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Andy Wardley


Template::Manual::Plugins - Standard plugins


This section lists the standard plugins which can be used to extend the runtime functionality of the Template Toolkit. The plugins are distributed with the Template Toolkit but may required additional modules from CPAN.


The following plugin modules are distributed with the Template Toolkit. Some of the plugins interface to external modules (detailed below) which should be downloaded from any CPAN site and installed before using the plugin.


The Autoformat plugin is an interface to Damian Conway's Text::Autoformat Perl module which provides advanced text wrapping and formatting. See Template::Plugin::Autoformat and Text::Autoformat for further details.

    [% USE autoformat(left=10, right=20) %]
    [% autoformat(mytext) %]        # call autoformat sub
    [% mytext FILTER autoformat %]  # or use autoformat filter

The Text::Autoformat module is available from CPAN:



The CGI plugin is a wrapper around Lincoln Stein's <lstein@genome.wi.mit.edu> CGI.pm module. The plugin is distributed with the Template Toolkit (see Template::Plugin::CGI) and the CGI module itself is distributed with recent versions Perl, or is available from CPAN.

    [% USE CGI %]
    [% CGI.param('param_name') %]
    [% CGI.start_form %]
    [% CGI.popup_menu( Name   => 'color', 
                       Values => [ 'Green', 'Brown' ] ) %]
    [% CGI.end_form %]


Provides an interface to data stored in a plain text file in a simple delimited format. The first line in the file specifies field names which should be delimiter by any non-word character sequence. Subsequent lines define data using the same delimiter as int he first line. Blank lines and comments (lines starting '#') are ignored. See Template::Plugin::Datafile for further details.


    # define names for each field
    id : email : name : tel
    # here's the data
    fred : fred@here.com : Fred Smith : 555-1234
    bill : bill@here.com : Bill White : 555-5678


    [% USE userlist = datafile('/tmp/mydata') %]

    [% FOREACH user = userlist %]
       [% user.name %] ([% user.id %])
    [% END %]


The Date plugin provides an easy way to generate formatted time and date strings by delegating to the POSIX strftime() routine. See Template::Plugin::Date and POSIX for further details.

    [% USE date %]
    [% date.format %]           # current time/date

    File last modified: [% date.format(template.modtime) %]


The Directory plugin provides a simple interface to a directory and the files within it. See Template::Plugin::Directory for further details.

    [% USE dir = Directory('/tmp') %]
    [% FOREACH file = dir.files %]
        # all the plain files in the directory
    [% END %]
    [% FOREACH file = dir.dirs %]
        # all the sub-directories
    [% END %]


The DBI plugin, developed by Simon Matthews <sam@knowledgepool.com>, brings the full power of Tim Bunce's <Tim.Bunce@ig.co.uk> database interface module (DBI) to your templates. See Template::Plugin::DBI and DBI for further details.

    [% USE DBI('dbi:driver:database', 'user', 'pass') %]

    [% FOREACH user = DBI.query( 'SELECT * FROM users' ) %]
       [% user.id %] [% user.name %]
    [% END %]

The DBI and relevant DBD modules are available from CPAN:



The Dumper plugin provides an interface to the Data::Dumper module. See Template::Plugin::Dumper and Data::Dumper for futher details.

    [% USE dumper(indent=0, pad="<br>") %]
    [% dumper.dump(myvar, yourvar) %]


The File plugin provides a general abstraction for files and can be used to fetch information about specific files within a filesystem. See Template::Plugin::File for further details.

    [% USE File('/tmp/foo.html') %]
    [% File.name %]     # foo.html
    [% File.dir %]      # /tmp
    [% File.mtime %]    # modification time


The Format plugin provides a simple way to format text according to a printf()-like format. See Template::Plugin::Format for further details.

    [% USE bold = format('<b>%s</b>') %]
    [% bold('Hello') %]

GD::Image, GD::Polygon, GD::Constants

These plugins provide access to the GD graphics library via Lincoln D. Stein's GD.pm interface. These plugins allow PNG, JPEG and other graphical formats to be generated.

    [% FILTER null;
        USE im = GD.Image(100,100);
        # allocate some colors
        black = im.colorAllocate(0,   0, 0);
        red   = im.colorAllocate(255,0,  0);
        blue  = im.colorAllocate(0,  0,  255);
        # Draw a blue oval
        # And fill it with red
        # Output image in PNG format
        im.png | stdout(1);

See Template::Plugin::GD::Image for further details.

GD::Text, GD::Text::Align, GD::Text::Wrap

These plugins provide access to Martien Verbruggen's GD::Text, GD::Text::Align and GD::Text::Wrap modules. These plugins allow the layout, alignment and wrapping of text when drawing text in GD images.

    [% FILTER null;
        USE gd  = GD.Image(200,400);
        USE gdc = GD.Constants;
        black = gd.colorAllocate(0,   0, 0);
        green = gd.colorAllocate(0, 255, 0);
        txt = "This is some long text. " | repeat(10);
        USE wrapbox = GD.Text.Wrap(gd,
         line_space  => 4,
         color       => green,
         text        => txt,
        wrapbox.set(align => 'center', width => 160);
        wrapbox.draw(20, 20);
        gd.png | stdout(1);

See Template::Plugin::GD::Text, Template::Plugin::GD::Text::Align and Template::Plugin::GD::Text::Wrap for further details.

GD::Graph::lines, GD::Graph::bars, GD::Graph::points, GD::Graph::linespoin ts, GD::Graph::area, GD::Graph::mixed, GD::Graph::pie

These plugins provide access to Martien Verbruggen's GD::Graph module that allows graphs, plots and charts to be created. These plugins allow graphs, plots and charts to be generated in PNG, JPEG and other graphical formats.

    [% FILTER null;
        data = [
            [    4,    2,    3,    4,    3,  3.5]
        USE my_graph = GD.Graph.pie(250, 200);
                title => 'A Pie Chart',
                label => 'Label',
                axislabelclr => 'black',
                pie_height => 36,
                transparent => 0,
        my_graph.plot(data).png | stdout(1);

See Template::Plugin::GD::Graph::lines, Template::Plugin::GD::Graph::bars, Template::Plugin::GD::Graph::points, Template::Plugin::GD::Graph::linespoints, Template::Plugin::GD::Graph::area, Template::Plugin::GD::Graph::mixed, Template::Plugin::GD::Graph::pie, and GD::Graph, for more details.

GD::Graph::bars3d, GD::Graph::lines3d, GD::Graph::pie3d

These plugins provide access to Jeremy Wadsack's GD::Graph3d module. This allows 3D bar charts and 3D lines plots to be generated.

    [% FILTER null;
        data = [
            ["1st","2nd","3rd","4th","5th","6th","7th", "8th", "9th"],
            [    1,    2,    5,    6,    3,  1.5,    1,     3,     4],
        USE my_graph = GD.Graph.bars3d();
            x_label         => 'X Label',
            y_label         => 'Y label',
            title           => 'A 3d Bar Chart',
            y_max_value     => 8,
            y_tick_number   => 8,
            y_label_skip    => 2,
            # shadows
            bar_spacing     => 8,
            shadow_depth    => 4,
            shadowclr       => 'dred',
            transparent     => 0,
        my_graph.plot(data).png | stdout(1);

See Template::Plugin::GD::Graph::lines3d, Template::Plugin::GD::Graph::bars3d, and Template::Plugin::GD::Graph::pie3d for more details.


The HTML plugin is very new and very basic, implementing a few useful methods for generating HTML. It is likely to be extended in the future or integrated with a larger project to generate HTML elements in a generic way (as discussed recently on the mod_perl mailing list).

    [% USE HTML %]
    [% HTML.escape("if (a < b && c > d) ..." %]
    [% HTML.attributes(border => 1, cellpadding => 2) %]
    [% HTML.element(table => { border => 1, cellpadding => 2 }) %]

See Template::Plugin::Iterator for further details.


The Iterator plugin provides a way to create a Template::Iterator object to iterate over a data set. An iterator is created automatically by the FOREACH directive and is aliased to the 'loop' variable. This plugin allows an iterator to be explicitly created with a given name, or the default plugin name, 'iterator'. See Template::Plugin::Iterator for further details.

    [% USE iterator(list, args) %]

    [% FOREACH item = iterator %]
       [% '<ul>' IF iterator.first %]
       <li>[% item %]
       [% '</ul>' IF iterator.last %]
    [% END %]


The Table plugin allows you to format a list of data items into a virtual table by specifying a fixed number of rows or columns, with an optional overlap. See Template::Plugin::Table for further details.

    [% USE table(list, rows=10, overlap=1) %]

    [% FOREACH item = table.col(3) %]
       [% item %]
    [% END %]


The URL plugin provides a simple way of contructing URLs from a base part and a variable set of parameters. See Template::Plugin::URL for further details.

    [% USE mycgi = url('/cgi-bin/bar.pl', debug=1) %]

    [% mycgi %]
       # ==> /cgi/bin/bar.pl?debug=1

    [% mycgi(mode='submit') %]
       # ==> /cgi/bin/bar.pl?mode=submit&debug=1


The Wrap plugin uses the Text::Wrap module by David Muir Sharnoff <muir@idiom.com> (with help from Tim Pierce and many many others) to provide simple paragraph formatting. See Template::Plugin::Wrap and Text::Wrap for further details.

    [% USE wrap %]
    [% wrap(mytext, 40, '* ', '  ') %]  # use wrap sub
    [% mytext FILTER wrap(40) -%]       # or wrap FILTER

The Text::Wrap module is available from CPAN:



The XML::DOM plugin gives access to the XML Document Object Module via Clark Cooper <cooper@sch.ge.com> and Enno Derksen's <enno@att.com> XML::DOM module. See Template::Plugin::XML::DOM and XML::DOM for further details.

    [% USE dom = XML.DOM %]
    [% doc = dom.parse(filename) %]

    [% FOREACH node = doc.getElementsByTagName('CODEBASE') %]
       * [% node.getAttribute('href') %]
    [% END %]

The plugin requires the XML::DOM module, available from CPAN:



The XML::XPath plugin provides an interface to Matt Sergeant's <matt@sergeant.org> XML::XPath module. See Template::Plugin::XML::XPath and XML::XPath for further details.

    [% USE xpath = XML.XPath(xmlfile) %]
    [% FOREACH page = xpath.findnodes('/html/body/page') %]
       [% page.getAttribute('title') %]
    [% END %]

The plugin requires the XML::XPath module, available from CPAN:



The XML::RSS plugin is a simple interface to Jonathan Eisenzopf's <eisen@pobox.com> XML::RSS module. A RSS (Rich Site Summary) file is typically used to store short news 'headlines' describing different links within a site. This plugin allows you to parse RSS files and format the contents accordingly using templates. See Template::Plugin::XML::RSS and XML::RSS for further details.

    [% USE news = XML.RSS(filename) %]
    [% FOREACH item = news.items %]
       <a href="[% item.link %]">[% item.title %]</a>
    [% END %]

The XML::RSS module is available from CPAN:



Andy Wardley <abw@kfs.org>



Template Toolkit version 2.04, released on 29 June 2001.


  Copyright (C) 1996-2001 Andy Wardley.  All Rights Reserved.
  Copyright (C) 1998-2001 Canon Research Centre Europe Ltd.

This module is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.