Template syntax reference

lit-html templates are written using JavaScript template literals tagged with the html tag. The contents of the literal are mostly plain, declarative, HTML:

html`<h1>Hello World</h1>`

Bindings or expressions are denoted with the standard JavaScript syntax for template literals:

html`<h1>Hello ${name}</h1>`

Template Structure

lit-html templates must be well-formed HTML, and bindings can only occur in certain places. The templates are parsed by the browser’s built-in HTML parser before any values are interpolated.

No warnings. Most cases of malformed templates are not detectable by lit-html, so you won’t see any warnings—just templates that don’t behave as you expect—so take extra care to structure templates properly.

Follow these rules for well-formed templates:

Binding Types

Expressions can occur in text content or in attribute value positions.

There are a few types of bindings:

Event Listeners

Event listeners can be functions or objects with a handleEvent method. Listeners are passed as both the listener and options arguments to addEventListener/removeEventListener, so that the listener can carry event listener options like capture, passive, and once.

const listener = {
  handleEvent(e) {
    console.log('clicked');
  }
  capture: true;
};

html`<button @click=${listener}>Click Me</button>`

Supported Data Types

Each binding type supports different types of values:

Supported data types for text bindings

Text content bindings accept a large range of value types:

Primitive Values: String, Number, Boolean, null, undefined

Primitives values are converted to strings when interpolated into text content or attribute values. They are checked for equality to the previous value so that the DOM is not updated if the value hasn’t changed.

TemplateResult

Templates can be nested by passing a TemplateResult as a value of an expression:

const header = html`<h1>Header</h1>`;

const page = html`
  ${header}
  <p>This is some text</p>
`;

Node

Any DOM Node can be passed to a text position expression. The node is attached to the DOM tree at that point, and so removed from any current parent:

const div = document.createElement('div');
const page = html`
  ${div}
  <p>This is some text</p>
`;

Arrays / Iterables

Arrays and Iterables of supported types are supported as well. They can be mixed values of different supported types.

const items = [1, 2, 3];
const list = () => html`items = ${items.map((i) => `item: ${i}`)}`;
const items = {
  a: 1,
  b: 23,
  c: 456,
};
const list = () => html`items = ${Object.entries(items)}`;

Control Flow with JavaScript

lit-html has no built-in control-flow constructs. Instead you use normal JavaScript expressions and statements.

Ifs with ternary operators

Ternary expressions are a great way to add inline-conditionals:

html`
  ${user.isloggedIn
      ? html`Welcome ${user.name}`
      : html`Please log in`
  }
`;

Ifs with if-statements

You can express conditional logic with if statements outside of a template to compute values to use inside of the template:

getUserMessage() {
  if (user.isloggedIn) {
    return html`Welcome ${user.name}`;
  } else {
    return html`Please log in`;
  }
}

html`
  ${getUserMessage()}
`

Loops with Array.map

To render lists, Array.map can be used to transform a list of data into a list of templates:

html`
  <ul>
    ${items.map((i) => html`<li>${i}</li>`)}
  </ul>
`;

Looping statements

const itemTemplates = [];
for (const i of items) {
  itemTemplates.push(html`<li>${i}</li>`);
}

html`
  <ul>
    ${itemTemplates}
  </ul>
`;

Built-in directives

Directives are functions that can extend lit-html by customizing the way a binding renders.

lit-html includes a few built-in directives.

Directives may change. The exact list of directives included with lit-html, and the API of the directives may be subject to change before lit-html 1.0 is released.

asyncAppend and asyncReplace

asyncAppend(asyncIterable)
asyncReplace(asyncIterable)

Location: text bindings

JavaScript asynchronous iterators provide a generic interface for asynchronous sequential access to data. Much like an iterator, a consumer requests the next data item with a call to next(), but with asynchronous iterators next() returns a Promise, allowing the iterator to provide the item when it’s ready.

lit-html offers two directives to consume asynchronous iterators:

Example:

import {asyncReplace} from 'lit-html/directives/async-replace.js';

const wait = (t) => new Promise((resolve) => setTimeout(resolve, t));
/**
 * Returns an async iterable that yields increasing integers.
 */
async function* countUp() {
  let i = 0;
  while (true) {
    yield i++;
    await wait(1000);
  }
}

render(html`
  Count: <span>${asyncReplace(countUp())}</span>.
`, document.body);

In the near future, ReadableStreams will be async iterables, enabling streaming fetch() directly into a template:

import {asyncAppend} from 'lit-html/directives/async-append.js';

// Endpoint that returns a billion digits of PI, streamed.
const url =
    'https://cors-anywhere.herokuapp.com/http://stuff.mit.edu/afs/sipb/contrib/pi/pi-billion.txt';

const streamingResponse = (async () => {
  const response = await fetch(url);
  return response.body.getReader();
})();
render(html is: ${asyncAppend(streamingResponse)}`, document.body);

cache

cache(conditionalTemplate)

Location: text bindings

Caches the rendered DOM nodes for templates when they’re not in use. The conditionalTemplate argument is an expression that can return one of several templates. cache renders the current value of conditionalTemplate. When the template changes, the directive caches the current DOM nodes before switching to the new value.

Example:

import {cache} from 'lit-html/directives/cache.js';

const detailView = (data) => html`<div>...</div>`; 
const summaryView = (data) => html`<div>...</div>`;

html`${cache(data.showDetails
  ? detailView(data) 
  : summaryView(data)
)}`

When lit-html re-renders a template, it only updates the modified portions: it doesn’t create or remove any more DOM than it needs to. But when you switch from one template to another, lit-html needs to remove the old DOM and render a new DOM tree.

The cache directive caches the generated DOM for a given binding and input template. In the example above, it would cache the DOM for both the summaryView and detailView templates. When you switch from one view to another, lit-html just needs to swap in the cached version of the new view, and and update it with the latest data.

classMap

class=${classMap(classObj)}

Location: attribute bindings (must be the entire value of the class attribute)

Sets a list of classes based on an object. Each key in the object is treated as a class name, and if the value associated with the key is truthy, that class is added to the element.

import {classMap} from 'lit-html/directives/class-map.js';

let classes = { highlight: true, enabled: true, hidden: false };

html`<div class=${classMap(classes)>Classy text</div>`;
// renders as <div class="highlight enabled">Classy text</div>

Note that you can only use classMap in an attribute binding for the class attribute, and it must be the entire value of the attribute.

// DON'T DO THIS
html`<div class="someClass ${classMap(moreClasses}">Broken div</div>`;

ifDefined

ifDefined(value)

Location: attribute bindings

For AttributeParts, sets the attribute if the value is defined and removes the attribute if the value is undefined.

For other part types, this directive is a no-op.

Example:

import {ifDefined} from 'lit-html/directives/if-defined';

const myTemplate = () => html`
  <img src="/images/${ifDefined(image.filename)}">
`;

guard

guard(dependencies, valueFn)

Location: any

Renders the value returned by valueFn. Only re-evaluates valueFn when one of the dependencies changes identity.

Where:

guard is useful with immutable data patterns, by preventing expensive work until data updates.

Example:

import {guard} from 'lit-html/directives/guard';

const template = html`
  <div>
    ${guard([immutableItems], () => immutableItems.map(item => html`${item}`))}
  </div>
`;

In this case, the immutableItems array is mapped over only when the array reference changes.

repeat

repeat(items, keyfn, template)
repeat(items, template)

Location: text bindings

Repeats a series of values (usually TemplateResults) generated from an iterable, and updates those items efficiently when the iterable changes. When the keyFn is provided, key-to-DOM association is maintained between updates by moving DOM when required, and is generally the most efficient way to use repeat since it performs minimum unnecessary work for insertions amd removals.

Example:

import {repeat} from 'lit-html/directives/repeat';

const myTemplate = () => html`
  <ul>
    ${repeat(items, (i) => i.id, (i, index) => html`
      <li>${index}: ${i.name}</li>`)}
  </ul>
`;

If no keyFn is provided, repeat will perform similar to a simple map of items to values, and DOM will be reused against potentially different items.

See Repeating templates with the repeat directive for a discussion of when to use repeat and when to use standard JavaScript flow control.

styleMap

style=${styleMap(styles)}

Location: attribute bindings (must be the entire value of the style attribute)

The styleMap directive sets styles on an element based on an object, where each key in the object is treated as a style property, and the value is treated as the value for that property. For example:

import {styleMap} from 'lit-html/directives/stype-map.js';

let styles = { backgroundColor: 'blue', color: 'white'};
html`<p style=${styleMap(styles)}>Hello style!</p>`;

For CSS properties that contain dashes, you can either use the camel-case equivalent, or put the property name in quotes. For example, you can write the the CSS property font-family as either fontFamily or 'font-family':

{ fontFamily: 'roboto' }
{ 'font-family': 'roboto' }

The styleMap directive can only be used as a value for the style attribute, and it must be the entire value of the attribute.

unsafeHTML

unsafeHTML(html)

Location: text bindings

Renders the argument as HTML, rather than text.

Note, this is unsafe to use with any user-provided input that hasn’t been sanitized or escaped, as it may lead to cross-site-scripting vulnerabilities.

Example:

import {unsafeHTML} from 'lit-html/directives/unsafe-html.js';

const markup = '<div>Some HTML to render.</div>';
const template = html`
  Look out, potentially unsafe HTML ahead:
  ${unsafeHTML(markup)}
`;

until

until(...values)

Location: any

Renders placeholder content until the final content is available.

Takes a series of values, including Promises. Values are rendered in priority order, with the first argument having the highest priority and the last argument having the lowest priority. If a value is a Promise, a lower-priority value will be rendered until it resolves.

The priority of values can be used to create placeholder content for async data. For example, a Promise with pending content can be the first (highest-priority) argument, and a non-promise loading indicator template can be used as the second (lower-priority) argument. The loading indicator renders immediately, and the primary content will render when the Promise resolves.

Example:

import {until} from 'lit-html/directives/until.js';

const content = fetch('./content.txt').then(r => r.text());

html`${until(content, html`<span>Loading...</span>`)}`