There is a Drupal 8 RenderElement called HtmlTag, which controls how HtmlTags are rendered. I would like to override this so that I can change its default behaviour.

I could write a class that extends HtmlTag and override what I need, but then how would Drupal core and the theme system know to use my new class?

Alternatively, maybe I should be using hook_theme_registry_alter() to tell Drupal 8 to use my new class?

I'm not really sure of the best way of achieving this and there don't seem to be any examples of this being done.

  • Why are you trying to override the HTML_tag element?
    – Eyal
    Apr 7, 2016 at 16:57
  • Might be to override the default void elements @Eyal
    – Clive
    Apr 7, 2016 at 17:34
  • To convert all script tags to just plain paths for use in a JSON array. This is for use in a javascript based script loader.
    – Lomax
    Apr 8, 2016 at 9:54

2 Answers 2


Using hook_element_info_alter() would be one option, not sure it's the best.

The existing class sets 2 pre render callbacks, which you can override in your own class:

function MYMODULE_element_info_alter(array &$types) {
  $types['html_tag']['#pre_render'] = [
    [\Drupal\mymodule\HtmlTag::class, 'preRenderConditionalComments'],
    [\Drupal\mymodule\HtmlTag::class, 'preRenderHtmlTag'],


namespace Drupal\mymodule;

use Drupal\Core\Render\Element\HtmlTag as CoreHtmlTag;

class HtmlTag extends CoreHtmlTag {

  public function preRenderHtmlTag($element) {
    // ...

  public function preRenderConditionalComments($element) {
    // ...

  • This is interesting. Will this lead to issues if multiple contrib modules do this?
    – Kevin
    Apr 7, 2016 at 17:45
  • There will be a race @Kevin, yep - but no more so than hooks in previous versions. It's predictable too, and we still have good 'ol hook_module_implements_alter to force an order on the hook implementations if that does happen
    – Clive
    Apr 7, 2016 at 18:57
  • I should add this doesn't feel right for other reasons @Kevin - there's a distinct possibility of violating DRY if the OP wants to, for example, just override the static $voidElements var - because the parent class uses self rather than static to reference it, the whole of preRenderHtmlTag would need to be copy-pasted across
    – Clive
    Apr 7, 2016 at 19:03
  • @Clive, is it possible to overwrite the content of $voidElements, because it is only protected not private and then call $element = parent::preRenderHtmlTag($element);?
    – 4uk4
    Apr 8, 2016 at 6:27
  • Unfortunately not @4k4 - if the parent class was referring to it with the static keyword it would work, but with it using self::$voidElements it'll always refer to the variable in core's HtmlTag, not the extending class
    – Clive
    Apr 8, 2016 at 8:33

If hook_element_info_alter() doesn't go far enough for you, there's a core issue to add a hook_element_plugin_alter() to directly alter the plugin class for an Element (of which RenderElements are a subset): https://www.drupal.org/project/drupal/issues/2987208

The core patch is a one-line addition of $this->alterInfo('element_plugin'); in ElementInfoManager, which specifies this new alter hook.

Then in your custom module:

function hook_element_plugin_alter(array &$definitions) {
 // Use a custom class for the HtmlTag element.
 $definitions['html_tag']['class'] = '\Drupal\mymodule\RenderElement\MyHtmlTagElement';

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