It's pretty common to end up with massive node edit forms once content types start accumulating fields. Collapsable fieldsets and vertical tabs help the UI, but it can still be overwhelming.

Example: Say I have a local business site, and it involves a content type called 'business' which has lots of fields. One very significant field is the business's location. Rather than having location as just another fieldset in the large node edit screen, I'd like to break out the location-related items (address fields, google map, etc.) into a separate editing screen.

Multi-step forms are not ideal in this case. Is there a straightforward way to break a single node edit form into distinct forms?

  • If collapsible fieldsets and vertical tabs won't do it, it is sounding like modal windows with the parts of the form you want might be a way to go. What I am imagining is a row of buttons on the screen that say Location, etc that when pressed open up a modal window with that part of the form's html showing. There are lots and lots of modules out there that can do most if not all of this, just google drupal modal for some ideas. But, it wouldn't be all that hard to roll your own, and might actually be done in a more lightweight fashion than a module if you are adept with some javascript/jquery.
    – Jimajamma
    Mar 15, 2012 at 3:24

2 Answers 2


I use the field group module to simplify things. This allows you to easily make collapsible groups of collapsible field sets, use horizontal and other types of tabs, and split a single form into multiple pages.

With the field group module, you can also easily add a css class to any group of fields, which makes it straightforward to theme that specific field (change the background color, increase text size, etc.) for emphasis.

  • When you say "split a single form into multiple pages" do you mean that you can make it seem like pages to a user? Or can you pull out a field group as a single, independent form?
    – milesw
    Mar 16, 2012 at 10:43
  • Seem like multiple pages. I personally don't know of a way to pull a field group out as a single, independent form. Mar 17, 2012 at 0:09
  • Although it does indeed simulate independent forms, field group is the only decent option from what I can tell.
    – milesw
    Apr 24, 2012 at 11:58

You could also do your custom module hooking the node form, and arranging it based on permissions or something.

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