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Custom Tags

A Liquid tag is defined by a pair of Python classes. One a subclass of liquid.tag.Tag and one a subclass of liquid.ast.Node. The required parse() method of a Tag is responsible for parsing a tag's expression and returning a Node, which will be added to a template's parse tree.

You can add to, remove or modify Liquid's built-in tags to suit your needs by registering tags with an Environment, then rendering your templates from that environment.


All built-in tags are implemented in this way, so have a look in liquid/builtin/tags/ for examples.

Add a Tag

Taking inspiration from Django's Template Language, lets implement a with tag, which extends the local scope for the duration of its block. Our with tag's expressions consists of one or more named arguments separated by commas. Each argument is a variable name, followed by a colon, then a Liquid keyword, string, integer, float, range expression or identifier.

{% with <identifier>: <object> [, <identifier>: <object> ... ] %}
<literal,statement,tag> ...
{% endwith %}

This implementation keeps any variables set inside the with block (using assign or capture) alive after the block has been rendered.


You can find an alternative implementation of the with tag in this gist. It uses SLY to tokenize and parse with expressions.

While this alternative implementation is arguably easier to understand and maintain, it does not lend itself to static type checking and is slower than the approach used by Python Liquid's built-in tags.

Example Tag

A Tag is free to parse its expression any way it chooses. Built in tags use regular expressions to generate a stream of tokens, then step through those tokens yielding Expression objects.

Here we'll reuse the tokenizer from the include tag, as it, too, accepts any number of comma separated named arguments. We will, however, supply a different set of allowed keywords to the tokenizer function.
from __future__ import annotations

import sys

from functools import partial

from typing import TYPE_CHECKING
from typing import Dict
from typing import NamedTuple
from typing import Optional
from typing import TextIO

from liquid.ast import Node
from liquid.ast import BlockNode

from liquid.context import Context
from liquid.expression import Expression

from liquid.lex import include_expression_rules
from liquid.lex import _compile_rules
from liquid.lex import _tokenize

from liquid.parse import expect
from liquid.parse import get_parser
from liquid.parse import parse_expression
from liquid.parse import parse_unchained_identifier

from import TokenStream
from liquid.tag import Tag

from liquid.token import Token
from liquid.token import TOKEN_TAG
from liquid.token import TOKEN_EXPRESSION
from liquid.token import TOKEN_TRUE
from liquid.token import TOKEN_FALSE
from liquid.token import TOKEN_NIL
from liquid.token import TOKEN_NULL
from liquid.token import TOKEN_COLON
from liquid.token import TOKEN_AS
from liquid.token import TOKEN_EOF
from liquid.token import TOKEN_COMMA

from liquid import Environment

TAG_WITH = sys.intern("with")
TAG_ENDWITH = sys.intern("endwith")

with_expression_keywords = frozenset(

tokenize_with_expression = partial(

class WithKeywordArg(NamedTuple):
name: str
expr: Expression

# ...

The parse() method of a Tag object receives a TokenStream as its only argument. This stream of tokens includes template literals, output statements, tags and unparsed tag expressions.

The current token in the stream will always be of the type TOKEN_TAG, representing the start of the tag we're parsing. By convention, this token is used to populate the token property of the associated Node object. If the tag has an expression (anything after the tag's name), it will immediately follow the TOKEN_TAG in the stream as a TOKEN_EXPRESSION. In the example bellow we use expect() to confirm that an expression has been provided.

We retrieve a Parser from the active Environment, then use its parse_block method parse our with tag's block, which could contain any number of other tags and output statements. Every block tag is expected to leave the stream with it's "end" tag as the current token.

Note that parse_argument is an implementation detail and not a required method of liquid.tag.Tag. (continued)
class WithTag(Tag):
name = TAG_WITH

def __init__(self, env: Environment):
self.parser = get_parser(self.env)

def parse(self, stream: TokenStream) -> Node:
expect(stream, TOKEN_TAG, value=TAG_WITH)
tok = stream.current

expect(stream, TOKEN_EXPRESSION)
expr_stream = TokenStream(tokenize_with_expression(stream.current.value))

# A dictionary to help handle duplicate keywords.
args = {}

while expr_stream.current.type != TOKEN_EOF:
key, expr = self.parse_argument(expr_stream)
args[key] = expr

if expr_stream.current.type == TOKEN_COMMA:
expr_stream.next_token() # Eat comma

block = self.parser.parse_block(stream, (TAG_ENDWITH, TOKEN_EOF))
expect(stream, TOKEN_TAG, value=TAG_ENDWITH)

return WithNode(tok=tok, args=args, block=block)

def parse_argument(self, stream: TokenStream) -> WithKeywordArg:
key = str(parse_unchained_identifier(stream))

expect(stream, TOKEN_COLON)
stream.next_token() # Eat colon

val = parse_expression(stream)

return WithKeywordArg(key, val)

# ...

Example Node

Every Node must implement a render_to_output() method and, optionally, a render_to_output_async() method. By referencing its Expression's and the active render context, render_to_output() is responsible for writing text to the output buffer.

Our WithNode simply evaluates each of its arguments and uses the results to extend the scope of the active render context before rendering its block. (continued)
class WithNode(Node):
def __init__(self, tok: Token, args: Dict[str, Expression], block: BlockNode):
self.tok = tok
self.args = args
self.block = block

def render_to_output(self, context: Context, buffer: TextIO) -> Optional[bool]:
namespace = {k: v.evaluate(context) for k, v in self.args.items()}

with context.extend(namespace):
self.block.render(context, buffer)

Example Tag Usage

We can add WithTag tag to an Environment like this. Notice that Environment.add_tag() takes a class, not a class instance.

from liquid import Environment
from with_tag import WithTag

env = Environment()

template = env.from_string(
"{% with greeting: 'Hello', name: 'Sally' -%}"
" {{ greeting }}, {{ name }}!"
"{%- endwith %}"

print(template.render()) # Hello, Sally

Replace a Tag

Environment.add_tag() registers a tag using the name property defined on the Tag class. If you register a tag with the same name as an existing tag, it will be replaced without warning.

For example, the non-standard if (not) tag is a drop-in replacement for the standard if tag.

Remove a Tag

Remove a tag, either built-in or custom, by deleting it from Environment.tags. It's a regular dictionary mapping tag names to Tag classes.

from liquid import Environment
from liquid.builtin.tags.ifchanged_tag import IfChangedTag

env = Environment()
del env.filters[]