I need the 'language_manager' service inside a custom FieldFormatter. I'd prefer not to use \Drupal::service('language_manager').

Is there a special tag for FieldFormatters, or any other method to define it as a service?


You don't need to define your FieldFormatter as a service. FieldFormatters are instantiated inside the FormatterPluginManager's createInstance method (FormatterPluginManager::createInstance) which calls a create method on the formatter plugin object, passing a $container object as a parameter.

But this happens only if your FieldFormatter implements the \Drupal\Core\Plugin\ContainerFactoryPluginInterface. From then on, you are able to inject the service inside your FieldFormatter.

  • Wow, that was fast :) I tried it, and it works. Although this solution still means pulling the service from the container instead of injecting it from the outside, it seems to be the way to go atm. Having scanned the code I did not found any possibility to create the field formatter as a service.
    – jensjensen
    Jan 6 '17 at 13:46
  • Yes, kind of had it ready in my head :-). I think it's the way to go. It would also feel a bit counter-intuitive to me to define a plugin as a service. They are contrary in nature. Jan 6 '17 at 14:01
  • The reason this is better than just calling \Drupal:: is that this is only a fallback. If you want to write a unit test for your class, you can simply ignore create() and directly instantiate the object with mock dependencies.
    – Berdir
    Jan 6 '17 at 17:04

You can see example CommentDefaultFormatter.php. You need method create and __construct like this:


namespace Drupal\mymodule\Plugin\Field\FieldFormatter;

use Drupal\Core\Field\FieldDefinitionInterface;
use Drupal\Core\Field\FormatterBase;
use Drupal\Core\Field\FieldItemListInterface;
use Drupal\Core\Language\LanguageManagerInterface;
use Drupal\Core\Plugin\ContainerFactoryPluginInterface;
use Symfony\Component\DependencyInjection\ContainerInterface;

class MymoduleFieldFormatter extends FormatterBase implements ContainerFactoryPluginInterface {

   * @var \Drupal\Core\Language\LanguageManagerInterface
  protected $languageManager;

   * {@inheritdoc}
  public static function create(ContainerInterface $container, array $configuration, $plugin_id, $plugin_definition) {
    return new static(

   * {@inheritdoc}
  public function __construct($plugin_id, $plugin_definition, FieldDefinitionInterface $field_definition, array $settings, $label, $view_mode, array $third_party_settings, LanguageManagerInterface $language_manager) {
    parent::__construct($plugin_id, $plugin_definition, $field_definition, $settings, $label, $view_mode, $third_party_settings);
    $this->languageManager = $language_manager;


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