Appendix A – What is TypoScript?

People are often confused about what TypoScript (TS) is, where it can be used and have a tendency to think of it as something complex. This chapter has been written in the hope of clarifying these issues.

First let's start with a basic truth:

  • TypoScript is a syntax for defining information in a hierarchical structure using simple ASCII text content.

This means that:

  • TypoScript itself does not "do" anything - it just contains information.
  • TypoScript is only transformed into function when it is passed to a program which is designed to act according to the information in a TypoScript information structure.

So strictly speaking TypoScript has no function in itself, only when used in a certain context. Since the context is almost always to configure something you can often understand TypoScript as parameters (or function arguments) passed to a function which acts accordingly (e.g. "background_color = red"). And on the contrary you will probably never see TypoScript used to store information like a database of addresses - you would use XML or SQL for that.