I'm creating an entity in code using the eck. I've added both properties and fields to my custom entity. That is working great, except I can't figure out how to display certain entity properties when hook_entity_view is being called?

I have this in a custom module -

function mycustommodule_entity_view_alter($build, $type){
  if ($type == 'mycustomentity'){



It's suppose to take a render array, but there is no $entity->content and I've tried various things to add a very simple render array #markup => 'somemarketup'; to $build, but I have not been successfully. Given that my property is named something like 'myproperty' and is just a text property (from eck) can someone help me with the syntax for adding it to the entity display using hook_entity_view_alter?

1 Answer 1


Accessing the entity

hook_entity_view_alter does not have an $entity parameter. This is a problem that has been addressed in Drupal 8 (see https://drupal.org/node/1618140).

In the mean time you can't be certain that the entity is available, because it depends on the function that invokes hook_entity_view_alter in the first place. Anyone can invoke hook_entity_view_alter, any may (or may not) provide you with the entity in the build array.

The EntityApiController from the entity module (which is not core, but is a requirement for eck) adds a '#entity' field to the build array which contains the entity. My feeling is that it should be safe in most cases to rely on this, but you can't be 100% sure that it will be there.

Here is an example, assuming a required field 'field_mycustomfield' which has a 'value' property (eg. simple text field):

function mycustommodule_entity_view_alter(&$build, $type){
  if ($type == 'mycustomentity' && isset($build['#entity'])){
    $value = field_get_items($type, $entity, 'field_mycustomfield');
    $build[] = array(
      '#type' => 'markup',
      '#markup' => "My custom value: " . check_plain($value[0]['value']

Adding values to the build array

You have a small mistake in your code: to be able to modify the $build parameter, you must take that parameter by reference (as showed on the documentation for hook_entity_view_alter). Look at my example above and notice the & before $build.

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