Cover of the book Symfony 5: The Fast Track

Symfony 5: The Fast Track is the best book to learn modern Symfony development, from zero to production. +300 pages showcasing Symfony with Docker, APIs, queues & async tasks, Webpack, SPAs, etc.

WARNING: You are browsing the documentation for Symfony 3.4 which is not maintained anymore. Consider upgrading your projects to Symfony 5.2.

How to Create your Custom Normalizer

3.4 version

How to Create your Custom Normalizer

The Serializer component uses normalizers to transform any data into an array. The component provides several built-in normalizers but you may need to create your own normalizer to transform an unsupported data structure.

Creating a New Normalizer

Imagine you want add, modify, or remove some properties during the serialization process. For that you’ll have to create your own normalizer. But it’s usually preferable to let Symfony normalize the object, then hook into the normalization to customize the normalized data. To do that, leverage the ObjectNormalizer:

namespace App\Serializer;

use App\Entity\Topic;
use Symfony\Component\Routing\Generator\UrlGeneratorInterface;
use Symfony\Component\Serializer\Normalizer\NormalizerInterface;
use Symfony\Component\Serializer\Normalizer\ObjectNormalizer;

class TopicNormalizer implements NormalizerInterface
    private $router;
    private $normalizer;

    public function __construct(UrlGeneratorInterface $router, ObjectNormalizer $normalizer)
        $this->router = $router;
        $this->normalizer = $normalizer;

    public function normalize($topic, $format = null, array $context = [])
        $data = $this->normalizer->normalize($topic, $format, $context);

        // Here, add, edit, or delete some data:
        $data['href']['self'] = $this->router->generate('topic_show', [
            'id' => $topic->getId(),
        ], UrlGeneratorInterface::ABSOLUTE_URL);

        return $data;

    public function supportsNormalization($data, $format = null)
        return $data instanceof Topic;

Registering it in your Application

Before using this normalizer in a Symfony application it must be registered as a service and tagged with serializer.normalizer. If you’re using the default services.yml configuration, this is done automatically!

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