I use Twig and Twig Tweak to do most of the processing. However, from time to time I need to rely on Preprocess functions to get the desired result.

This led me to a situation where now most of my variables are created in a Preprocess function before handing them over to Twig (this keeps my templates clean, simple and most of all easy to read). I also don't like my code being scattered between Templates and Theme functions.

But regarding Drupal Documentation, this method seems discouraged.

function mytheme_preprocess_node(&$variable) {
 if ($variable['node']->getType() === 'my_content_type_machine_name') {
 $variable['my_title'] = $variable['node']->field_my_title->value;

You may now use the more concise {{ my_title }} in your twig file to refer to {{ node->field_my_title->value }}.

However, while this might be possible, it is discouraged to create new variables in this manner. Using {{ node.field_my_title.value }} is fairly reasonable to type and avoids any potential issues and should be preferred.

So basically my question is: Are there any simple rules to follow regarding Twig versus Preprocess functions for additional logic?

  • 2
    I'm with you. But it's an opinion-based thing. How ugly does that look when you have {{ file_url(content.field_custom_image[0]['#media'].field_media_image.entity.uri.value) }} with maybe a couple of ifs and else around it when you could simple preprocess it and have {{ my_file_url }} instead? In my opinion templates should be kept clean and logic should be kept out of them. Heavy templating involves the danger of invalidating the UI. I find it important that the UI is kept intact and instead use custom field formatters, view modes and pseudo/extra fields which can be set in the backend.
    – leymannx
    Feb 9, 2021 at 17:02
  • 2
    @leymannx, this is indeed a bad example, because this is referencing a render array and not an object like in the linked documentation.
    – 4uk4
    Feb 9, 2021 at 17:07
  • 2
    I agree and don't like code scattered between preprocess and templates - you're always going to have to make a judgement call for what's right in a situation. You can always help mitigate any confusion about where a variable is created by clearly documenting it in your twig template, e.g. my_special_var: Special var, see my_module_preprocess() - you see this in core's twig templates.
    – sonfd
    Feb 9, 2021 at 18:25

1 Answer 1


Best practice is documented in the node template. These are the two most important variables:

* Available variables:
 * - node: The node entity with limited access to object properties and methods.
 *   Only method names starting with "get", "has", or "is" and a few common
 *   methods such as "id", "label", and "bundle" are available. For example:
 *   - node.getCreatedTime() will return the node creation timestamp.
 *   - node.hasField('field_example') returns TRUE if the node bundle includes
 *     field_example. (This does not indicate the presence of a value in this
 *     field.)
 *   - node.isPublished() will return whether the node is published or not.
 *   Calling other methods, such as node.delete(), will result in an exception.
 *   See \Drupal\node\Entity\Node for a full list of public properties and
 *   methods for the node object.
 * - label: (optional) The title of the node.
 * - content: All node items. Use {{ content }} to print them all,
 *   or print a subset such as {{ content.field_example }}. Use
 *   {{ content|without('field_example') }} to temporarily suppress the printing
 *   of a given child element.

It clearly states that you should print the render array {{ content }} and use the object {{ node }} with its properties and methods to get the node data you need.

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