I'd like to add placeholders to node_add field inputs. I'm trying to use dpm($form) but am not sure where to put it. I couldn't get node-add.tpl to work with this

 function MYTHEME_theme() {

  $items = array();

  $items['node_add'] = array(
    'render element' => 'form',
    'path' => drupal_get_path('theme', 'MYTHEME') . '/templates',
    'template' => 'node-add',
    'preprocess functions' => array(

  return $items;


The only template I got to work was page--node--add.tpl but $form shows a blank krumo.


To add placeholders, or any custom attributes, you need to dig deeper: implement appropriate hook_form_FORM_ID_alter. For node add/edit form, it will be mymodule_form_node_form_alter. First parameter is &$form - as you can see, it is taken by reference, so changes made to it are carried outside the function. Use dpm($form) to find appropriate element. Once you do, use #attributes to add attributes you want.

  • Had no idea you could dpm in a custom module. Drupal theming is confusing. Got it working. Thanks for the help. – delz Aug 4 '15 at 22:57
  • @delz dpm is a devel function, you can use it almost anywhere. Just remove it after development is finished. – Mołot Aug 5 '15 at 5:49

For adding placeholders you could use the #attributes property of the form elements. I'd suggest using a form_alter-hook for that. You can put the code into the template.php of your theme (or into it's own module). It would look something like:

 * Implements hook_form_FORM_ID_alter().
function MYTHEME_form_node_form_alter(&$form, &$form_state) {
  $form['title']['#attributes']['placeholder'] = t('Title placeholder');
  • 1
    As far as I remember (and it seems confirmed in discussion here) you are not right - form alter can be used in template.php – Mołot Aug 4 '15 at 19:28
  • Yes, you are right. It can be verfied by looking at the source of drupal_alter(). alter-hooks are always invoked for the active theme and it's base_themes. [Correcting the answer …] – zwirbeltier Aug 4 '15 at 19:33
  • Ah it has one caveat: It only works iff the theme has been initialized in the current request. Depending on which hook you are trying to implement it might fail in some cases. – zwirbeltier Aug 4 '15 at 19:37

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