View Helpers

In your view scripts, you'll perform certain complex functions over and over: e.g., formatting a date, generating form elements, or displaying action links. You can use helper, or plugin, classes to perform these behaviors for you.

A helper is a class that implements Zend\View\Helper\HelperInterface, which defines two methods, setView(), which accepts a Zend\View\Renderer\RendererInterface instance/implementation, and getView(), used to retrieve that instance. Zend\View\Renderer\PhpRenderer composes a plugin manager, allowing you to retrieve helpers, and also provides some method overloading capabilities that allow proxying method calls to helpers.

Callable helpers

Starting in version 2.7.0, if your helper does not need access to the view, you can also use any PHP callable as a helper, including arbitrary objects that implement __invoke().

As an example, let's say we have a helper class named MyModule\View\Helper\LowerCase, which we register in our plugin manager with the name lowercase. We can retrieve it in one of the following ways:

// $view is a PhpRenderer instance

// Via the plugin manager:
$pluginManager = $view->getHelperPluginManager();
$helper        = $pluginManager->get('lowercase');

// Retrieve the helper instance, via the method "plugin",
// which proxies to the plugin manager:
$helper = $view->plugin('lowercase');

// If the helper does not define __invoke(), the following also retrieves it:
$helper = $view->lowercase();

// If the helper DOES define __invoke, you can call the helper
// as if it is a method:
$filtered = $view->lowercase('some value');

The last two examples demonstrate how the PhpRenderer uses method overloading to retrieve and/or invoke helpers directly, offering a convenience API for end users.

A large number of helpers are provided by default with zend-view. You can also register helpers by adding them to the plugin manager.

Included Helpers

Zend Framework comes with an initial set of helper classes. In particular, there are helpers for creating route-based URLs and HTML lists, as well as declaring variables. Additionally, there are a rich set of helpers for providing values for, and rendering, the various HTML <head> tags, such as HeadTitle, HeadLink, and HeadScript. The currently shipped helpers include:

Help document!

Not all helpers are documented! Some that could use documentation include the various escaper helpers, the layout helper, and the serverUrl helper. Click the "GitHub" octocat link in the top navbar to go to the repository and start writing documentation!

i18n helpers

View helpers related to Internationalization are documented in the I18n View Helpers documentation.

Form helpers

View helpers related to form are documented in the Form View Helpers documentation.

View helpers related to navigation are documented in the Navigation View Helpers documentation.

Pagination helpers

View helpers related to paginator are documented in the Paginator Usage documentation.

Custom helpers

For documentation on writing custom view helpers see the Advanced usage chapter.