Trim and remove Twig whitespace

We seldom see the HTML produced by our backends, at least in their pristine state, still unprettified by our web inspectors. Yet I am not alone in taking pride in clean markup.

The template engine I use a lot nowadays is Twig and it has two ways of controlling whitespace, to make our HTML the envy of our peers. One is the spaceless tag and the other is the whitespace control modifier.

Spaceless tag

The spaceless tag removes all whitespace between its child tags, even Twig tags. I use it myself in the top level base.html.twig template to compress the entire HTML document some.

{% spaceless %}
        {% if name %}
            <body>   Hello {{ name }}!   </body>
        {% endif %}
{% endspaceless %}

… will produce …

<html><body>Hello Tobias!</body></html>

Its documentation says not to use this for size optimization but I am just a rebel like that.

Whitespace control modifier

While the spaceless tag trims whitespace inside of it, the whitespace control modifier instead trims outside of itself. Just add a - to the delimiter you want to trim from.

    {{- name }}

… will produce …


Use {{- name -}} to also trim from the right side. This works for {{ }} prints, {% %} statements and {# #} comments.

As per the documentation, this was introduced in Twig 1.1. So you might need to upgrade if you are running older code.