Although the main "meat" of W3TPL is the (as-yet-unfinished) parser for text within <w3tpl></w3tpl> tags, there are a number of other tags which replicate much of the same functionality and may be suitable for simpler tasks.
In order to get around the parser, most of these tags have ways of using internal data for their values rather than depending on the parser to get things in the right order. to be documented
One of the weaknesses of the MediaWiki parser is that it cannot deal with nested tags properly; the ending-tag of a tag-pair nested inside another tag-pair results in closure of the outer tag-pair as well, and any text past the internal closing-tag is displayed rather than being passed to the tag handler. W3TPL allows you to get around this limitation by defining functions which are parsed separately from the code-block in which they are executing.
- name=: name of variable being accessed (usage depends on tag)
- hide: if present, the contents of the tag will not be displayed except for those enclosed by Template:w3tpl/tagTemplate:w3tpl/tag tags. If absent, the contents of the Template:w3tpl/tagTemplate:w3tpl/tag tags are ignored and only the remainder of the content is shown. (At present, contents of the Template:w3tpl/tag tag itself are never displayed; this will be changed to enable the <echo> tag at some point.)
- parse: parse any wikitext when reading the value of a variable