I've created a custom widget for a textarea (to display the contents in a table as well). So the textarea should appear and work just like a normal textarea widget, but with an additional HTML table of its contents.

I can make it appear correctly, but when I save the form the values do not get saved.

In fact, my "data_source_field_is_empty()" function is never called (the dpm() text never appears).

function data_source_field_widget_form(&$form,
                                         $element) {
  switch ($instance['widget']['type']) {
    case 'data_source_data_widget':
      $thisItem = isset($items[$delta]) ? $items[$delta]['value'] : '';

      $widget['#type'] = 'textarea';
      $widget['#default_value'] = $thisItem;

      // Only do this if there is already content in the field
      if (isset($items[$delta])) {
        $rows = _data_source_parse_csv($thisItem);

        $widget['#prefix'] = '<button type="button" id="show-hide-raw-table-data">Show raw data</button>';
        $widget['#suffix'] = _data_source_dataTable($rows, 0);

        $form['#attached']['js'][] = array(
          'data' => drupal_get_path('module', 'data_source') . '/js/data_source.js',
          'type' => 'file',
        $form['#attached']['css'][] = array(
          'data' => drupal_get_path('module', 'data_source') . '/css/data_source.css',
          'type' => 'file',

      $element[$field['field_name']] = $widget;


  return ($element);

function data_source_field_is_empty($item, $field) {
  dpm("Got here");
  return empty($item[$field['field_name']]);

Any ideas? I'm looking at the $element[$field['field_name']] = $widget; part, but none of the variations I've tried have worked.


After studying the code in modules/field/text/text.module, I found the missing item: I had to assign my new widget to $element['value'], so:

$element['value'] = $widget;
return ($element);
| improve this answer | |
  • I notice that the dpm() still never gets called in data_source_field_is_empty(). I guess that debugging functions don't always work here. – Graham May 19 '17 at 18:15

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