JavaScript Template Literals. A Comprehensive Guide

by Pinta

2 min read

Template literals, introduced in ECMAScript 6 (ES6), offer a powerful way to work with strings in JavaScript. They allow for easy interpolation of variables, expressions, and even multiline strings. In this guide, we'll explore the syntax, features, and best practices of template literals through numerous examples.

Basic Usage of Template Literals

const greeting = `Hello, World!`;
console.log(greeting); // Outputs: Hello, World!


Template literals are enclosed in backticks (` `), unlike single or double quotes used for traditional strings.

Multiline Strings

Creating multiline strings is simplified with template literals.

const multiline = `This is a
// Outputs:
// This is a
// multiline
// string.

Interpolation and Expressions

Variable Interpolation

You can interpolate variables using ${} within template literals.

const name = "Alice";
const greeting = `Hello, ${name}!`;
console.log(greeting); // Outputs: Hello, Alice!

Expression Evaluation

Template literals allow you to evaluate expressions.

const x = 5;
const y = 10;
const result = `The sum of ${x} and ${y} is ${x + y}.`;
console.log(result); // Outputs: The sum of 5 and 10 is 15.

Tagged Template Literals

Tagged template literals involve using a function (a "tag") to process the template literal. This enables advanced string manipulation.

Custom Tag Functions

Create a custom tag function to modify the template literal's behavior.

function currency(strings, ...values) {
    const formatted =, index) => `${value.toFixed(2)} ${strings[index + 1]}`);
    return formatted.join("");

const price = 19.99;
const tax = 0.2;

const invoice = currency`Price: ${price} Tax: ${price * tax}`;
console.log(invoice); // Outputs: Price: 19.99 Tax: 4.00

Advanced Features

Raw Strings

The raw property of template literals allows access to the raw, unprocessed string content.

function rawString(strings, ...values) {
    console.log(strings); // Outputs: ["Line 1\nLine 2"]
    console.log(values); // Outputs: undefined
    console.log(strings.raw); // Outputs: ["Line 1\\nLine 2"]

rawString`Line 1\nLine 2`;

String Nesting

Template literals can be nested within each other.

const nested = `Outer: ${`Inner: ${42}`}`;
console.log(nested); // Outputs: Outer: Inner: 42

Use Cases and Best Practices

Generating HTML Templates

Template literals are excellent for generating HTML templates.

const name = "John";
const age = 30;

const html = `
    <p>Age: ${age}</p>

document.body.innerHTML = html;

Constructing Dynamic SQL Queries

Template literals make it easier to construct dynamic SQL queries.

function createQuery(table, fields) {
    return `SELECT ${fields.join(", ")} FROM ${table}`;

const tableName = "users";
const selectedFields = ["name", "email"];

const query = createQuery(tableName, selectedFields);
console.log(query); // Outputs: SELECT name, email FROM users

Best Practices: String Escaping

When dealing with user-generated content or external data, ensure proper string escaping to prevent security vulnerabilities.

const userInput = '<script>alert("Hello!")</script>';
const safeHTML = `<p>${userInput}</p>`;
console.log(safeHTML); // Renders user input as text, not executing the script


Template literals are a versatile feature of ES6 that simplify string manipulation and interpolation in JavaScript. By mastering them, you can write cleaner, more readable code for tasks ranging from simple variable substitution to complex string formatting.

Now, go ahead and use template literals to enhance your JavaScript projects and make your code more expressive!