Is it possible to include markup in the $text variable of theme_pager_next()? I find that whatever I set the variable to gets output as a string, rather than being rendered as HTML. Here's some example code as would be found in template.php:

    function theme_pager_next($variables){ 
      $text = '<span>test value</span>';

      /* Remainder of function call goes here ...*/

      return $output;

I would like be able to add an image to the pager text. I realize I could also use CSS background images, but would prefer to print markup to the page if at all possible.

Is there something I'm overlooking?

  • I think we'll need to see the remainder of the function.
    – jdu
    Aug 3, 2012 at 17:01

1 Answer 1


If the rest of the code is the same used in theme_pager_next(), then it is not possible to add HTML tags to $text.

This is because theme_pager_next(), and theme_pager_last() call theme_pager_link(). theme_pager_next()'s code is the following one.

if ($page_new[$element] == ($pager_total[$element] - 1)) {
  $output = theme('pager_last', array('text' => $text, 'element' => $element, 'parameters' => $parameters));
// The next page is not the last page.
else {
  $output = theme('pager_link', array('text' => $text, 'page_new' => $page_new, 'element' => $element, 'parameters' => $parameters));

theme_pager_link() then contains the following code.

$attributes['href'] = url($_GET['q'], array('query' => $query));
return '<a' . drupal_attributes($attributes) . '>' . check_plain($text) . '</a>';

As it calls check_plain(), if $text contains HTML tags, they are shown as plain text.

To achieve what you are trying to do, you should override theme_pager_link() with a theme function that doesn't call check_plain(). filter_xss() could be a better function to use in this case, but remember to pass in $allowed_tags the list of the tags you want to allow.

As side note, when you want to alter the content of the $variables array a theme function gets, in Drupal 7 you can use its preprocess functions. Every theme function has preprocess functions, and in your theme that is THEME_preprocess_pager_next(). (Replace THEME with the short name of your theme.)

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