In drupal we have check_plain function to filter the unwanted codes from a text, I have an array which I am storing directly, in that case, I need to check each value before storing, is there a function to which we can pass the array and it should filter and reset the array.

Ex - I have a form where users can add as many names as they want using (multiple textfield) the name of the textfield is - guarantors[]

So I have an array where all the userinput is there, inorder to filter, I need to filter each value of array using foreach.

is there a function or way, so that I can directly pass the array to a function and it should return me an array with safe values, i.e each values should be parsed using check_plain function.

I think an expample may help you answer better, here is my example array.

[0] => Array
        [keyword] => lucidus
        [color] => #00ff00

[1] => Array
        [keyword] => commoveo
        [color] => #998899

[2] => Array
        [keyword] => dolus
        [color] => #ff0099


NOTE :: keyword and color are user input values. And those needs to be filtered, it is and can be a multidimensional array.

Many Thanks


3 Answers 3


This is an old question, but there didn't seem to be a decent answer yet...

There is no out-of-the-box solution but it's easy to write a function that recursively walks the array and applies a filter function to the keys and values.

function clean_array($array, $filter = 'check_plain') {
  $clean = array();
  foreach ($array as $key => $val) {
    if (is_array($val)) {
      $clean[$filter($key)] = clean_array($val, $filter);
    else {
      $clean[$filter($key)] = $filter($val);
  return $clean;

This also gives you the flexibility to use filter_xss or check_markup instead.

Hope that helps.


I think array map is what you are looking for. This function takes a callback and an array as arguments, returns an array of all the processed values.

Code example, ripped out of php.net man page:

function cube($n)
    return($n * $n * $n);

$a = array(1, 2, 3, 4, 5);
$b = array_map("cube", $a);

Content of $b will be : Array ( [0] => 1 [1] => 8 [2] => 27 [3] => 64 [4] => 125 )

Hope this helps.

  • I think it is only working for single dimentional array, in my case, you can see the above example array which is a multidimensional array needs to be filtered. Some function which can traverse through all array values and reset them the way array_map does will be great. Commented Oct 4, 2012 at 11:59

You can do it using PHP function array_filter .

Find the example below

  function myfunction($v)  {
    $os = array("Dog", "Cat");
    if (in_array($v, $os)) {
      return true;
    return false;

// Above example will return an array with Dog & Cat as values !

  • The question is about check_plain which is a small function that htmlspecialchars() with some arguments. Plus, array_filter takes boolean values. This will for validate stuff but not for convert-to-plain-text functions like check_plain.
    – AKS
    Commented Oct 4, 2012 at 11:21
  • so no default drupal function for that and we need to write our own ? Commented Oct 4, 2012 at 11:41
  • Drupal uses php language ! So, no need to hesitate using php functions :-) array_filter and in_array will solve your issue !
    – Anil Sagar
    Commented Oct 4, 2012 at 11:46
  • I got it Anil Sagar, but my problem is multidimensional array, and I dont want to return true/false, I am in need of something like array_map but it should traverse through all values, I can write custom foreach to iterate through all arrays in PHP, but wondering if anything inbuilt is there. Commented Oct 4, 2012 at 13:32

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