I am currently printing the search from like this:

$block = module_invoke('search', 'block_view', 'search');
print render($block);

Wich generates:

<form action="/sescam/" method="post" id="search-block-form" accept-charset="UTF-8">
        <div class="container-inline">
             <h2 class="element-invisible">Search form</h2>

            <div class="form-item form-type-textfield form-item-search-block-form">
                <label class="element-invisible" for="edit-search-block-form--2">Search</label>
                <input title="Enter the terms you wish to search for." type="text" id="edit-search-block-form--2" name="search_block_form" value="" size="15" maxlength="128" class="form-text" />
            <div class="form-actions form-wrapper" id="edit-actions">
                <input type="submit" id="edit-submit" name="op" value="Search" class="form-submit" />
            <input type="hidden" name="form_build_id" value="form-NhLKDp33kDMoJjHqw6gDFJw_A_Kp7Dhvrt_w0V-jk6U" />
            <input type="hidden" name="form_token" value="e9aNbw3gz2mWvZUSdjl54aXTlesQsNkn7cGSXVMpoWI" />
            <input type="hidden" name="form_id" value="search_block_form" />

The thing is that I would like to customize a little bit this html output,

How can I Do so?


I tried to add this to my template.php

function my_theme_form_search_form_alter (& $form, & $form_state)

The thing is that those print_r won't output anything,

Anhy idea?


  • The ID is search_block_form, so...
    – Clive
    Oct 6, 2014 at 10:53
  • Hi @Clive Sorry but I am not familiar with Drupal yet, what do you mean? thanks ( If you mean I can customize the looks by selecting it with css, it's not really what I am looking for, I would like to customize the whole output..) Oct 6, 2014 at 10:54
  • Not what I meant, I've put an answer in
    – Clive
    Oct 6, 2014 at 11:00

3 Answers 3


You're implementing hook_form_FORM_ID_alter(), to which you're providing search_form as the ID - if you look at the markup for the form you can see the ID should be search_block_form, so your function should be:

function MYTHEME_form_search_block_form_alter(&$form, &$form_state, $form_id) {
  // Make changes

To find out the ID of a form, you can temporarily implement the standard hook_form_alter(), and put the ID out to the screen:

function MYTHEME_form_alter(&$form, &$form_state, $form_id) {

Just as an aside, don't rely on seeing anything from print_r() - because of output buffering you may or may not see it. To debug Drupal, install the Devel module, and use the dpm() function to inspect vars.

  • Hi again, I see.. Thing is I can play with the attributes and all that, but How should I rewrite the output? Shall I copy the original one? Oct 6, 2014 at 11:09
  • Depends entirely on what you want to change - drupal.stackexchange.com/questions/106894/… should give you a starting point
    – Clive
    Oct 6, 2014 at 11:10
  • Thanks for your answer, the thing is that If I place $output = '<div></div>'; return $output I get the same previous output... any thoughts? Oct 6, 2014 at 11:17
  • 1
    You dont return output from the alter function implementation. You need to change values in the referenced variables provided instead. Eg $form['item']=array('#markup'=>'<h1>Huuhaa</h1>');
    – user20301
    Oct 6, 2014 at 14:03

Just create a file search-block-form.tpl.php and put it inside your template folder.

Paste the following code into your file.


 * @file
 * Displays the search form block.
 * Available variables:
 * - $search_form: The complete search form ready for print.
 * - $search: Associative array of search elements. Can be used to print each
 *   form element separately.
 * Default elements within $search:
 * - $search['search_block_form']: Text input area wrapped in a div.
 * - $search['actions']: Rendered form buttons.
 * - $search['hidden']: Hidden form elements. Used to validate forms when
 *   submitted.
 * Modules can add to the search form, so it is recommended to check for their
 * existence before printing. The default keys will always exist. To check for
 * a module-provided field, use code like this:
 * @code
 *   <?php if (isset($search['extra_field'])): ?>
 *     <div class="extra-field">
 *       <?php print $search['extra_field']; ?>
 *     </div>
 *   <?php endif; ?>
 * @endcode
 * @see template_preprocess_search_block_form()
<input type="text" id="edit-search-block-form--2" name="search_block_form" value="" placeholder="Search..." size="15" maxlength="128" />
<input class="button" id="edit-submit" name="op" value="GO!" type="submit" />
<?php echo $search['hidden']; ?>

Edit the code as you wish. Just make sure to leave echo $search['hidden'];.

You can find the original template in YOUR-WEBSITE/modules/search/search-clock-form.tpl.php.

On a side note: Instead of using print_r(), install Devel module and use dpm(). It's a lot better and is not visible to visitors.


You can simply use the hook_form_alter as mentioned below.

Here is the code to be used in the theme's template.php file that will override Drupal's search form.

function theme_form_alter(&$form, &$form_state, $form_id) {
  if ($form_id == 'search_block_form') {
  print_r($form_state); // Code here


Either way if you are working within your custom module. It will be used as

function MODULENAME_form_alter(&$form, &$form_state, $form_id) {
  if ($form_id == 'search_block_form') {
  print_r($form_state); // Code here


Hope, it will work for you!

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