I'm inside mytheme_image_formatter($variables) function and I got the image's FID (from $fid = $variables['item']['fid']).

Question: Is there a way to know which object is using the image file?

Using file_usage_list(file_load($fid)), I can see which objects may use the file. But I want to know which one is using the image file, inside my function.

Tried to use mytheme_preprocess_image(&$variables), but I also found the same situation.

This is the same problem as discussed here, without a solution.


  • What I'm trying to do is to put an ALT text in all images of all site's pages. If there is no pre-defined ALT text, I want to inject the node's title in it.
    – dxvargas
    Commented Jul 19, 2013 at 16:40

1 Answer 1


You can use an EntityFieldQuery, e.g.

$field_name = 'field_something';
$fid = 123;

$query = new \EntityFieldQuery();
  ->propertyCondition('type', 'the_type')
  ->fieldCondition($field_name, 'fid', $fid);

$results = $query->execute();
if (!empty($results['node'])) {
  $nodes = node_load_multiple(array_keys($results['node']));

  // $nodes contains all nodes that reference the given file via field_something.
  • Thanks! But the problem with this approach is that $field_name is yet another information I want to know, because I don't have it. I just know what comes in $variables.
    – dxvargas
    Commented Jul 19, 2013 at 16:36
  • Those theme functions are re-usable so they can't rely on a node/field context (that's why they're not in the vars). You'll probably have to be a bit more specific, like implementing hook_node_view() and targeting the specific fields in $node->content, based on $node->type. You should be able to add an alt to the image field structure that way
    – Clive
    Commented Jul 19, 2013 at 17:06
  • You're right, this wasn't the best approach. I ended up taking another completely different way for getting my problem solved.
    – dxvargas
    Commented Jul 20, 2013 at 21:25

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