I have a pretty specific case where I want to fill in the node title myself if the user fills a checkbox above the title field.

For this reason, I can't use autonodetitle (because the title is only automatic if the checkbox is selected).

I have added my own validation callback using array_unshift() in a hook_form_alter to make sure its the first one but when its called the form already has an error (title field is required)

Is there any way I hook into the validation process earlier or even just remove the error for this field?


  • where did you add the array_unshift(), in a hook_form_alter()? Also, feel free to share what is the error. Jan 25, 2012 at 16:26
  • yeah in a hook_form_alter(), the error is that title field can't be empty.
    – Alex Weber
    Jan 25, 2012 at 17:32

1 Answer 1


You can easily hook into the validation process by implementing hook_form_alter(&$form, &$form_state, $form_id) or it's cousin hook_form_FORM_ID_alter(). There you can inspect the $form variable, find out where the array of validation functions is, and perform array_unshift() on it.

You could also use the form alter hooks to modify the #required property of your title field, therefore preventing further validation errors down the line.

Don't forget that in order for your array_unshift() operation to be successful, the form needs to be passed by reference to your hook, or else you would only be modifying a local copy of the form variable. It's very easy to forget adding the ampersand & in front of $form in the hook implementation. i.e. ...& $form...

  • I already did that and no go! :(
    – Alex Weber
    Jan 25, 2012 at 17:31
  • If you put error_log(__FUNCTION__) in each of the functions mentioned in the validator array, what do you get? Is your validator truly the first? If it is, then your problem is beyond hook_form_alter() and it might lie in some core code. If it not the first, then you might be missing a step from my solution. Jan 25, 2012 at 17:51
  • If you can confirm 100% that your validator is the first, and by the time you break into your validator you have an error in the form, then most likely form_error() is being called outside a validator (read: no-no, naughty code). If this is indeed the case, then just break into form_error() and see who's calling it. Jan 25, 2012 at 17:58
  • Also, have you checked out hook_form_BASE_FORM_ID_alter? I've never used it, but could it be that the form you are targeting has a base form, which also specifies a "base form validator"? Jan 25, 2012 at 18:03
  • Good catch, I'll try that out!
    – Alex Weber
    Jan 26, 2012 at 1:57

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