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Templating - v3

Table of contents

Available layouts

By default, the search results Web Part comes with multiples layouts. All layouts rely on Handlebars templates.

All layouts

The templating feature comes directly from the original react-content-query-webpart so thanks to @spplante!

Some provided templates embed web components (via custom HTML elements) wrapping Office UI Fabric React controls (ex: DetailsList, DocumentCard). For those, you can only customize them using the provided template options and placeholders and it means you don't have access to their underlying HTML markup.

Simple List

Displays the search results as a simple list with previews:

Simple list

Details List

Displays the search results inside a tabular view using the associated Office UI Fabric DetailsList control:

Details list

Template options

Option Description
Manage columns Allows you to build you own table view by adding or removing columns dynamically. For each column, you get the following options:
Details list columns
  • Column name: the column name to display.
  • Minimum width in px: the minimum width of the column.
  • Maximum width in px: the maximum width of the column.
  • Sortable: allows you to sort column values alphabetically when the column header is clicked (ascending or descending).
  • Resizable: allows you to resize the column dynamically in display mode.
  • Multiline: if the column column should be multiline. By default only ellipsis (...) will be display for larger text.
  • Link to item: if enabled, wrap the column value with an URL link pointing to the search result item (i.e. Path). This option is especially suitable for the 'Title' column.
  • Column value: you can choose here either a managed property value (from the list or as free text) without any transformation or use an Handlebars expression by clicking on the checkbox next to it. In this case, all helpers from the main template are available and you can also add you own HTML markup in the column value. For HTML fields you can use the special variable @themeVariant to use theme colors (ex: @themeVariant.palette.themePrimary)
    Handlebars Expression

    Handlebars Expression 2
Show file icon Hide or display the file icon in the first column.
Compact mode Display the details list in compact mode.

Document Card

Displays search results as cards view using the associated Office UI Fabric DocumentCard control:

Document Card

Note: you can still manage the number of cards displayed by row by changing the grid CSS classes directly in the template:

{{#each items as |item|}}
  <div class="ms-Grid-col ms-sm12 ms-md6 ms-lg4"> <!-- 3 cards by row here for large screen resolution -->

Template options

Option Description
Manage card fields Allows you to define you own values for card placeholder fields. By default, the document card fields come with predefined mappings but you can set your own.
Manage Fields As a field value, you can choose either a managed property value (from the list or as free text) and without any transformation or use an Handlebars expression by clicking on the checkbox next to it. In this case, all helpers from the main template are available. Also, if the field doesn't have the 'Allow HTML' indication flag enabled, it means the value will be always interpreted as text, whatever if you set an HTML value. Otherwise, your value will be interpreted as HTML for those fields (ex: 'Location' and 'Tags' placeholder fields).

In order to use the property IconSrc, ensure you do not specify a property for File Extension to not override the custom IconSrc. A custom icon should be a 16x16 pixel image.

For HTML fields you can use the special variable @themeVariant to use theme colors (ex: @themeVariant.palette.themePrimary). If you don't set a value for those fields (i.e an empty value), they won't appear in the UI:
HTML Fields

| Enable result preview | If enabled, displays a preview callout when the document card image is clicked. | Show file icon | Hide or display the file icon in the card. | Compact mode | Display the cards in compact mode.


Displays search results as a carousel using the Flickity library (the same used in the PnP Starter Intranet solution).


Customize slide content

By default, documents card are displayed in the slider but you can add your own HTML markup for each slide inside the {{#>slider}} Handlebars partial:

{{#>slider items=(JSONstringify @root.items 2) options=(JSONstringify @root.sliderOptions)}}
    <!-- Slide content goes here -->
    <div class="slide">
        <!-- Your HTML markup -->
Item properties and all Handlebars helpers are available inside the partial block (Ex: {{Title}}). However, to use them you must escape every Handlebars expression with the '\' character (ex: {{Title}} becomes \{{Title}}).

This is because we don't want these expressions to be interpreted by the global Handlebars context. Actually, we use an internal compilation process with the item context so we need the raw expression to output the item properties and helpers correctly. For instance if you want an image carousel only, your HTML markup would be:

{{#>slider items=(JSONstringify @root.items 2) options=(JSONstringify @root.sliderOptions)}}
    <img src="\{{getPreviewSrc item}}"/>              

Or only person cards:

{{#>slider items=(JSONstringify @root.items 2) options=(JSONstringify @root.sliderOptions)}}
    <div class="slide">
      \{{#with (split AccountName '|')}}
                data-text="\{{../FirstName}} \{{../LastName}}"

In the case of images, the slider is smart enough to adjsut the height automatically so you don't need to specify explicit values. However, you can set an arbitrary size for the slides updating the CSS slide class.

Template options

Option Description
Auto play If enabled, slides move automatically every X seconds.
Auto play duration Move elements every X seconds.
Pause on hover If enabled, pause the slider on mouse hover.
Number of elements to group together in slides Groups cells together in slides.
Show page dots Enable or disable slider navigation. You can adjust the dots position by updating the .flickity-page-dots CSS class.
Infinite scrolling Enable or disable infinite scrolling on the carousel.

Debug View

Displays search result items and global Handlebars context in a debug view (read only):

Debug Layout

People View

Displays people:

People Layout

Template options

Option Description
Manage persona fields Allows you to define you own values for card placeholder fields. Like the document card, by default, the persona card fields come with predefined mappings but you can set your own.
Picture size The size of the person picture to isplay. The more the size is and the more information will be displayed for each item and vice versa.
Disable info on hover Disable the hover behavior for people info panel. (for future use)

Customize templates with Handlebars

If provided layouts don't meet your requirements, you can modifiy them or start from scratch using Handlebars and the following helpers/features:

Edit Template

Accessing items

To iterate the regular result set use:

{{#each items as |item|}}

To iterate promoted results use:

{{#each promotedResults as |promotedResult|}}

To iterate result block results use:

{{#each secondaryResults as |secondaryResult|}}


You can write your own CSS styles inside templates. However, all CSS rules (including @media rules) will be prefixed automatically by an unique ID according to the follwoing pattern (pnp-modern-search-template_\<Web Part instance ID>) to make sure styles are isolated from other Web Parts on the page.

Sanitized HTML

The HTML is sanitized automatically preventing XSS attacks using DOMPurify. It means for instance, you cannot add your own <script> tags or inline JavaScript.

Handlebars helpers

The following custom helpers are available in addition to the handlebars-helpers:

Setting Description
{{showResultsCount}} Boolean flag corresponding to the associated in the property pane.
{{totalRows}} The result count.
{{maxResultsCount}} The number of results configured to retrieve in the web part.
{{actualResultsCount}} The actual number of results retrived.
{{keywords}} The search query.
{{getSummary HitHighlightedSummary}} Format the HitHighlightedSummary property with recognized words in bold.
{{getDate <date_managed_property> "<format>" <time handling> <isZ>}} Format the date with Moment.js according to the current language. Date in the managed property should be on the form 2018-09-10T06:29:25.0000000Z for the function to work.

<time handling> is optional and takes

  • 0 = format to browsers time zone (default)
  • 1 = ignore Z time and handle as browsers local time zone
  • 2 = strip time and set to 00:00:00 in browsers local time zone
  • 3 = display in the time zone for the current web
  • 4 = display in the time zone from the uers profile

<isZ> (true/false) is optional and will append Z to the date if missing when set to true.

{{getPreviewSrc item}} Determine the image thumbnail URL if applicable. Include NormSiteID, NormListID and NormUniqueID as managed properties to ensure previews for Pages and Files.
{{getUrl item <forceDirectLink>}} Get the item URL. For a document, it means the URL to the Office Online instance or the direct URL (to download it).

<forceDirectLink> (true/false) is optional with a default value of false. Set to true to avoid smart logic to create the open URL.

{{getUrlField managed_propertyOWSURLH "URL/Title"}} Return the URL or Title part of a URL field managed property.
{{getCountMessage totalRows <?keywords>}} Display a friendly message displaying the result and the entered keywords.
{{<search_managed_property_name>}} Any valid search managed property returned in the results set. These are typically managed properties set in the "Selected properties" setting in the property pane. You don't need to prefix them with item. if you are in the "each" loop.
{{webUrl}} The current web relative url. Use {{@root/webUrl}} inside a loop.
{{siteUrl}} The current site relative url. Use {{@root/siteUrl}} inside a loop.
{{spellingSuggestion}} Spelling suggestions returned for the query to be used for "Did you mean" functionality.
{{getUniqueCount items "property"}} Get the unique count of a property over the result set (or another array)
{{getUniqueCount array}} Get the unique count of objects in an array. Example: [1,1,1,2,2,4] would return 3.
{{getUnique items "NewsCategory"}} Return the unique values as a new array based on an array or property of an object in the array.
{{regex <exp> <string> }} Match a regular expression against a string.
{{#times 10}}<span>{{this}}</span>{{/times}} Iterate X times over a block
{{#group items by="owstaxidmetadataalltagsinfo"}} Group items by a specific results property. See for usage.
{{#getAttachments LinkOfficeChild}} <a href="{{url}}">{{fileName}}</href> {{/getAttachments}} Get Attachments is Handlebars block helper intended to be used with the context variables it provides like this (url and filename) in the example.The helper is intended to be used only with the LinkOfficeChild managed property wich is the default managed property for list attachments.
{{getPageContext "property"}} Retrieve SPFx page context data to show in the template. See for possible values. Example {{getPageContext "user.displayName"}} {{getPageContext "cultureInfo.currentUICultureName"}}.
Note: Casing matches the object model.
{{coalesce ManagedProperty1 ManagedProperty2 "Fallback value"}} Returns the first non-null value from the list of values presented. An alias of the handlebars-helpers {{default}} helper.

You can also define your own in the BaseTemplateService.ts file. See helper-moment for date samples using moment.


The web part has a couple of helper web-components to ease rendering, used by the default templates. You may also use these in your custom templates. Pick one of the default templates, then click on customize to see how they are used. It's important to prefix these web-components with pnp-.

  • document-card
  • document-card-shimmers
  • details-list
  • video-card
  • debug-view
  • slider-component
  • persona-card
  • persona-card-shimmers
  • fabric-icon - You only need to set one property, which are evaluated in order if multiple ones are set. The data-error-image, used to set a fallback image on error, is used only when the data-image-url fails to load, it will not load a fallback for data-icon-name usage.

    data-image-url='[url to icon - pri 1]'
    data-file-extension='[file extension - pri 2]'
    data-icon-name='[office ui fabric icon name - pri 3]'
    data-size='16 | 20 | 32 (default) | 40 | 48 | 64 | 96'
    data-error-image='[url to image]'
- accordion - provides the ability to collaspe content in search result in an accordion fashion

    data-accordion-header-text="Accordion Example" 
    data-theme="Default (default) | Neutral" 
    data-size="# | 12 (default)" 
    data-start-open="true | false (default)" 
    data-rounded-corners="true | false (default)">
    <h4>Title: {{Title}}</h4>


Accordion Example

  • popup - provides the ability to popup content in a modal window within the search result
    <template id="popupclick">
        <span>Popup Example - Click Me</span>
    <template id="popupheader">
        <span>Title: {{Title}}</span><br /><span>Header HTML here</span>
    <template id="popupbody">
        <span>Title: {{Title}}</span><br /><span>Body HTML here</span>


Popup Example Popup Modal Example

  • lookup-list-expander - Ever needed to get additional data from a list or library in search? This provides that ability based on a lookup column of the result item.

    In the example below, a related documents lookup column was added to the document library. This lookup column was a lookup back to the same document library so the admin could pick additional related documents for the documents.

    Remember for the inner template to be executed inside of the component the handlebar expressions must be escaped with '\' character (ex: {{Title}} becomes \{{Title}}).

        <pnp-fabric-icon data-file-extension="\{{FileExtension}}"></pnp-fabric-icon>
        <span><a href="\{{FileRef}}?web=1">\{{{Title}}}</a></span>
            <a href="\{{FileRef}}">
                <pnp-fabric-icon data-icon-name="Download" data-size="16"></pnp-fabric-icon>

The above example would display inside of the accordion like: LookupListExtender Example

Use result types

Use the result types features form the property pane options to split your templates according to results characteristics instead of making a huge central template with multiple conditions. They can be defined in 'inline' mode or using an external file. You can also use the sorting option to determine to order of evaluation for each condition.

Result Types

The following operators are supported: - Equals - Not equals - Contains - StartsWith - Greater Or Equal - Less Or Equal - Less than - Greater than - Is not null

To use it in your main template, just follow this pattern. This block is not mandatory.

{{#> resultTypes}}
  {{!-- The block below will be used as default item template if no result types matched --}}
  <div class="template_result">
      <!-- Your default template markup -->

Handlebars partials are used behind the scenes and conditions are built dynamically using a recursive if/else structure.

Elements previews

Previews are available by default for the simple list layout, for Office documents and Office 365 videos (not Microsoft Stream). The embed URL is directly taken from the ServerRedirectedEmbedURL managed property retrieved from the search results.

Result Preview

The WebPart must have the following selected properties in the configuration to get the preview feature work (they are set by default): - ServerRedirectedPreviewURL - ServerRedirectedURL - contentclass - ServerRedirectedEmbedURL - DefaultEncodingURL

This preview is displayed as an iframe or a video tag when the user clicks on the corresponding preview image or compliant HTML elements. To enable the callout preview in your templates, your HTML elements must have the document-preview-item or video-preview-item CSS class and provide the following attributes:

  • data-src: the URL of the preview image.
  • data-url: the URL of the iframe source or the video.
  • data-fileext: the file extension for the video (for video only).

Preview on documents

<img class="document-preview-item" data-src="{{ServerRedirectedPreviewURL}}" data-url="{{Path}}"/>

Preview on videos

<img class="video-preview-item" src="{{PictureThumbnailURL}}" data-src="{{PictureThumbnailURL}}" data-url="{{DefaultEncodingURL}}" data-fileext="{{FileType}}"/>

Custom placeholders (i.e. shimmers)

You can define your own placeholders according your template markup. They will be loaded automatically before the results are loaded.


To do this, insert your HTML markup as follow in your template content:

<content id="placeholder">
        /* Insert your CSS overrides here */

    <div class="placeholder_root">
      <!-- Your placeholder content -->


Notice your template content must be enclosed in a <content id="template"> tag if you define placeholders.

Work with SharePoint theme

A themeVariant variable is available in the root Handlebars context. It contains all current theme information that can use in your CSS classes or inline styles. Example:

    .example-themePrimary a {
        color: {{@root.themeVariant.palette.themePrimary}};

To see all available values, you can inspect the themeVariant objetc using the 'Debug View' layout. Notice the values are udpated dynamically every time you udpate the theme through the UI.

Custom code renderers

You may also define your own renderers, which most often should be SPFx application customizers. These should use the resultservice to register themselves as renderers, and will upon registration be available as a rendering choice in the "Result Layouts" Section.

More information about custom code renderers may be found in a separate project search-custom-renderer, which showcases such a renderer.