How to write a custom layout renderer

Julian Verdurmen edited this page Dec 4, 2016 · 8 revisions
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Since NLog 4.4 there are two ways to create a custom layout renderer.

You could write a custom layout with one lambda function - it will be registed intermediately, or you could write a class with is easier to share acros projects.

Lamba Function

Introducted in NLog 4.4

For some cases it's easier to write a lambda function.

The lambda function will accept 1 or 2 parameters and should return a string.

  • 1 parameter: the logEventInfo.
  • 2 parameters: logEventInfo and the current NLog config.


//register ${text-fixed}
LayoutRenderer.Register("test-fixed", (logEvent) => "2");

//register ${trace-identifier}
LayoutRenderer.Register("trace-identifier", (logEvent) => HttpContext.Current.TraceIdentifier);

//Using logEventInfo, ${message-length}
LayoutRenderer.Register("message-length", (logEvent) => logEvent.Message.Length);

//Using config, ${targetCount}
LayoutRenderer.Register("targetCount",(logEvent, config) => config.AllTargets.Count);


Create a class that inherits from NLog.LayoutRenderers.LayoutRenderer, set the [LayoutRenderer("your-name"] on the class and override the Append(StringBuilder builder, LogEventInfo logEvent) method. Invoke in this method builder.Append(..) to render your custom layout renderer.

Don't forget to register your custom layout renderer!


We create a ${hello-world} layout renderer, which renders..."hello world!".

public class HelloWorldLayoutRenderer : LayoutRenderer
    protected override void Append(StringBuilder builder, LogEventInfo logEvent)
        builder.Append("hello world!");

How to pass configuration options to the layout render?

Just create public properties on the Layout Renderer. The properties could be decorated with the [RequiredParameter] and [DefaultParameter] attributes. The [DefaultParameter] is can be passed to the layout renderer without using the name.

for example:

public class HelloWorldLayoutRenderer : LayoutRenderer
        /// <summary>
        /// I'm not required or default
        /// </summary>
        public string Config1 { get; set; }

        /// <summary>
        /// I'm required
        /// </summary>
        public string Config2 { get; set; }

        /// <summary>
        /// I'm the default parameter. You can set me as required also.
        /// </summary>
        public bool Caps {get;set;}

Example usages

  • ${hello-world} - raises exception: required parameter Config2 isn't set
  • ${hello-world:Config2=abc} - OK, Config2 property set
  • ${hello-world:true:config2=abc} - default parameter (Caps) set to true
  • ${hello-world:true:config2=abc:config1=yes} - all the three properties se