I've an entity called "guy" with a field "location" and i've 9-10.000 location that i want to reference. I must use a simple list (1|bla, 2|blabla) or an entity reference field that target the location entity? I need the autocomplete function but drupal is very slow with a great number of location. But i don't know if i can load a list of 9-10k lines. I don't wont to use taxonomy. To speed up the autocomplete, how i can create a list of frequently selected location?

1 Answer 1


I dont think there is a module you can use.

The form will contain an element such as

  $form['city'] = array(
    '#type' => 'textfield',
    '#title' => 'City',
    '#maxlength' => 128,
    '#autocomplete_path' => 'cities/autocomplete',

Addition to hook_menu

You must add #autocomplete_path to your hook_menu function.

    function cities_menu(){
    // path with autocomplete function for cities
    $items['cities/autocomplete'] = array(
      'title' => 'Autocomplete for cities',
      'page callback' => '_cities_autocomplete',
      'access arguments' => array('use autocomplete'),  //or whatever permission makes sense
      'type' => MENU_CALLBACK
    return $items;

Make a call to the Database.

 * autocomplete helper
 * $string = string for search
function _cities_autocomplete($string) {
  // Fetch most used cities. 
  $matches = array();
  $result = db_select('cities', 'c')
    ->fields('c', array('city'))
    ->condition('city', '%' . db_like($string) . '%', 'LIKE')

  // save the query to matches
  foreach ($result as $row) {
    $matches[$row->city] = check_plain($row->city);

  // Return the result to the form in json

Make sure your autocomplete handler has appropriate menu permissions set on it,

From : Textfield that uses autocomplete

  • Mumble... i'm very newbie and don't think i can implement this. I don't know hot to create a data base table with the data. I don't want to create a custom module but just know the simpler and faster way to use the existing module for selecting one item in a list of thousand.
    – user11743
    Dec 7, 2012 at 7:52
  • @user11743 as i said i am unfamiliar with any modules act such way.
    – niksmac
    Dec 7, 2012 at 8:02

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