011–2016 Meteor Development Group
Licensed under the MIT License.
https://docs.meteor.com/v1.3.5/api/templates.html