Find MVC template view by name

I am writing an HtmlHelper extension and I need to search for the existence of a template by name. The template in question may be a display or editor template depending on the context. My initial thought was to use ViewEngines.Engines.FindPartialView method. However, it appears that this method is not searching the ~/Views/Shared/DisplayTemplates and ~/Views/Shared/EditorTemplates directories. I suppose this is for good reason. After all, how would the ViewEngine know whether to return the display or editor template without some additional information of context?

So, that leads to the question: how can I search for a specific EditorTemplate/DisplayTemplate I've considered adding a custom view engine to the ViewEngines collection to include these locations. I'm concerned, however, that this might be problematic.

My main concern is that the DisplayTemplate/EditorTemplate view might be served up for something unintended. Does anyone else see this as a problem? Is it a better idea just to new up a specific DisplayTemplateViewEngine/EditorTemplateViewEngine instance when necessary and keep the ViewEngines collection clear of this specific functionality? Is there something else I'm missing?


I absolutely love that the MVC framework is open source! I was able to determine, from the TemplateHelpers class (internal to the MVC Runtime) that the DataBoundControlMode is considered when rendering a template. The answer was simple! All I have to do is prefix the template name with the appropriate template director. So, to find a display template:

var metadata = ModelMetadata.FromLambdaExpression(expression, HtmlHelper.ViewData);
    string.Format("DisplayTemplates/{0}", metadata.TemplateHint))

No additional view engines or routing required! In case you're interested in the application, my helper is auto-generating UI components for a given model. I wanted to enable the existence of a custom template to bypass the automated rendering.

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