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EJS -- Embedded JavaScript templates

Build Status Developing Dependencies

This repo is a continuation of TJ Holowaychuk's original EJS project.


Since May 1, 2014, TJ Holowaychuk (@tj), the original author of EJS for Node.js, has not made any contribution to EJS. This might be in part because of his migration to Go.

In December of last year, Matthew Eernisse apparent asked @tj for maintainership of EJS, but switched the ejs npm package to use his own implementation (mde/ejs), and started calling it EJS v2. It works well (with my patches :P), but is too slow compared to TJ's original implementation.

So, I got TJ's implementation to shape and made all tests in EJS v2 to pass, plus some more, and asked @mde if he was willing to merge my repo in. Turns out he wasn't, citing the (very efficient) spaghetti code is hard to maintain, which is true but I honestly don't think the OOP in his implementation is that much better or worths it.

And thus, I decided to officially fork EJS, and publish the package as ejs-tj in NPM. It is intended to be 100% compatible with EJS v2, and might be more compatible with older scripts due to its root in TJ's implementation. In the mean time, I will continue to contribute to mde/ejs, and merge its changes to this repo as well.

Note that EJS v2 is still a very active project. Do not refrain from using it because of this post. But instead, when you do start using EJS, check out this project as well ūüėČ.

Compatibility with official EJS

This module aims to be fully compatible with EJS v2, but unfortunately one minor difference exist. This module does not support the use of rmWhitespace because of difficulty in implementing it in a char-by-char-reading architecture this module uses.


$ npm install ejs-tj


  • Control flow with <% %>
  • Escaped output with <%= %>
  • Unescaped raw output with <%- %>
  • Trim-mode ('newline slurping') with -%> ending tag
  • Custom delimiters (e.g., use '' instead of '<% %>')
  • Includes
  • Client-side support
  • Static caching of intermediate JavaScript
  • Static caching of templates
  • Complies with the Express view system


<% if (user) { %>
  <h2><%= %></h2>
<% } %>


var template = ejs.compile(str, options);
// => Rendered HTML string 
ejs.render(str, data, options);
// => Rendered HTML string 

You can also use the shortcut ejs.render(dataAndOptions); where you pass everything in a single object. In that case, you'll end up with local variables for all the passed options.


  • cache Compiled functions are cached, requires filename
  • filename Used by cache to key caches, and for includes
  • context Function execution context
  • compileDebug When false no debug instrumentation is compiled
  • client Returns standalone compiled function
  • delimiter Character to use with angle brackets for open/close
  • debug Output generated function body
  • _with Whether or not to use with() {} constructs. If false then the locals will be stored in the locals object.


  • <% 'Scriptlet' tag, for control-flow, no output
  • <%= Outputs the value into the template (HTML escaped)
  • <%- Outputs the unescaped value into the template
  • <%# Comment tag, no execution, no output
  • <%% Outputs a literal '<%'
  • %> Plain ending tag
  • -%> Trim-mode ('newline slurp') tag, trims following newline


Includes are relative to the template with the include call. (This requires the 'filename' option.) For example if you have "./views/users.ejs" and "./views/user/show.ejs" you would use <%- include('user/show'); %>.

You'll likely want to use the raw output tag (<%-) with your include to avoid double-escaping the HTML output.

  <% users.forEach(function(user){ %>
    <%- include('user/show', {user: user}); %>
  <% }); %>

Includes are inserted at runtime, so you can use variables for the path in the include call (for example <%- include(somePath); %>). Variables in your top-level data object are available to all your includes, but local variables need to be passed down.

NOTE: Include preprocessor directives (<% include user/show %>) are still supported.

Custom delimiters

Custom delimiters can be applied on a per-template basis, or globally:

var ejs = require('ejs'),
    users = ['geddy', 'neil', 'alex'];
// Just one template 
ejs.render('<?= users.join(" | "); ?>', {users: users}, {delimiter: '?'});
// => 'geddy | neil | alex' 
// Or globally 
ejs.delimiter = '$';
ejs.render('<$= users.join(" | "); $>', {users: users});
// => 'geddy | neil | alex' 


EJS ships with a basic in-process cache for caching the intermediate JavaScript functions used to render templates. It's easy to plug in LRU caching using Node's lru-cache library:

var ejs = require('ejs')
  , LRU = require('lru-cache');
ejs.cache = LRU(100); // LRU cache with 100-item limit 

If you want to clear the EJS cache, call ejs.clearCache. If you're using the LRU cache and need a different limit, simple reset ejs.cache to a new instance of the LRU.


EJS does not specifically support blocks, but layouts can be implemented by including headers and footers, like so:

<%- include('header'); -%>
  My page
<%- include('footer'); -%>

Client-side support

Go to the Latest Release, download ./ejs.js or ./ejs.min.js.

Include one of these on your page, and ejs.render(str).

Related projects

There are a number of implementations of EJS:


Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (

EJS Embedded JavaScript templates copyright 2112