I'd essentially like to alter the values of a specific custom field of a few of nodes before they're displayed in a view on the 'page' of a specific content type.

The content type is that will be displayed is a park. When a park is viewed, one of the blocks shown is a view that fetches and shows several nodes that are also 'parks'.

This park content type has a field called proximity. I'd like to change the value of proximity (based on a mathematical formula) for all parks before the view is processed, so that I can use proximity in the view.

From what I understand so far, I should use a park_preprocess function, which calls some sort of hook to change the proximity values. Is this correct, and how would I do it?

3 Answers 3


hook_node_view() will be used in this scenario.

function hook_node_view($node, $view_mode, $langcode) {
  if($node->type == 'park' && $view_mode == 'full')
    /* change the value of proximity here after applying your formula. 
      * Here you have complete node array, so you alter the result easily here.


you can use hook_node_view as @Pushpinder Rana said.but if you want to modify a field you should save your node.here i simply plus one my proximity field on my hook.

 * Impelement hook_node_view
 * @param type $node
 * @param type $view_mode
 * @param type $langcode
function MODULENAME_node_view($node, $view_mode, $langcode) {
    //plus one proximity field and save a node
    $new_value = $node->field_proximity[LANGUAGE_NONE][0]['value'] + 1;
    $node->field_proximity[LANGUAGE_NONE][0]['value'] = $new_value;
    // here is to show user updated proximity value;    
    $node->content['field_proximity'][0]['#markup'] = $new_value;
  • Can this be called from within template.php in my theme, or must I create a module to implement this? Jun 22, 2014 at 9:30
  • Drupal themes can only implement theme functions (which include template preprocess and process functions) or alter hooks[drupal.org/node/254940#theme_alter]. You should create a module to call this hook. Jun 22, 2014 at 11:10

Thanks to Pushinder and Shirin for responding, and providing the start I needed! However both answers were lacking the detail I needed. I won't paste my entire code here, as it's too long, but I'll describe what I used and why:

  • hook_node_view was the right hook to call my function at the right time - before page load
  • $refN = $node->field_location_n[LANGUAGE_NONE][0]['value']; and the same for East were required to get the reference coordinates
  • Because I have several hundred nodes with coordinates, I couldn't load each one individually using load_node or collectively using load_node_multiple since this used far too many resources for every page load
  • Instead, I used db_query and field_attach_load together, as described in this answer: https://drupal.stackexchange.com/a/30906/20264 to effectively load just the values I needed
  • I then used foreach( $nodes as $nodei ) { to loop through all the results
  • $distance = sqrt( pow( $refN - $nodeiN, 2 ) + pow( $refE - $nodeiE, 2 ) ); was my proximity calculation
  • Then, only for results with a specified proximity would I update $node
  • Since I was using the Entity Reference module to record 'Nearby places' in my nodes, I used the following to update the entity references:

    $node->field_nearby[LANGUAGE_NONE][$i] = array( "target_id" => $nodei->nid );

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