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Converts AngularJS templates to JavaScript

Getting Started

This plugin requires Grunt v1 or later

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-html2js --save-dev

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


The "html2js" task


Angular-JS normally loads templates lazily from the server as you reference them in your application (via ng-include, routing configuration or other mechanism). Angular caches the source code for each template so that subsequent references do not require another server request. However, if your application is divided into many small components, then the initial loading process may involve an unacceptably large number of additional server requests.

This plugin converts a group of templates to JavaScript and assembles them into an Angular module that primes the cache directly when the module is loaded. You can concatenate this module with your main application code so that Angular does not need to make any additional server requests to initialize the application.

Note that this plugin does not compile the templates. It simply caches the template source code.


By default, this plugin assumes you are following the naming conventions and build pipeline of the angular-app demo application.

In your project's Gruntfile, add a section named html2js to the data object passed into grunt.initConfig().

This simplest configuration will assemble all templates in your src tree into a module named templates-main, and write the JavaScript source for the module to tmp/template.js:

  html2js: {
    options: {
      // custom options, see below
    main: {
      src: ['src/**/*.tpl.html'],
      dest: 'tmp/templates.js'

Assuming you concatenate the resulting file with the rest of your application code, you can then specify the module as a dependency in your code:

angular.module('main', ['templates-main'])
  .config(['$routeProvider', function ($routeProvider) {
    $routeProvider.when('/somepath', {

Note that you should use relative paths to specify the template URL, to match the keys by which the template source is cached.


The dest property must be a string. If it is an array, Grunt will fail when attempting to write the bundle file.



Type: String Default value: 'src'

The prefix relative to the project directory that should be stripped from each template path to produce a module identifier for the template. For example, a template located at src/projects/projects.tpl.html would be identified as just projects/projects.tpl.html.

Type: String Default value: 'js'

Language of the output file. Possible values: 'coffee', 'js'.


Type: String or Function Default value: templates-TARGET

The name of the parent Angular module for each set of templates. Defaults to the task target prefixed by templates-.

The value of this argument can be a string or a function. The function should expect the module file path and grunt task name as arguments, and it should return the name to use for the parent Angular module.

If no bundle module is desired, set this to false.


Type: Function Default value: none

A function that takes in the module identifier and returns the renamed module identifier to use instead for the template. For example, a template located at src/projects/projects.tpl.html would be identified as /src/projects/projects.tpl with a rename function defined as:

function (moduleName) {
  return '/' + moduleName.replace('.html', '');


Type: Character Default value: "

Strings are quoted with double-quotes by default. However, for projects that want strict single quote-only usage, you can specify:

options: { quoteChar: '\'' }

to use single quotes, or any other odd quoting character you want


Type: String Default value:

By default a 2-space indent is used for the generated code. However, you can specify alternate indenting via:

options: { indentString: '    ' }

to get, for example, 4-space indents. Same goes for tabs or any other indent system you want to use.


Type: String Default value: ``

If specified, this string will get written at the top of the output Template.js file. As an example, jshint directives such as /* global angular: false */ can be put at the head of the file.


Type: String Default value: ``

If specified, this string will get written at the end of the output file. May be used in conjunction with fileHeaderString to wrap the output.


Type: Boolean Default value: ``

If set true, each module in JavaScript will have 'use strict'; written at the top of the module. Useful for global strict jshint settings.

options: { useStrict: true }


Type: Object Default value: {}

Minifies HTML using html-minifier.

options: {
  htmlmin: {
    collapseBooleanAttributes: true,
    collapseWhitespace: true,
    removeAttributeQuotes: true,
    removeComments: true,
    removeEmptyAttributes: true,
    removeRedundantAttributes: true,
    removeScriptTypeAttributes: true,
    removeStyleLinkTypeAttributes: true

In addition, the customAttrCollapse option is supported, allowing you to supply a regex that is used to match attribute names in which multiple whitespace will be collapsed to a single space.


Type: Object or Boolean or Function Default value: false

Performs arbitrary processing on the template as part of the compilation process.

Option value can be one of:

  1. a function that accepts content and filepath as arguments, and returns the transformed content
  2. an object that is passed as the second options argument to grunt.template.process (with the file content as the first argument)
  3. true to call grunt.template.process with the content and no options


Type: Boolean Default value: false

If set to true, will create a single wrapping module with a run block, instead of an individual module for each template file. Requires that the module option is not falsy.


Type: Boolean Default value: false

If set to true, will use an existing module with the name from module, instead of creating a new module. Requires that singleModule is not falsy.

Type: Boolean Default value: false

If set to true and used in conjunction with a long running/keep-alive process such as grunt-contrib-watch html2js will watch src files for changes and regenerate output to dest. It uses an internal cache so only the file that changes needs to be re-compliled. Useful for development process particularly if you have lots of pug templates. It is very similar to grunt-browserify's watch.

options: {
  pug: {},
  watch: true

N.B. If using grunt-watch you do not need to run the html2js task again on src changes as it watches internally for these. All you need to do is watch the destination file and live reload on change.


Type: Boolean Default value: false

If set to true, will wrap output in a define block so it is compatible with AMD module loaders such as RequireJS without requiring you to shim the module.


Type: String Default value: define(['angular'], function(angular){\n

When options.amd is set to true, this is what will be prepended to the module to make it compatible with AMD module loaders. Along with amdSuffixString, these two options should allow you to customize the way your AMD module is created.


Type: String Default Value: });

When options.amd is set to true, this is what will be postpended to the module to make it compatible with AMD module loaders. Along with amdPrefixString, these two options should allow you to customize the way your AMD module is created.

Pug support


If template filename ends with .pug the task will automatically render file's content using Pug then compile into JS.

Options can be passed to Pug within a pug property in the plugin options.

options: {
  pug: {
    //this prevents auto expansion of empty arguments
    //e.g. "div(ui-view)" becomes "<div ui-view></div>"
    //     instead of "<div ui-view="ui-view"></div>"
    doctype: "html"


Type: Boolean Default value: false

If specified, adds an HTML comment containing the template file path as a comment at the start of each template.

Usage Examples

See the Gruntfile.js in the project source code for various configuration examples.


In lieu of a formal styleguide, take care to maintain the existing coding style. Add unit tests for any new or changed functionality. Lint and test your code using Grunt.

Release History

0.1.1 Build module even if templates do not exist yet

0.1.2 Preserve line feeds in templates to avoid breaking <pre>-formatted text

0.1.3 Add option to set the module option to null to disable creation of bundle module

0.1.4 Add rename option

0.1.5 Add config options for quoteChar, indentString and fileHeaderString (thanks @jonathana)

0.1.6 Add support for CoffeeScript (thanks @srigi)

0.1.7 Escape backslashes in template source (issue #11, thanks @JoakimBe)

0.1.8 Add fileFooterString option (issue #13, thanks @duro)

0.1.9 Add useStrict option (pull request #15, thanks @marcoose)

0.2.0 Add htmlmin option (pull request #16, thanks @buberdds)

0.2.1 Fix dependencies for htmlmin (pull request #17, vielen dank @mlegenhausen)

0.2.2 Fix counter of converted files (pull request #18, thanks @srigi)

0.2.3 Add option to interpret 'module' as function (pull request #20, thanks @CodingGorilla)

0.2.4 Add process option (pull request #24, thanks @scottrippey)

0.2.5 Add task name as argument to function variant of module option (pull request #37, thanks @lukovnikov)

0.2.6 Add support for auto-detecting Jade templates as input (thanks @bahmutov)

0.2.7 Add singleModule module for placing all templates in a single module (PR #43, thanks @janeklb)

0.2.8 Allow passing option to Jade templates (PR #46, thanks @NickClark)

0.2.9 Support relative file names for Jade templates (PR #48, thanks @dvonlehman)

0.3.0 Allow use strict in single mode (PR #58, thanks @mfeckie)

0.3.1 Add watch feature (PR #67, thanks @startswithaj)

0.3.2 Update to stable chokidar (PR #68, thanks @paulmillr)

0.3.3 Fix dependency on jade (PR #72, thanks @mathewleon)

0.3.4 Add existingModule option (PR #75, thanks @Jandalf)

0.3.5 Adds options to support AMD modules (PR #75, thanks @Southpaw17)

0.3.6 Updates peer dependencies for Grunt 1.0 (PR #81)

0.3.7 Fix dependencies for htmlmin

As of 0.3.7, this package is now administered by Richard Quadling who gives a big "Thank you" to Karl for his hard work.

0.3.8 Fix broken newlines (\r\r\n)

0.4.0 Added ability to render pug templates. Maintains Backwards compatibility. (#83) Marked support for jade templates as deprecated. Support will be removed in 0.5.0

0.4.1 Added ability to add an HTML comment to the templates (#9/#10)

0.4.2 Empty modules not generated if no source files located (#55)

0.5.0 Introduce Travis CI for unit tests and code coverage. Removed support for Jade. Added badges. Reformatted code and

0.5.1 Fix options.quoteChar usage for module header (#64)

0.6.0 Upgraded dependencies to latest versions.npm audit shows 0 vulnerabilities.

0.7.0 Upgraded dependencies to latest versions.npm audit shows 0 vulnerabilities.

0.8.0 Upgraded dependencies to latest versions.npm audit shows 0 vulnerabilities.

0.9.0 Removed istanbul as a dependency as it is only used during testing.



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