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Writing Helpers

Sometimes, you may use the same HTML in your application multiple times. In those cases, you can register a custom helper that can be invoked from any Handlebars template.

For example, imagine you are frequently wrapping certain values in a <span> tag with a custom class. You can register a helper from your JavaScript like this:

Ember.Handlebars.helper('highlight', function(value, options) {
  var escaped = Handlebars.Utils.escapeExpression(value);
  return new Ember.Handlebars.SafeString('<span class="highlight">' + escaped + '</span>');

If you return HTML from a helper, and you don't want it to be escaped, make sure to return a new SafeString. Make sure you first escape any user data!

Anywhere in your Handlebars templates, you can now invoke this helper:

{{highlight name}}

and it will output the following:

<span class="highlight">Peter</span>

If the name property on the current context changes, Ember.js will automatically execute the helper again and update the DOM with the new value.


Imagine you want to render the full name of an App.Person. In this case, you will want to update the output if the person itself changes, or if the firstName or lastName properties change.

Ember.Handlebars.helper('fullName', function(person) {
  return person.get('firstName') + ' ' + person.get('lastName');
}, 'firstName', 'lastName');

You would use the helper like this:

{{fullName person}}

Now, whenever the context's person changes, or when any of the dependent keys change, the output will automatically update.

Both the path passed to the fullName helper and its dependent keys may be full property paths (e.g. person.address.country).

Custom View Helpers

You may also find yourself rendering your view classes in multiple places using the {{view}} helper. In this case, you can save yourself some typing by registering a custom view helper.

For example, let’s say you have a view called App.CalendarView. You can register a helper like this:

Ember.Handlebars.helper('calendar', App.CalendarView);

Using App.CalendarView in a template then becomes as simple as:


Which is functionally equivalent to, and accepts all the same arguments as:

{{view "calendar"}}