I am using the Message module to record some activity.

I have a Rule generating a Message. The Message Type has a couple of fields, and I am setting them in the rule. That part all works great. I can verify the contents of each of those message fields.

Now what I'm trying to do is to conditionally display some things in the message text. I have a couple of Message Text rows and they all display what I expect them to. But for one of these, I want only want to display something if one of the tokens matches a condition.

I have selected the PHP Code filter type on that particular Message Text box, but I just don't know to actually evaluate the field values of the current message. I've tried t() and token_replace() and I just am not getting it.

So here is a simple question for this problem I'm having. Say I have a text field on this message type called field_foo. And I want the message text to display the length of that field. I basically want something to the effect of <?php strlen(this-message:field_foo) ?>.

How do I reference my message instance's field?

  • To clarify: are you asking about how to conditionally display a field (or information that depends on the contents of a field) attached to a custom content type "message"? And when you say "token" do you mean an actual Drupal token: drupal.org/project/token?
    – Dave Bruns
    Commented Mar 5, 2014 at 17:06
  • I go to Structure > Message Types. I click Edit on my message type. In one of the "Message Text" boxes, I want to put the equivalent of <?php strlen('[message:field_foo']) ?>, but that works and actually outputs the length of that message type field set for that particular message.
    – franksj
    Commented Mar 5, 2014 at 17:21
  • OK, so you're using the Message module, right? And you're trying to figure out how to evaluate the contents of a text field attached to a message and display something conditionally based on what you find in the field?
    – Dave Bruns
    Commented Mar 5, 2014 at 17:31
  • Quite so! I'll get the conditional logic part if I can actually figure out how to reference my field vlaues. That's the part I can't seem to crack.
    – franksj
    Commented Mar 5, 2014 at 17:50
  • The message module provides access to tokens in two forms: field_foo and field-foo (note the hyphen). I believe you should use the hyphenated form when you want to work with the field value. Did you try that?
    – Dave Bruns
    Commented Mar 5, 2014 at 18:18

1 Answer 1


I couldn't figure out how to do this what I thought was the "right" way - that being inside the message type itself.

Instead, I added a preprocess field from DisplaySuite and put that into my display.

function mytheme_preprocess_message(&$variables) {
    $message = $variables['elements']['#entity'];
    if (isset($message) && $message->type == 'my_custom_message' && isset($message->field_foo) && array_key_exists(LANGUAGE_NONE, $message->field_attachment_themed)) {
        $html = $message->field_fooLANGUAGE_NONE][0]['value'];
        $variables['parsed_output'] = $html;

Then I just named my preprocess field parsed_output, and it now displays exactly how I want, and I can add whatever custom code I want to my preprocess_message().

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