I am working on a site that uses the Chosen module. There is a field that I need to edit programatically. When I use the actual field edit interface, Chosen adds an option called "Apply Chosen to the select fields in this widget?" When I set that value and submit the form, all is well... it changes what I need changed. However, I need to be able to track down what this is actually doing on the back end so I can change the value of this option for this field programatically... once... in an update hook. The user needs to still be able to edit this value using the form... I just want to flip its value this one time. I don't know where to start looking. In the Chosen module, I can see where it adds the option to the form, but I don't know what piece of data that option is stored with, nor how to see what the form is doing when it saves it so I can duplicate that functionality. It's hard to even know the right terminology to ask this question.

  • Chosen module doesn't change anything for the field in the backend. It just applies the Chosen Jquery plug-in to the select form element. Feb 28 '16 at 8:19
  • What you need to do here is update the settings for the field instance. This is where the chosen settings are stored. If you use field_info_instance to retrieve be field data for a field you have configured to use chosen you will be able to see. If you rewrite the question to be more specific, i.e. how to programmatically enable Chosen for a field, I will provide an example.
    – ratface
    Feb 28 '16 at 8:49
  • Ah, ok, now I understand what you actually mean. Feb 28 '16 at 8:57

You mean updating the field instance settings programmatically, in an update hook, hook_update_N(). Do it as follows:

function YOURMODULE_update_N(&$sandbox) {
  // First load the field instance.
  $instance = field_info_instance($entity_type, $field_name, $bundle);
  // Make the changes in the field instance configuration.
  $instance['widget']['settings']['apply_chosen'] = 1;
  // Save the field instance.
  • This is exactly right, as I found out! One question: what is the different between field_info_instance() and field_read_instance()? They seem to do the exact same thing in this case. Feb 29 '16 at 19:41
  • I'd recommend you to look at the Drupal API Documentation first. Mar 1 '16 at 6:00
  • "Generally, you should use field_info_instance() instead, as it provides caching and allows other modules the opportunity to append additional formatters, widgets, and other information." Mar 1 '16 at 6:02

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