Hooks are basically places in the source code where a user function will be called for processing if such has been configured. While there are conventions and best practises of how hooks should be implemented the Hook Concept itself doesn't prevent it from being used in any way.

Using hooks

The two lines of code below are an example of how a hook is used for clear-cache post-processing. The objective of this could be to perform additional actions whenever the cache is cleared for a specific page:

$GLOBALS['TYPO3_CONF_VARS']['SC_OPTIONS']['t3lib/class.t3lib_tcemain.php']['clearCachePostProc'][] =
   \MyVendor\Package\Hook\DataHandlerHook::class . '->postProcessClearCache';

This registers the class/method name to a hook inside of \TYPO3\CMS\Core\DataHandling\DataHandler. The hook will call the user function after the clear-cache command has been executed. The user function will receive parameters which allows it to see what clear-cache action was performed and typically also an object reference to the parent object. Then the user function can take additional actions as needed.

The class has to be declared with the TYPO3 autoloader.

If we take a look inside of \TYPO3\CMS\Core\DataHandling\DataHandler we find the hook to be activated like this:

// Call post processing function for clear-cache:
if (is_array($GLOBALS['TYPO3_CONF_VARS']['SC_OPTIONS']['t3lib/class.t3lib_tcemain.php']['clearCachePostProc'])) {
    $_params = array('cacheCmd' => $cacheCmd);
    foreach($GLOBALS['TYPO3_CONF_VARS']['SC_OPTIONS']['t3lib/class.t3lib_tcemain.php']['clearCachePostProc'] as $_funcRef) {
        \TYPO3\CMS\Core\Utility\GeneralUtility::callUserFunction($_funcRef, $_params, $this);

This is how hooks are typically constructed. The main action happens in line 5 where the function \TYPO3\CMS\Core\Utility\GeneralUtility::callUserFunction() is called. The user function is called with two arguments, an array with variable parameters and the parent object.

In line 3 the contents of the parameter array is prepared. This is of high interest to you because this is where you see what data is passed to you and what data might be passed by reference and thereby could be manipulated from your hook function.

Finally, notice how the array $GLOBALS['TYPO3_CONF_VARS']['SC_OPTIONS']['t3lib/class.t3lib\_tcemain.php']['clearCachePostProc'] is traversed and for each entry the value is expected to be a function reference which will be called. This allows many hooks to be called at once. The hooks can even rearrange the calling order if they dare.

The syntax of a function reference can be seen in the API documentation of \TYPO3\CMS\Core\Utility\GeneralUtility.


The example hook shown above refers to old class names. All these old class names were left in hooks, for obvious reasons of backwards-compatibility.

Creating hooks

You are encouraged to create hooks in your extensions if they seem meaningful. Typically someone would request a hook somewhere. Before you implement it, consider if it is the right place to put it. On the one hand we want to have many hooks but not more than needed. Redundant hooks or hooks which are implemented in the wrong context is just confusing. So put a little thought into it first, but be generous.

There are two main methods of calling a user defined function in TYPO3.

  • \TYPO3\CMS\Core\Utility\GeneralUtility::callUserFunction() - The classic way. Takes a file/class/method reference as value and calls that function. The argument list is fixed to a parameter array and a parent object. So this is the limitation. The freedom is that the reference defines the function name to call. This method is mostly useful for small-scale hooks in the sources.

  • \TYPO3\CMS\Core\Utility\GeneralUtility::makeInstance() - Create an object from a user defined file/class. The method called in the object is fixed by the hook, so this is the non-flexible part. But it is cleaner in other ways, in particular that you can even call many methods in the object and you can pass an arbitrary argument list which makes the API cleaner. You can also define the objects to be singletons, instantiated only once in the global scope.

Here are some examples:

Using \TYPO3\CMS\Core\Utility\GeneralUtility::makeInstance()

Data submission to extensions:

// Hook for processing data submission to extensions
foreach ($GLOBALS['TYPO3_CONF_VARS']['SC_OPTIONS']['tslib/class.tslib_fe.php']
      ['checkDataSubmission'] ?? [] as $className) {
   $_procObj = GeneralUtility::makeInstance($className);

Using with \TYPO3\CMS\Core\Utility\GeneralUtility::callUserFunction()

Constructor post-processing:

use \YPO3\CMS\Core\Utility\GeneralUtility;

// Call post-processing function for constructor:
if (is_array($this->TYPO3_CONF_VARS['SC_OPTIONS']['tslib/class.tslib_fe.php']['tslib_fe-PostProc'])) {
   $_params = array('pObj' => &$this);
   foreach($this->TYPO3_CONF_VARS['SC_OPTIONS']['tslib/class.tslib_fe.php']['tslib_fe-PostProc'] as $_funcRef) {
     GeneralUtility::callUserFunction($_funcRef,$_params, $this);

Hook configuration

There is no complete index of hooks in the Core. But they are easy to search for and find. And typically it comes quite naturally since you will find the hooks in the code you want to extend - if they exist.

This index will list the main variable spaces for configuration of hooks. By the names of these you can easily scan the source code to find which hooks are available or might be interesting for you.

The index below also includes some variable spaces which not only carry hook configuration but might be used for other purposes as well.


Configuration space for extensions.

This will contain all kinds of configuration options for specific extensions including possible hooks in them! What options are available to you will depend on a search in the documentation for that particular extension.

$GLOBALS['TYPO3_CONF_VARS']['EXTCONF']['<extension_key>']['<sub_key>'] = '<value>';
  • <extension_key> : The unique extension key

  • <sub_key> : Whatever the script defines. Typically it identifies the context of the hook

  • <value> : It is up to the extension what the values mean, if they are mere configuration options or hooks or whatever and how deep the arrays go. Read the source code where the options are implemented to see. Or the documentation of the extension, if available.


$GLOBALS['TYPO3_CONF_VARS']['EXTCONF'] was the recommended place where to put hook configurations inside third party extensions. It is not recommended anymore to introduce news hooks. Events should be used instead.


Configuration space for Core scripts.

This array is created as an ad hoc space for creating hooks from any script. This will typically be used from the Core scripts of TYPO3 which do not have a natural identifier like extensions have their extension keys.

$GLOBALS['TYPO3_CONF_VARS']['SC_OPTIONS']['<main_key>']['<sub_key>']['<index>'] = '<function_reference>';
  • <main_key> : The relative path of a script (for output scripts it should be the "script ID" as found in a comment in the HTML header )

  • <sub_key> : Whatever the script defines. Typically it identifies the context of the hook.

  • <index> : Integer index typically. Can be unique string if you have a reason to use that. Normally it has no greater significance since the value of the key is not used. The hooks normally traverse over the array and uses only the value (function reference)

  • <function_reference> : A function reference using the syntax of \TYPO3\CMS\Core\Utility\GeneralUtility::callUserFunction() as a function or \TYPO3\CMS\Core\Utility\GeneralUtility::makeInstance() as a class name depending on implementation of the hook.

    A namespace function has the quoted string format 'Foo\\Bar\\MyClassName->myUserFunction' or a format using an unquoted class name \Foo\Bar\MyClassName::class . '->myUserFunction'. The latter is available since PHP 5.5.

    A namespace class name can be in the FQCN quoted string format 'Foo\\Bar\\MyClassName', or in the unquoted form \Foo\Bar\MyClassName::class. The called function name is determined by the hook itself.

    Leading backslashes for class names are not allowed and lead to an error.

The above syntax is how a hook is typically defined but it might differ and it might not be a hook at all, but just configuration. Depends on implementation in any case.

The following example shows a hook from \TYPO3\CMS\Frontend\Controller\TypoScriptFrontendController. In this case the function \TYPO3\CMS\Core\Utility\GeneralUtility::makeInstance() is used for the hook. The function_reference is referring to the class name only since the function returns an object instance of that class. The method name to call is predefined by the hook, in this case sendFormmail_preProcessVariables(). This method allows to pass any number of variables along instead of the limited $params and $pObj variables from \TYPO3\CMS\Core\Utility\GeneralUtility::callUserFunction().

use TYPO3\CMS\Core\Utility\GeneralUtility

// Hook for preprocessing of the content for formmails:
if (is_array($this->TYPO3_CONF_VARS['SC_OPTIONS']['tslib/class.tslib_fe.php']['sendFormmail-PreProcClass'])) {
    foreach($this->TYPO3_CONF_VARS['SC_OPTIONS']['tslib/class.tslib_fe.php']['sendFormmail-PreProcClass'] as $_classRef) {
        $_procObj = GeneralUtility::makeInstance($_classRef);
        $EMAIL_VARS = $_procObj->sendFormmail_preProcessVariables($EMAIL_VARS, $this);

In this example we are looking at a special hook, namely the one for RTE transformations. It is not a "hook" in the strict sense, but the same principles are used. In this case the "index" key is defined to be the transformation key name, not a random integer since we do not iterate over the array as usual. \TYPO3\CMS\Core\Utility\GeneralUtility::makeInstance() is also used.

 if ($className = $GLOBALS['TYPO3_CONF_VARS']['SC_OPTIONS']['t3lib/class.t3lib_parsehtml_proc.php']['transformation'][$cmd]) {
     $_procObj = GeneralUtility::makeInstance($className);
     $_procObj->pObj = $this;
     $_procObj->transformationKey = $cmd;
     $value = $_procObj->transform_db($value, $this);

A classic hook also from \TYPO3\CMS\Frontend\Controller\TypoScriptFrontendController. This one is based on \TYPO3\CMS\Core\Utility\GeneralUtility::callUserFunction() and it passes a reference to $this along to the function via $_params. In the user-defined function $_params['pObj']->content is meant to be manipulated in some way. The return value is insignificant - everything works by the reference to the parent object.

use TYPO3\CMS\Core\Utility\GeneralUtility

// Hook for post-processing of page content cached/non-cached:
if (is_array($this->TYPO3_CONF_VARS['SC_OPTIONS']['tslib/class.tslib_fe.php']['contentPostProc-all'])) {
    $_params = array('pObj' => &$this);
    foreach($this->TYPO3_CONF_VARS['SC_OPTIONS']['tslib/class.tslib_fe.php']['contentPostProc-all'] as $_funcRef) {
        GeneralUtility::callUserFunction($_funcRef, $_params, $this);


Configuration space for backend modules.

Among these configuration options you might find entry points for hooks in the backend. This somehow overlaps the intention of SC_OPTIONS above but this array is an older invention and slightly outdated.

$TBE_MODULES_EXT['<backend_module_key>']['<sub_key'>] = '<value>';
  • <backend_module_key> : The backend module key for which the configuration is used.

  • <sub_key> : Whatever the backend module defines.

  • <value> : Whatever the backend module defines.

The following example shows TBE_MODULES_EXT being used for adding items to the Context Sensitive Menus (Clickmenu) in the backend. The hook value is an array with a key pointing to a file reference to class file to include. Later each class is instantiated and a fixed method inside is called to do processing on the array of menu items. This kind of hook is non-standard in the way it is made.

// Setting internal array of classes for extending the clickmenu:
$this->extClassArray = $GLOBALS['TBE_MODULES_EXT']['xMOD_alt_clickmenu']['extendCMclasses'];

// Traversing that array and setting files for inclusion:
if (is_array($this->extClassArray)) {
    foreach($this->extClassArray as $extClassConf) {
        if ($extClassConf['path'])    $this->include_once[]=$extClassConf['path'];

The following code listings works in the same way. First, a list of class files to include is registered. Then in the second code listing the same array is traversed and each class is instantiated and a fixed function name is called for processing.

// Setting class files to include:
if (is_array($TBE_MODULES_EXT['xMOD_db_new_content_el']['addElClasses'])) {
    $this->include_once = array_merge($this->include_once,$TBE_MODULES_EXT['xMOD_db_new_content_el']['addElClasses']);

if (is_array($TBE_MODULES_EXT['xMOD_db_new_content_el']['addElClasses'])) {
    while(list($class,$path)=each($TBE_MODULES_EXT['xMOD_db_new_content_el']['addElClasses'])) {
        $modObj = \TYPO3\CMS\Core\Utility\GeneralUtility::makeInstance($class);
        $wizardItems = $modObj->proc($wizardItems);