cfn-include is a preprocessor for CloudFormation templates which extends CloudFormation's intrinsic functions. For example, Fn::Include provides a convenient way to include files, which can be local, a URL or on an S3 bucket (with proper IAM authentication if necessary). It supports both JSON and YAML as input and output format. CloudFormation's tag syntax for YAML (e.g. !GetAtt) is supported as well. cfn-include tries to be minimally invasive, meaning that the template will still look and feel like an ordinary CloudFormation template. This is what sets cfn-include apart from other CloudFormation preprocessors such as CFNDSL, StackFormation and AWSBoxen. There is no need to use a scripting language or adjust to new syntax. Check them out though, they might be a better fit for you.