In Drupal 8, like Drupal 7, you can enable the file description in the file field setting.

But once my file entity is loaded in my preprocess, I don't know how can I get the description value entered for my file. I've tried (without success) :


Any Idea ?



The description is stored on the file field, not on the file entity. To access it, use $node->yourfilefield->description.

  • Cool, that's working even though it seems odd, I think there should be a function like getDescription(). Also I added a solution for multiple field which was my case.
    – pbonnefoi
    Sep 28 '16 at 13:08
  • Entity field properties don't have methods, it is always properties, which is actually powered by magic __get()/__set() and so on methods. Multi-value is then just $entity->yourfield[1]->description.
    – Berdir
    Sep 29 '16 at 8:10

If the field has multiple files you can get the description like so:

$values = $field->getValue();
foreach($values as $value){
   $descriptions[] = $value['description'];

Tested in Drupal 8.4.


If you want to get the value of the field 'description' you can use something like this:

$fid = 1; //Your file id
$file = \Drupal\file\Entity\File::load($fid);
$file->get('filename')->value; //here to get the file name

To get the list, try dpm(file->toArray());

You can check this pages to know about files and fields.

  • 2
    That gives me the 'filename' like 'mypdf.pdf' where I need the description I put into the field like 'Test PDF'. I ended up making a direct query into the database to get the description stored in node__field_pdf. I'm up for a better solution.
    – pbonnefoi
    Sep 28 '16 at 10:08

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