I am looking for the best way to insert arbitrary HTML content into a page before the closing body tag, similar to the way drupal_add_js() adds JavaScript to the bottom of a page.

I am coming from a Wordpress background, and in Wordpress this could be accomplished by using the wp_footer() hook.

I have looked into using hook_page_alter(), but I was wondering if this was the correct way to do this or if there is a better way of accomplishing this task.

  • 1
    Similar questions like this one pops up every now and then, and I always wonder why, is it necessary to "insert HTML just before the body tag". It seems to me like you're approaching whatever you are doing in the wrong way?
    – Letharion
    Jan 8, 2012 at 17:33
  • 1
    I can't speak for why others want to do it, but in my case I am adding Underscore JS templates to the page for blocks that require them. However, multiple blocks may utilize one template so I wanted to add all templates to the bottom of the page so that I could easily see if they had been loaded or not. For me it is basically an aesthetics / convenience thing.
    – drebabels
    Jan 12, 2012 at 15:16
  • Sorry if I'm being slow, but that doesn't make sense to me? With the cache/aggregation/etc benefits of #attached, that can be used on more than forms, I still don't understand the why.
    – Letharion
    Jan 12, 2012 at 15:33
  • I was not aware of the versatility of #attached, so thank you for introducing it to me. However in my case I am writing the contents of those template files to the page (not just linking to the files), so correct me if I am wrong but I don't think the cache/aggregation benefits of #attached matter in this case because the actual page caching will take care of it.
    – drebabels
    Jan 15, 2012 at 6:27

1 Answer 1


The equivalent of hook_footer() that was used in Drupal 6 is to implement hook_page_build(), and alter the content of $page['page_bottom'], using code similar to the following one:

function mymodule_page_build(&$page) {
  $page['page_bottom']['devel'] = array(
    '#weight' => 25, 
    '#markup' => '<div style="clear:both;">' . devel_query_table() . '</div>',

The content of $page['page_bottom'] is output from html.tpl.php, using the following code:

  <?php print $page_top; ?>
  <?php print $page; ?>
  <?php print $page_bottom; ?>

The value of $page_bottom is initialized from template_process_html() using the following code:

  // Render page_top and page_bottom into top level variables.
  $variables['page_top'] = drupal_render($variables['page']['page_top']);
  $variables['page_bottom'] = drupal_render($variables['page']['page_bottom']);
  // Place the rendered HTML for the page body into a top level variable.
  $variables['page'] = $variables['page']['#children'];
  $variables['page_bottom'] .= drupal_get_js('footer');

The difference between hook_page_alter() and hook_page_build() is that hook_page_alter() is executed after hook_page_build() and should be used to alter, or remove content added by another module, while hook_page_build() should be used to add new content to the page.

  • Thank you for going above and beyond with this answer. This is very helpful.
    – drebabels
    Jan 12, 2012 at 15:18

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