I'm trying getting to grips with Expression Engine. Specifically passing custom field information to a master layout

I have created two template groups. One for the overall layout including the header and footer and one to control a specific channel.

I have custom fields for the channel. Including one called "description" that I want to be able to pass back to the overall header layout. This is what I have from looking at the documentation but it doesn't work - the variable {timeline_item_description} isn't getting passed to the header. Looking at the code below what am I doing wrong?

Channel index template:

{layout:set name="desc"}{timeline_item_description}{/layout:set}

The Header layout template:

<meta property="og:description" content="{layout:desc}"
  • Dumb question. Is the layout:set inside the channel:entries variable pair?
    – Sobral
    May 9, 2014 at 12:55
  • 1
    No it is not inside the channel:entries variable pair
    – Dan Lee
    May 9, 2014 at 13:05

2 Answers 2


If your trying to pass a simple value to your layout, you can set it on the layout tag. For example:

{layout="pages/.layout" body_class="contact"}

But custom fields variables need to be parsed by the channel:entries variable pair. This is the reason for the tag layout:set.

{exp:channel:entries [...]}
    {layout:set name="desc"}{timeline_item_description}{/layout:set}

By this way, its value is passed to the layout template.


I believe what you describe should work.

  1. I take it you have a {layout="site/.header_layout"} tag in your children (channel index template) as well, and that the path to the template_group/template is correct ?
  2. I suppose that you can print out {timeline_item_description}in your children template and that it works
  3. Could you try the following just to be sure ?

Channel index template:

{layout:set name="desc" value="{timeline_item_description}"}

Header Layout template

<meta property="og:description" content="{layout:desc}" />
  • Looking at the source when I do that shows '<meta property="og:description" content="{timeline_item_description}" />' Doesn't seem to work.
    – Dan Lee
    Apr 9, 2014 at 15:10

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