Express.js template engine plugin for Handlebars

npm install hbs
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Express.js view engine for handlebars.js


npm install hbs


Using hbs as the default view engine requires just one line of code in your app setup. This will render .hbs files when res.render is called.

app.set('view engine', 'hbs');

To use a different extension (i.e. html) for your template files:

app.set('view engine', 'html');
app.engine('html', require('hbs').__express);

Helpers and Partials

hbs exposes the registerHelper and registerPartial method from handlebars.

var hbs = require('hbs');

hbs.registerHelper('helper_name', function(...) { ... });
hbs.registerPartial('partial_name', 'partial value');

For convenience, registerPartials provides a quick way to load all partials from a specific directory:

var hbs = require('hbs');

hbs.registerPartials(__dirname + '/views/partials');

Partials that are loaded from a directory are named based on their filename, where spaces and hyphens are replaced with an underscore character:

template.html      -> {{> template}}
template 2.html    -> {{> template_2}}
login view.hbs     -> {{> login_view}}
template-file.html -> {{> template_file}}

See the handlebars.js README and docs for more information.


The handlebars require used by hbs can be accessed via the handlebars property on the hbs module.

If you wish to use handlebars methods like SafeString please do so on this property. Do not register helpers or partials in this way.

// hbs.handlebars is the handlebars module
hbs.handlebars === require('handlebars');


more than one instance

You can create isolated instances of hbs using the create() function on the module object.

var hbs = require('hbs');

var instance1 = hbs.create();
var instance2 = hbs.create();

app.engine('html', instance1.__express);
app.engine('hbs', instance2.__express);

Each instance has the same methods/properties as the hbs module object. The module object is actually just an instance created for you automatically.

extra scripts or styles

Sometimes it is useful to have custom scripts or stylesheets on your pages. Handlebars does not provide a way to import or extend a template, but through the use of helpers you can create a similar result.

We can take advantage of the fact that our body template is processed before the layout template. Knowing this, we can create two helpers block and extend which can be used to 'inject' custom stylesheets or scripts into the layout template. The block helper will act as a placeholder for values specified in earlier extend helpers.

See examples/extend for a working example. Note how the index.hbs file defines extra stylesheets and scripts to be injected into the layout. They are put into the head section and at the end of the body respectively. If this was not done, the stylesheet would be in the body and the script would print foo bar too soon.

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