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choice Field Type

choice Field Type

A multi-purpose field used to allow the user to "choose" one or more options. It can be rendered as a select tag, radio buttons, or checkboxes.

To use this field, you must specify either the choice_list or choices option.

Rendered as can be various tags (see below)
Options
Inherited options
Parent type form (if expanded), field otherwise
Class ChoiceType

Example Usage

The easiest way to use this field is to specify the choices directly via the choices option. The key of the array becomes the value that's actually set on your underlying object (e.g. m), while the value is what the user sees on the form (e.g. Male).

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$builder->add('gender', 'choice', array(
    'choices'   => array('m' => 'Male', 'f' => 'Female'),
    'required'  => false,
));

By setting multiple to true, you can allow the user to choose multiple values. The widget will be rendered as a multiple select tag or a series of checkboxes depending on the expanded option:

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$builder->add('availability', 'choice', array(
    'choices'   => array(
        'morning'   => 'Morning',
        'afternoon' => 'Afternoon',
        'evening'   => 'Evening',
    ),
    'multiple'  => true,
));

You can also use the choice_list option, which takes an object that can specify the choices for your widget.

Select tag, Checkboxes or Radio Buttons

This field may be rendered as one of several different HTML fields, depending on the expanded and multiple options:

element type expanded multiple
select tag false false
select tag (with multiple attribute) false true
radio buttons true false
checkboxes true true

Field Options

choices

type: array default: array()

This is the most basic way to specify the choices that should be used by this field. The choices option is an array, where the array key is the item value and the array value is the item's label:

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$builder->add('gender', 'choice', array(
    'choices' => array('m' => 'Male', 'f' => 'Female')
));

choice_list

type: Symfony\Component\Form\Extension\Core\ChoiceList\ChoiceListInterface

This is one way of specifying the options to be used for this field. The choice_list option must be an instance of the ChoiceListInterface. For more advanced cases, a custom class that implements the interface can be created to supply the choices.

multiple

type: Boolean default: false

If true, the user will be able to select multiple options (as opposed to choosing just one option). Depending on the value of the expanded option, this will render either a select tag or checkboxes if true and a select tag or radio buttons if false. The returned value will be an array.

expanded

type: Boolean default: false

If set to true, radio buttons or checkboxes will be rendered (depending on the multiple value). If false, a select element will be rendered.

preferred_choices

type: array default: array()

If this option is specified, then a sub-set of all of the options will be moved to the top of the select menu. The following would move the "Baz" option to the top, with a visual separator between it and the rest of the options:

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$builder->add('foo_choices', 'choice', array(
    'choices' => array('foo' => 'Foo', 'bar' => 'Bar', 'baz' => 'Baz'),
    'preferred_choices' => array('baz'),
));

Note that preferred choices are only meaningful when rendering as a select element (i.e. expanded is false). The preferred choices and normal choices are separated visually by a set of dotted lines (i.e. -------------------). This can be customized when rendering the field:

  • Twig
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    {{ form_widget(form.foo_choices, { 'separator': '=====' }) }}
    
  • PHP
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    <?php echo $view['form']->widget($form['foo_choices'], array('separator' => '=====')) ?>
    

empty_value

type: string or Boolean

This option determines whether or not a special "empty" option (e.g. "Choose an option") will appear at the top of a select widget. This option only applies if both the expanded and multiple options are set to false.

  • Add an empty value with "Choose an option" as the text:

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    $builder->add('states', 'choice', array(
        'empty_value' => 'Choose an option',
    ));
    
  • Guarantee that no "empty" value option is displayed:

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    $builder->add('states', 'choice', array(
        'empty_value' => false,
    ));
    

If you leave the empty_value option unset, then a blank (with no text) option will automatically be added if and only if the required option is false:

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// a blank (with no text) option will be added
$builder->add('states', 'choice', array(
    'required' => false,
));

Inherited options

These options inherit from the field type:

required

type: Boolean default: true

If true, an HTML5 required attribute will be rendered. The corresponding label will also render with a required class.

This is superficial and independent from validation. At best, if you let Symfony guess your field type, then the value of this option will be guessed from your validation information.

label

type: string default: The label is "guessed" from the field name

Sets the label that will be used when rendering the field. The label can also be directly set inside the template:

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{{ form_label(form.name, 'Your name') }}

read_only

type: Boolean default: false

If this option is true, the field will be rendered with the disabled attribute so that the field is not editable.

error_bubbling

type: Boolean default: false

If true, any errors for this field will be passed to the parent field or form. For example, if set to true on a normal field, any errors for that field will be attached to the main form, not to the specific field.

These options inherit from the date type:

virtual

type: boolean default: false

This option determines if the form will be mapped with data. This can be useful if you need a form to structure the view. See How to use the Virtual Form Field Option.

by_reference

type: Boolean default: true

In most cases, if you have a name field, then you expect setName to be called on the underlying object. In some cases, however, setName may not be called. Setting by_reference ensures that the setter is called in all cases.

To explain this further, here's a simple example:

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$builder = $this->createFormBuilder($article);
$builder
    ->add('title', 'text')
    ->add(
        $builder->create('author', 'form', array('by_reference' => ?))
            ->add('name', 'text')
            ->add('email', 'email')
    )

If by_reference is true, the following takes place behind the scenes when you call bindRequest on the form:

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$article->setTitle('...');
$article->getAuthor()->setName('...');
$article->getAuthor()->setEmail('...');

Notice that setAuthor is not called. The author is modified by reference.

If you set by_reference to false, binding looks like this:

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$article->setTitle('...');
$author = $article->getAuthor();
$author->setName('...');
$author->setEmail('...');
$article->setAuthor($author);

So, all that by_reference=false really does is force the framework to call the setter on the parent object.

Similarly, if you're using the collection form type where your underlying collection data is an object (like with Doctrine's ArrayCollection), then by_reference must be set to false if you need the setter (e.g. setAuthors) to be called.

empty_data

type: mixed default: array() if multiple or expanded, '' otherwise

This option determines what value the field will return when the empty_value choice is selected.

For example, if you want the gender field to be set to null when no value is selected, you can do it like this:

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$builder->add('gender', 'choice', array(
    'choices' => array(
        'm' => 'Male',
        'f' => 'Female'
    ),
    'required'    => false,
    'empty_value' => 'Choose your gender',
    'empty_data'  => null
));

Note

If you want to set the empty_data option for your entire form class, see the cookbook article How to configure Empty Data for a Form Class

This work, including the code samples, is licensed under a Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0 license.