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form Field Type

form Field Type

The form type predefines a couple of options that are then available on all types for which form is the parent type.

Inherited options
Parent none
Class Symfony\Component\Form\Extension\Core\Type\FormType

Field Options


New in version 2.3: The action option was introduced in Symfony 2.3.

type: string default: empty string

This option specifies where to send the form’s data on submission (usually a URI). Its value is rendered as the action attribute of the form element. An empty value is considered a same-document reference, i.e. the form will be submitted to the same URI that rendered the form.


New in version 2.6: The allow_extra_fields option was introduced in Symfony 2.6.

type: boolean default: false

Usually, if you submit extra fields that aren’t configured in your form, you’ll get a “This form should not contain extra fields.” validation error.

You can silence this validation error by enabling the allow_extra_fields option on the form.


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:

$builder = $this->createFormBuilder($article);
    ->add('title', 'text')
        $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 submit() (or handleRequest()) on the form:


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

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

$author = clone $article->getAuthor();

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 adder and remover (e.g. addAuthor() and removeAuthor()) to be called.


type: boolean default: false

Set this option to true to force validation on embedded form types. For example, if you have a ProductType with an embedded CategoryType, setting cascade_validation to true on ProductType will cause the data from CategoryType to also be validated.


Instead of using this option, it is recommended that you use the Valid constraint in your model to force validation on a child object stored on a property. This cascades only the validation but not the use of the validation_groups option on child forms. You can read more about this in the section about Embedding a Single Object.


By default the error_bubbling option is enabled for the collection Field Type, which passes the errors to the parent form. If you want to attach the errors to the locations where they actually occur you have to set error_bubbling to false.


type: boolean default: true

If true this option creates the form as “compound”, meaning that it can contain children and be a parent of other forms.

Most of the time you won’t need to override this option. You might want to control for it when creating a custom form type with advanced rendering logic.

In a view a compound form is rendered as a <div> container or a <form> element (the whole form is obviously a compound form).

Non-compound forms are always leaves in a form tree, they cannot have children.

A non-compound form is rendered as one of the html form elements: <input> (TextType, FileType, HiddenType), <textarea> (TextareaType) or <select> (ChoiceType).

An interesting case is the ChoiceType. With expanded=false it is a non-compound form and is rendered as a <select> tag. With expanded=true the ChoiceType becomes a compound form and is rendered as a set of radios or checkboxes.


type: array or Symfony\Component\Validator\Constraint default: null

Allows you to attach one or more validation constraints to a specific field. For more information, see Adding Validation. This option is added in the Symfony\Component\Form\Extension\Validator\Type\FormTypeValidatorExtension form extension.


type: mixed default: Defaults to field of the underlying structure.

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

$builder->add('token', 'hidden', array(
    'data' => 'abcdef',


The data option always overrides the value taken from the domain data (object) when rendering. This means the object value is also overriden when the form edits an already persisted object, causing it to lose its persisted value when the form is submitted.


type: string

This option is used to set the appropriate data mapper to be used by the form, so you can use it for any form field type which requires an object:

use AppBundle\Entity\Media;
// ...

$builder->add('media', 'sonata_media_type', array(
    'data_class' => Media::class,


type: mixed

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

  • If data_class is set and required is true, then new $data_class();
  • If data_class is set and required is false, then null;
  • If data_class is not set and compound is true, then array() (empty array);
  • If data_class is not set and compound is false, then '' (empty string).

This option determines what value the field will return when the submitted value is empty (or missing). It does not set an initial value if none is provided when the form is rendered in a view.

This means it helps you handling form submission with blank fields. For example, if you want the name field to be explicitly set to John Doe when no value is selected, you can do it like this:

$builder->add('name', null, array(
    'required'   => false,
    'empty_data' => 'John Doe',

This will still render an empty text box, but upon submission the John Doe value will be set. Use the data or placeholder options to show this initial value in the rendered form.

If a form is compound, you can set empty_data as an array, object or closure. See the How to Configure empty Data for a Form Class article for more details about these options.


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.


Form data transformers will still be applied to the empty_data value. This means that an empty string will be cast to null. Use a custom data transformer if you explicitly want to return the empty string.


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.


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:

public function configureOptions(OptionsResolver $resolver)
        '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:

    'error_mapping' => array(
        '.' => 'city',


type: string default: This form should not contain extra fields.

This is the validation error message that’s used if the submitted form data contains one or more fields that are not part of the form definition. The placeholder {{ extra_fields }} can be used to display a comma separated list of the submitted extra field names.


New in version 2.3: The inherit_data option was introduced in Symfony 2.3. Before, it was known as virtual.

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”.


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.


type: string default: This value is not valid

This is the validation error message that’s used if the data entered into this field doesn’t make sense (i.e. fails validation).

This might happen, for example, if the user enters a nonsense string into a time field that cannot be converted into a real time or if the user enters a string (e.g. apple) into a number field.

Normal (business logic) validation (such as when setting a minimum length for a field) should be set using validation messages with your validation rules (reference).


type: array default: array()

When setting the invalid_message option, you may need to include some variables in the string. This can be done by adding placeholders to that option and including the variables in this option:

$builder->add('some_field', 'some_type', array(
    // ...
    'invalid_message' => 'You entered an invalid value, it should include %num% letters',
    'invalid_message_parameters' => array('%num%' => 6),


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:

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


New in version 2.6: The label_format option was introduced in Symfony 2.6.

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:

// ...
$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:

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

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


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


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.



The max_length option was deprecated in Symfony 2.5 and will be removed in Symfony 3.0. Use the attr option instead by setting it to an array with a maxlength key.

type: integer default: null

If this option is not null, an attribute maxlength is added, which is used by some browsers to limit the amount of text in a field.

This is just a browser validation, so data must still be validated server-side.


New in version 2.3: The method option was introduced in Symfony 2.3.

type: string default: POST

This option specifies the HTTP method used to submit the form’s data. Its value is rendered as the method attribute of the form element and is used to decide whether to process the form submission in the handleRequest() method after submission. Possible values are:

  • POST
  • GET
  • PUT


When the method is PUT, PATCH, or DELETE, Symfony will automatically render a _method hidden field in your form. This is used to “fake” these HTTP methods, as they’re not supported on standard browsers. This can be useful when using method routing requirements.


The PATCH method allows submitting partial data. In other words, if the submitted form data is missing certain fields, those will be ignored and the default values (if any) will be used. With all other HTTP methods, if the submitted form data is missing some fields, those fields are set to null.



The pattern option was deprecated in Symfony 2.5 and will be removed in Symfony 3.0. Use the attr option instead by setting it to an array with a pattern key.

type: string default: null

This adds an HTML5 pattern attribute to restrict the field input by a given regular expression.


The pattern attribute provides client-side validation for convenience purposes only and must not be used as a replacement for reliable server-side validation.


When using validation constraints, this option is set automatically for some constraints to match the server-side validation.


type: string default: The uploaded file was too large. Please try to upload a smaller file.

This is the validation error message that’s used if submitted POST form data exceeds php.ini’s post_max_size directive. The {{ max }} placeholder can be used to display the allowed size.


Validating the post_max_size only happens on the root form.


type: any default: the field's name

Fields display a property value of the form’s domain object by default. When the form is submitted, the submitted value is written back into the object.

If you want to override the property that a field reads from and writes to, you can set the property_path option. Its default value is the field’s name.

If you wish the field to be ignored when reading or writing to the object you can set the property_path option to false, but using property_path for this purpose is deprecated, you should use the mapped option.


type: boolean default: false

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


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.


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


type: boolean default: true

If true, the whitespace of the submitted string value will be stripped via the trim function when the data is bound. This guarantees that if a value is submitted with extra whitespace, it will be removed before the value is merged back onto the underlying object.

Inherited Options

The following options are defined in the Symfony\Component\Form\Extension\Core\Type\BaseType class. The BaseType class is the parent class for both the form type and the button type, but it is not part of the form type tree (i.e. it cannot be used as a form type on its own).


type: array default: array()

If you want to add extra attributes to an HTML field representation you can use the attr option. It’s an associative array with HTML attributes as keys. This can be useful when you need to set a custom class for some widget:

$builder->add('body', 'textarea', array(
    'attr' => array('class' => 'tinymce'),


type: boolean default: true

An internal option: sets whether the form should be initialized automatically. For all fields, this option should only be true for root forms. You won’t need to change this option and probably won’t need to worry about it.


type: string default: the form’s name (see Knowing which block to customize)

Allows you to override the block name used to render the form type. Useful for example if you have multiple instances of the same form and you need to personalize the rendering of the forms individually.


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.


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:

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


type: string, null or false default: null

This is the translation domain that will be used for any label or option that is rendered for this field. Use null to reuse the translation domain of the parent form (or the default domain of the translator for the root form). Use false to disable translations.

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