ExpressionEngine® 3 User Guide

Legacy Documentation

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Typography Class

Calling the Typography Class

class Typography

The Typography class is used in ExpressionEngine to parse type, providing tools for automatic XHTML, auto line-breaking, email encoding, word censoring, decoding BBCode, syntax highlighting, and gateway access to formatting plugins.

To use the these features in your modules, you need to first instantiate the Typography Class:


Note that after loading the Typography library you need to initialize it with ee()->load->typography->initialize(); or you will be inheriting the class properties of whatever code last used it.

Typography Class Properties

The Typography class has a number of class properties that you may wish to set before calling any methods. Below is a description of available class properties and their default values (in bold).

property Typography::$allow_img_url

(string) [ y / n ] — Allow inline images?

property Typography::$allow_js_img_anchors

(bool) [ TRUE / FALSE ] — Whether to allow JavaScript submitted (within <a href> and <img> tags

(string) [ y / n ] — Auto-link URLs and email addresses? (Note that auto-linking does not ever occur if $html_format is “none”)

property Typography::$bounce

(string) — Used to construct redirect links, to prevent control panel URLs from showing up in referrer logs, and on the front-end for rank denial. This property is set dynamically based on site preferences and is not necessary to set directly.

property Typography::$censored_replace

(string) — String that censored words are replaced with, taken from site preferences.

property Typography::$censored_words

(array) — Array of words to be censored, taken from site preferences.

property Typography::$code_chunks

(array) — Array of temporary markers and content used to prevent formatting from being applied to syntax highlighted code.

property Typography::$code_counter

(int) — Used as keys of the $code_chunks array, to keep the temporary markers organized.

property Typography::$convert_curly

(bool) [ TRUE / FALSE ] — Convert curly brackets ( “{” and “}”) into entities?

property Typography::$emoticon_path

(string) — The preference setting for the URL path to the site’s emoticons. This property is set dynamically based on site preferences and is not necessary to set directly.

property Typography::$encode_email

(bool) [ TRUE / FALSE ] — Whether or not email addresses are encoded.

property Typography::$encode_type

(string) [ javascript / noscript ] — Type of encoding applied to email addresses if email address encoding is enabled. "noscript" renders in a human readable format (e.g. “name at example dot com)”, suitable for use where JavaScript is inappropriate, such as in a feed.

property Typography::$file_paths

(array) — Array of file upload directories in key (ids) => value (urls) pairs.

property Typography::$highlight_code

(bool) [ TRUE / FALSE ] — Perform PHP syntax highlighting on [pre] and [code] blocks?

property Typography::$html_fmt_types

(array) [ array(‘safe’, ‘all’, ‘none’) ] — Array of standard HTML handling types available to the Typography class.

property Typography::$html_format

(string) [ safe / all / none ] — Controls how HTML is handled in text.

property Typography::$parse_images

(bool) [ TRUE / FALSE ] — Whether or not {filedir_#} variables are to be parsed.

property Typography::$parse_smileys

(bool) [ TRUE / FALSE ] — Replace text smileys with smiley images?

(bool) [ TRUE / FALSE ] — Create links as popups?

property Typography::$single_line_pgfs

(bool) [ TRUE / FALSE ] — Whether to treat single lines as paragraphs in auto-XHTML

property Typography::$smiley_array

(mixed) [ FALSE ] — If emoticons are enabled for the site, this property will contain an array of smiley conversions in key (smiley) => value (image) pairs. If emoticons are not enabled, this will be set to FALSE.

property Typography::$text_fmt_plugins

(array) — Array of available installed plugins.

property Typography::$text_fmt_types

(array) [ array(‘xhtml’, ‘br’, ‘none’, ‘lite’) ] — Array of standard formatting types available to the Typography class.

property Typography::$text_format

(string) [ xhtml / br / none / lite ] — Controls what formatting is applied to text.

property Typography::$use_span_tags

(bool) [ TRUE / FALSE ] — Use <span> tags for font color and size BBCode? Setting to FALSE uses <font> tags.

property Typography::$word_censor

(bool) [ FALSE ] — Whether or not word censoring is applied. This property is set dynamically based on site preferences and is not necessary to set directly.

property Typography::$yes_no_syntax

(array) [ array(‘y’, ‘n’) ] — Array of valid Yes / No strings for use in properties. Used to ensure that valid settings are being provided for a Yes / No type preference.

Parsing Type

Typography::parse_type($str[, $prefs = ''])

This method returns a string of parsed type. It is the most common use of the Typography class, and many of the individual methods also described in this document are used within the parse_type() method. The format the string is returned in is determined by both the class properties and the array of properties provided in the second argument.:

$str = ee()->typography->parse_type($str);
  • $str (string) – String to parse
  • $prefs (array) – Associative array containing parsing preferences (see below)

Parsed string

Return type:


You may override class properties directly in the $prefs array for the following:

  • text_format
  • html_format
  • auto_links
  • allow_img_url
$prefs = array(
    'text_format'   => 'xhtml',
    'html_format'   => 'all',
    'auto_links'    => 'y',
    'allow_img_url' => 'y'

$str = ee()->typography->parse_type($str, $prefs);

Using a Plugin for Text Formatting

Any installed formatting plugin may be used to parse type. Simply use the class name of the plugin, in lowercase letters:

$str = ee()->typography->parse_type($str, array('text_format' => 'markdown'));

If you attempt to use a plugin that is not installed, no text formatting will be performed. It may be wise to check for the existence of plugins before using them, so if they are not installed, you can fall back on one of the native formatting types:

$text_format = (in_array('markdown', ee()->typography->text_fmt_plugins)) ? 'markdown' : 'xhtml';
$str = ee()->typography->parse_type($str, array('text_format' => $text_format));

Encode Email Addresses

Typography::encode_email($email[, $title = ''[, $anchor = TRUE]])

This method encodes email addresses with Javascript, to assist in prevention of email harvesting by bots.:

$str = "";
$str = ee()->typography->encode_email($str, "Email Brett Bretterson");

If you want to return a human readable “encoded” email address instead, you can also set the Typography::$encode_type class property to "noscript".

  • $email (string) – Email address
  • $title (string) – Text to use as the title of the link
  • $anchor (boolean) – Whether to create a clickable link or not

Encoded email address

Return type:


Auto (XTHML) Typography

Typography::auto_typography($str[, $reduce_linebreaks = FALSE])

This method takes a string of text and returns typographically correct XHTML:

$str = ee()->typography->auto_typography($str);

Its primary modifications are:

  • It turns double spaces into paragraphs.
  • It adds line breaks where there are single spaces.
  • It turns single and double quotes into curly quotes.
  • It turns three dots into ellipsis.
  • It turns double dashes into em-dashes.
  • $str (string) – Text to apply XHTML typography to
  • $reduce_linebreaks (boolean) – Set to TRUE to reduce more than two consecutive newlines to two

Formatted and cleaned text

Return type:


Formatting Characters for XHTML (“Light” Typography)


This method performs the character transformation portion of the XHTML typography only, i.e. curly quotes, ellipsis, ampersand, etc.:

$str = ee()->typography->format_characters($str);
  • $str (string) – Text to apply character formatting to

Character formatted text

Return type:



Typography::markdown($str[, $options = array()])

This method lets you parse your content using Markdown and Smartypants:

$str = ee()->typography->markdown($str);
  • $str (string) – String to parse
  • $options (array) –

    Associative array containing options:

    • encode_ee_tags (yes/no) can be used to disable ee tag encoding
    • smartypants (yes/no) enable or disable smartypants

Parsed Markdown content

Return type: