Getting hold of file objects related to nodes through a field is easy using an EntityMetadataWrapper:

$wrapper = entity_metadata_wrapper('node', $node);
$images = $wrapper->field_images;

So that's great. However, I want to use some of the properties of the standard file object, and they're not available. When I look at the properties available on $images[0]->file using the above code, I see these:

  • fid
  • name
  • mime
  • size
  • url
  • timestamp
  • owner

Most notably, uri is missing, and in its place there's a url property, which is the full external URL to the image file. I want to manipulate these images via their URI (create thumbs, etc), so I'm left doing this:

$fid = $images[0]->file->fid->value();
$uri = file_load($fid)->uri;

Which seems to negate the whole point of using an EntityMetadataWrapper in the first place.

What am I missing? Where is the URI on the wrapped file object? If it's not available, for the love of all things good and pure, why not?!

I'm aware I could deconstruct the URL back to a URI, but that also feels very unnecessary.

  • 1
    Are you using file_entity? – mpdonadio Apr 25 '14 at 14:59
  • @MPD Ahhhh, great call, no I'm not...maybe I shouldn't be expecting to see what I'd consider 'properties' if the object isn't acting like an entity. URL seems a strange choice instead of URI for the Entity module guys to have chosen, though. If the answer is "you're going to need to implement hook_entity_property_info_alter()" then that's fine, just wanted to know – Clive Apr 25 '14 at 15:02
  • I'm actually not sure if that will make a difference, but having that module enabled does end up in some subtle differences here and there. I have found File integration with EMW a bit lacking in other places, but haven't been bothered enough by it to submit a patch. – mpdonadio Apr 25 '14 at 15:07
  • @MPD I think it will - just found out the 'offender' is entity_metadata_system_entity_property_info(), where a bunch of new properties get tacked onto $info['file']['properties']. I'm willing to bet if file_entity was in there that array would already have the entity properties themselves in there. I'll try to write an answer up later or tomorrow if no-one's already done it – Clive Apr 25 '14 at 15:09
  • 1
    Did a quick test and uri is there with file_entity. – mpdonadio Apr 25 '14 at 16:36

Big thanks to MPD for pointing me in the right direction. In short, without the File Entity module, files aren't entities, so they don't naturally have the 'properties' I was expecting.

The Entity module provides some on their behalf, but URI isn't one of them. Fortunately it's very simple to make it available using hook_entity_property_info_alter() and a custom property callback:

function MYMODULE_entity_property_info_alter(&$info) {
  $info['file']['properties']['uri'] = array(
    'label' => t("URI"),
    'description' => t("The URI of the file."),
    'getter callback' => 'MYMODULE_entity_get_file_properties',
    'schema field' => 'uri',

function MYMODULE_entity_get_file_properties($file, array $options, $name) {
  switch ($name) {
    case 'uri':
      return $file->uri;

After that, $images[0]->file->uri->value() is available as expected.


Below works without the hack:

  • 2
    It's good to point out that this is supported from PHP 5.4 on. – Ales Rebec May 17 '16 at 15:09

This is what works for me to get the full path of a single image...

// wrap it
$wrapper = entity_metadata_wrapper('node', node_load(16));
// get the value
$image = $wrapper->field_image->value();
// check it
if ($image) {
   // get the full path
   $path = file_create_url($image['uri']);


  $image = $wrapper->field_image->value();
  $image_path = $image ? file_create_url($image['uri']) : '';

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