I am just hoping to get the node ID of the parent node in a field-collection-item--name.tpl.php template file.

So if my parent node name is mypage in which I have child fields of field-collection-item--name.tpl.php, I just want to access the Node ID of the parent page (mypage) in field-collection-item--name.tpl.php.

Is it possible?

Apparently somewhat yes. If I do this, I get details on the parent node. The only problem is that that data is protected. The output of this line is pasted below. All I want is [vid] value (i.e. 120)

  $var = $content["field_image_title"]["#object"];
  print_r ($var);

Output of above line

FieldCollectionItemEntity Object
    [fieldInfo:protected] => 
    [hostEntity:protected] => stdClass Object
            [vid] => 120
            [uid] => 1
            [title] => My Parent Page Name
            [log] => 
            [status] => 1
            [comment] => 1
            [promote] => 0
            [sticky] => 0
            [vuuid] => f3c2f63d-5d86-4d94-98f3-8a1ba76ce1f9
            [nid] => 120
            [type] => subpage
            [language] => und
            [created] => 1408623334
            [changed] => 1408640101
            [tnid] => 0
            [translate] => 0
            [uuid] => 486dead0-4f72-45a3-988c-64512e6b91de
            [revision_timestamp] => 1408640101
            [revision_uid] => 1

Any help on how I can get this vid value in this protected array?


  • Those items in your debug output are Objects and not Arrays. It's not recommended to place business logic into template files whose purpose is for view output.
    – tenken
    Aug 22, 2014 at 3:06
  • Thanks tenken, so what shoudl I do ?
    – user219492
    Aug 22, 2014 at 3:19

4 Answers 4


Load the field collection using entity_load by passing the entity id. It gives you object where you can get the Host entity of the loaded entity. example profile2 will have user entity as host entity, or commerce line item will have commerce order as host entity.

$entity = entity_load('field_collection_item', $your_file_collection_id);
$host_entity = $entity->hostEntity();
echo $host_entity->nid;
  • Hello and welcome to Drupal Answers! Please explain why and how. Explanations are more useful than specific code, to future visitors and the OP.
    – Mołot
    Dec 29, 2014 at 8:11

I know this question is kind of old but I wanted to just give a quick answer because I had the same problem and stumbled upon here and the existing answers didn't satisfy me (though I'm not saying they don't work, I just found a simpler way to solve my problem). I just hope it may help anyone else finding this thread.

Anyway my solution is to just use the hostEntity() method of the field-collection entity. Simple example:

$var = $content["field_image_title"]["#object"];
$parent_node = $var->hostEntity();
$nid = $parent_node->nid; // for the node id, similarily for other values of the node.

You can access that information using a Preprocess function on the field from your themes template.php

Something along the lines of http://dropbucket.org/node/764

function MYTHEME_preprocess_field(&$vars) {
  // you need to know the name of your field collection here.
  // dpm($vars) by using the Devel module may help you figure that out.
  if($vars['element']['#field_name'] == "field_your_fc_field") {
    $fcs = array();
    foreach (element_children($vars['element']) as $key) {
      $fcs[] = array_pop($vars['element'][$key]['entity']['field_collection_item']);
    // now you have all your fcs pulled out of that nasty array
    foreach ($fcs as $fc) {
      # code ...
      # Can access the VID or NID you want
      # $nid = $fc->nid;
      # $vid = $fc->vid;

    // I would recommend overrideing items markup for whatever black magic you desire
    $vars['items'] = array(
      '#markup' => "Whatever you need to render",
  • Hi tenken, thank you very much for answering my question. It seems though that there is somehow a problem with this line foreach (element_children($vars['element']) as $key) { $fcs[] = array_pop($vars['element'][$key]['entity']['field_collection_item']); . The internal array layout is not like that and hence this returns empty.
    – user219492
    Aug 22, 2014 at 5:32

All I needed was the nid of the parent, so I wound up going with:

$parent_node = menu_get_object(); 

This gave me access to the full node info, and I could use what was needed. It's not quite as elegant as the solution above, but I wanted to keep it simple.

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