How do I programmatically render a node's teaser using the theme layer?

1 Answer 1


node_view() is the standard function for rendering nodes, e.g.

$node = node_load(1);
$view = node_view($node, 'teaser');
$rendered = drupal_render($view);

There is a node theme defined by the node module (in node_theme()) but I've never actually seen it used.

  • 1
    Isn't node_theme() what lets the theme system use a .tpl.php file for the element and also allow preprocess functions?
    – mpdonadio
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 18:22
  • Yeah I'm concerned about bypassing the theme layer. If I did that, then other modules wanting to chip in would not be able to. At least, I think that's correct? Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 19:10
  • 1
    Upon analyzing api.drupal.org/api/drupal/modules%21node%21node.module/function/… if you view the implementation code, where it says $build += array(, it does have a #theme attribute in there which I'm guessing tells Drupal to use the theme system. Correct me if I'm wrong. I'm just now starting to 'get' the Drupal API :) Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 19:13
  • @MPD Yeah I didn't explain that very well, I just meant I'd never seen a call like theme('node', ... before. In fact that wouldn't even work because it defines itself as having a render element instead of variables.
    – Clive
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 19:20
  • @Lester Spot on, there are 2 ways to call theme functions, the 'normal' way (theme('theme_name', $args) and by using so called render elements. The hook_theme() docs explain it pretty well, it's not 100% intuitive but once you know, it's really useful. Using node_view() will never bypass the theme layer so you should be fine :)
    – Clive
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 19:23

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