I wanted to hook node/add/patient-history form because I wanted to add ajax in that form.

Before adding Ajax I wanted to get field names correctly. So I tried this:

function ajaxify_form_patient_history_node_form_alter(&$form, &$form_state, $form_id) {
  $form['field_history_patient_id']['und'][0]['#value'] = "Hello";
  // I also tried 
  $form['field_history_patient_id']['#value'] = "Hello";

They are not working.

I am not sure if I am taking the field names incorrectly or missing something else.

Hook name seems to be correct because this one works:

  $form['actions']['submit']['#value'] = t('Save History');

I found some similar questions on stackexchange but with no answers.

Any advice/links appreciated very much. Thank you.

  • You can print_r($form) to get to know the exact field name.
    – GoodSp33d
    Dec 20, 2012 at 6:35
  • That is how I got this name. But this is not working. Dec 20, 2012 at 6:39
  • Yes this seems to be proper and I have updated question reasoning why it seems to be proper. Please read the update. Thank you. Dec 20, 2012 at 7:18

3 Answers 3


I use this in my module to prepopulate the forms with data when hooking on FORM_ALTER:

$form['field_history_patient_id'][LANGUAGE_NONE][0]['value']['#default_value'] = "whatever";

But when defining the form it is enough to do :

$form['field_history_patient_id']['#default_value'] = "whatever";
  • Thank you drcelus. This adds the value to the field. But unfortunately it is not working for adding prefix and suffix. I tried this but not working. $form ['field_username'][LANGUAGE_NONE][0]['value']['#prefiex'] = '<div id="replace_textfield_div">'; I cant see the div and id added in firebug. It would be great help if you could think of a way to add prefix and suffix too. I could not. Thank you :) Dec 20, 2012 at 9:48
  • I see a typo in your code "prefiex". Otherwise maybe you should issue a new question for this.
    – drcelus
    Dec 20, 2012 at 11:40
  • Exactly ! How foolish of me !! It was a typo. Works perfectly now :) :) But I still have doubts regarding why these things work differently in different forms. Dec 20, 2012 at 19:36

Check Why is hook_form_alter so messy in d7?.

If you have Devel module installed, you can check your fields with dpm($form) in your hook or you can use echo '<pre>'; print_r($form); echo '</pre>'.

I hope this will help you to track down your element hierarchy and find out the correct attributes.


You need to set the #default_value property. $form['field_history_patient_id']['#default_value']

  • I have tried that already. It doesnot work. Thank you for your response though. Dec 20, 2012 at 6:40
  • Strange, when I test this it works fine. Try raising your module's weight manually in the system table "UPDATE system SET weight = 20 WHERE name='ajaxify_form'" Dec 20, 2012 at 15:36

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