I have a field that is part of a conditional related to several field collections. As such, it needs to be rendered when adding or editing a form. However, once the node has been created, I don't want users to be able to modify the value. So on the edit page, I want to hide the DIV surrounding it.

I thought I could trick it with CSS in Panels, but add and edit use the same page and the same CSS shows in each.

  • Use form alter get arg from url do your trick here for adding extra class and now you can play the css trick Aug 24, 2014 at 3:57

3 Answers 3


As both answers above mention, there are two ways to hide a field on the node edit form:

  1. via css.
  2. via a form alter hook.

CSS Solution

On the node creation page the body tag has class "page-node-add", but on the edit node page - "page-node-edit", so you can hide the field with CSS in your theme like so:

.page-node-edit .field-name-field-myfieldname {
  display: none;

The CSS-based solution has two main caveats:

  1. An astute user will be able to unhide the field, modify it, and submit the form. There is nothing on the server-side checking to prevent submitting a change.
  2. If you're using the admin theme on node edit, then adding custom css to the page is a bit more complicated than just adding this line of CSS to your front-end theme's stylesheet. You'll need to either add it via a custom module, or hack the admin theme (not recommended), or implement a custom child-theme of the admin theme.

For these reasons, I recommend the second option, use a form alter hook to hide the desired field:

Hook_Form_Alter Solution

You should add the following snippet in a custom module enabled on your site. You may either remove the form element entirely with '#access' => FALSE or leave the form element visible but non-editable using '#disabled' => TRUE.

 * Implements hook_form_alter().
function MYMODULE_form_alter(&$form, $form_state, $form_id) {
  if ($form_id == 'MYNODETTYPE_node_form') {
    if (isset($form['#node']) && isset($form['#node']->nid)){
      // Prevent editing a field once the node has been created by 
      // hiding the field entirely on the edit form.
      $form['field_MYFIELDNAME']['#access'] = FALSE;

      // Alternatively, if you want to display the field, but prevent
      // it from being edited, you can disable the form element.
      $form['field_MYFIELDNAME']['#disabled'] = TRUE;

This solution has no caveats really, and is probably the better solution.

  • Thanks- I hadn't thought about being able to unhide by inspecting the CSS and changing it. I will definitely use the hook_form_alter method in Production. But for local testing, I will stick with the CSS to finish the proof of concept mockup. Thanks!
    – Dave
    Aug 24, 2014 at 23:54
  • My needs where the other way arround, to hide a field on "node add" and have access on "node edit", following the rigth way with your code i did "hook_form_alter", solution: before the "if" i set node access false on my field, and inside "if" i set node_aacess true. i upvoted your answer, works, perfect. thanks James.
    – pinueve
    Mar 29, 2017 at 1:35

Whene you go to node create page, the body tag has class "page-node-add", but on edit node page - "page-node-edit". So you can add CSS code:

.page-node-edit #your_div_id {display: none;}
  • This solution has a couple caveats, that I've outlined below in my combined answer. Aug 24, 2014 at 22:35
  • Ah, I knew there had to be something. I just didn't go up far enough to see the page-node-edit class. Thanks!
    – Dave
    Aug 24, 2014 at 23:51

You should inspect the node object to see if there is a nid, which is the primary identifier for the node table. If there is a nid, it is the edit page, and if there is no nid, then it is creation page.

Something like this:

function MYMODULE_form_alter(&$form, $form_state, $form_id) {
  if ($form_id == 'MYNODETTYPE_node_form) { // check for the node edit form
    if (isset($form['#node']) && $form['#node']->type == 'MYNODETTYPE'){ // check for your bundle here
      if (!isset($form['#node']->nid)) { // a node exists
        // create form

      else { // no node exists yet
        // edit form

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