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{function} is used to create functions within a template and call them just like a plugin function. Instead of writing a plugin that generates presentational content, keeping it in the template is often a more manageable choice. It also simplifies data traversal, such as deeply nested menus.


Template functions are defined global. Since the Smarty compiler is a single-pass compiler, The {call} tag must be used to call a template function defined externally from the given template. Otherwise, you can directly use the function as {funcname ...} in the template.


Attribute Name Required Description
name Yes The name of the template function
[var ...] No default variable value to pass local to the template function
  • The {function} tag must have the name attribute which contains the name of the template function. A tag with this name can be used to call the template function.

  • Default values for variables can be passed to the template function as attributes. Like in PHP function declarations you can only use scalar values as default. The default values can be overwritten when the template function is being called.

  • You can use all variables from the calling template inside the template function. Changes to variables or new created variables inside the template function have local scope and are not visible inside the calling template after the template function is executed.


You can pass any number of parameter to the template function when it is called. The parameter variables must not be declared in the {funcname ...} tag unless you what to use default values. Default values must be scalar and can not be variable. Variables must be passed when the template is called.


{* define the function *}
{function name=menu level=0}
{function menu level=0}          {* short-hand *}
  <ul class="level{$level}">
  {foreach $data as $entry}
    {if is_array($entry)}
      {menu data=$entry level=$level+1}

{* create an array to demonstrate *}
{$menu = ['item1','item2','item3' => ['item3-1','item3-2','item3-3' =>

{* run the array through the function *}
{menu data=$menu}

Will generate the following output

* item1
* item2
* item3
      o item3-1
      o item3-2
      o item3-3
            + item3-3-1
            + item3-3-2
* item4

See also {call}