bbp_locate_template( string|array $template_names, bool $load = false, bool $require_once = true )

Retrieve the name of the highest priority template file that exists.


Searches in the child theme before parent theme so that themes which inherit from a parent theme can just overload one file. If the template is not found in either of those, it looks in the theme-compat folder last.



(string|array) (Required) Template file(s) to search for, in order.


(bool) (Optional) If true the template file will be loaded if it is found.

Default value: false


(bool) (Optional) Whether to require_once or require. Has no effect if $load is false.

Default value: true


(string) The template filename if one is located.


File: bp-forums/core/template-functions.php

function bbp_locate_template( $template_names, $load = false, $require_once = true ) {

	// No file found yet
	$located            = false;
	$template_locations = bbp_get_template_stack();

	// Try to find a template file
	foreach ( (array) $template_names as $template_name ) {

		// Continue if template is empty
		if ( empty( $template_name ) ) {

		// Trim off any slashes from the template name
		$template_name  = ltrim( $template_name, '/' );

		// Loop through template stack
		foreach ( (array) $template_locations as $template_location ) {

			// Continue if $template_location is empty
			if ( empty( $template_location ) ) {

			// Check child theme first
			if ( file_exists( trailingslashit( $template_location ) . $template_name ) ) {
				$located = trailingslashit( $template_location ) . $template_name;
				break 2;

	 * This action exists only to follow the standard Forums coding convention,
	 * and should not be used to short-circuit any part of the template locator.
	 * If you want to override a specific template part, please either filter
	 * 'bbp_get_template_part' or add a new location to the template stack.
	do_action( 'bbp_locate_template', $located, $template_name, $template_names, $template_locations, $load, $require_once );

	// Maybe load the template if one was located
	if ( ( true === $load ) && !empty( $located ) ) {
		load_template( $located, $require_once );

	return $located;


Version Description
bbPress (r3618) Introduced.


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