ExpressionEngine® User Guide

Legacy Documentation

You are using the documentation for version 4.3.8. Go here for the latest version.

Embedding Templates within Other Templates

Any template can be embedded within another template using the “embed” tag:


Where “template_group” is the name of the group and “template” is the name of the template. For example:


You must include both the template group and the template name in the embed tag.

By default, you cannot use embeds inside of Forum templates. See Other Features for instructions on running the forums through regular templates.

Embed Variables for the Embedded Template

In the {embed=”“} tag you can also specify parameters that will be used as variables in the embedded page. For example, if you specifiy a parameter of dog_name=”Shadow”:

{embed="site/header" dog_name="Shadow"}

Then in the site/header template, you can have a variable called {embed:dog_name}, which will be replaced with the value of “Shadow”:

<h2>My dog's name is {embed:dog_name}</h2>

Since {embed=”“} tags are processed after all of the other tags of the original template are processed, this means you can set these parameters with other variables too:

{exp:channel:entries channel="default_site" limit="1"}
        {embed="site/export" the_id="{entry_id}"}

You may also use embed variables in conditionals:

{if embed:dog_name == "Shadow"}
        My dog's name is {embed:dog_name}.
        {embed:dog_name} will never be as cool as Shadow.

How to choose between an Embedded Template and a Template Partial

Since Template partials can also contain tags, variables, and PHP, the question often arises: which do I choose? If your content meets one of the following criteria, use an Embedded template.

  • You need Embed Variables.
  • You need separate PHP parsing preferences from the template this code is being added to.
  • You need separate caching preferences from the template this code is being added to.
  • You need separate template Access control from the template this code is being added to.
  • You need to also be able to access this template on its own directly via the URL.
  • You need to more discretely control which users are allowed to modify this content.

In all other cases, Template partials are typically the better solution, as the above features do come with a minor associated cost in terms of resource usage. Choose the right tool for the right task!


  • You can nest embedded templates as deeply as you want. In other words, you can put a template within another template, within yet another one. However: You can not put a template within itself or you’ll cause a run-away loop. You also can not put an “upstream” template inside of a “downstream” one. For example: You have two templates: “outer” and “content”. You put “content” inside of “outer”. You therefore can not put “outer” inside of “content”.
  • PHP settings for each Template are honored on a per-Template basis, which means that you can embed a Template that has PHP enabled into another Template which does not have PHP enabled.
  • A template is fully rendered before any embedded templates are processed and included, which means you cannot break up tags between different templates and embed them in pieces.
  • If you are using the Multiple Site Manager, you can embed templates from one site into another site. Details can be found here: Multiple Site Manager Variables and Parameters