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A Django template loader that looks for an alternative right to left version of a template file if the activated language is a right to left language such as Arabic or Hebrew.

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A Django template loader that looks for an alternative right to left version of a template file if the activated language is a right to left language such as Arabic or Hebrew.

This provides a clean and easy way to customise the markup in your templates without having to place conditional logic in your templates.

The most common use case for this would be a Django website that supports both a left to right and right to left language, such as English and Arabic.


Suppose you had the following Django template:

# homepage.html
{% extends "layout.html" %}

{% block content %}
    <div id="main_content">...</div>
    <div id="side_promo">...</div>
{% endblock %}

To swap the content around when the activated language is Arabic, an IF statement would have to be wrapped around the div tags. This may be a feasible solution for small templates but for most templates this will make the template very hard to read and messy.

Using the django-right-to-left template loader makes this process a lot cleaner by allowing you to create an alternative template with the same name but with “_rtl” appended to the file name. In this example, a file called “homepage_rtl.html” will be picked up as the alternative.

Now when a template is rendered, regardless of whether it is rendered by a Django view or by extending another template using the “extends” block or included using the “include” block, the django-right-to-left template loader will look to see if an alternative template suffixed with “_rtl” exists. If it doesn’t exist it will load the standard version of the template.


You can install django-right-to-left using pip:

$ pip install django-right-to-left

or easy_install:

$ easy_install django-right-to-left


django-right-to-left works in exactly the same way as the Django cached template loader. The django-right-to-left template loader is a class-based loader that you configure with a list of other loaders that it should wrap.

Simply wrap the template loaders defined in your settings file with the django-right-to-left-loader.

For example, if you are currently using the filesystem loader and app_directories loader, change the TEMPLATE_LOADERS settings from:


to this:

    ('rtl.loaders.Loader', (

That’s all there is to it. All you have to do now is create your alternative templates, ensuring that the string “_rtl” is appended to the filename. So the alternative template for “homepage.html” will be “homepage_rtl.html”.

Running the tests

django-right-to-left has a small but extensive test suite. You can run the tests by running the following commands, assuming you have virtualenvwrapper installed:

$ git clone
$ cd django-right-to-left
$ mkvirtualenv django-right-to-left
$ pip install -r requirements.txt
$ ./

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