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0.1.2 • Public • Published


Eleventy plugin for generating fuzzily-fixed-length post excerpts.


$ npm i eleventy-plugin-description


In .eleventy.js:

const description = require('eleventy-plugin-description');
module.exports = function(config) {

This plugin adds a filter called description, into which you can pipe template contents, like so:

{% for post in collections.post %}
  <div class="summary">
    {{ post.templateContent | description }}
{% endfor %}

The filter is engineered to give excerpts that are roughly uniform in length and never broken in awkward places.


Under the hood, this plugin first calls out to html-to-text to convert the template contents from rendered HTML to plain text. By default, it strips all formatting, links, and images, but notably includes headings.

Once the HTML has been converted to plain text, the text is split by phrases, and then phrases are added to the excerpt until the length cutoff is reached. The default length cutoff is 200 characters, so excerpts will be 200 characters or a little more.

Finally, once the excerpt is built up, a terminator ('...' by default) is appended.


Here's a post of mine: post

Here's my home page, where you can see its (and other posts') generated excerpt(s): homepage


In .eleventy.js, you can pass an object with overrides to addPlugin like so:

config.addPlugin(description, {
  phraseRegex: /(\p{Sentence_Terminal}\p{White_Space})/gu
  lengthCutoff: 280

Here are all the possible overrides and a few notes on each.



  wordwrap: false,
  ignoreHref: true,
  ignoreImage: true,
  uppercaseHeadings: false,

This is an object containing properties to be passed to the html-to-text plugin. Here is a reference for all the options available for html-to-text. This object is spread over the default options, so they can be overridden as well.


Default: /(\p{Terminal_Punctuation}\p{White_Space})/gu

This property is a regex dictating how to split phrases up. The default regex uses two Unicode property escapes - here is a reference for Terminal_Punctuation, and here is a reference for White_Space. For plain English text, Terminal_Punctuation is equivalent to [!,.:;?]. Splitting on phrases instead of sentence boundaries tends to produce excerpts of a more uniform length, but you can really split on whatever you want. If you want sentence boundaries, try out /(\p{Sentence_Terminal}\p{White_Space})/gu.

Warning! It's important that whatever regex you use, it's surrounded by parentheses. Otherwise, whatever punctuation you're matching on will be removed from the text (this is because of how String.prototype.split works).


Default: 200

This is a fuzzy maximum length. It's not a hard maximum - in particular, phrases will be appended to the excerpt until the cutoff is exceeded. In practice, it's usually best to just tweak the number up or down until it looks good.


Default: '...'

This is just a string that gets appended to the end of each excerpt. To disable, just set it to the empty string ('').


npm i eleventy-plugin-description

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