How to generate Java FreeMarker output as a String

I started using the Java FreeMarker template library recently, and I was surprised that it doesn’t return its output as a String by default. Skipping my angst over that, this code shows how to output FreeMarker results to a String:

// write the freemarker output to a StringWriter
val stringWriter = new StringWriter
template.process(data, stringWriter)

// get the String from the StringWriter
val string = stringWriter.toString

(That code is written in Scala, but as you can see, it converts easily to Java.)

The following complete FreeMarker example shows how this works:

import java.util._
import freemarker.template._
import scala.collection.JavaConversions._
import scala.collection.mutable.ArrayBuffer
object Test1 extends App {
    val cfg = new Configuration
    try {
        val template = cfg.getTemplate("/Users/al/Projects/Scala/Tests/FreeMarkerTests/hello.ftl")
        val data = scala.collection.mutable.Map[String, Object]()
        data += ("message" -> "Hello, world!")
        val countries = new ArrayBuffer[String]
        countries += ("India")
        countries += ("United States")
        countries += ("Germany")
        countries += ("France")
        data.put("countries", countries)
        // write to string
        val output = new StringWriter
        template.process(data, output)
        val stringResult = output.toString
        // do whatever you want/need to do with the string here ...
    } catch {
        case t: Throwable => //t.printStaceTrace


The source code for most of that class comes from this link. I just added the part that shows how to output the FreeMarker template result as a String.