Live layouts

NOTE: Make sure you've read the Assigns and LiveEEx templates guide before moving forward.

When working with LiveViews, there are usually three layouts to be considered:

  • the root layout - this is a layout used by both LiveView and regular views. This layout typically contains the <html> definition alongside the head and body tags. Any content defined in the root layout will remain the same, even as you live navigate across LiveViews. All LiveViews defined at the router must have a root layout. The root layout is typically declared on the router with put_root_layout and defined as "root.html.eex" in your MyAppWeb.LayoutView. It may also be given via the the :layout option to the router's live macro.

  • the app layout - this is the default application layout which is not included or used by LiveViews. It defaults to "app.html.eex" in your MyAppWeb.LayoutView.

  • the live layout - this is the layout which wraps a LiveView and is rendered as part of the LiveView life-cycle. It must be opt-in by passing the :layout option on use Phoenix.LiveView. It is typically set to "live.html.leex"in your MyAppWeb.LayoutView.

Overall, those layouts are found in templates/layout with the following names:

* root.html.eex
* app.html.eex
* live.html.leex

All layouts must call <%= @inner_content %> to inject the content rendered by the layout.

The "root" layout is shared by both "app" and "live" layouts. It is rendered only on the initial request and therefore it has access to the @conn assign. The root layout must be defined in your router:

plug :put_root_layout, {MyAppWeb.LayoutView, :root}

Alternatively, the root layout can be passed individually to the live macro of your live routes:

live "/dashboard", MyAppWeb.Dashboard, layout: {MyAppWeb.LayoutView, :root}

The "app" and "live" layouts are often small and similar to each other, but the "app" layout uses the @conn and is used as part of the regular request life-cycle. The "live" layout is part of the LiveView and therefore has direct access to the @socket.

For example, you can define a new live.html.leex layout with dynamic content. You must use @inner_content where the output of the actual template will be placed at:

<p><%= live_flash(@flash, :notice) %></p>
<p><%= live_flash(@flash, :error) %></p>
<%= @inner_content %>

To use the live layout, update your LiveView to pass the :layout option to use Phoenix.LiveView:

use Phoenix.LiveView, layout: {MyAppWeb.LayoutView, "live.html"}

If you are using Phoenix v1.5, the layout is automatically set when generating apps with the mix --live flag.

The :layout option on use does not apply to LiveViews rendered within other LiveViews. If you want to render child live views or opt-in to a layout, use :layout as an option in mount:

  def mount(_params, _session, socket) do
    socket = assign(socket, new_message_count: 0)
    {:ok, socket, layout: {MyAppWeb.LayoutView, "live.html"}}

Note: The live layout is always wrapped by the LiveView's :container tag.

Updating the HTML document title

Because the root layout from the Plug pipeline is rendered outside of LiveView, the contents cannot be dynamically changed. The one exception is the <title> of the HTML document. Phoenix LiveView special cases the @page_title assign to allow dynamically updating the title of the page, which is useful when using live navigation, or annotating the browser tab with a notification. For example, to update the user's notification count in the browser's title bar, first set the page_title assign on mount:

  def mount(_params, _session, socket) do
    socket = assign(socket, page_title: "Latest Posts")
    {:ok, socket}

Then access @page_title in the root layout:

<title><%= @page_title %></title>

You can also use Phoenix.LiveView.Helpers.live_title_tag/2 to support adding automatic prefix and suffix to the page title when rendered and on subsequent updates:

<%= live_title_tag @page_title, prefix: "MyApp – " %>

Although the root layout is not updated by LiveView, by simply assigning to page_title, LiveView knows you want the title to be updated:

def handle_info({:new_messages, count}, socket) do
  {:noreply, assign(socket, page_title: "Latest Posts (#{count} new)")}

Note: If you find yourself needing to dynamically patch other parts of the base layout, such as injecting new scripts or styles into the <head> during live navigation, then a regular, non-live, page navigation should be used instead. Assigning the @page_title updates the document.title directly, and therefore cannot be used to update any other part of the base layout.