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A Django template library for manipulating URLs.

Project description

         ;c =\
       __|  _/
    /..   ____    \
   /  {% spurl %}  \
  (  / \--\_>/-/'._ )
   \-;_/\__;__/ _/ _/
     /  /-._.--\  \_
    // /   /|   \ \ \
   / | |   | \;  |  \ \
  / /  | :/   \: \   \_\
 /  |  /.'|   /: |    \ \
 |  |  |--| . |--|     \_\
 / _/   \ | : | /___--._) \
|_(---'-| >-'-| |       '-'
       /_/     \_\

Spurl is a Django template library for manipulating URLs. It’s built on top of Zachary Voase’s excellent urlobject.

Authored by Jamie Matthews, and some great contributors.


Either checkout spurl from GitHub, or install using pip:

pip install django-spurl

Add spurl to your INSTALLED_APPS:


Finally, whenever you want to use Spurl in a template, you need to load its template library:

{% load spurl %}


Spurl is not a replacement for Django’s built-in {% url %} template tag. It is a general-purpose toolkit for manipulating URL components in templates. You can use it alongside {% url %} if you like (see below).

Spurl provides a single template tag, called (surprisingly enough), spurl. You call it with a set of key=value keyword arguments, which are described fully below.

To show some of the features of Spurl, we’ll go over a couple of simple example use cases.

Adding query parameters to URLs

Say you have a list of external URLs in your database. When you create links to these URLs in a template, you need to add a query parameter to each. The simple way to do this might be:

{% for url, title in list_of_links %}
    <a href="{{ url }}?">{{ title }}</a>
{% endfor %}

The problem here is that you don’t know in advance if the URLs stored in your database already have query parameters. If they do, you’ll generate malformed links like

Spurl can fix this. Because it knows about the components of a URL, it can add parameters onto an existing query, if there is one.

{% for url, title in list_of_links %}
    <a href="{% spurl base=url add_query="" %}">{{ title }}</a>
{% endfor %}

Note that when you pass a literal string to Spurl, you have to wrap it in double quotes. If you don’t, Spurl will assume it’s a variable name and try to look it up in the template’s context.

SSL-sensitive external URLs.

Suppose your site needs to display a gallery of images, the URLs of which have come from some third-party web API. Additionally, imagine your site needs to run both in secure and non-secure mode - the same content is available at both https or http URLs (depending on whether a visitor is logged in, say). Some browsers will complain loudly (displaying “Mixed content warnings” to the user) if the page being displayed is https but some of the assets are http. Spurl can fix this.

{% for image_url in list_of_image_urls %}
    <img src="{% spurl base=image_url secure=request.is_secure %}" />
{% endfor %}

This will take the image URL you supply and replace the scheme component (the http or https bit) with the correct version, depending on the return value of request.is_secure(). Note that the above assumes you’re using a RequestContext so that request is available in your template.

Using alongside {% url %}

Notice that Spurl’s functionality doesn’t overlap with Django’s built-in {% url %} tag. Spurl doesn’t know about your urlconf, and doesn’t do any URL reversing. In fact, Spurl is mostly useful for manipulating external URLs, rather than URLs on your own site. However, you can easily use Spurl with {% url %} if you need to. You just have to use the as keyword to put your reversed URL in a template variable, and then pass this to Spurl. As it’s a relative path (rather than a full URL) you should pass it using the path argument. For example, say you want to append some query parameters to a URL on your site:

{% url your_url_name as my_url %}
<a href="{% spurl path=my_url query="foo=bar&bar=baz" %}">Click here!</a>

There is another way to use Spurl with {% url %}, see Embedding template tags below.

Available arguments

Below is a full list of arguments that Spurl understands.


If you pass a base argument to Spurl, it will parse its contents and use this as the base URL upon which all other arguments will operate. If you don’t pass a base argument, Spurl will generate a URL from scratch based on the components that you pass in separately.


Set the scheme component of the URL. Example:

{% spurl base="" scheme="ftp" %}

This will return

See also: scheme_from, below.


Set the host component of the URL. Example:

{% spurl base="" host="" %}

This will return

See also: host_from, below.


Handle HTTP Basic authentication, username and password can be passed in URL. Example:

{% spurl base="" auth="user:pass" %}

This will return


Set the path component of the URL. Example:

{% spurl base="" path="/different/" %}

This will return

See also: path_from, below.


Append a path component to the existing path. You can add multiple add_path calls, and the results of each will be combined. Example:

{% spurl base=STATIC_URL add_path="javascript" add_path="lib" add_path="jquery.js" %}

This will return (assuming STATIC_URL is set to

See also: add_path_from, below.


Set the fragment component of the URL. Example:

{% spurl base="" fragment="myfragment" %}

This will return

See also: fragment_from, below.


Set the port component of the URL. Example:

{% spurl base="" port="8080" %}

This will return

See also: port_from, below.


Set the query component of the URL. Example:

{% spurl base="" query="foo=bar&bar=baz" %}

This will return

The query argument can also be passed a dictionary from your template’s context.

def my_view(request):
    my_query_params = {'foo': 'bar', 'bar': 'baz'}
    return render(request, 'path/to/template.html', {'my_query_params': my_query_params})
<!-- template.html -->
{% spurl base="" query=my_query_params %}

This will return

Finally, you can pass individual template variables to the query. To do this, Spurl uses Django’s template system. For example:

{% spurl base="" query="foo={{ variable_name }}" %}

See also: query_from, below.


Append a set of parameters to an existing query. If your base URL might already have a query component, this will merge the existing parameters with your new ones. Example:

{% spurl base="" add_query="bar=baz" %}

This will return

You can add multiple add_query calls, and the results of each will be combined:

{% spurl base="" add_query="foo=bar" add_query="bar=baz" %}

This will return

Like the query argument above, the values passed to add_query can also be dictionaries, and they can contain Django template variables.

See also: add_query_from, below.


Appends a set of parameters to an existing query, overwriting existing parameters with the same name. Otherwise uses the exact same syntax as add_query.

See also: set_query_from, below.


Toggle the value of one or more query parameters between two possible values. Useful when reordering list views. Example:

{% spurl base=request.get_full_path toggle_query="sort=ascending,descending" %}

If the value of request.get_full_path() doesn’t have a sort parameter, one will be added with a value of ascending (the first item in the list is the default). If it already has a sort parameter, and it is currently set to ascending, it will be set to descending. If it’s already set to descending, it will be set to ascending.

You can also specify the options as a dictionary, mapping the parameter name to a two-tuple containing the values to toggle. Example:


SORT_PARAM = 'sort'
ASCENDING = 'ascending'
DESCENDING = 'descending'

def my_view(request):

        object_list = MyModel.objects.order_by('-somefield')
        object_list = MyModel.objects.order_by('somefield')

    return render(request, 'path/to/template.html', {
        'object_list': object_list,
        'sort_params': {SORT_PARAM: (ASCENDING, DESCENDING)},
<!-- template.html -->
<a href="{% spurl base=request.get_full_path toggle_query=sort_params %}">Reverse order</a>


Remove a query parameter from an existing query:

{% spurl base="" remove_query_param="foo" %}

This will return

Again, you can add multiple remove_query_param calls, and the results will be combined:

{% spurl base="" remove_query_param="foo" remove_query_param="bar" %}

This will return

You can also remove parameters with specific values:

{% spurl base="" remove_query_param="foo" remove_query_param="foo=baz" %}

This will return

Finally, you can pass individual template variables to the remove_query_param calls. To do this, Spurl uses Django’s template system. For example:

{% spurl base="" remove_query_param="{{ variable_name }}" %}


Control whether the generated URL starts with http or https. The value of this argument can be a boolean (True or False), if you’re using a context variable. If you’re using a literal argument here, it must be a quoted string. The strings "True" or "on" (case-insensitive) will be converted to True, any other string will be converted to False. Example:

{% spurl base="" secure="True" %}

This will return


By default, Spurl will escape its output in the same way as Django’s template system. For example, an & character in a URL will be rendered as &amp;. You can override this behaviour by passing an autoescape argument, which must be either a boolean (if passed from a template variable) or a string. The strings "True" or "on" (case-insensitive) will be converted to True, any other string will be converted to False.

Added bonus: _from parameters

As well as those listed above, Spurl provides a family of parameters for combining URLs. Given a base URL to start with, you can copy a component from another URL. These arguments expect to be passed a full URL (or anything that can be understood by URLObject.parse). This URL will be parsed, and then the component in question will be extracted and combined with the base URL.

Below is a full list of the available _from methods. They have identical semantics to their counterparts above (except they expect a full URL, not just a URL component).

  • query_from

  • add_query_from

  • set_query_from

  • scheme_from

  • host_from

  • path_from

  • add_path_from

  • fragment_from

  • port_from


{% spurl base=" path_from="" %}

This will return

Building a URL without displaying it

Like Django’s {% url %} tag, Spurl allows you to insert the generated URL into the template’s context for later use. Example:

{% spurl base="" secure="True" as secure_url %}
<p>The secure version of the url is {{ secure_url }}</p>

Embedding template tags

As mentioned above, Spurl uses Django’s template system to individually parse any arguments which can be passed strings. This allows the use of syntax such as:

{% spurl base="" add_query="foo={{ bar }}" %}

This works fine for variable and filters, but what if we want to use other template tags inside our Spurl tag? We can’t nest {% and %} tokens inside each other, because Django’s template parser would get very confused. Instead, we have to escape the inner set of tag markers with backslashes:

{% spurl base="" add_query="next={\% url home %\}" %}

Note that any tags or filters loaded in your template are automatically available in the nested templates used to render each variable. This means we can do:

{% load url from future %}
{% spurl base="{\% url 'home' %\}" %}

Be careful with your quotation marks! If you use double-quotes to surround the nested template, you have to use single quotes inside it.

Warning! This functionality only exists to serve the most complex of use cases, and is extremely magical (and probably a bad idea). You may prefer to use:

{% url "home" as my_url %}
{% spurl base=my_url %}


To contribute, fork the repository, make your changes, add some tests, commit, push, and open a pull request.

How to run the tests

Spurl is tested with nose. Clone the repository, then run pip install -r requirements.txt to install nose and Django into your virtualenv. Then, simply type nosetests to find and run all the tests.


This is free and unencumbered software released into the public domain.

Anyone is free to copy, modify, publish, use, compile, sell, or distribute this software, either in source code form or as a compiled binary, for any purpose, commercial or non-commercial, and by any means.

In jurisdictions that recognize copyright laws, the author or authors of this software dedicate any and all copyright interest in the software to the public domain. We make this dedication for the benefit of the public at large and to the detriment of our heirs and successors. We intend this dedication to be an overt act of relinquishment in perpetuity of all present and future rights to this software under copyright law.


For more information, please refer to

Artwork credit

Superman ASCII art comes from


0.6.8 (2021-11-15)

  • Fix toggle_query support when one word is a fragment of the other.

0.6.7 (2020-05-22)

  • Fixed

0.6.6 (2019-03-29)

  • Added support for an except clause to remove all but specifed query vars.

0.6.5 (2018-05-09)

  • Added support for Django 2.x and dropped support for older and non-LTS version of Django.

0.6.4 (2015-12-26)

  • Getting ready for Django 1.10 release.

  • Dropped support for Django 1.3 and older.

0.6.3 (2015-12-17)

  • Django 1.9 compatible (Albert Koch)

0.6.2 (2015-09-17)

  • Add support for template variables to remove_query_param.

  • Handle auth parameters to be able to add username:password to URLs.

0.6.1 (2015-07-14)

  • Python 3 compatible!

0.6.0 (2012-02-23)

  • Upgrade URLObject dependency to 2.0

0.5.0 (2011-12-14)

  • Fix typos in changelog.

  • Add family of arguments (_from) for combining URLs.

  • Add toggle_query argument.

0.4.0 (2011-12-07)

  • Upgrade URLObject dependency to 0.6.0

  • Add remove_query_param argument.

  • Add support for template tags embedded within argument values.

  • Extensive refactoring.

0.3.0 (2011-08-18)

  • Add set_query argument.

0.2.0 (2011-08-08)

  • Add as argument to insert generated URL into template context.

0.1.0 (2011-07-29)

  • Initial release.

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