Extending Twig

Craft provides two ways for plugins to extend its Twig templating environment.

# Extend the Global craft Variable

The global craft template variable is an instance of craft\web\twig\variables\CraftVariable (opens new window). When a template references craft.entries or craft.entries(), it’s calling CraftVariable::entries() (opens new window) behind the scenes, for example.

The CraftVariable instance can be extended by plugins with behaviors (opens new window) and services (opens new window). Choosing the right approach depends on what you’re trying to add to it.

  • Use a behavior to add custom properties or methods directly onto the craft variable (e.g. craft.foo()).
  • Use a service to add a sub-object to the craft variable, which can be accessed with a custom property name, called the service’s “ID”. (e.g. craft.foo.*).

You can attach your behavior or service to the CraftVariable instance by registering an EVENT_INIT (opens new window) event handler from your plugin’s init() method:

use craft\web\twig\variables\CraftVariable;
use yii\base\Event;

public function init()

        function(Event $e) {
            /** @var CraftVariable $variable */
            $variable = $e->sender;

            // Attach a behavior:

            // Attach a service:
            $variable->set('serviceId', MyService::class);

# Register a Twig Extension

If you want to add new global variables, functions, filters, tags, operators, or tests to Twig, you can do that by creating a custom Twig extension (opens new window).

Twig extensions can be registered for Craft’s Twig environment by calling craft\web\View::registerTwigExtension() (opens new window) method:

public function init()

    if (Craft::$app->request->getIsSiteRequest()) {
        // Add in our Twig extension
        $extension = new MyTwigExtension();