I just spent a lot of time finding an element in a render array. I usually use dpm() to print the array, and then expand the options until I find what I'm looking for.

On larger arrays that's cumbersome. When I use print_r(), I can do a text search, but then it's hard to see the structure of the array and find the path to the element.

What other methods can you suggest?

  • This Question is worth to add my full reps !! – niksmac Apr 12 '12 at 6:14
  • There are some modules to pretty up all this caca. I am too lazy to go look but dev module integrates with krumo and other dump-enhancers, if I remember correctly. Then there's always a good old debugger, where you can actually inspect and drive down in objects even. – stefgosselin Apr 12 '12 at 7:53
  • @stefgosselin OP is already using the Devel module with dpm(), I think he's looking for a function to find a sub-element within a render array by a given name/key – Clive Apr 12 '12 at 8:21
  • @MotoTribe If I've got that right and you're looking for a function, what sort of input/output would you be hoping to give/get from it? Would it be something like $elements = find_elements_by_key($render_array, 'element_name'); to return an array of all of the elements in the render array with a matching key? – Clive Apr 12 '12 at 8:23
  • correct. In devel the "krumo display = disabled" shows a better formatted array where I can use a text search. Ideally there should be a search function in the krumo output and a "copy" feature where I can copy the full array path ['...']['...'] without having to type it. Yeah, your function would be awesome too. That's not a Drupal or PHP function, is it? – uwe Apr 12 '12 at 13:30

There is extension module for Devel: Search Krumo. It uses Javascript to find text in Krumo/dpm messages and open array in those places.
Looks like this:
enter image description here


After 22 Apr 2012 you should use sdpm() function to see search box.

  • no way, that's exactly what I was looking for!!! Thanks!!! – uwe Apr 18 '12 at 15:58
  • @MotoTribe, so it can be accepted, I think :) – kalabro May 20 '12 at 14:37
  • sorry, missed that one. This is an awesome tool, use it all the time now!!! – uwe May 20 '12 at 17:01
  • where i put this extension module? either inside devel directory [\www\drupal\sites\all\modules\devel]or inside contributed modules directory[\www\drupal\sites\all\modules] – GiLL Aug 8 '12 at 9:49
  • Could you please mention that how to use sdpm() function? where to paste? Very Thanks. – CodeNext Sep 4 '16 at 5:37

One of the big problems with render arrays is that there are often a bunch of read-only copies of the information that you're looking for. If you want to actually change the render output, you have to find the right one. I usually use dpm(), and then view page source and search through the output there, flipping back and forth between the two displays until I find what I need.

If you want to dump the contents of a render array for a given path to the terminal (e.g. to pass it through grep), you could do something like this:

drush ev '$router_item=menu_get_item("node/7"); require_once(DRUPAL_ROOT .
"/" . $router_item["include_file"]);
$router_item["page_arguments"]); print_r($render_array);'

You could also just 'view page source' in your browser and use the clipboard, of course, but the above might be the start of a Drush command to view render arrays.

Update: I found a really good article on this subject: The Scary Render Array -- probably the best treatment of render arrays I have seen so far. I should have also mentioned the devel_themer module upfront; it does a good job at "zooming in" on the section of the render array you are interested in.

  • Can't thank you enough for linking to The Scary Render Array - great article! – Andy Apr 17 '12 at 8:44

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