The Placeholder view helper is used to persist content between view scripts and view instances. It also offers some useful features such as aggregating content, capturing view script content for later use, and adding pre- and post-text to content (and custom separators for aggregated content).

Basic Usage

Basic usage of placeholders is to persist view data. Each invocation of the Placeholder helper expects a placeholder name; the helper then returns a placeholder container object that you can either manipulate or echo.

<?php $this->placeholder('foo')->set("Some text for later") ?>

<?= $this->placeholder('foo'); ?>

Results in:

Some text for later

Aggregate Content

Aggregating content via placeholders can be useful at times as well. For instance, your view script may have a variable array from which you wish to retrieve messages to display later; a later view script can then determine how those will be rendered.

The Placeholder view helper uses containers that extend ArrayObject, providing a rich feature set for manipulating arrays. In addition, it offers a variety of methods for formatting the content stored in the container:

  • setPrefix($prefix) sets text with which to prefix the content. Use getPrefix() at any time to determine what the current setting is.
  • setPostfix($prefix) sets text with which to append the content. Use getPostfix() at any time to determine what the current setting is.
  • setSeparator($prefix) sets text with which to separate aggregated content. Use getSeparator() at any time to determine what the current setting is.
  • setIndent($prefix) can be used to set an indentation value for content. If an integer is passed, that number of spaces will be used; if a string is passed, the string will be used. Use getIndent() at any time to determine what the current setting is.

Set the data in one view script:

<!-- first view script -->
<?php $this->placeholder('foo')->exchangeArray($this->data) ?>

And retrieve the data and output it in another view script:

<!-- later view script -->
    ->setPrefix("<ul>\n    <li>")

<?= $this->placeholder('foo') ?>

The above results in an unordered list with pretty indentation.

Because the Placeholder container objects extend ArrayObject, you can also assign content to a specific key in the container easily, instead of simply pushing it into the container. Keys may be accessed either as object properties or as array keys.

<?php $this->placeholder('foo')->bar = $this->data ?>
<?= $this->placeholder('foo')->bar ?>

$foo = $this->placeholder('foo');
echo $foo['bar'];

Capture Content

Occasionally you may have content for a placeholder in a view script that is easiest to template; the Placeholder view helper allows you to capture arbitrary content for later rendering using the following API.

  • captureStart($type, $key) begins capturing content.
  • $type should be one of the Placeholder constants APPEND or SET. If APPEND, captured content is appended to the list of current content in the placeholder; if SET, captured content is used as the sole value of the placeholder (potentially replacing any previous content). By default, $type is APPEND.
  • $key can be used to specify a specific key in the placeholder container to which you want content captured.
  • captureStart() locks capturing until captureEnd() is called; you cannot nest capturing with the same placeholder container. Doing so will raise an exception.
  • captureEnd() stops capturing content, and places it in the container object according to how captureStart() was called.

As an example:

<!-- Default capture: append -->
<?php $this->placeholder('foo')->captureStart();
foreach ($this->data as $datum): ?>
<div class="foo">
    <h2><?= $datum->title ?></h2>
    <p><?= $datum->content ?></p>
<?php endforeach; ?>
<?php $this->placeholder('foo')->captureEnd() ?>

<?= $this->placeholder('foo') ?>

Alternately, capture to a key:

<!-- Capture to key -->
<?php $this->placeholder('foo')->captureStart('SET', 'data');
foreach ($this->data as $datum): ?>
<div class="foo">
    <h2><?= $datum->title ?></h2>
    <p><?= $datum->content ?></p>
 <?php endforeach; ?>
<?php $this->placeholder('foo')->captureEnd() ?>

<?= $this->placeholder('foo')->data ?>

Clearing Content

In certain situations it is desirable to remove or clear containers and aggregated content. The placeholder view helper provides two methods to either delete a specific container or clear all containers at once:

Delete a single container


Clear all containers


Concrete Implementations

laminas-view ships with a number of "concrete" placeholder implementations. These are for commonly used placeholders: doctype, page title, and various <head> elements. In all cases, calling the placeholder with no arguments returns the element itself.

Documentation for each element is covered separately, as linked below: