I just realized that template_preprocess_search_results() function has been left out in Drupal 8 for some reasons, although template_preprocess_search_result() (for single results) is still there.

I need to be able to manipulate the search results prior to rendering as I would with template_preprocess_search_results() in Drupal 7.

2 Answers 2


The method that builds the search results is SearchController::view(), which contains the following code.

  $results = array();
  if ($request->query->has('keys')) {
    if ($plugin->isSearchExecutable()) {
      // Log the search.
      if ($this->config('search.settings')->get('logging')) {
        $this->logger->notice('Searched %type for %keys.', array('%keys' => $keys, '%type' => $entity->label()));

      // Collect the search results.
      $results = $plugin->buildResults();
    else {
      // The search not being executable means that no keywords or other
      // conditions were entered.
      drupal_set_message($this->t('Please enter some keywords.'), 'error');

  if (count($results)) {
    $build['search_results_title'] = array(
      '#markup' => '<h2>' . $this->t('Search results') . '</h2>',

  $build['search_results'] = array(
    '#theme' => array('item_list__search_results__' . $plugin->getPluginId(), 'item_list__search_results'),
    '#items' => $results,
    '#empty' => array(
      '#markup' => '<h3>' . $this->t('Your search yielded no results.') . '</h3>',
    '#list_type' => 'ol',
    '#context' => array(
      'plugin' => $plugin->getPluginId(),

So, you can use template_preprocess_item_list(&$variables), checking that $variables['#context']['plugin'] is set. (I am not sure about using template_preprocess_item_list__search_results(&$variables), since I have never tried using such preprocess function.)

The $plugin->buildResults() method called from SearchController::view() just builds the results as array of items themed with search_result.

  $results = $this->execute();

  $built = array();
  foreach ($results as $result) {
    $built[] = array(
      '#theme' => 'search_result',
      '#result' => $result,
      '#plugin_id' => $this->getPluginId(),
  • 2
    template_preprocess_item_list__search_results() should work now in Drupal 8 if you actually have such a template.
    – Berdir
    Apr 29, 2016 at 20:19
  • That would make things easier, since the template would surely be used for the search result page.
    – apaderno
    Apr 30, 2016 at 6:55
  • @Berdir I did not find the function in the core docs so I just presumed it was removed. Can you please elaborate on the "if you have such a template"? Thanks!
    – Henkealg
    May 2, 2016 at 5:59
  • @Henkealg Berdir was replying to my I am not sure about using template_preprocess_item_list__search_results(&$variables) since I have never tried using such preprocess function. He means you can use template_preprocess_item_list__search_results(&$variables) as long as you have a item_list__search_results.html.twig template.
    – apaderno
    May 2, 2016 at 6:58
  • Thanks for the follow-up. I was able to use template_preprocess_item_list__search_results() in the way you suggested even though it is not included in the documentation anymore (strange). Kiam; I will mark your answer as accepted to close this thread. Thanks again.
    – Henkealg
    May 2, 2016 at 8:39

You can create a new module and inside your YOUR_MODULE.module file put this code:

function YOUR_MODULE_preprocess_item_list__search_results(&$variables) {
  //to use dpm() you nedd the devel module

Install your module and you will see the output in the search result

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