I am creating a custom field widget for an entity_reference field. This has a custom select field and an Ajax Submit button. Once the user selects an option (entity) from the select_field and submits it, I am adding the entity in a dragTable below.

I could achieve that until now, but my need is to add a custom label for the entity selected. I provided a textfield to capture the custom values and I am able to fetch the values. But, I am unable to save this custom text_field data. I am extending the core WidgetBase class for my custom field Widget. For an entity_reference field, is it possible to save custom label parameters along with the entities?

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Updated: After enabling fieldType, duplicate results are appearing while creating field. Any help on this? enter image description here.

1 Answer 1


You need to create a custom field type that can hold the value along with the entity reference.

A field widget can not store any data that the field type has not provided space for.

You must create a new field type would look similar to this:


namespace Drupal\MY_MODULE\Plugin\Field\FieldType;

use Drupal\Core\Field\FieldStorageDefinitionInterface;
use Drupal\Core\Field\Plugin\Field\FieldType\EntityReferenceItem;
use Drupal\Core\StringTranslation\TranslatableMarkup;
use Drupal\Core\TypedData\DataDefinition;

 * @FieldType(
 *   id = "entity_reference_with_value",
 *   label = @Translation("Entity reference with value"),
 *   category = @Translation("Reference"),
 *   default_widget = "my_custom_field_widget",
 *   default_formatter = "some_formatter",
 *   list_class = "\Drupal\Core\Field\EntityReferenceFieldItemList",
 * )
class EntityReferenceWithValue extends EntityReferenceItem {

   * {@inheritdoc}
  public static function schema(FieldStorageDefinitionInterface $field_definition) {
    $schema = parent::schema($field_definition);
    $schema['columns']['value'] = [
      'type' => 'varchar',
      'length' => 255,
    return $schema;

   * {@inheritdoc}
  public static function propertyDefinitions(FieldStorageDefinitionInterface $field_definition) {
    $properties = parent::propertyDefinitions($field_definition);
    $properties['value'] = DataDefinition::create('string')
      ->setLabel(new TranslatableMarkup('Value'))

    return $properties;


Now you can get the value with $entity->field_name->value.

It would also be better to extend EntityReferenceAutocompleteWidget in your field widget, instead of WidgetBase. Then you can just do like this in the formElement method:

public function formElement(FieldItemListInterface $items, $delta, array $element, array &$form, FormStateInterface $form_state) {
  $widget = parent::formElement($items, $delta, $element, $form, $form_state);

  $widget['value'] = [
    '#type' => 'textfield',
    '#title' => $this->t('Value'),
    '#default_value' => $items[$delta]->value,
    '#weight' => 999,

  return $widget;
  • Do we need to do any changes in field_formatter to save the field_value or will it save automatically?
    – Kiran
    Nov 22, 2019 at 11:52
  • Do you mean in the field widget? The only thing you have to make sure it that the field is keyed ['value'] in your field widget. I have updated my answer.
    – user72672
    Nov 22, 2019 at 12:00
  • when I enabled this custom fieldType, I am finding few elements repeated in "Reference" while creating field. (Attaching screenshot in ticket for your reference). Any idea why this is happening?
    – Kiran
    Nov 26, 2019 at 8:31

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