A homage to the old-style marker-based templating of TYPO3. Includes TEMPLATE and FILE cObjects.

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v1.0.1 2020-05-13 11:47 UTC

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Last update: 2024-02-10 23:04:33 UTC


Before there was TemplaVoila or later Fluid-based templating, the creator of TYPO3 - Kasper Skaarhoj - created a guide called "Modern Template Building" - where integrators could write HTML templates with placeholders - so-called "Markers" and "Subparts" without having to write everything in TypoScript.

This concept was still available until TYPO3 v10, but is discouraged, as both TemplaVoila, and Fluid offer a lot more ways to create templates in a more flexible way.

For all the nostalgic TYPO3 lovers, I've created this extension, which ships with two "Content Objects" - TEMPLATE and FILE to use them in future TYPO3 versions.

This extension is a perfect example how templates that were created with this approach 20 years ago, still run on TYPO3 v9, v10 or later without having to adopt anything. TYPO3 is loved for its

  • backwards-compatibility,
  • upgrade path and
  • flexibility

and this is what can be achieved with a simple extension.


Just install this extension (extension key modern_template_building) from the TYPO3 Extension Repository, or via composer req bmack/modern-template-building, and you're good to go.

Once the extension is installed, you can continue to use the cObjects FILE and TEMPLATE in your custom TypoScript code.


This is taken from the original TYPO3 documentation and it has been slightly adapted for this extension.

TEMPLATE Content Object

With an object of type TEMPLATE you can define a template (e.g. an HTML file) which should be used as a basis for your whole website. Inside the template file you can define markers, which later will be replaced with dynamic content by TYPO3.

template (Data type: cObject)

This must be loaded with the template-code. Usually this is done with a FILE cObject. If it is not loaded with code, the object returns nothing.


page.10 = TEMPLATE
page.10 {
   template = FILE
   template.file = fileadmin/template.html

This will use the file fileadmin/template.html as template for your website.

subparts.[array] (Data type: array of cObjects)

This is an array of subpart-markers (case-sensitive).

A subpart is defined by two markers in the template. The markers must be wrapped by "###" on both sides. You may insert the subpart- markers inside HTML-comment-tags!


In the template there is the subpart "HELLO":

<!-- start of subpart ###HELLO### -->
This is the HTML code, that will be loaded in the register
and will be replaced with the result...
<!-- end ###HELLO### -->

The following TypoScript code now replaces the subpart "HELLO" with the text given in "value":

page.10.subparts {
  HELLO.value = En subpart er blevet erstattet!

Note: Before the content objects of each subpart are generated, all subparts in the array are extracted and loaded into the register so that you can load them from there later on.

The register-key for each subparts code is "SUBPART_[theSubpartkey]".

In addition the current-value is loaded with the content of each subpart just before the cObject for the subpart is parsed. That makes it quite easy to load the subpart of the cObject (e.g.: ".current = 1") E.g. this subpart above has the register-key "SUBPART_HELLO".

This is valid ONLY if the property .nonCachedSubst is not set (see below)!

relPathPrefix (Data type: string / properties)

Finds all relative references (e.g. to images or stylesheets) and prefixes this value.

If you specify properties (uppercase) these will match HTML tags and specify alternative paths for them. See example below.

If the property is named "style", it will set an alternative path for the "url()" wrapper that may be in <style> sections.


page.10 = TEMPLATE
page.10 {
  template = FILE
  template.file = fileadmin/template.html
  relPathPrefix = fileadmin/
  relPathPrefix.IMG = fileadmin/img/

In this example all relative paths found are prefixed with "fileadmin/" unless it was the src attribute of an img tag in which case the path is prefixed with "fileadmin/img/".

marks.[array] (Data type: array of cObjects)

This is an array of marks-markers (case-sensitive).

A mark is defined by one marker in the template. The marker must be wrapped by "###" on both sides. Opposite to subparts, you may not insert the subpart-markers inside HTML-comment-tags! (They will not be removed.)


In the template:

<div id="copyright">
  &copy; ###DATE###

The following TypoScript code now dynamically replaces the marker "DATE" with the current year:

page.10.marks {
  DATE { = date : U
    stdWrap.strftime = %Y

Marks are substituted by a str_replace-function. The subparts loaded in the register are also available to the cObjects of markers (only if .nonCachedSubst is not set!).

wraps.[array] (Data type: array of cObjects)

This is an array of wraps-markers (case-sensitive).

This is shown best by an example:


In the template there is the subpart "MYLINK":

This is <!--###MYLINK###-->a link to my<!--###MYLINK###--> page!

With the following TypoScript code the subpart will be substituted by the wrap which is the content returned by the MYLINK cObject. :

page.10.wraps {
    MYLINK.value = <a href="#"> | </a>

workOnSubpart (Data type: string / stdWrap)

This is an optional definition of a subpart, that we decide to work on. In other words; if you define this value that subpart is extracted from the template and is the basis for this whole template object.

markerWrap (Data type: wrap / stdWrap)

Default: ### | ###

This is the wrap the markers are wrapped with. The default value is ### | ### resulting in the markers to be presented as ###[marker_key]###.

Any whitespace around the wrap-items is stripped before they are set around the marker_key.

substMarksSeparately (Data type: boolean / stdWrap)

If set, then marks are substituted in the content AFTER the substitution of subparts and wraps.

Normally marks are not substituted inside of subparts and wraps when you are using the default cached mode of the TEMPLATE cObject. That is a problem if you have marks inside of subparts! But setting this flag will make the marker-substitution a non-cached, subsequent process.

Another solution is to turn off caching, see below.

nonCachedSubst (Data type: boolean / stdWrap)

If set, then the substitution mode of this cObject is totally different. Normally the raw template is read and divided into the sections denoted by the marks, subparts and wraps keys. The good thing is high speed, because this "pre-parsed" template is cached. The bad thing is that templates that depend on incremental substitution (where the order of substitution is important) will not work so well.

By setting this flag, markers are first substituted by str_replace in the template - one by one. Then the subparts are substituted one by one. And finally the wraps one by one.

Obviously you loose the ability to refer to other parts in the template with the register-keys as described above.

stdWrap (Data type: stdWrap)

This cObject can be managed with a global stdWrap functionality as well.


page.10 = TEMPLATE
page.10 {
  template = FILE
  template.file = fileadmin/test.tmpl
  subparts {
    HELLO.value = This is the replaced subpart-code.
  marks {
    Testmark = TEXT
    Testmark.value = This is replacing a simple marker in the HTML code.
  workOnSubpart = DOCUMENT

In this example a template named test.tmpl is loaded and used. The subpart "HELLO" and the mark "Testmark" in the template file will be replaced with the output of the according cObjects.

FILE Content Object

This object returns the content of the file specified in the property "file".

Note: Do not mix this up with the cObject :ref:FILES <cobj-files>; both are different cObjects.

file (Data type: resource / stdWrap)

The file whose content should be returned.

If the resource is jpg, jpeg, gif or png the image is inserted as an image-tag. All other formats are read and inserted into the HTML code.

The maximum filesize of documents to be read is set to 1024 KB internally!

linkWrap (Data type: linkWrap / stdWrap)

Executed before ".wrap" and ".stdWrap".

wrap (Data type: wrap / stdWrap)

Executed after ".linkWrap" and before ".stdWrap".

stdWrap (Data type: stdWrap)

This cObject can be managed with a global stdWrap functionality as well.

Executed after ".linkWrap" and ".wrap".

altText / titleText (Data type: string / stdWrap)

For output only!

If no alttext is specified, it will use an empty alttext.

emptyTitleHandling (Data type: string / stdWrap)

Value can be keepEmpty to preserve an empty title attribute, or useAlt to use the alt attribute instead. Defaults to useAlt.

longdescURL (Data type: string / stdWrap)

For output only!

"longdesc" attribute (URL pointing to document with extensive details about image).


In this example a page is defined, but the content between the body- tags comes directly from the file "gs.html":

page = PAGE
page.typeNum = 0
page.10 = FILE
page.10.file = fileadmin/gs/gs.html


The extension is licensed under GPL v2+, same as the TYPO3 Core. For details see the LICENSE file in this repository.

Open Issues

If you find an issue, feel free to create an issue on GitHub or a pull request.


This extension was created by Benni Mack in 2020. The original credits go to the TYPO3 development team and contributors that have maintained this code for over 20 years until it was removed from Core.