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Useful template functions for Go templates.

Default Functions

Sprig provides tools for setting default values for templates.


To set a simple default value, use default:

default "foo" .Bar

In the above, if .Bar evaluates to a non-empty value, it will be used. But if it is empty, foo will be returned instead.

The definition of “empty” depends on type:

For structs, there is no definition of empty, so a struct will never return the default.


The empty function returns true if the given value is considered empty, and false otherwise. The empty values are listed in the default section.

empty .Foo

Note that in Go template conditionals, emptiness is calculated for you. Thus, you rarely need if empty .Foo. Instead, just use if .Foo.


The coalesce function takes a list of values and returns the first non-empty one.

coalesce 0 1 2

The above returns 1.

This function is useful for scanning through multiple variables or values:

coalesce .name "Matt"

The above will first check to see if .name is empty. If it is not, it will return that value. If it is empty, coalesce will evaluate for emptiness. Finally, if both .name and are empty, it will return Matt.


The toJson function encodes an item into a JSON string.

toJson .Item

The above returns JSON string representation of .Item.


The toPrettyJson function encodes an item into a pretty (indented) JSON string.

toPrettyJson .Item

The above returns indented JSON string representation of .Item.


The ternary function takes two values, and a test value. If the test value is true, the first value will be returned. If the test value is empty, the second value will be returned. This is similar to the c ternary operator.

true test value

ternary "foo" "bar" true


true | ternary "foo" "bar"

The above returns "foo".

false test value

ternary "foo" "bar" false


false | ternary "foo" "bar"

The above returns "bar".