I use many template files in my modules via hook theme. In order to pass variable to JS files I use the method described here: https://www.drupal.org/node/304258 in the .tpl.php files:

$my_settings = array(
  'basePath' => $base_path,
  'animationEffect' => variable_get('effect', 'none')

drupal_add_js(array('myModule' => $my_settings), 'setting');

and then in the .js files:

var basePath = Drupal.settings.myModule.basePath;
var effect = Drupal.settings.myModule.animationEffect;

For the first time (it seems) I'm trying to pass variables to JS from .tpl files located in my theme folder. Suppose I have a content type called 'cars', I craete a page-cars.tpl.php template file in my theme folder which automatically applies to all car pages. But in these tpl files I can't pass variables to JS using the method described above. I tried switching 'myModule' to 'myTheme' but Drupal won't recognize it as a defined setting

As per Clive's instructions I added to the my_theme_preprocess_content_type(&$variables) function and it works! (thanks Clive)

  • Which part of the docs you read said you should put a call to drupal_add_js() in a template file? Or have you assumed? I only ask because if there are official docs telling you to use drupal_add_js() in a template file, they need to be changed ASAP. That code should be in a preprocess function, never a template file.
    – Clive
    Feb 5, 2015 at 13:48
  • Been doing it this way for years now Clive... Probably a bad habit I developed unintentionally.
    – Liam Arbel
    Feb 5, 2015 at 14:15
  • Bad indeed! It'll probably work in a lot of cases, but it breaks caching and can have unwanted effects (possibly like you're experiencing now). Try moving the logic to a preprocess function just to make sure that's not the problem
    – Clive
    Feb 5, 2015 at 14:43

1 Answer 1


Take a look at the variable_set function. If my memory is correct, I used this to move variables between PHP and java script.

  • I don't think thats right, this sets drupal variables like site_name in the variables table and doesn't necessarily expose them to JS.
    – bloke_zero
    Feb 6, 2015 at 9:57

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