I need to include the path to my theme file within a javascript file. How would I go about this? I have already tried:

var templateUrl = "<?php get_stylesheet_directory_uri(); ?>";

function LightboxOptions() {
  this.fileLoadingImage = "'"+templateUrl+"/img/loading.gif'";
  this.fileCloseImage = "'"+templateUrl+"/img/close.png'";
  this.resizeDuration = 700;
  this.fadeDuration = 500;
  this.labelImage = "Image";
  this.labelOf = "of";

This does not give me the path, but just inserts <?php get_stylesheet_directory_uri(); ?> instead of the actual path. Any ideas? Thanks in advance!


What you're looking for is wp_localize_script function.

You use it like this when enqueing script

wp_register_script( 'my-script', 'myscript_url' );
wp_enqueue_script( 'my-script' );
$translation_array = array( 'templateUrl' => get_stylesheet_directory_uri() );
//after wp_enqueue_script
wp_localize_script( 'my-script', 'object_name', $translation_array );

In your style.js, there is going to be:

var templateUrl = object_name.templateUrl;
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  • awesome. worked like a charm! – James Hall Nov 28 '16 at 15:06

These are the following two ways to add theme path in javascript file.

1) You can use wp_localize_script() suggested by wordpress in your functions.php file. This will create a Javascript Object in the header, which will be available to your scripts at runtime.

Example :


$wnm_custom = array( 'stylesheet_directory_uri' => get_stylesheet_directory_uri() );
wp_localize_script( 'custom-js', 'directory_uri', $wnm_custom );

and can use in your js file as following :


2) You can create a Javascript snippet that saves the template directory uri in a variable, and use it later as following: Add this code in header.php file before the js file in which you want to use this path. Example:

<script type="text/javascript">
var stylesheet_directory_uri = "<?php echo get_stylesheet_directory_uri(); ?>";

and can use in your js file as following :

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  • wp_localize works! I tried the 2nd approach, too, but I didn't manage to make it work. wp_localize works is probably better practice, no? – charlenemasters Mar 7 '13 at 11:31
  • @charlenemasters to make the second approach work the order of declaring variable and accessing it is very important. – Vinod Dalvi Mar 7 '13 at 11:33
  • 2
    the second approach should be with echo in order to work – Claudiu Creanga Oct 21 '16 at 15:08
  • @ClaudiuCreanga Thanks, should be echo: var stylesheet_directory_uri = "<?php echo get_stylesheet_directory_uri(); ?>"; – ycc_swe Jun 12 '18 at 16:39

You can localize your javascript files, wich gives you the opportunity to generate a javascript array filled with PHP defined values (such as localisation or directories).

If you load your javascript file trough wp_enqueue_script or wp_register_script its easy to set up like follows:

function localize_vars() {
    return array(
        'stylesheet_directory' => get_stylesheet_directory_uri()

wp_enqueue_script( 'my_script', plugins_url( 'my_plugin/my_script.js' ), array( 'jquery' ) );
wp_localize_script( 'my_script', 'my_unique_name', localize_vars() );

And in your javascript files, you can call these variables by:

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I started using this convenient little method to get the WordPress theme directory and store it as a global JavaScript variable (all from within a javascript file):

function getThemeDir() {
    var scripts = document.getElementsByTagName('script'),
        index = scripts.length - 1,
        myScript = scripts[index];

    return myScript.src.replace(/themes\/(.*?)\/(.*)/g, 'themes/$1');
themeDir = getThemeDir();

This will only work if the following conditions are met:

    1. This snippet is executed via an external JavaScript file - like this:

<script src="/wp-content/themes/themename/assets/app.js"></script>

    2. The js file resides within your site's theme directory (or subdirectory).

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This is how I did it.

Place the javascript file and images in theme-folder/assets

And edit the following files.

In functions.php

/* for javascript (only when using child theme) */
wp_enqueue_script('my-script', get_template_directory_uri() . '-child/assets/test.js');
wp_localize_script('my-script', 'myScript', array(
    'theme_directory' => get_template_directory_uri() 

In your javascript file

var url = myScript.theme_directory + '-child/assets/';
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If the javascript file is loaded from the admin dashboard, you can use this javascript function get the root of your WordPress installation.

function getHomeUrl() {
  var href = window.location.href;
  var index = href.indexOf('/wp-admin');
  var homeUrl = href.substring(0, index);
  return homeUrl;

Then just contact the path to your theme like below.

var myThemePath = getHomeUrl() + '/wp-content/themes/myTheme';
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