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This tells smarty to respect the include_path within the File Template Resource handler and the plugin loader to resolve the directories known to $template_dir. The flag also makes the plugin loader check the include_path for $plugins_dir.


You should not design your applications to rely on the include_path, as this may - depending on your implementation - slow down your system (and Smarty) considerably.

If use_include_path is enabled, file discovery for $template_dir and $plugins_dir work as follows.

  • For each element $directory in array ($template_dir or $plugins_dir) do

  • Test if requested file is in $directory relative to the current working directory. If file found, return it.

  • For each $path in include_path do

  • Test if requested file is in $directory relative to the $path (possibly relative to the current working directory). If file found, return it.

  • Try default_handler or fail.

This means that whenever a directory/file relative to the current working directory is encountered, it is preferred over anything potentially accessible through the include_path.


Smarty does not filter elements of the include_path. That means a ".:" within your include path will trigger the current working directory lookup twice.

See also Template Resources and $template_dir

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