Function and usage of get_attachment_template() in wordpress


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    The get_attachment_template() function in WordPress is a part of its template hierarchy system, which is used to determine which template file to use for displaying various types of content. This function specifically deals with attachment pages.

    Function Signature:

    get_attachment_template(): string


    get_attachment_template() retrieves the path of the attachment template in the current or parent theme. Attachment templates are used for displaying media attachment pages.

    Template Hierarchy for Attachments:

    The function follows a specific hierarchy to find the appropriate template file. It looks for template files in the following order:

    1. {mime_type}-{sub_type}.php
    2. {sub_type}.php
    3. {mime_type}.php
    4. attachment.php

    Here, {mime_type} refers to the media type (like image, video, audio), and {sub_type} refers to the media subtype (like jpeg, mp4, mp3).

    For example, if you are viewing an attachment page for a JPEG image, WordPress will look for template files in this order:

    1. image-jpeg.php
    2. jpeg.php
    3. image.php
    4. attachment.php


    The template hierarchy and the template path can be modified using the following dynamic hooks:

    • attachment_template_hierarchy: Filters the list of candidate template files.
    • attachment_template: Filters the path of the final template file.

    These hooks allow developers to modify or extend the template selection process for attachment pages.

    Return Value:

    The function returns a string, which is the full path to the selected attachment template file.

    Related Function:

    • get_query_template(): This function is similar but used for other types of templates like single.php, page.php, etc.

    Sample Usage:

    // Example of using get_attachment_template
    $template_path = get_attachment_template();
    if ( file_exists( $template_path ) ) {
        include( $template_path );
    } else {
        // Fallback or custom handling if the attachment template doesn't exist

    In this example, get_attachment_template() is used to get the path of the appropriate attachment template file. The existence of the file is checked, and if it exists, it is included for rendering the attachment page. If it doesn't exist, a fallback or custom handling can be implemented.

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