class Cake\View\Helper\HtmlHelper(View $view, array $config = [])

The role of the HtmlHelper in CakePHP is to make HTML-related options easier, faster, and more resilient to change. Using this helper will enable your application to be more light on its feet, and more flexible on where it is placed in relation to the root of a domain.

Many HtmlHelper methods include a $attributes parameter, that allow you to tack on any extra attributes on your tags. Here are a few examples of how to use the $attributes parameter:

Desired attributes: <tag class="someClass" />
Array parameter: ['class' => 'someClass']

Desired attributes: <tag name="foo" value="bar" />
Array parameter:  ['name' => 'foo', 'value' => 'bar']

Inserting Well-Formatted Elements

The most important task the HtmlHelper accomplishes is creating well formed markup. This section will cover some of the methods of the HtmlHelper and how to use them.

Creating Charset Tags


Used to create a meta tag specifying the document’s character. The default value is UTF-8. An example use:

echo $this->Html->charset();

Will output:

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />


echo $this->Html->charset('ISO-8859-1');

Will output:

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1" />

Linking to CSS Files

Cake\View\Helper\HtmlHelper::css(mixed $path, array $options = [])

Creates a link(s) to a CSS style-sheet. If the block option is set to true, the link tags are added to the css block which you can print inside the head tag of the document.

You can use the block option to control which block the link element will be appended to. By default it will append to the css block.

If key ‘rel’ in $options array is set to ‘import’ the stylesheet will be imported.

This method of CSS inclusion assumes that the CSS file specified resides inside the webroot/css directory if path doesn’t start with a ‘/’.

echo $this->Html->css('forms');

Will output:

<link rel="stylesheet" href="/css/forms.css" />

The first parameter can be an array to include multiple files.

echo $this->Html->css(['forms', 'tables', 'menu']);

Will output:

<link rel="stylesheet" href="/css/forms.css" />
<link rel="stylesheet" href="/css/tables.css" />
<link rel="stylesheet" href="/css/menu.css" />

You can include CSS files from any loaded plugin using plugin syntax. To include plugins/DebugKit/webroot/css/toolbar.css you could use the following:

echo $this->Html->css('DebugKit.toolbar.css');

If you want to include a CSS file which shares a name with a loaded plugin you can do the following. For example if you had a Blog plugin, and also wanted to include webroot/css/Blog.common.css, you would:

echo $this->Html->css('Blog.common.css', ['plugin' => false]);

Creating CSS Programatically

Cake\View\Helper\HtmlHelper::style(array $data, boolean $oneline = true)

Builds CSS style definitions based on the keys and values of the array passed to the method. Especially handy if your CSS file is dynamic.

echo $this->Html->style([
    'background' => '#633',
    'border-bottom' => '1px solid #000',
    'padding' => '10px'

Will output:

background:#633; border-bottom:1px solid #000; padding:10px;

Creating meta Tags

Cake\View\Helper\HtmlHelper::meta(string|array $type, string $url = null, array $options = [])

This method is handy for linking to external resources like RSS/Atom feeds and favicons. Like css(), you can specify whether or not you’d like this tag to appear inline or appended to the meta block by setting the ‘block’ key in the $attributes parameter to true, ie - ['block' => true].

If you set the “type” attribute using the $attributes parameter, CakePHP contains a few shortcuts:

type translated value
html text/html
rss application/rss+xml
atom application/atom+xml
icon image/x-icon
<?= $this->Html->meta(
    ['type' => 'icon']
// Output (line breaks added)
    title="favicon.ico" type="image/x-icon"
<?= $this->Html->meta(
    ['type' => 'rss']
// Output (line breaks added)

This method can also be used to add the meta keywords and descriptions. Example:

<?= $this->Html->meta(
    'enter any meta keyword here'
// Output
<meta name="keywords" content="enter any meta keyword here" />

<?= $this->Html->meta(
    'enter any meta description here'
// Output
<meta name="description" content="enter any meta description here" />

In addition to making predefined meta tags, you can create link elements:

<?= $this->Html->meta([
    'link' => '',
    'rel' => 'manifest'
// Output
<link href="" rel="manifest"/>

Any attributes provided to meta() when called this way will be added to the generated link tag.

Creating DOCTYPE

Cake\View\Helper\HtmlHelper::docType(string $type = 'html5')

Returns a (X)HTML DOCTYPE (document type declaration). Supply the document type according to the following table:

type translated value
html4-strict HTML 4.01 Strict
html4-trans HTML 4.01 Transitional
html4-frame HTML 4.01 Frameset
html5 (default) HTML5
xhtml-strict XHTML 1.0 Strict
xhtml-trans XHTML 1.0 Transitional
xhtml-frame XHTML 1.0 Frameset
xhtml11 XHTML 1.1
echo $this->Html->docType();
// Outputs: <!DOCTYPE html>

echo $this->Html->docType('html4-trans');
// Outputs:
// <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"
//    "">

Linking to Images

Cake\View\Helper\HtmlHelper::image(string $path, array $options = [])

Creates a formatted image tag. The path supplied should be relative to webroot/img/.

echo $this->Html->image('cake_logo.png', ['alt' => 'CakePHP']);

Will output:

<img src="/img/cake_logo.png" alt="CakePHP" />

To create an image link specify the link destination using the url option in $attributes.

echo $this->Html->image("recipes/6.jpg", [
    "alt" => "Brownies",
    'url' => ['controller' => 'Recipes', 'action' => 'view', 6]

Will output:

<a href="/recipes/view/6">
    <img src="/img/recipes/6.jpg" alt="Brownies" />

If you are creating images in emails, or want absolute paths to images you can use the fullBase option:

echo $this->Html->image("logo.png", ['fullBase' => true]);

Will output:

<img src="" alt="" />

You can include image files from any loaded plugin using plugin syntax. To include plugins/DebugKit/webroot/img/icon.png You could use the following:

echo $this->Html->image('DebugKit.icon.png');

If you want to include an image file which shares a name with a loaded plugin you can do the following. For example if you had a Blog plugin, and also wanted to include webroot/img/Blog.icon.png, you would:

echo $this->Html->image('Blog.icon.png', ['plugin' => false]);

Linking to Videos and Audio Files

Cake\View\Helper\HtmlHelper::media(string|array $path, array $options)


  • type Type of media element to generate, valid values are “audio” or “video”. If type is not provided media type is guessed based on file’s mime type.
  • text Text to include inside the video tag
  • pathPrefix Path prefix to use for relative URLs, defaults to ‘files/’
  • fullBase If provided the src attribute will get a full address including domain name

Returns a formatted audio/video tag:

 <?= $this->Html->media('audio.mp3') ?>

 // Output
 <audio src="/files/audio.mp3"></audio>

 <?= $this->Html->media('video.mp4', [
     'fullBase' => true,
     'text' => 'Fallback text'
 ]) ?>

 // Output
 <video src="">Fallback text</video>

<?= $this->Html->media(
     ['video.mp4', ['src' => 'video.ogg', 'type' => "video/ogg; codecs='theora, vorbis'"]],
 ) ?>

 // Output
 <video autoplay="autoplay">
     <source src="/files/video.mp4" type="video/mp4"/>
     <source src="/files/video.ogg" type="video/ogg;
         codecs='theora, vorbis'"/>

Linking to Javascript Files

Cake\View\Helper\HtmlHelper::script(mixed $url, mixed $options)

Include a script file(s), contained either locally or as a remote URL.

By default, script tags are added to the document inline. If you override this by setting $options['block'] to true, the script tags will instead be added to the script block which you can print elsewhere in the document. If you wish to override which block name is used, you can do so by setting $options['block'].

$options['once'] controls whether or not you want to include this script once per request or more than once. This defaults to true.

You can use $options to set additional properties to the generated script tag. If an array of script tags is used, the attributes will be applied to all of the generated script tags.

This method of JavaScript file inclusion assumes that the JavaScript file specified resides inside the webroot/js directory:

echo $this->Html->script('scripts');

Will output:

<script src="/js/scripts.js"></script>

You can link to files with absolute paths as well to link files that are not in webroot/js:

echo $this->Html->script('/otherdir/script_file');

You can also link to a remote URL:

echo $this->Html->script('');

Will output:

<script src=""></script>

The first parameter can be an array to include multiple files.

echo $this->Html->script(['jquery', 'wysiwyg', 'scripts']);

Will output:

<script src="/js/jquery.js"></script>
<script src="/js/wysiwyg.js"></script>
<script src="/js/scripts.js"></script>

You can append the script tag to a specific block using the block option:

echo $this->Html->script('wysiwyg', ['block' => 'scriptBottom']);

In your layout you can output all the script tags added to ‘scriptBottom’:

echo $this->fetch('scriptBottom');

You can include script files from any loaded plugin using plugin syntax. To include plugins/DebugKit/webroot/js/toolbar.js You could use the following:

echo $this->Html->script('DebugKit.toolbar.js');

If you want to include a script file which shares a name with a loaded plugin you can do the following. For example if you had a Blog plugin, and also wanted to include webroot/js/Blog.plugins.js, you would:

echo $this->Html->script('Blog.plugins.js', ['plugin' => false]);

Creating Inline Javascript Blocks

Cake\View\Helper\HtmlHelper::scriptBlock($code, $options = [])

To generate Javascript blocks from PHP view code, you can use one of the script block methods. Scripts can either be output in place, or buffered into a block:

// Define a script block all at once, with the defer attribute.
$this->Html->scriptBlock('alert("hi")', ['defer' => true]);

// Buffer a script block to be output later.
$this->Html->scriptBlock('alert("hi")', ['block' => true]);
Cake\View\Helper\HtmlHelper::scriptStart($options = [])

You can use the scriptStart() method to create a capturing block that will output into a <script> tag. Captured script snippets can be output inline, or buffered into a block:

// Append into the 'script' block.
$this->Html->scriptStart(['block' => true]);
echo "alert('I am in the JavaScript');";

Once you have buffered javascript, you can output it as you would any other View Block:

// In your layout
echo $this->fetch('script');

Creating Nested Lists

Cake\View\Helper\HtmlHelper::nestedList(array $list, array $options = [], array $itemOptions = [])

Build a nested list (UL/OL) out of an associative array:

$list = [
    'Languages' => [
        'English' => [
echo $this->Html->nestedList($list);


// Output (minus the whitespace)

Creating Table Headings

Cake\View\Helper\HtmlHelper::tableHeaders(array $names, array $trOptions = null, array $thOptions = null)

Creates a row of table header cells to be placed inside of <table> tags.

echo $this->Html->tableHeaders(['Date', 'Title', 'Active']);


echo $this->Html->tableHeaders(
    ['Date', 'Title','Active'],
    ['class' => 'status'],
    ['class' => 'product_table']


<tr class="status">
     <th class="product_table">Date</th>
     <th class="product_table">Title</th>
     <th class="product_table">Active</th>

You can set attributes per column, these are used instead of the defaults provided in the $thOptions:

echo $this->Html->tableHeaders([
    ['Name' => ['class' => 'highlight']],
    ['Date' => ['class' => 'sortable']]


    <th class="highlight">Name</th>
    <th class="sortable">Date</th>

Creating Table Cells

Cake\View\Helper\HtmlHelper::tableCells(array $data, array $oddTrOptions = null, array $evenTrOptions = null, $useCount = false, $continueOddEven = true)

Creates table cells, in rows, assigning <tr> attributes differently for odd- and even-numbered rows. Wrap a single table cell within an [] for specific <td>-attributes.

echo $this->Html->tableCells([
    ['Jul 7th, 2007', 'Best Brownies', 'Yes'],
    ['Jun 21st, 2007', 'Smart Cookies', 'Yes'],
    ['Aug 1st, 2006', 'Anti-Java Cake', 'No'],


<tr><td>Jul 7th, 2007</td><td>Best Brownies</td><td>Yes</td></tr>
<tr><td>Jun 21st, 2007</td><td>Smart Cookies</td><td>Yes</td></tr>
<tr><td>Aug 1st, 2006</td><td>Anti-Java Cake</td><td>No</td></tr>
echo $this->Html->tableCells([
    ['Jul 7th, 2007', ['Best Brownies', ['class' => 'highlight']] , 'Yes'],
    ['Jun 21st, 2007', 'Smart Cookies', 'Yes'],
    ['Aug 1st, 2006', 'Anti-Java Cake', ['No', ['id' => 'special']]],


        Jul 7th, 2007
    <td class="highlight">
        Best Brownies
        Jun 21st, 2007
        Smart Cookies
        Aug 1st, 2006
        Anti-Java Cake
    <td id="special">
echo $this->Html->tableCells(
        ['Red', 'Apple'],
        ['Orange', 'Orange'],
        ['Yellow', 'Banana'],
    ['class' => 'darker']


<tr class="darker"><td>Red</td><td>Apple</td></tr>
<tr class="darker"><td>Yellow</td><td>Banana</td></tr>

Changing the Tags Output by HtmlHelper


The $templates parameter can be either a string file path to the PHP file containing the tags you want to load, or an array of templates to add/replace:

// Load templates from config/my_html.php

// Load specific templates.
    'javascriptlink' => '<script src="{{url}}" type="text/javascript"{{attrs}}></script>'

When loading files of templates, your file should look like:

return [
    'javascriptlink' => '<script src="{{url}}" type="text/javascript"{{attrs}}></script>'


Template strings containing a percentage sign (%) need special attention, you should prefix this character with another percentage so it looks like %%. The reason is that internally templates are compiled to be used with sprintf(). Example: ‘<div style=”width:{{size}}%%”>{{content}}</div>’

Creating Breadcrumb Trails with HtmlHelper

Cake\View\Helper\HtmlHelper::addCrumb(string $name, string $link = null, mixed $options = null)
Cake\View\Helper\HtmlHelper::getCrumbs(string $separator = '&raquo;', string $startText = false)
Cake\View\Helper\HtmlHelper::getCrumbList(array $options = [], $startText = false)

Many applications have breadcrumb trails to ease end user navigations. You can create a breadcrumb trail in your app with some help from HtmlHelper. To make bread crumbs, first the following in your layout template:

echo $this->Html->getCrumbs(' > ', 'Home');

The $startText option can also accept an array. This gives more control over the generated first link:

echo $this->Html->getCrumbs(' > ', [
    'text' => $this->Html->image('home.png'),
    'url' => ['controller' => 'Pages', 'action' => 'display', 'home'],
    'escape' => false

Any keys that are not text or url will be passed to link() as the $options parameter.

Now, in your view you’ll want to add the following to start the breadcrumb trails on each of the pages:

$this->Html->addCrumb('Users', '/users');
$this->Html->addCrumb('Add User', ['controller' => 'Users', 'action' => 'add']);

This will add the output of “Home > Users > Add User” in your layout where getCrumbs was added.

You can also fetch the crumbs formatted inside an HTML list:

echo $this->Html->getCrumbList();

As options you can use regular HTML parameter that fits in the <ul> (Unordered List) such as class and for the specific options, you have: separator (will be between the <li> elements), firstClass and lastClass like:

echo $this->Html->getCrumbList(
        'firstClass' => false,
        'lastClass' => 'active',
        'class' => 'breadcrumb'

This method uses Cake\View\Helper\HtmlHelper::tag() to generate list and its elements. Works similar to View\Helper\HtmlHelper::getCrumbs(), so it uses options which every crumb was added with. You can use the $startText parameter to provide the first breadcrumb link/text. This is useful when you always want to include a root link. This option works the same as the $startText option for View\Helper\HtmlHelper::getCrumbs().