The compress directive is useful for removing superfluous white-space when you use a white-space insensitive format (e.g. HTML or XML). It captures the output generated inside its body (i.e. between its start-tag and end-tag), and reduces all unbroken white-space sequences to a single white-space character. The inserted character will be a line break if the replaced sequence contains line breaks, or a space otherwise. The very first and very last unbroken white-space sequences will be completely removed.

<#assign x = "    moo  \n\n   ">
  1 2  3   4    5
  test only

  I said, test only


will output:

(1 2 3 4 5
test only
I said, test only)