ChoiceType Field (select drop-downs, radio buttons & checkboxes)

ChoiceType Field (select drop-downs, radio buttons & checkboxes)

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 choices or choice_loader option.

Rendered as can be various tags (see below)
Options
Overridden options
Inherited options
Parent type FormType
Class ChoiceType

Example Usage

The easiest way to use this field is to specify the choices directly via the choices option:

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use Symfony\Component\Form\Extension\Core\Type\ChoiceType;
// ...

$builder->add('isAttending', ChoiceType::class, array(
    'choices'  => array(
        'Maybe' => null,
        'Yes' => true,
        'No' => false,
    ),
));

This will create a select drop-down like this:

../../../_images/choice-example1.png

If the user selects No, the form will return false for this field. Similarly, if the starting data for this field is true, then Yes will be auto-selected. In other words, the value of each item is the value you want to get/set in PHP code, while the key is what will be shown to the user.

Advanced Example (with Objects!)

This field has a lot of options and most control how the field is displayed. In this example, the underlying data is some Category object that has a getName() method:

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use Symfony\Component\Form\Extension\Core\Type\ChoiceType;
use AppBundle\Entity\Category;
// ...

$builder->add('category', ChoiceType::class, [
    'choices' => [
        new Category('Cat1'),
        new Category('Cat2'),
        new Category('Cat3'),
        new Category('Cat4'),
    ],
    'choice_label' => function($category, $key, $index) {
        /** @var Category $category */
        return strtoupper($category->getName());
    },
    'choice_attr' => function($category, $key, $index) {
        return ['class' => 'category_'.strtolower($category->getName())];
    },
    'group_by' => function($category, $key, $index) {
        // randomly assign things into 2 groups
        return rand(0, 1) == 1 ? 'Group A' : 'Group B';
    },
    'preferred_choices' => function($category, $key, $index) {
        return $category->getName() == 'Cat2' || $category->getName() == 'Cat3';
    },
]);

You can also customize the choice_name and choice_value of each choice if you need further HTML customization.

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

Customizing each Option's Text (Label)

Normally, the array key of each item in the choices option is used as the text that's shown to the user. But that can be completely customized via the choice_label option. Check it out for more details.

Grouping Options

You can easily "group" options in a select by passing a multi-dimensional choices array:

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use Symfony\Component\Form\Extension\Core\Type\ChoiceType;
// ...

$builder->add('stockStatus', ChoiceType::class, [
    'choices' => [
        'Main Statuses' => [
            'Yes' => 'stock_yes',
            'No' => 'stock_no',
        ],
        'Out of Stock Statuses' => [
            'Backordered' => 'stock_backordered',
            'Discontinued' => 'stock_discontinued',
        ]
    ],
);
../../../_images/choice-example4.png

To get fancier, use the group_by option.

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's label and the array value is the item's value:

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use Symfony\Component\Form\Extension\Core\Type\ChoiceType;
// ...

$builder->add('inStock', ChoiceType::class, array(
    'choices' => array('In Stock' => true, 'Out of Stock' => false),
));

choice_attr

type: array, callable or string default: array()

Use this to add additional HTML attributes to each choice. This can be an array of attributes (if they are the same for each choice), a callable or a property path (just like choice_label).

If an array, the keys of the choices array must be used as keys:

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use Symfony\Component\Form\Extension\Core\Type\ChoiceType;
// ...

$builder->add('attending', ChoiceType::class, array(
    'choices' => array(
        'Yes' => true,
        'No' => false,
        'Maybe' => null,
    ),
    'choice_attr' => function($val, $key, $index) {
        // adds a class like attending_yes, attending_no, etc
        return ['class' => 'attending_'.strtolower($key)];
    },
));

choice_label

type: string, callable or false default: null

Normally, the array key of each item in the choices option is used as the text that's shown to the user. The choice_label option allows you to take more control:

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use Symfony\Component\Form\Extension\Core\Type\ChoiceType;
// ...

$builder->add('attending', ChoiceType::class, array(
    'choices' => array(
        'yes' => true,
        'no' => false,
        'maybe' => null,
    ),
    'choice_label' => function ($value, $key, $index) {
        if ($value == true) {
            return 'Definitely!';
        }
        return strtoupper($key);

        // or if you want to translate some key
        //return 'form.choice.'.$key;
    },
));

This method is called for each choice, passing you the choice $value and the $key from the choices array ($index is related to choice_value). This will give you:

../../../_images/choice-example2.png

If your choice values are objects, then choice_label can also be a property path. Imagine you have some Status class with a getDisplayName() method:

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use Symfony\Component\Form\Extension\Core\Type\ChoiceType;
// ...

$builder->add('attending', ChoiceType::class, array(
    'choices' => array(
        new Status(Status::YES),
        new Status(Status::NO),
        new Status(Status::MAYBE),
    ),
    'choice_label' => 'displayName',
));

If set to false, all the tag labels will be discarded for radio or checkbox inputs. You can also return false from the callable to discard certain labels.

choice_loader

type: ChoiceLoaderInterface

The choice_loader can be used to only partially load the choices in cases where a fully-loaded list is not necessary. This is only needed in advanced cases and would replace the choices option.

choice_name

type: callable or string default: null

Controls the internal field name of the choice. You normally don't care about this, but in some advanced cases, you might. For example, this "name" becomes the index of the choice views in the template.

This can be a callable or a property path. See choice_label for similar usage. If null is used, an incrementing integer is used as the name.

choice_translation_domain

type: string, boolean or null

This option determines if the choice values should be translated and in which translation domain.

The values of the choice_translation_domain option can be true (reuse the current translation domain), false (disable translation), null (uses the parent translation domain or the default domain) or a string which represents the exact translation domain to use.

choice_value

type: callable or string default: null

Returns the string "value" for each choice. This is used in the value attribute in HTML and submitted in the POST/PUT requests. You don't normally need to worry about this, but it might be handy when processing an API request (since you can configure the value that will be sent in the API request).

This can be a callable or a property path. See choice_label for similar usage. If null is used, an incrementing integer is used as the name.

Caution

In Symfony 2.7, there was a small backwards-compatibility break with how the value attribute of options is generated. This is not a problem unless you rely on the option values in JavaScript. See issue #14825 for details.

choices_as_values

This option is deprecated and you should remove it from your 3.x projects (removing it will have no effect). For its purpose in 2.x, see the 2.7 documentation.

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.

group_by

type: array, callable or string default: null

You can easily "group" options in a select simply by passing a multi-dimensional array to choices. See the Grouping Options section about that.

The group_by option is an alternative way to group choices, which gives you a bit more flexibility.

Take the following example:

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use Symfony\Component\Form\Extension\Core\Type\ChoiceType;
// ...

$builder->add('publishAt', ChoiceType::class, array(
    'choices' => array(
        'now' => new \DateTime('now'),
        'tomorrow' => new \DateTime('+1 day'),
        '1 week' => new \DateTime('+1 week'),
        '1 month' => new \DateTime('+1 month')
    ),
    'group_by' => function($val, $key, $index) {
        if ($val <= new \DateTime('+3 days')) {
            return 'Soon';
        } else {
            return 'Later';
        }
    },
));

This groups the dates that are within 3 days into "Soon" and everything else into a "Later" group:

../../../_images/choice-example5.png

If you return null, the option won't be grouped. You can also pass a string "property path" that will be called to get the group. See the choice_label for details about using a property path.

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.

placeholder

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 the multiple option is set to false.

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

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    use Symfony\Component\Form\Extension\Core\Type\ChoiceType;
    // ...
    
    $builder->add('states', ChoiceType::class, array(
        'placeholder' => 'Choose an option',
    ));
    
  • Guarantee that no "empty" value option is displayed:

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    use Symfony\Component\Form\Extension\Core\Type\ChoiceType;
    // ...
    
    $builder->add('states', ChoiceType::class, array(
        'placeholder' => false,
    ));
    

If you leave the placeholder 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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use Symfony\Component\Form\Extension\Core\Type\ChoiceType;
// ...

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

preferred_choices

type: array, callable or string default: array()

This option allows you to move certain choices to the top of your list with a visual separator between them and the rest of the options. If you have a form of languages, you can list the most popular on top, like Bork Bork and Pirate:

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use Symfony\Component\Form\Extension\Core\Type\ChoiceType;
// ...

$builder->add('language', ChoiceType::class, array(
    'choices' => array(
        'English' => 'en',
        'Spanish' => 'es',
        'Bork'   => 'muppets',
        'Pirate' => 'arr'
    ),
    'preferred_choices' => array('muppets', 'arr')
));

This options can also be a callback function to give you more flexibility. This might be especially useful if your values are objects:

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use Symfony\Component\Form\Extension\Core\Type\ChoiceType;
// ...

$builder->add('publishAt', ChoiceType::class, array(
    'choices' => array(
        'now' => new \DateTime('now'),
        'tomorrow' => new \DateTime('+1 day'),
        '1 week' => new \DateTime('+1 week'),
        '1 month' => new \DateTime('+1 month')
    ),
    'preferred_choices' => function ($val, $key) {
        // prefer options within 3 days
        return $val <= new \DateTime('+3 days');
    },
));

This will "prefer" the "now" and "tomorrow" choices only:

../../../_images/choice-example3.png

Finally, if your values are objects, you can also specify a property path string on the object that will return true or false.

The preferred choices are only meaningful when rendering a select element (i.e. expanded 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:

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

Overridden Options

compound

type: boolean default: same value as expanded option

This option specifies if a form is compound. The value is by default overridden by the value of the expanded option.

empty_data

type: mixed

The actual default value of this option depends on other field options:

  • If multiple is false and expanded is false, then '' (empty string);
  • Otherwise array() (empty array).

This option determines what value the field will return when the submitted value is empty.

But you can customize this to your needs. For example, if you want the gender choice field to be explicitly set to null when no value is selected, you can do it like this:

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use Symfony\Component\Form\Extension\Core\Type\ChoiceType;
// ...

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

Note

If you want to set the empty_data option for your entire form class, see the How to Configure empty Data for a Form Class article.

error_bubbling

type: boolean default: false

Set that error on this field must be attached to the field instead of the parent field (the form in most cases).

Inherited Options

These options inherit from the FormType:

by_reference

type: boolean default: true

In most cases, if you have an author field, then you expect setAuthor() to be called on the underlying object. In some cases, however, setAuthor() may not be called. Setting by_reference to false ensures that the setter is called in all cases.

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

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use Symfony\Component\Form\Extension\Core\Type\TextType;
use Symfony\Component\Form\Extension\Core\Type\EmailType;
use Symfony\Component\Form\Extension\Core\Type\FormType;
// ...

$builder = $this->createFormBuilder($article);
$builder
    ->add('title', TextType::class)
    ->add(
        $builder->create('author', FormType::class, array('by_reference' => ?))
            ->add('name', TextType::class)
            ->add('email', EmailType::class)
    )

If by_reference is true, the following takes place behind the scenes when you call submit() (or handleRequest()) on the form:

$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, submitting 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 CollectionType field 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 adder and remover (e.g. addAuthor() and removeAuthor()) to be called.

data

type: mixed default: Defaults to field of the underlying object (if there is one)

When you create a form, each field initially displays the value of the corresponding property of the form's domain object (if an object is bound to the form). If you want to override the initial value for the form or just an individual field, you can set it in the data option:

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use Symfony\Component\Form\Extension\Core\Type\HiddenType;
// ...

$builder->add('token', HiddenType::class, array(
    'data' => 'abcdef',
));

Note

The default values for form fields are taken directly from the underlying data structure (e.g. an entity or an array). The data option overrides this default value.

disabled

type: boolean default: false

If you don't want a user to modify the value of a field, you can set the disabled option to true. Any submitted value will be ignored.

error_mapping

type: array default: array()

This option allows you to modify the target of a validation error.

Imagine you have a custom method named matchingCityAndZipCode that validates whether the city and zip code match. Unfortunately, there is no "matchingCityAndZipCode" field in your form, so all that Symfony can do is display the error on top of the form.

With customized error mapping, you can do better: map the error to the city field so that it displays above it:

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public function configureOptions(OptionsResolver $resolver)
{
    $resolver->setDefaults(array(
        'error_mapping' => array(
            'matchingCityAndZipCode' => 'city',
        ),
    ));
}

Here are the rules for the left and the right side of the mapping:

  • The left side contains property paths;
  • If the violation is generated on a property or method of a class, its path is simply propertyName;
  • If the violation is generated on an entry of an array or ArrayAccess object, the property path is [indexName];
  • You can construct nested property paths by concatenating them, separating properties by dots. For example: addresses[work].matchingCityAndZipCode;
  • The right side contains simply the names of fields in the form.

By default, errors for any property that is not mapped will bubble up to the parent form. You can use the dot (.) on the left side to map errors of all unmapped properties to a particular field. For instance, to map all these errors to the city field, use:

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$resolver->setDefaults(array(
    'error_mapping' => array(
        '.' => 'city',
    ),
));

inherit_data

type: boolean default: false

This option determines if the form will inherit data from its parent form. This can be useful if you have a set of fields that are duplicated across multiple forms. See How to Reduce Code Duplication with "inherit_data".

Caution

When a field has the inherit_data option set, it uses the data of the parent form as is. This means that Data Transformers won't be applied to that field.

label

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

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

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    {{ form_label(form.name, 'Your name') }}
    
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    echo $view['form']->label(
        $form['name'],
        'Your name'
    );
    

label_attr

type: array default: array()

Sets the HTML attributes for the <label> element, which will be used when rendering the label for the field. It's an associative array with HTML attribute as a key. This attributes can also be directly set inside the template:

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    {{ form_label(form.name, 'Your name', {
           'label_attr': {'class': 'CUSTOM_LABEL_CLASS'}
    }) }}
    
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    echo $view['form']->label(
        $form['name'],
        'Your name',
        array('label_attr' => array('class' => 'CUSTOM_LABEL_CLASS'))
    );
    

label_format

type: string default: null

Configures the string used as the label of the field, in case the label option was not set. This is useful when using keyword translation messages.

If you're using keyword translation messages as labels, you often end up having multiple keyword messages for the same label (e.g. profile_address_street, invoice_address_street). This is because the label is build for each "path" to a field. To avoid duplicated keyword messages, you can configure the label format to a static value, like:

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// ...
$profileFormBuilder->add('address', new AddressType(), array(
    'label_format' => 'form.address.%name%',
));

$invoiceFormBuilder->add('invoice', new AddressType(), array(
    'label_format' => 'form.address.%name%',
));

This option is inherited by the child types. With the code above, the label of the street field of both forms will use the form.address.street keyword message.

Two variables are available in the label format:

%id%
A unique identifier for the field, consisting of the complete path to the field and the field name (e.g. profile_address_street);
%name%
The field name (e.g. street).

The default value (null) results in a "humanized" version of the field name.

Note

The label_format option is evaluated in the form theme. Make sure to update your templates in case you customized form theming.

mapped

type: boolean default: true

If you wish the field to be ignored when reading or writing to the object, you can set the mapped option to false.

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.

Note

The required option also affects how empty data for each field is handled. For more details, see the empty_data option.

translation_domain

type: string default: messages

In case choice_translation_domain is set to true or null, this configures the exact translation domain that will be used for any labels or options that are rendered for this field

Field Variables

Variable Type Usage
multiple boolean The value of the multiple option.
expanded boolean The value of the expanded option.
preferred_choices array A nested array containing the ChoiceView objects of choices which should be presented to the user with priority.
choices array A nested array containing the ChoiceView objects of the remaining choices.
separator string The separator to use between choice groups.
placeholder mixed The empty value if not already in the list, otherwise null.
choice_translation_domain mixed boolean, null or string to determine if the value should be translated.
is_selected callable A callable which takes a ChoiceView and the selected value(s) and returns whether the choice is in the selected value(s).
placeholder_in_choices boolean Whether the empty value is in the choice list.

Tip

It's significantly faster to use the selectedchoice(selected_value) test instead when using Twig.

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