Smarty Template Configuration Files

Using Configuration Files With Smarty Template

Smarty templates allow you to declare and use variables with various methods. two popular methods are to use the assign() method within the '.php' file or to use a configuration file. Since this tutorial will explain how to use a configuration file to create variables and create syntax to output them with the '.tpl' files, it is assumed that you have some familiarity with the assign() method. If not, you can find some details at http://lampload.com/smarty-template-for-php.html that show how to assign variables with the assign() method.

Using a configuration file is simple. You declare all of your global variables and section variables. When you access variables from the config file, you use the syntax {config_load file='config.conf'} or {config_load file='config.conf' section='mySection'}. When you output variables from a configuration file, they use the syntax {#variableName#}, unlike {$variablename} that is used with the assign() method.

config.conf File

This file has 3 global variables. In addition to that, there are two distinct sections that have their own variables; my_section1 and my_section2. The examples below show various ways for which you can assign variables. Like Python, Smarty allows you to declare variables without the need for a semi-colon at the end.

# global vars
var1 = "Double Quotes No semicolon"
var2 = 'Single Quotes No semi-colon'
var3 =  'Single and semi-colon';

#Section vars
[my_section1]
var4 = 500
var5 = "String in my_section1";

[my_section2]
var6 = "String in my_section2";

config.tpl File

This file shows three different loads for the configuration file. To show how it works, The code is used to output all variables from all sections. As you can see in the first example using {config_load file='config.conf'}, only the global variables will output.

When the next load {config_load file='config.conf' section= "my_section1"} takes place, all the global variables and the variables from my_section1 can be accessed.

Finally, when {config_load file='config.conf' section= "my_section2"} is loaded, you see all variables. This may, or not be what you expected. But, since all variables had been loaded with the {config_load} tag, they are all usable.

{config_load file='config.conf'}
<p> Here are all variables:<br/><ol><li>{#var1#} <li>{#var2#}</li> <li>{#var3#}</li> <li>{#var4#}</li> <li>{#var5#}</li> <li>{#var6#}</li></ol></p>
As you can see, only the global variables output. Variables var4, var5 and var6 must have their section added to the config_load. The example below shows the opposite. It will only display variables that belong the appropriate section.
<hr>

{config_load file='config.conf' section= "my_section1"}
<p> When you declare a section, you can output all global variables and variables that belong to that section. <br/><br/>Here are all variables in in my_section :<br/><ol><li>{#var1#} <li>{#var2#}</li> <li>{#var3#}</li> <li>{#var4#}</li> <li>{#var5#}</li> <li>{#var6#}</li></ol></p>
<p>As you can see, var6 has no value since it belongs to my_section2.</p>  
<hr>Finally, here is the usage of two sections.<br/>

{config_load file='config.conf' section= "my_section2"}
<br/><ol><li>{#var1#} <li>{#var2#}</li> <li>{#var3#}</li> <li>{#var4#}</li> <li>{#var5#}</li> <li>{#var6#}</li></ol>

Here is how the output is displayed in the browser.

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Here are all variables:

  • Double Quotes No semicolon
  • Single Quotes No semi-colon
  • Single and semi-colon

As you can see, only the global variables output. Variables var4, var5 and var6 must have their section added to the config_load. The example below shows the opposite. It will only display variables that belong the appropriate section.


When you declare a section, you can output all global variables and variables that belong to that section.

Here are all variables in in my_section :

  • Double Quotes No semicolon
  • Single Quotes No semi-colon
  • Single and semi-colon
  • 500
  • String in my_section1

As you can see, var6 has no value since it belongs to my_section2.


Finally, here is the usage of two sections.

  1. Double Quotes No semicolon
  2. Single Quotes No semi-colon
  3. Single and semi-colon
  4. 500
  5. String in my_section1
  6. String in my_section2

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