Editing Templates

Most plugins require some changes to the front end of the site, typically to display some extra information.

Modifying templates to add a variable

A variable can easily be inserted into a template using the find_replace_templatesets() function, which looks for a string and replaces it in a given template.

Usually you'd replace the string with itself plus your variable, for example:

require_once MYBB_ROOT."/inc/adminfunctions_templates.php";

    "#" . preg_quote('') . "#i",

This would insert {$myVar} after <body> in the index template.

It is important to make sure the string you search for is unlikely to change between templates, otherwise users will have to manually edit their templates to insert the variable if the string doesn't exist in their template.

Passing Simple Values to a Template

Global variables can be accessed from templates, so the easiest way to access a variable in your hook function from a template is to make it global:

global $myVar;

$myVar = 'Hello World!';

This will insert Hello World! where the {$myVar} variable is in the template. $myVar can, of course, be any value, such as one dynamically generated or from a database query.

An alternative solution is to modify an existing global variable such as $user. For example, you could insert {$user['favorite_colour']} into a template, then do the following in your hook function:

global $user;

$user['favorite_colour'] = 'Blue';

Creating Your Own Templates

If you want to insert a whole block of HTML rather than a simple value then you probably want to create your own template.

Templates are usually created in your _install() function. They can be created like this:

global $db;

$template = '<strong>{$hello_world}</strong>';

$insert_array = array(
    'title' => 'hello_world_template',
    'template' => $db->escape_string($template),
    'sid' => '-1',
    'version' => '',
    'dateline' => time()

$db->insert_query('templates', $insert_array);

The template can be deleted in your _uninstall() function using:

$db->delete_query("templates", "title = 'hello_world_template'");

Once your plugin has been installed you should now be able to see the template you created under global templates.

To replace a variable you inserted into another template with your custom template you must do the following from your hook function:

global $templates, $myVar;

$hello_world = 'foobar';
eval('$myVar  = "' . $templates->get('hello_world_template') . '";');

Note that $hello_world does not have to be global, yet it's passed to your custom template.

If all has worked correctly you should see the following at the top of your index page:

<strong>Hello World</strong>

Creating a New Page / Action

Using misc.php

An easy way to add a custom page via a plugin is to use the misc_start hook.

$plugins->add_hook('misc_start', 'my_action');

// In the body of your plugin
function my_action()
    global $mybb, $templates, $lang, $header, $headerinclude, $footer;

    if($mybb->get_input('action') == 'myaction')
        // Do something, for example I'll create a page using the hello_world_template

        // Add a breadcrumb
        add_breadcrumb('My Action', "misc.php?action=myaction");

        $hello_world = 'This text will appear on the page';
        eval('$sections  = "' . $templates->get('hello_world_template') . '";');

        // Using the misc_help template for the page wrapper
        eval("\$page = \"".$templates->get("misc_help")."\";");

This should create a page nicely wrapped in the template header and footer, accessible by navigating to misc.php?action=myaction.

You can of course add your own page template instead of using misc_help.

Using a Separate File

If your custom page has a lot of functionality you may prefer to use a separate file, such as my_plugin.php which would be placed in the root MyBB directory.

The process is basically the same except you'd put your functionality in the my_plugin.php file rather than in a hook function:


define("IN_MYBB", 1);
define('THIS_SCRIPT', 'my_plugin.php');

require_once "./global.php";

// Only required because we're using misc_help for our page wrapper

// Add a breadcrumb
add_breadcrumb('My Page', "my_plugin.php");

$hello_world = 'This text will appear on the page';
eval('$sections  = "' . $templates->get('hello_world_template') . '";');

// Using the misc_help template for the page wrapper
eval("\$page = \"".$templates->get("misc_help")."\";");


You can access this by navigating to my_plugin.php, you can also run a switch statement on $mybb->get_input('action') to serve several actions from your custom page.

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