Making Sense of the *title Breadcrumb Template Tags

Currently, there are several, closely related template tags that each exhibit slightly different behaviors. These are: %title%, %htitle%, %ftitle%, and %fhtitle%. As their names suggest, they will be replaced with the resource’s title. However, how this title is processed differs between the tags.

Note that the “Max Title Length” setting is deprecated. Hence, both %ftitle% and %fhtitle% are deprecated and not recommended for use. They are included in this discussion for the sake of completeness.

Below is a table outlining the behavior of these tags for the same title with the max length set to ~10 characters and with the max length setting disabled.

Template Tag Max Title Length1 Title Result
%title% 10 Hello <em>World</em> Leaders Hello <em…
%htitle% 10 Hello <em>World</em> Leaders Hello <em…
%ftitle% 10 Hello <em>World</em> Leaders Hello World Leaders
%fhtitle% 10 Hello <em>World</em> Leaders Hello <em>World</em> Leaders
%title% Disabled Hello <em>World</em> Leaders Hello World Leaders
%htitle% Disabled Hello <em>World</em> Leaders Hello <em>World</em> Leaders

%title% and %htitle%

Notice that the resulting strings for the standard %title% tag and the %ftitle% tag do not contain HTML tags. Thus, they are safe for use within HTML tag attributes (e.g. the title attribute). To maintain HTML tags present in the resource’s title, use the %htitle% tag.

%ftitle% and %fhtitle%

Note that the Max Title Length setting does not affect the resulting string for the %ftitle% and %fhtitle% template tags. In fact, by design, they are the same as %title% and %htitle% when “Max Title Length” is disabled. However, note that since the Max Title Length setting is deprecated, these template tags are as well.

Lastly, note that when using the Max Title Length setting, HTML tags may be left open or even incomplete. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that CSS is used to trim the breadcrumb title length rather than the deprecated Max Title Length setting. An additional benefit to using CSS is it does not mess with the actual content of the breadcrumb trail, allowing search engines to pick up on the full titles rather than the trimmed ones.

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]


  1. Note that use of the Max title Length setting has been deprecated in favor of using CSS to trim Breadcrumb titles lengths.

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