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Precompile Handlebars templates to JST file.

grunt-contrib-handlebars v0.11.0 Build Status: Linux Build Status: Windows

Precompile Handlebars templates to JST file.

Getting Started

This plugin requires Grunt >=0.4.0

If you haven't used Grunt before, be sure to check out the Getting Started guide, as it explains how to create a Gruntfile as well as install and use Grunt plugins. Once you're familiar with that process, you may install this plugin with this command:

npm install grunt-contrib-handlebars --save-dev

Once the plugin has been installed, it may be enabled inside your Gruntfile with this line of JavaScript:


This plugin was designed to work with Grunt 0.4.x. If you're still using grunt v0.3.x it's strongly recommended that you upgrade, but in case you can't please use v0.3.3.

Handlebars task

Run this task with the grunt handlebars command.

Task targets, files and options may be specified according to the grunt Configuring tasks guide.



Type: String
Default: linefeed + linefeed

Concatenated files will be joined on this string.


Type: String or false or function
Default: 'JST'

The namespace in which the precompiled templates will be assigned. Use dot notation (e.g. App.Templates) for nested namespaces or false for no namespace wrapping. When false with amd or commonjs option set true, templates will be returned directly from the AMD/CommonJS wrapper.


options: {
  namespace: 'MyApp.Templates'

You can generate nested namespaces based on the file system paths of your templates by providing a function. The function will be called with one argument (the template filepath). The function must return a dot notation based on the filepath.


options: {
  namespace: function(filename) {
    var names = filename.replace(/modules\/(.*)(\/\w+\.hbs)/, '$1');
    return names.split('/').join('.');
  files: {
    'ns_nested_tmpls.js' : [ 'modules/**/*.hbs']


Type: Boolean
Default: false

When set to true, partials will be registered in the namespace in addition to templates.


Type: Boolean
Default: true

Determine if preprocessed template functions will be wrapped in Handlebars.template function.


Type: Boolean
Default: false

Enable the compiled file to be required on node.js by preppending and appending proper declarations. You can use the file safely on the front-end.

For this option to work you need to define the namespace option.


Type: Boolean or String or Array or Function
Default: false

Wraps the output file with an AMD define function and returns the compiled template namespace unless namespace has been explicitly set to false in which case the template function will be returned directly.

If String then that string will be used in the module definition define(['your_amd_opt_here'])

If Array then those strings will be used in the module definition. 'handlebars' should always be the first item in the array, eg: amd: ['handlebars', 'handlebars.helpers']

If Function then it will be called per each module and returned string will be used in the module defintion "define(['" + options.amd(filename, ast, compiled) + "']"

define(['handlebars'], function(Handlebars) {
    return this['[template namespace]'];


Type: Boolean
Default: false

Wraps the output file in a CommonJS module function, exporting the compiled templates. It will also add templates to the template namespace, unless namespace is explicitly set to false.

module.exports = function(Handlebars) {
    return this['[template namespace]'];

When requiring the module in a CommonJS environment, pass in your Handlebars object.

var Handlebars = require('handlebars');
var templates = require('./templates')(Handlebars);


Type: Function

This option accepts a function which takes two arguments (the template file content, and the filepath) and returns a string which will be used as the source for the precompiled template object. The example below removes leading and trailing spaces to shorten templates.

options: {
  processContent: function(content, filepath) {
    content = content.replace(/^[\x20\t]+/mg, '').replace(/[\x20\t]+$/mg, '');
    content = content.replace(/^[\r\n]+/, '').replace(/[\r\n]*$/, '\n');
    return content;


Type: Function

This option accepts a function which takes one argument (the parsed Abstract Syntax Tree) and returns a modified version which will be used as the source for the precompiled template object. The example below removes any partial and replaces it with the text foo.

options: {
  processAST: function(ast) {
    ast.statements.forEach(function(statement, i) {
      if (statement.type === 'partial') {
        ast.statements[i] = { type: 'content', string: 'foo' };
    return ast;


Type: Function

This option accepts a function which takes one argument (the template filepath) and returns a string which will be used as the key for the precompiled template object. The example below stores all templates on the default JST namespace in capital letters.

options: {
  processName: function(filePath) {
    return filePath.toUpperCase();


Type: Function

This option accepts a function which takes one argument (the partial filepath) and returns a string which will be used as the key for the precompiled partial object when it is registered in Handlebars.partials. The example below stores all partials using only the actual filename instead of the full path.

options: {
  processPartialName: function(filePath) {  // input: templates/_header.hbs
    var pieces = filePath.split("/");
    return pieces[pieces.length - 1];       // output: _header.hbs

Note: If processPartialName is not provided as an option the default assumes that partials will be stored by stripping trailing underscore characters and filename extensions. For example, the path templates/_header.hbs will become header and can be referenced in other templates as {{> header}}.


Type: Regexp
Default: /^_/

This option accepts a regex that defines the prefix character that is used to identify Handlebars partial files.

// assumes partial files would be prefixed with "par_" ie: "par_header.hbs"
options: {
  partialRegex: /^par_/


Type: Regexp
Default: /./

This option accepts a regex that defines the path to a directory of Handlebars partials files. The example below shows how to mark every file in a specific directory as a partial.

options: {
  partialRegex: /.*/,
  partialsPathRegex: /\/partials\//


Type Object
Default: {}

This option allows you to specify a hash of options which will be passed directly to the Handlebars compiler.

options: {
  compilerOptions: {
    knownHelpers: {
      "my-helper": true,
      "another-helper": true
    knownHelpersOnly: true

Usage Examples

handlebars: {
  compile: {
    options: {
      namespace: "JST"
    files: {
      "path/to/result.js": "path/to/source.hbs",
      "path/to/another.js": ["path/to/sources/*.hbs", "path/to/more/*.hbs"]

Release History

  • 2015-10-16   v0.11.0   Handlebars ~4
  • 2015-04-21   v0.10.2   Added options.amd as a function
  • 2015-03-23   v0.10.1   Documentation fix
  • 2015-03-23   v0.10.0   Update to Handlebars 3.0.0
  • 2015-02-04   v0.9.3   Fix issues with namespace declarations and partialsUseNamespace.
  • 2014-12-31   v0.9.2   More fixes for AMD namespacing.
  • 2014-11-09   v0.9.1   Fixes namespacing issues.
  • 2014-10-16   v0.9.0   Update to Handlebars 2.0.
  • 2014-04-15   v0.8.0   Less Verbose output. New custom AMD path options.
  • 2014-03-03   v0.7.0   Update handlebars dep to ~1.3.0
  • 2014-01-23   v0.6.1   Support function on namespace option.
  • 2013-11-11   v0.6.0   Update handlebars dep to ~1.1.2
  • 2013-11-07   v0.5.12   Pass file path into processContent.
  • 2013-09-24   v0.5.11   Fix for broken partial pre-compilation.
  • 2013-07-14   v0.5.10   Add commonjs option.
  • 2013-05-30   v0.5.9   Allow passing compilerOptions to Handlebars compiler.
  • 2013-03-14   v0.5.8   Update handlebars dep to ~1.0.10
  • 2013-03-11   v0.5.7   Fix regression with 'wrapped' option.
  • 2013-03-07   v0.5.6   Add new option, processAST
  • 2013-02-27   v0.5.5   Add new options partialsUseNamespace, partialRegex, partialsPathRegex
  • 2013-02-15   v0.5.4   First official release for Grunt 0.4.0.
  • 2013-02-08   v0.5.4rc7   When namespace is false and amd is true, return handlebars templates directly from AMD wrapper.
  • 2013-02-01   v0.5.3rc7   Add node option to produce dual node.js / front-end compiled file.
  • 2013-01-29   v0.5.2rc7   Define handlebars as a dependency for AMD option.
  • 2013-01-28   v0.5.1rc7   Add AMD compilation option. Add processContent option. Do not generate templates into a namespaces when namespace option is false.
  • 2013-01-23   v0.5.0rc7   Updating grunt/gruntplugin dependencies to rc7. Changing in-development grunt/gruntplugin dependency versions from tilde version ranges to specific versions. Default wrapped option to true.
  • 2013-01-09   v0.4.0rc5   Updating to work with grunt v0.4.0rc5. Switching to this.files api.
  • 2012-11-21   v0.3.3   Reset for each target
  • 2012-10-12   v0.3.2   Rename grunt-contrib-lib dep to grunt-lib-contrib.
  • 2012-10-03   v0.3.1   Bugfix default processPartialName.
  • 2012-09-23   v0.3.0   Options no longer accepted from global config key.
  • 2012-09-16   v0.2.3   Support for nested namespaces.
  • 2012-09-12   v0.2.2   Escape single quotes in filenames.
  • 2012-09-10   v0.2.0   Refactored from grunt-contrib into individual repo.

Task submitted by Tim Branyen

This file was generated on Fri Oct 16 2015 18:59:59.

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