EntityType Field

EntityType Field

A special ChoiceType field that's designed to load options from a Doctrine entity. For example, if you have a Category entity, you could use this field to display a select field of all, or some, of the Category objects from the database.

Rendered as can be various tags (see Select Tag, Checkboxes or Radio Buttons)
Options
Overridden options
Inherited options

from the ChoiceType:

from the FormType:

Parent type ChoiceType
Class EntityType

Basic Usage

The entity type has just one required option: the entity which should be listed inside the choice field:

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use Symfony\Bridge\Doctrine\Form\Type\EntityType;
// ...

$builder->add('users', EntityType::class, array(
    // query choices from this entity
    'class' => 'AppBundle:User',

    // use the User.username property as the visible option string
    'choice_label' => 'username',

    // used to render a select box, check boxes or radios
    // 'multiple' => true,
    // 'expanded' => true,
));

This will build a select drop-down containing all of the User objects in the database. To render radio buttons or checkboxes instead, change the multiple and expanded options.

Using a Custom Query for the Entities

If you want to create a custom query to use when fetching the entities (e.g. you only want to return some entities, or need to order them), use the query_builder option:

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use Doctrine\ORM\EntityRepository;
use Symfony\Bridge\Doctrine\Form\Type\EntityType;
// ...

$builder->add('users', EntityType::class, array(
    'class' => 'AppBundle:User',
    'query_builder' => function (EntityRepository $er) {
        return $er->createQueryBuilder('u')
            ->orderBy('u.username', 'ASC');
    },
    'choice_label' => 'username',
));

Using Choices

If you already have the exact collection of entities that you want to include in the choice element, just pass them via the choices key.

For example, if you have a $group variable (passed into your form perhaps as a form option) and getUsers returns a collection of User entities, then you can supply the choices option directly:

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use Symfony\Bridge\Doctrine\Form\Type\EntityType;
// ...

$builder->add('users', EntityType::class, array(
    'class' => 'AppBundle:User',
    'choices' => $group->getUsers(),
));

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

choice_label

type: string, callable or PropertyPath

This is the property that should be used for displaying the entities as text in the HTML element:

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use Symfony\Bridge\Doctrine\Form\Type\EntityType;
// ...

$builder->add('category', EntityType::class, array(
    'class' => 'AppBundle:Category',
    'choice_label' => 'displayName',
));

If left blank, the entity object will be cast to a string and so must have a __toString() method. You can also pass a callback function for more control:

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use Symfony\Bridge\Doctrine\Form\Type\EntityType;
// ...

$builder->add('category', EntityType::class, array(
    'class' => 'AppBundle:Category',
    'choice_label' => function ($category) {
        return $category->getDisplayName();
    }
));

The method is called for each entity in the list and passed to the function. For more details, see the main choice_label documentation.

Note

When passing a string, the choice_label option is a property path. So you can use anything supported by the PropertyAccessor component

For example, if the translations property is actually an associative array of objects, each with a name property, then you could do this:

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use Symfony\Bridge\Doctrine\Form\Type\EntityType;
// ...

$builder->add('gender', EntityType::class, array(
   'class' => 'AppBundle:Category',
   'choice_label' => 'translations[en].name',
));

class

type: string required

The class of your entity (e.g. AppBundle:Category). This can be a fully-qualified class name (e.g. AppBundle\Entity\Category) or the short alias name (as shown prior).

em

type: string | Doctrine\Common\Persistence\ObjectManager default: the default entity manager

If specified, this entity manager will be used to load the choices instead of the default entity manager.

query_builder

type: Doctrine\ORM\QueryBuilder or a Closure default: null

Allows you to create a custom query for your choices. See Using a Custom Query for the Entities for an example.

The value of this option can either be a QueryBuilder object, a Closure or null (which will load all entities). When using a Closure, you will be passed the EntityRepository of the entity as the only argument and should return a QueryBuilder.

If you'd like to display an empty list of entries, you can return null in the Closure.

Overridden Options

choice_name

2.7The choice_name option was introduced in Symfony 2.7.

type: string, callable or PropertyPath default: id

By default the name of each field is the id of the entity, if it can be read from the class metadata by an internal id reader. Otherwise the process will fall back to using increasing integers.

choice_value

2.7The choice_value option was introduced in Symfony 2.7.

type: string, callable or PropertyPath default: id

As for the choice_name option, choice_value uses the id by default. It allows an optimization in the :class:Symfony\\Bridge\\Doctrine\\Form\\ChoiceList\\Loader\\DoctrineChoiceLoader which will only load the ids passed as values while the form submission. It prevents all non submitted entities to be loaded from the database, even when defining the query_builder option. If it may be useful to set this option using an entity's property as string value (e.g for some API), you will gain performances by letting this option set by default.

Note

If the id cannot be read, for BC, the component checks if the class implements __toString() and will use an incremental integer otherwise.

choices

type: array | \Traversable default: null

Instead of allowing the class and query_builder options to fetch the entities to include for you, you can pass the choices option directly. See Using Choices.

data_class

type: string default: null

This option is not used in favor of the class option which is required to query the entities.

Inherited Options

These options inherit from the ChoiceType:

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_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.

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.

Note

If you are working with a collection of Doctrine entities, it will be helpful to read the documentation for the CollectionType Field as well. In addition, there is a complete example in the cookbook article How to Embed a Collection of Forms.

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' => '====='
    )) ?>
    

Note

This option expects an array of entity objects (that's actually the same as with the ChoiceType field, whichs requires an array of the preferred "values").

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

These options inherit from the form type:

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.

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 cookbook article How to Configure empty Data for a Form Class.

error_bubbling

type: boolean default: false unless the form is compound

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.

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',
    ),
));

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.

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