Smart Fields are a very powerful tool to display dynamic text, useful in wide range of cases, from visualizing date/time (for example and automatically updating copyright label) to extracting EXIF information from a photo, to displaying math formulas to text animation.

Smart Fields work inside text elements and buttons, and have a bubble-like appearance when you edit them. A subsequent click on the bubble opens the Smart Field settings.

Smart fields are inserted via the “Smart Fields” option in the “Insert” menu, or from the text inspector’s button “Insert Smart Field…” when editing a text, and they otherwise work like regular text in terms of editing, copy/pasting and deleting.

In the browser preview or in the published site, the Smart Fields will be fully functional.

Smart field types


This Smart Field shows the current date/time, in one of several date and time formats. If the “Continuous” option is selected, the date and time is updated on the page as time changes.

Page Title

This Smart Field shows the title of the specified page in the website. This is useful to refer to a different page and keep the name updated.

Countdown effect

This Smart Field shows a countdown in the browser. It will count down to a target date or count a fixed number of seconds, it supports various formats.

When the countdown expires, it will perform an action:

  • go to a website page;
  • go to an external link;
  • close the popup (if used in a popup);
  • enable the button when the countdown reaches 0 (if used in a button);
  • replace with a link on the website;
  • replace with an external link;
  • replace with text.

Replacement options replace all the text in the element where the countdown is used.

Flipboard effect

This is an option of the countdown. The flipboard can be customized with borders and shadow. The flipboard tile background color and the shadow settings are taken from the surrounding text, set via the text inspector.

Counter effect

This Smart Field shows an animated counter, from a start value to an end value. The counter starts when the text element becomes visible in the browser.

Typewriter effect

This Smart Field creates text effects simulating keystrokes or animating text. The typewriter setup is a sequence of “events”, adding and removing text.

Text animation can combine:

  • motion (from left, right, top, bottom);
  • scaling (zoom in/out);
  • rotation (left/right);
  • opacity;
  • blur.

Math Formula

This Smart Field is used to insert mathematical formulas in the text using a subset of MathJax markup.

Blog Post Title, Author and Date/Time

These Smart Fields are for use as in text elements of a blog post page.

Code Snippet

The Code Snippet Smart Field is used to insert generic Javascript or PHP code in a text field, its part of the developer tools.

Site Search Query

The Site Search Query is a Smart Field that's used in the search results page, it is always the current search query, showing what the site visitor searched for.


The EXIF Data smart field shows information extracted from a specified image in the page. If used in an image gallery label it is implicitly associated to the correspondent image. Otherwise you can choose which image in the page it refers to, or the nearest image on the page. The latter option makes it practical to duplicate a text block with dynamically updated image information (via smart fields) and get the appropriate information by just placing it next to each image.

Several information can be extracted from images:

  • Exposure Time;
  • Aperture;
  • ISO Speed;
  • Focal Length;
  • Original Date/Time;
  • Flash;
  • Camera Model;
  • Lens Model;
  • GPS location and altitude;
  • Image file name;
  • Image description (sometimes referred to as “Caption” in image library software like Adobe Lightroom);
  • Image copyright.

User Accounts

The User Accounts smart fields show information about the currently logged in user, when your website has password protection active. The following information can be shown, all of which is entered in the password protection section of the site settings:

  • Username
  • Name
  • Surname
  • Email
  • Additional information

Please report any shortcoming in this documentation and we’ll fix it as soon as possible!

Updated for Sparkle 5.2

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