0.4.42 • Public • Published

assemble NPM version Build Status

Static site generator for Grunt.js, Yeoman and Node.js. Used by Zurb Foundation, Zurb Ink, H5BP/Effeckt, Less.js /, Topcoat, Web Experience Toolkit, and hundreds of other projects to build sites, themes, components, documentation, blogs and gh-pages.

Visit the website →

Why use Assemble?

  1. Most popular site generator for Grunt.js and Yeoman. Assemble is used to build hundreds of web projects, ranging in size from a single page to 14,000 pages (that we're aware of!). Let us know if you use Assemble.
  2. Allows you to carve your HTML up into reusable fragments: partials, includes, sections, snippets... Whatever you prefer to call them, Assemble does that.
  3. Optionally use layouts to wrap your pages with commonly used elements and content.
  4. "Pages" can either be defined as HTML/templates, JSON or YAML, or directly inside the Gruntfile.
  5. It's awesome. Lol just kidding. But seriously, Assemble... is... awesome! and it's fun to use.

...and of course, we use Assemble to build the project's own documentation

For more: hear Jon Schlinkert and Brian Woodward discuss Assemble on Episode 98 of the Javascript Jabber Podcast.


The "assemble" task

Getting Started

Assemble requires Grunt ~0.4.1

If you haven't used grunt before, be sure to check out the Getting Started guide.

From the same directory as your project's Gruntfile and package.json, install Assemble with the following command:

npm install assemble --save-dev

Once that's done, add this line to your project's Gruntfile:


The "assemble" task

Run the "assemble" task with the grunt assemble command.

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

In your project's Gruntfile, add a section named assemble to the data object passed into grunt.initConfig().

assemble: {
  options: {
    assets: 'assets',
    plugins: ['permalinks'],
    partials: ['includes/**/*.hbs'],
    layout: ['layouts/default.hbs'],
    data: ['data/*.{json,yml}']
  site: {
    src: ['docs/*.hbs'],
    dest: './'


See the documentation for Options for more information.


Type: String Default: undefined

Used with the {{assets}} variable to resolve the relative path from the dest file to the assets folder.


Type: String|Array|Object Default: src/data

Specify the data to supply to your templates. Data may be formatted in JSON, YAML, YAML front matter, or passed directly as an object. Wildcard patterns may also be used.

The filenames of the selected files must not collide with the configuration options key names for the assemble build task. For example, the files must not be called assets.yml,collections.json,….


Type: String Default: undefined

The directory to use as the "cwd" for layouts. When this option is defined, layouts may be defined using only the name of the layout.


Type: String Default: undefined

If set, this defines the layout file to use for the task or target. However, when specifying a layout, unlike Jekyll, Assemble requires a file extension since you are not limited to using a single file type.


Type: String Default: undefined

Specify the extension to use for layouts, enabling layouts in YAML front matter to be defined without an extension:

layout: default


Type: String|Array Default: undefined

Specifies the Handlebars partials files, or paths to the directories of files to be used.


Type: String|Array Default: undefined

Name of the npm module to use and/or the path(s) to any custom plugins to use. Wildcard patterns may also be used.

See the docs for plugins.


Type: String|Array Default: handlebars-helpers

Name of the npm module to use and/or the path(s) to any custom helpers to use with the current template engine. Wildcard patterns may also be used.

By default, Assemble includes handlebars-helpers as a dependency, so any helpers from that library are already available to be used in your templates.

See the docs for helpers.


Type: String Default: .html

Specify the file extension for destination files. Example:


Type: Object Default: Marked.js defaults

Specify the Marked.js options for the {{#markdown}}{{/markdown}} and {{md ""}} helpers to use when converting content.


Type: String Default: Handlebars

Specify the engine to use for compiling templates if you are not using Handlebars.

Also see assemble-swig for compiling Swig Templates.


Type: Boolean Default: false

Remove anything after (and including) the first . in the destination path, then append this value. In other words, when files are generated from different source folders this "flattens" them into the same destination directory. See building the files object dynamically for more information on files formats.

Visit Assemble's documentation for more information about options.

Usage Examples

Simple example of using data files in both .json and .yml format to build Handlebars templates.

assemble: {
  options: {
    data: 'src/data/**/*.{json,yml}'
  docs: {
    files: {
      'dist/': ['src/templates/**/*.hbs']

Using multiple targets

assemble: {
  options: {
    assets: 'assets',
    layoutdir: 'docs/layouts'
    partials: ['docs/includes/**/*.hbs'],
    data: ['docs/data/**/*.{json,yml}']
  site: {
    options: {
      layout: 'default.hbs'
    src: ['templates/site/*.hbs'],
    dest: './'
  blog: {
    options: {
      layout: 'blog-layout.hbs'
    src: ['templates/blog/*.hbs'],
    dest: 'articles/'
  docs: {
    options: {
      layout: 'docs-layout.hbs'
    src: ['templates/docs/*.hbs'],
    dest: 'docs/'

Visit Assemble's documentation for many more examples and pointers on getting started.


In lieu of a formal styleguide, take care to maintain the existing coding style. Add unit tests for any new or changed functionality, and please re-build the documentation with grunt-verb before submitting a pull request.

Assemble plugins

Here are some related projects you might be interested in from the Assemble core team.

Visit for more information about Assemble middleware.


Jon Schlinkert

Brian Woodward

Release History


  • 2014-07-07 v0.4.41 Updating resolve-dep dependency.
  • 2014-06-13 v0.4.38 Use gray-matter instead of assemble-yaml.,Updates dependencies. Minor
    refactoring and new utils to get rid of a couple of dependencies.,Update
    the loaders for plugins and helpers to use resolve-dep. Should be more
    reliable now.
  • 2013-10-25 v0.4.17 Adds a params object to the call to helper.register allowing grunt and
    assemble to be passed in and used from inside helpers.
  • 2013-10-24 v0.4.16 Adds support for using wildcards with plugins stages.
  • 2013-10-24 v0.4.15 Implements multiple plugin stages.
  • 2013-10-21 v0.4.14 Adds support for plugins running once, before and after (thanks
    @adjohnson916).,Adds pagination!,Thanks to @xzyfer, can now also directly accept an object of data.
  • 2013-10-12 v0.4.13 Adds originalAssets property to root context to store the pre-calculated assets path
  • 2013-10-05 v0.4.12 Fixes plugins resolving for devDependencies.
  • 2013-10-03 v0.4.11 Adds filePair to page object. thanks @adjohnson916!
  • 2013-10-02 v0.4.10 Adds plugin support to Assemble using the plugins option. thanks
  • 2013-10-02 v0.4.9 Adds layoutext and postprocess options.
  • 2013-09-30 v0.4.8 Assemble now builds 30-50% faster due to some refactoring to async and how context is calculated.
  • 2013-09-20 v0.4.7 Adds grunt-readme to make it easier to keep the readme updated using
    templates.,Keep options.partials intact so they can be used in helpers.
  • 2013-09-15 v0.4.6 Updating how the assets path is calculated.,Adding resolve-dep and ability to load helpers from node modules using minimatch patterns
  • 2013-09-03 v0.4.5 Bug fix: allow page content containing $.,Add alias metadata for data on
    pages configuration object.
  • 2013-08-01 v0.4.4 Adds "nested layouts",Adds option for pages in JSON/YAML collections to be defined as either objects or keys in an array.
  • 2013-08-01 v0.4.3 Adds "options.pages" for passing in an array of pages in JSON or YAML
  • 2013-06-20 v0.4.0 Adds "layoutdir" option for defining the directory to be used for layouts. If layoutdir is defined, then layouts may be defined using only the name of the layout.
  • 2013-06-10 v0.3.81 Adds additional ways to load custom helpers. Now it's possible to use a
    glob pattern that points to a list of scripts with helpers to load.,Adds
    examples and tests on how to use the new custom helper loading methods.
  • 2013-06-01 v0.3.80 Fixing bug with null value in engine
  • 2013-05-07 v0.3.77 Updated README with info about assemble methods
  • 2013-04-28 v0.3.74 Updating the assemble library to use the assemble-utils repo and
    unnecessary code.
  • 2013-04-21 v0.3.73 Fixing how the relative path helper worked and showing an example in the
    footer of the layout. This example is hidden, but can be seen by doing view source.
  • 2013-04-20 v0.3.72 Fixing the layout override issue happening in the page yaml headers.
    Something was missed during refactoring.
  • 2013-04-19 v0.3.9 Adds tags and categories to the root context and ensure that the current
    page context values don't override the root context values.
  • 2013-04-18 v0.3.8 Updating to use actual assets property from current page.
  • 2013-04-17 v0.3.7 Cleaning up some unused folders and tests
  • 2013-04-16 v0.3.6 Fixed missing assets property.
  • 2013-04-16 v0.3.5 Adds a sections array to the template engine so it can be used in helpers.
  • 2013-04-11 v0.3.4 More tests for helpers and global variables, organized tests. A number of
    bug fixes.
  • 2013-04-06 v0.3.3 helper-lib properly externalized and wired up. Global variables for
    filename, ext and pages
  • 2013-03-22 v0.3.22 Merged global and target level options so data and partial files can be
  • 2013-03-22 v0.3.21 Valid YAML now allowed in object (along with JSON)
  • 2013-03-18 v0.3.14 new relative helper for resolving relative paths


Copyright (c) 2014 Jon Schlinkert, Brian Woodward, contributors.
Released under the MIT license

This file was generated by grunt-verb on August 22, 2014.

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