This should be straightforward. I just need to take my event summary from the Solspace Calendar plugin and truncate it to say 280 characters. I have PHP set to "Yes", and "Output" parsing stage. It is breaking and not rendering the template. I'm assuming it's because I'm using it in a variable pair. Below is the template:

{exp:calendar:cal calendar_id="214" date_range_start="-2 weeks" date_range_end="+5 weeks"}

    <div class="eventPopup" data-date="{event_start_date format="%Y-%m-%d"}">
        <div class="eventPopupHeader">
            {event_start_date format="%F %j, %Y"}
        <div class="closeButton"><a href="javascript:void(0)"><img src="{siteroot}images/uploads/main/closeButton.png" width="30" height="30" alt="close button"></a></div>
        <div style="clear:both"></div>
        <div class="subnavContent">
            {if event_pic != ""}<img src="{event_pic}" width="246" height="166" alt="menu pic"><div style="clear:both"></div>{/if}
            <h3><a href="/haa/event/{entry_id}">{event_title}</a></h3><p>{event_location} - <?php echo substr("{event_summary}", 0, 280); ?></p>
  • Does the template render at all? ie do you get a partial output with junk in the event p tag, or a WSOD, 404 or something else? Can you supply examples of the {event_summary} so we can identify any formatting issues? does it all work with out the php substr?? Lastly, is events a matrix/grid??
    – Blatant
    May 15, 2015 at 10:28

2 Answers 2


Why aren't you just using https://devot-ee.com/add-ons/character-limiter ??

Also, if PHP is set on output, what happens when


has a value like this?

And the event was great, he said "Everything is healing nicely!"
  • As JChrono says, you need to watch out for double quote's in your string, you can perhaps use addslashes to fix this sort of thing , also if your event_summary contains HTML (Perhaps its a WYSIWYG feild??) you could try out TruncHtml which Ive used before, does a good job.
    – Blatant
    May 15, 2015 at 10:25
  • Morning Blatant! Did I screw up in my answer (ie does the EE parser watch for escaping quotes when it evals PHP)? I didn't have time to test or jump in the core.
    – jrothafer
    May 15, 2015 at 11:44
  • 1
    My neither!!! I was thinking about quotes in tags as I read this and intend to dial up an example, otherwise I might write a quick gettext -> addslashes extension to help with thsis sort of thang...
    – Blatant
    May 15, 2015 at 13:15
  • 1
    I was wondering if there was something like that. EE doesn't seem to like PHP very well. Thanks for the link.
    – The Hawk
    May 15, 2015 at 15:04

There are many plugins for this already.

Here are a few:



Or you could roll your own...

  • Why would you roll oyur own or push for a paid for 3rd party module when EllisLabs offer a 1st party free module??
    – Blatant
    May 15, 2015 at 13:18

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