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With Timber, you can use all the features that Twig has to offer, plus some more. In this guide, we repeat some important Twig information.

Dot notation #

In Twig, you mostly use the dot notation:

{{ post.title }}

Twig doesn’t care whether post is an object or an array, or whether title is an array item, an object property or an object method.

(It will use what it finds first, in a specific order. This is important to understand and you can read more about this in the Variables section of the Twig documentation.)

From looking at the code, you wouldn’t know whether title is a variable or a function call. In this particular case, you could also add the function parenthesis.

{{ post.title() }}

It’s totally fine to call functions without the parenthesis. You’ll only need them if you want to pass parameters to the function.

Now, because title is a function, when you dump the post object, you won’t see what the title() method returns.

{{ dump(post) }}

Instead, you will see that post also contains a post_title property. This is what the post inherits from the WP_Post object. It’s the raw title that didn’t run through the the_title filter yet.

Accessing array items #

Consider this array with a key that has a dash in it:

$item = [
'id' => 7,
'has-balcony' => true,

In Twig, you could access the id with item.id, but you couldn’t use item.has-balcony because of the -. Luckily, you can use item['has-balcony'].

{# Array item. #}
{{ item[0] }}

{# Normal associative array item. #}
{{ item.id }}

{# Array item with special characters in the key. #}
{{ item['has-balcony'] }}

{# Array item with variable as key. #}
{{ item[key] }}

String concatenation #

In PHP, you might be used to concatenate your strings with dots (.). In Twig, you’ll use a tilde (~).


$string = $variable + '-suffix';


{% set string = variable ~ '-suffix' %}

Or, if you want to use string interpolation:

{% set string = "#{variable}-suffix" }

You could also use the format filter, which works the same way as sprintf.

{% set string = '%s-suffix'|format(variable) %}

Includes #

Simple include #

{{ include('footer.twig') }}

In earlier versions of Twig you would also see includes that looked like this:

{% include 'footer.twig' %}

The include tag still works, but Twig recommends to use the include function.

Be sure to read through that documentation, because it provides helpful information. For example, it will tell you how to deal with missing files using ignore_missing.

When using includes, Timber will use the same Template Locations it uses for Timber::render() and Timber::compile().

Dynamic includes #

If you want to build the name of your Twig template dynamically using a variable, you can use a tilde (~) to concatenate your strings:

{{ include(
'blocks/block-' ~ block.slug ~ '.twig',
ignore_missing = true
) }}

Template arrays #

You can pass an array of template to Twig includes. Twig will then use the first template it finds. In combination with dynamic includes, this would mean that block/block.twig would act as a fallback template.

{{ include(
['blocks/block-' ~ block.slug ~ '.twig', 'blocks/blog.twig'],
ignore_missing = true
) }}

Default values #

When you want to define default values for Twig variables that you use in your templates, you can either use the default filter or the ternary (?:) or null-coalescing (??) operator.

Consider a template that you use to display a page title.


<h1 class="heading-1">{{ post.title }}</h1>

If you wanted to reuse this for archive pages or pages where you pass a specific title, then you could use a title variable that uses post.title as the default value.


{{ include('page-title.twig', {
title: 'All posts'
}) }}


<h1 class="heading-1">{{ title|default(post.title) }}</h1>

{# Or with the null-coalescing operator #}

<h1 class="heading-1">{{ title ?? post.title }}</h1>

Pay special attention when you use boolean default values and use ?? instead of the default filter.

{# 🚫 Don’t do this #}
{% if show_pagination|default(true) %}
{{ include('pagination.twig') }}
{% endif %}

{# ✅ Do this #}
{% if show_pagination ?? true %}
{{ include('pagination.twig') }}
{% endif %}

You can read more about this in the default filter documentation.

WordPress Actions #

You can call actions in your Twig templates like this:

{# Without parameters #}
{% do action('my_action') %}

{# With parameters #}
{% do action('my_action_with_args', 'foo', 'bar') %}

If you ask yourself why there’s no underline between do and action: The expression do is a feature of Twig which calls a function without printing its return value, like {{ }} does. Timber only registers an action function, which then calls the do_action() function.

If you want anything from the template’s context, you'll need to pass that manually:

{% do action('my_action', 'foo', post) %}


add_action('my_action_with_args', 'my_function_with_args', 10, 2);

function my_function_with_args($foo, $post)
echo 'I say ' . $foo . '!';
echo 'For the post with title ' . $post->title();

WordPress Filters #

Timber already comes with a set of useful filters. If you have your own WordPress filters that you want to easily apply in Twig, you can use apply_filters.


{{ post.content|apply_filters('default_message') }}

{{ "my custom string"|apply_filters('default_message', param1, param2, ...) }}

Or you can use a filter with the Twig apply tag.

{% apply apply_filters('default_message') %}
{{ post.content }}
{% endapply %}

{% apply apply_filters('default_message', 'foo', 'bar, 'baz' ) %}
I love pizza
{% endapply %}

In PHP, you can get the content of the block with the first parameter and the rest of parameters like that.

add_filter('default_message', 'my_default_message', 10, 4);

function my_default_message($tag, $param1, $param2, $param3)
var_dump($tag, $param1, $param2, $param3); // 'I love pizza', 'foo', 'bar, 'baz'

echo 'I have a message: ' . $tag; // I have a message: I love pizza

Real world example with WooCommerce #

Sometimes in WooCommerce we find very long lines of code:

echo '<li class="woocommerce-notice woocommerce-notice--info woocommerce-info">' . apply_filters(
? esc_html__('Sorry, it seems that there are no available payment methods for your state. Please contact us if you require assistance or wish to make alternate arrangements.', 'woocommerce')
: esc_html__('Please fill in your details above to see available payment methods.', 'woocommerce')
) . '</li>';

In Twig, you can do it like this:

<li class="woocommerce-notice woocommerce-notice--info woocommerce-info">
{{ customer.get_billing_country()
? __('Sorry, it seems that there are no available payment methods for your state. Please contact us if you require assistance or wish to make alternate arrangements.', 'woocommerce')
: __('Please fill in your details above to see available payment methods.', 'woocommerce')


And with the filter tag, it would look like this:

<li class="woocommerce-notice woocommerce-notice--info woocommerce-info">
{% apply apply_filters('woocommerce_no_available_payment_methods_message') %}
{% if customer.get_billing_country() %}
{{ __('Sorry, it seems that there are no available payment methods for your state. Please contact us if you require assistance or wish to make alternate arrangements.', 'woocommerce') }}
{% else %}
{{ __('Please fill in your details above to see available payment methods.', 'woocommerce') }}
{% endif %}
{% endapply %}

Using Twig vars in live type #

Imagine a scenario where you have a text input for a footer message in the WordPress admin panel that your editor users can edit:

Copyright {{ year }} by Timber Corporation, Ltd. All Rights Reserved

But on the website itself, you want it to render as:

Copyright 2022 by Timber Corporation, Ltd. All Rights Reserved

Ready? There are a bunch of ways to do this, but here’s one helpful example. First, we’re preparing the data in PHP.


$data = [
'year' => wp_date( 'Y' ),
// "Copyright {{ year }} by Upstatement, LLC. All Rights Reserved"
'copyright' => get_option( 'footer_message' );

Timber::render( 'footer.twig', $data );

And then, we pass it to Twig, where we use Twig’s own template_to_string() function.


{% include template_from_string(copyright) %}

Twig tools #

Text editor add-ons #

WordPress tools #

  • Lisa Templates – allows you to write Twig-templates in the WordPress Admin that renders through a shortcode, widget or on the_content hook.

Other #

  • Watson-Ruby – An inline issue manager. Put tags like [todo] in a Twig comment and find it easily later. Watson supports Twig as of version 1.6.3.

JavaScript #

  • Twig.js – Use those .twig files in the Javascript and AJAX components of your site.
  • Nunjucks – Another JS template language that is also based on Jinja2