I am in a custom tpl.php file [node--netrunner-card--Operation--full.tpl.php]. This is for a custom content type [netrunner_card].

I am trying to output the contents of the $body variable and unable to do so via the prescribed avenue. I copied node.tpl.php into my theme and renamed it. I can output the contents of body but I have to do this like so:

print render($body[0]['value']);

I should be able to do it like so:

print render($body);

But the second option renders nothing.

Any ideas?

2 Answers 2


Actually, the documentation for node.tpl.php says, in the description for the $content variable.

An array of node items. Use render($content) to print them all, or print a subset such as render($content['field_example']). Use hide($content['field_example']) to temporarily suppress the printing of a given element.

The node body is a field, and you should use render($content['body']) to render it.

The note about field variables is the following one:

Field variables: for each field instance attached to the node a corresponding variable is defined; for example, $node->body becomes $body. When needing to access a field's raw values, developers/themers are strongly encouraged to use these variables. Otherwise they will have to explicitly specify the desired field language; for example, $node->body['en'], thus overriding any language negotiation rule that was previously applied.

You should use $body only when you need to access the field's raw values, not to render the field.

  • I've read that section a hundred times now. I think I need to go get a drink and come back. My mind is whirling with trying to both learn AND implement this stuff while doing other things as well. Maybe I've got too much multi-tasking. I will say that I feel like every post here brings me even closer to fully grasping Drupal on the level that I want to. I appreciate all the help from the drupal.stackexchange group. Commented May 22, 2013 at 16:00
  • 1
    Sometimes, it is easy to miss a single line and not understanding what the documentation says. It happened to me in the past, and I know what scratching your head for hours means. :)
    – apaderno
    Commented May 22, 2013 at 16:18

I decided to ignore the notes in the node.tpl.php file and output like I did for all of my other fields, treating body like any other field instead of one of the two fields auto-created for all content types.

print render( $content['body'] );

This gives me the output I need!

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