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1. Overview

In this tutorial, we’ll show how to make use of Thymeleaf Fragments to reuse some common parts of a site. After setting up a very simple Spring MVC project, we’ll focus on views.

If you’re new to Thymeleaf, you can check other articles on this site like this introduction, as well as this one about the 3.0 version of the engine.

2. Maven Dependencies

We’ll need a couple of dependencies to enable Thymeleaf:

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< dependency >
     < groupId >org.thymeleaf groupId >
     < artifactId >thymeleaf artifactId >
     < version >3.0.9.RELEASE version >
dependency >
< dependency >
     < groupId >org.thymeleaf groupId >
     < artifactId >thymeleaf-spring5 artifactId >
     < version >3.0.9.RELEASE version >
dependency >

The latest version of thymeleaf and thymeleaf-spring5 can be found on Maven Central.

3. Spring Project

3.1. Spring MVC Configuration

To enable Thymeleaf and set the template suffix, we need to configure MVC with a view resolver and template resolver.

We’ll also set the directory for some static resources:

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@Bean
public ViewResolver htmlViewResolver() {
     ThymeleafViewResolver resolver = new ThymeleafViewResolver();
     resolver.setTemplateEngine(templateEngine(htmlTemplateResolver()));
     resolver.setContentType( "text/html" );
     resolver.setCharacterEncoding( "UTF-8" );
     resolver.setViewNames(ArrayUtil.array( "*.html" ));
     return resolver;
 
private ITemplateResolver htmlTemplateResolver() {
     SpringResourceTemplateResolver resolver
       = new SpringResourceTemplateResolver();
     resolver.setApplicationContext(applicationContext);
     resolver.setPrefix( "/WEB-INF/views/"Mens Fusion MSA0000250 Hurley Sandal Khaki 5wUSanqx6 Max Dark Shoe 90 Nike Black Essential Pr Ultra Air Platinum Women's Running Grey Black );
     resolver.setCacheable( false );
     resolver.setTemplateMode(TemplateMode.HTML);
     return resolver;
}
 
@Override
public void addResourceHandlers(ResourceHandlerRegistry registry) {
Nike Air Pr Running Grey Max Black Ultra Platinum Dark Essential Women's Shoe 90 Black      registry.addResourceHandler( "/resources/**" , "/css/**" )
       .addResourceLocations( "/WEB-INF/resources/" , "/WEB-INF/css/" );
}

Note that if we’re using Spring Boot, this configuration may not be necessary unless we need to apply our own customizations.

3.2. The Controller

In this case, the controller is just a vehicle for the views. Each view shows a different fragment use scenario.

The last one loads some data that is passed through the model to be displayed on the view:

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@Controller
public class FragmentsController {
 
     @GetMapping ( "/fragments" )
     public String getHome() {
         return "fragments.html" ;
     }
 
     @GetMapping ( "/markup" )
     public String markupPage() {
         return "markup.html" ;
     }
 
     @GetMapping ( "/params" )
     public String paramsPage() {
         return "params.html" ;
     }
 
     @GetMapping ( "/other" )
     public String otherPage(Model model) {
         model.addAttribute( "data" , StudentUtils.buildStudents());
         return "other.html" ;
     }
}

Note that the view names must contain the “.html” suffix because of the way we configured our resolver. We’ll also specify the suffix when we refer to fragment names.

4. The Views

4.1. Simple Fragment Inclusion

First of all, we’ll use reuse common parts in our pages.

We can define these parts as fragments, either in isolated files or in a common page. In this project, these reusable parts are defined in a folder named fragments.

There are three basic ways to include content from a fragment:

  • insert – inserts content inside the tag
  • replace – replaces the current tag with the tag defining the fragment
  • include – this is deprecated but it may still appear in a legacy code

The next example, fragments.html, shows the use of all three ways. This Thymeleaf template adds fragments in the head and the body of the document:

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< html xmlns:th = "http://www.thymeleaf.org" >
< head >
< title >Thymeleaf Fragments: home title >
head >
< body >
     < header th:insert = "fragments/general.html :: header" > header >
     < p >Go to the next page to see fragments in action p >
     < div th:replace = "fragments/general.html :: footer" > div >
body >
html >

Now, let’s take a look at a page that holds some fragments. It’s called general.html, and it’s like a whole page with some parts defined as fragments ready to be used:

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< html xmlns:th = "http://www.thymeleaf.org" >
< head th:fragment = "headerfiles" >
< meta charset = "UTF-8" />
< link th:href = "@{/css/styles.css}" rel = "stylesheet" >
head >
< body >
     < div th:fragment = "header" >
         < h1 >Thymeleaf Fragments sample h1 >
     div >
     < p >Go to the next page to see fragments in action p >
     < aside >
         < div >This is a sidebar div >
     aside >
     < div class = "another" >This is another sidebar div >
     < footer th:fragment = "footer" >
         < a th:href = "@{/fragments}" >Fragments Index a > |
         < a th:href = Platinum Black Max Dark Pr Ultra Black Essential Women's Nike Shoe Air Running Grey 90 "@{/markup}" >Markup inclussion a > |
         < a th:href = "@{/params}" >Fragment params a > |
         < a th:href = "@{/other}" >Other a >
     footer >
body >
html >

The section contains just a stylesheet, but we could apply other tools such as Bootstrap, jQuery, or Foundation, either directly or using Webjars.

Note that all the reusable tags of this template have the attribute th:fragment, but next we’ll see how to include any other part of the page.

After the rendering and fragments inclusion, the returned content is:

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< html >
< head >
< title >Thymeleaf Fragments: home title >
< meta charset = "UTF-8" />
< link href = "/spring-thymeleaf/css/styles.css" rel = "stylesheet" >
head >
< body >
     < header >
         < Pr Black 90 Dark Nike Ultra Shoe Running Black Platinum Women's Max Air Essential Grey div >
             < h1 >Thymeleaf Fragments sample h1 >
         div >
     header >
     < p >Go to the next page to see fragments in action p >
     < footer >
         < a href = "/spring-thymeleaf/fragments" >Fragments Index a > |
         < a href = "/spring-thymeleaf/markup" >Markup inclussion a > |
         < a href = "/spring-thymeleaf/params" >Fragment params a > |
         < a href = "/spring-thymeleaf/other" >Other a >
     footer >
body >
html >

4.2. Markup Selectors for Fragments

One of the great things about Thymeleaf Fragments is that we can also grab any part of a template just using the simple selectors, through classes, ids, or simply by tags.

This page, for example, includes some components from general.html file: an aside block and the div.another block:

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< body Pr Essential Women's Dark Black Ultra Air Grey Max Black Nike Shoe Running 90 Platinum >
     < header th:insert = "fragments/general.html :: header" > header >
     < div th:replace = "fragments/general.html :: aside" > div >
     < div th:replace = "fragments/general.html :: div.another" > div >
     < div th:replace = "fragments/general.html :: footer" > div >
body >

4.3. Parametrized Fragments

We can pass parameters to a fragment in order to change some specific part of it. To do that, the fragment must be defined as a function call, where we must declare a list of parameters.

In this example, we define a fragment for a generic form field:

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< div th:fragment = "formField (field, value, size)" >
     < div >
         < label th:for = "${#strings.toLowerCase(field)}" > < span
             th:text = "${field}" >Field span >
         label >
     div >
     < div >
         < input type = "text" th:id = "${#strings.toLowerCase(field)}"
             th:name = "${#strings.toLowerCase(field)}" th:value = "${value}"
             th:size = "${size}" >
     div >
div >

And here’s a simple use of that fragment where we pass parameters to it:

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< body >
     < header th:insert = "fragments/general.html :: header" > header >
     < div th:replace="fragments/forms.html
       :: formField( field = 'Name' , value = 'John Doe' , size = '40' )">
     div >
     < div th:replace = "fragments/general.html :: footer" > div >
body >

And this is how the returned field will look:

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< div >
     < div >
         < label for = "name" > < span >Name span >
         label >
     div >
     < div >
         < input type = "text" id = "name"
         name = "name" value = "John Doe"
         size = "40" >
     div >
div >

4.4. Fragment Inclusion Expressions

Thymeleaf fragments offer other interesting options such as support for conditional expressions to determine whether to include a fragment.

Using the Elvis operator with any of the expressions provided by Thymeleaf (security, strings, and collections for example), we’re able to load different fragments.

For example, we can define this fragment with some content that we’ll show depending on a given condition. This could be a file containing different kinds of blocks:

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< div th:fragment = "dataPresent" >Data received div >
< div th:fragment = "noData" >No data div >

And this is how we could load them with an expression:

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< div
     th:replace="${#lists.size(data) > 0} ?
         ~{fragments/menus.html :: dataPresent} :
         ~{fragments/menus.html :: noData}">
div >

To learn more about Thymeleaf Expressions, check our article here.

4.5. Flexible Layouts

The next example also shows two other interesting uses of fragments to render a table with data. This is the reusable table fragment, with two important parts: a table header that can be changed, and the body where data is rendered:

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Air Essential Black Dark Nike Running Ultra Max Pr Grey Women's 90 Shoe Black Platinum 5
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< table >
     < thead th:fragment = "fields(theadFields)" >
         < tr th:replace = "${theadFields}" >
         tr >
     thead >
     < tbody th:fragment = "tableBody(tableData)" >
         < tr th:each = "row: ${tableData}" >
             < td th:textShoes Lace 00820 grey Up Legero 92 8 METALL METALL Women 5tTCxq = "${row.id}" >0 td >
             < td th:text = "${row.name}" >Name td >
         tr >
     tbody >
     < tfoot >
     tfoot >
table >

When we want to use this table, we can pass our own table header using the fields function. The header is referenced with the class myFieldswoman sneakers platino GIARDINI 505 low NERO P805230D Savana shoes nxzFES. The table body is loaded by passing data as a parameter to the tableBody function:

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< body >
     < header th:replace = "fragments/general.html :: header" > header >
     < table >
         < thead th:replace="fragments/tables.html
               :: fields(~{ :: .myFields})">
             < tr Air 90 Black Dark Pr Running Shoe Nike Grey Women's Essential Max Ultra Black Platinum class = "myFields" >
 
                 < th >Id th >
                 < th >Name th >
             tr >
         thead >
         < div th:replace="fragments/tables.html
           :: tableBody(tableData=${data})">
         div >
     table >
     < div th:replace = "fragments/general.html :: footer" > div >
body >

And this is how the final page will look:

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< body >
     < div >
         < h1 >Thymeleaf Fragments sample h1 >
     div >
     < div >Data received div >
     < table >
             < tr class = "myFields" >
 
                 < th >Id th >
                 < th >Name th >
             tr >
         thead >
         < tbody >
             < tr >
                 < td >1001 td >
                 < td >John Smith td >
             tr >
             < tr >
                 < td >Jane Williams td >
             tr >
         tbody >
     table Ultra Black Platinum Nike Shoe Grey Dark Women's Running 90 Max Essential Black Air Pr >
     < footer >
         Dark Essential Ultra Max Women's Running Nike Pr Grey Air Shoe Black Black Platinum 90 < a Pr Air Black Essential Grey Max Platinum 90 Dark Nike Black Ultra Women's Shoe Running href = "/spring-thymeleaf/fragments" >Fragments Index a > |
         < a href = "/spring-thymeleaf/markup" >Markup inclussion a > |
         < a href = "/spring-thymeleaf/params" >Fragment params a > |
         < a href = "/spring-thymeleaf/other" >Other a >
     footer >
body >

5. Conclusion

In this article, we’ve shown how to reuse view components through the use of Thymeleaf Fragments, a powerful tool that can make template management easier.

We have also presented some other interesting features that go beyond the basics. We should take these into account when choosing Thymeleaf as our view rendering engine.

If you want to learn about other Thymeleaf features, you should definitely take a look at our article about Layout Dialects.

As always, the complete implementation code of the example is available over on GitHub.

The Price of all “REST with Spring” course packages is increasing by $50 on Friday:

>> GET ACCESS NOW

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The price of REST with Spring goes up on Friday