What is the difference between NG container and template?

What really is the distinction between NG container and template? Is one better than the other? What are the specific use-cases where a developer should choose one over the other? These are some of the baffling questions faced by developers and tech enthusiasts when dealing with Angular, a popular platform for building web applications.

The main issue lies in the inherent ambiguity and confusion about when to use NG container and when to use template. This quandary often leads to a suboptimal development process, as highlighted by John Papa, a well-known authority on Angular, and Deborah Kurata, an Angular Google Developer Expert. They emphasize the need for a clearer understanding and guidance on this subject. Surveys conducted across several developer communities in the USA have also indicated a substantial amount of confusion around the optimal use of these two elements. This identifies the need for a solution that can help developers make more informed decisions.

In this article, you will learn about the significant differences between NG container and template. The piece will further demystify the intricacies of these elements and provide practical examples showcasing why and how these two are used. Providing a detailed analysis, it will help in guiding developers in accurately knowing where and when to use an NG container or a Template.

You will gain insights from industry experts, combined with data gathered from developer surveys in the USA. By the end of the article, you will have a nuanced understanding of these two elements, their relevance, and their most effective usage in different scenarios to build more dynamic and effective Angular apps.

What is the difference between NG container and template?

Definitions: Understanding NG Container and Template

NG Container and Template are two vital concepts in Angular, a widely-known platform for developing web applications. The NG Container is a logical container that doesn’t interfere with styles and layout because it’s not rendered in the DOM (Document Object Model). It’s used to apply structural directives like ngIf, ngFor, etc without adding any additional elements to the DOM. Contrastingly, a Template in Angular refers to a chunk of HTML view. It provides a mechanism for storing chunks of HTML and rendering them as part of the main document in a dynamic way, in response to a user’s actions. In essence, Templates offer greater versatility but might impact styles and layout, while NG Container shields your layout from potential distortions.

Unmasking the Mystery: NG Container Versus Template – The Unrevealed Truth

Understanding NG Container

NG Container is an Angular directive used to control the structural behaviour of elements in your markup without adding any extra elements to the Document Object Model (DOM). One of the striking features of the NG Container directive is that it doesn’t interfere with styles or layouts because it doesn’t belong to the Renderer2’s native element. As a result, it can manipulate or manage elements within your markup without changing or modifying the original layout.

The beauty of the NG Container directive shines with the use of structural directives like *ngFor and *ngIf. These directives provide a declarative programming style and a clean way to manipulate the DOM. For example, NG Container allows you to loop over data without creating unnecessary extra elements.

Template In Angular

In Angular, a Template serves as the blueprint for how a component should be instantiated. They basically play the component’s host role, and it’s the place where the bindings and directive are glued together to shape the application logic. You may consider it as the architectural basis of the Angular application, where all the building blocks of user interface like components, directives, and data binding come together.

Unlike NG Container, Template encapsulates a chunk of HTML within a script block. However, it adds an extra layer of complexity when dealing with binding expressions or directives.

  • NG Container is great for controlling conditional structures without introducing unnecessary embedded HTML elements.
  • In contrast, Templates are the blueprint for how a component should be instantiated. They provide the foundation and attachment point for directives and binding expressions.

So, while NG Container and Template serve different functions, they are essential tools in Angular’s toolbox. The NG Container directives primarily manipulate and control the layout elements without adding or changing the existing structure. Templates, on the other hand, embody the entire layout and give life to the components by binding values and integrating directives. Both of these, working in harmony, allow developers to manipulate, control, and bind the user interface with a high degree of flexibility and cleanliness.

Exploding Misconceptions: How the NG Container Diverges from a Template

A Challenge to Prevailing Assumptions?

Does the difference between NG Container and Template really matter? As developers dive deeper into Angular, they’re bound to encounter these two concepts. At first glance, they might seem identical, but a closer inspection reveals that they serve distinct purposes in the context of Angular development. They both play vital roles in manipulating and managing HTML in Angular applications, however, their functioning is quite different. Thus, understanding them forms the basis for making headway in Angular.

Angular provides two directives namely, ng-container and ng-template that help manage the application’s structure. Despite both being structural directives, their utility and implementation vary greatly. Ng-template is used to define a block of HTML that you can instantiate and insert elsewhere in the code. It creates a template but it’s never displayed directly. Think of it as a method you might invoke at certain conditions. On the other hand, ng-container can be considered as a grouping element that doesn’t interfere with styles or layout because Angular doesn’t put it in the DOM. This makes ng-container a better choice for structural directives when you don’t want to create an extra element.

A Predicament Engulfed in Confusion

Yet, several developers fail to correctly distinguish these two. This may lead to ineffectual coding practices, where despite having the tools at their disposal, developers fail to utilize the correct directive due to a lack of understanding. Ng-template is designed to help developers create reusable pieces of code. Its brilliance lies in its capacity to hold a chunk of HTML, which doesn’t get rendered initially but can be instantiated multiple places in the code. However, it’s not unusual to see developers resorting to ng-template for more straightforward scenarios where a simple grouping of structural elements using ng-container would suffice. Understanding the optimal use-case of these directives is the keystone to mastering Angular.

Sketching the Best Practices

Let’s discuss a few practical examples where these directives can be best utilized. When we want to apply multiple structural directives to a single element, using ng-container can be a smart move. It groups the content and applies the directives without adding unnecessary elements to the DOM. Imagine you wish to show a list where the items are both conditionally present and repeatable. You can’t apply both *ngFor and *ngIf on the same element. This issue is solved with ng-container.

On the other hand, ng-template shines when we wish to control when and how many times a part of the HTML is rendered and where. Suppose you’re creating a tab-based navigation where the content of each tab depends on the active tab. You can define the content for each tab within ng-template and show it when the respective tab is active. Thus, with the right knowledge of these directives, a developer can write more efficient Angular code.

Decoding the Paradox: NG Container and Template – More Than Just Semantic Differences

A Thought-Provoking Look at NG Container and Template

Have you ever considered the intricate dynamics of Angular’s NG Container and Template? These two functions, although distinct, are powerful tools in frontend development. To fully grasp their unique qualities, we need to delve deeper into their descriptions. The NG Container is a logical container that users can’t actually see. It doesn’t produce HTML or interact with the Document Object Model(DOM). It is typically used in the structural directive where you don’t want to create an extra element in the DOM. On the other hand, Template, also known as ng-template, is an Angular element for rendering HTML. It is never displayed directly but used as an instruction set to let Angular know how to render the component.

Deciphering the Complication

Despite their inherent functionalities, the utilization of NG Container and Template often paves the way for complex situations. Firstly, the problem with ng-container is that it can only accept structural directives and not any other attribute, class, or event. This limitation means it cannot replace every use of a regular HTML tag. Secondly, the use of ng-template in some cases can become tricky. It doesn’t get rendered by itself and often requires a host, such as ngIf, ngFor, or [ngSwitch] directives, making it a bit tricky to leverage. But understanding its function can make the development process easier.

Best Practices for NG Container and Template

When it comes to the correct usage of NG Container and Template, certain practices are considered beneficial. For instance, NG Container, despite its limitations, can be used to group multiple root nodes. This implementation becomes handy when Angular starts treating a group of HTML elements as a single unit while using particular structural directives. Regarding ng-template, it is vital to remember that it’s not just a DOM element but an instance of the TemplateRef class. Developers should use ng-template only when there is a requirement to manipulate the view. Furthermore, it can be used to create embedded views, which is an important aspect of making dynamic components. These practices can assist in optimizing the process of Angular development. Overall, NG Container and Template, each with its unique functionalities and complexities, provide developers with the flexibility to create efficient and dynamic web applications.


Have you ever stopped to wonder about the key distinctions that set NG Container apart from a template? These two concepts, although similar, have distinct attributes that significantly alter how you structure your Angular projects.

In essence, an NG Container provides a more efficient, performance-optimized solution for adding and controlling elements dynamically in the Angular framework. It’s incredibly helpful when you need to add structural directives to a section of your project without adding a DOM element, thus keeping your code clean and coherent. On the other hand, a template, which is a building block of Angular renders its content only when needed; it is delay-loaded. Hence, this characteristic of template makes it an optimal choice when looking to create reusable, customizable, and dynamic content.

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1. What is an NG container in Angular?

NgContainer is a grouping element that doesn’t interfere with styles or layout because Angular doesn’t put it in the DOM. This makes it very useful for applying directives to a group of elements.

2. How does a template work in Angular?

A template in Angular is a HTML view where you can render data. It can contain data binding for rendering dynamic data, or directives to apply additional behavior to the HTML.

3. What are the key differences between NG container and template?

The key difference is that NgContainer doesn’t render any DOM element, while a template in Angular renders HTML. This means that NgContainer has no visual representation and doesn’t affect the page layout, whereas templates do.

4. When should I use NG Container and when should I use a template?

You should use NgContainer when you need to apply directives to a group of elements but don’t want to create unnecessary DOM elements. Use templates to create views with dynamic content, using data binding and directives.

5. Can NG containers and templates be combined?

Yes, in fact, they often are. You can use an NgContainer inside a template to group elements without affecting the DOM, while using the template’s ability to render dynamic content.