Let's say user creates a node of article type.There is a field called my_field which can be added multiple times to that node.If user creates or edits the node leaving my_field blank, a default value something like NA should be created in database and should be visible inside the my_field when user edits node next time.

Tried so far:

Inside page.tpl.php

$query = new EntityFieldQuery();

$query->entityCondition('entity_type', 'node')
      ->entityCondition('bundle', 'article')
      ->propertyCondition('status', 1);

$result = $query->execute();

if (!empty($result['node'])) {
  $nids = array_keys($result['node']);

  foreach ($nids as $nid) {

    $node = node_load($nid);

     $field_language = field_language('node', $node, 'field_my_field');
     $node->field_my_field['LANGUAGE_NONE'][0]['value'] = 'NA';

      field_attach_insert('node', $node);

Note: I don't want to create default value inside field settings as my_field can be added multiple times which can go upto more than 20.

I am using drupal 7.41.

  • 2
    You really should not be doing this in page.tpl.php. This code scans all your nodes on every page load, which is a huge performance loss. You should do this in a custom module implementing hook_node_insert() and hook_node_update(). Act only after saving or editing a node. Mar 22, 2016 at 12:20
  • I tried the same with above hooks,field value didn't go to databse. Mar 22, 2016 at 12:22

1 Answer 1


I suppose it is due to your field_attach_insert(). Usually one should save the entire node using node_save(). However it is a lot easier if you install the entity API module and utilize its Entity Metadata Wrappers.

And I'd really recommend creating a custom module. You will need something similar to this:

function mymodule_node_insert($node) {
  if ($node->type == 'article') {

function mymodule_node_update($node) {
  if ($node->type == 'article') {

function mymodule_update_empty_value($node) {
  $wrapper = entity_metadata_wrapper('node', $node);
  // No value? 
  if  (empty($wrapper->field_myfield->value())) {
  • how abt if it is for specific bundle say article? Mar 22, 2016 at 12:28
  • Added the condition in the example, the same applies to status. Mar 22, 2016 at 12:29
  • showing error EntityMetadataWrapperException: Invalid data value given. Be sure it matches the required data type and format. in EntityMetadataWrapper->set() (line 122 of /var/www/drupal3.com/sites/all/modules/entity/includes/entity.wrapper.inc). Mar 22, 2016 at 12:37
  • is the field a textfield? Mar 22, 2016 at 12:39
  • textarea with rows Mar 22, 2016 at 12:40

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