Is there a way to retrieve an arbitrary user entity via tokens inside a node field?

For example:

Let's say I have a field name Source, which contains a reference to an external news publication.

I have a user on my site named "Jane Doe".

I want to be able to put something like this in the source field. The example is a little fudged b/c I don't think Tokens has a "link" type token, but the question is more about getting data for an arbitrary user:

New York Times, citing [user:link:Jane Doe].

And have that rendered as

New York Times, citing Jane Doe.

What I have tried

I've attempted this in the node body field (using the token_filter module).

I can get data for the current user with, such as with the token [current-user:url].

But I haven't figured out how to get data for an arbitrary user.

I've tried:

  • [user:url:1]
  • [user:url 1]
  • Tokens work the other way round - they get given a context to work with (node/user/taxonomy term/whatever), they don’t take part in loading/preparing that context. You might need to write a custom filter for this
    – Clive
    Dec 20, 2018 at 7:47
  • This is right, core has two user tokens, current-user for the global context and user for the local user. The second one works locally in a user field, but not in a node field, because then the local entity is a node. So you would need to define a third type of user token in a custom module which gets the fields of an arbitrary user, which is no problem to be used globally then, because it doesn't depend on local data.
    – 4uk4
    Dec 20, 2018 at 7:48

1 Answer 1


There isn't a token that, given a user ID, would return data about that user account. current-user returns data about the currently logged-in user, while user returns data about the user account passed to the function (in Drupal 7, or the method in Drupal 8) that replaces tokens with their values: token_replace().

It would be possible, for a module, to implement a token that returns data about every user accounts. With such a module, for example, users:1:name could return the username for the user account #1, while users:2:name would do the same for the user #2.

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