I'd like to know how to display a user avatar in Drupal 7. I want to display the avatar in full size, and as thumbnail.

2 Answers 2


The code used from user_user_view() is the following one:

$account->content['user_picture'] = array(
  '#markup' => theme('user_picture', array('account' => $account)), 
  '#weight' => -10,

For example, if you want to output the HTML code to show the picture associated with the currently logged-in user in a form, you could use code similar to the following one:

$form['user_picture'] = array(
  '#theme' => 'user_picture',
  '#account' => $GLOBALS['user'], 

This is similar to the following code used in node_admin_nodes(), which uses a different theme function.

$form['nodes'] = array(
  '#theme' => 'table', 
  '#header' => $header, 
  '#rows' => $options, 
  '#empty' => t('No content available.'),

The content of "#header," "#rows," and "#empty" are used to populate the content of the $variables array that is passed to the theme function ("#header" becomes "header," etc).

theme('user_picture') works even when the Image module (the one that defines theme_image_style()) is not enabled; in that case, it uses theme_image() instead. When the Image module is enabled, it uses the default style as contained in the Drupal variable "user_picture_style." In both the cases, the user image is a link to the user profile.

As the theme function is using a template (user-picture.tpl.php), the relevant code is in template_preprocess_user_picture(); if you look at the code for theme_user_picture(), you would see there is no code.

  • Thank you for the answer. Is it possible to change the size of the avatar: thumbnail, medium, large? I use this code: global $user; $account = user_load($user->uid); $account->content['user_picture'] = array( '#markup' => theme('user_picture', array('account' => $account)), '#weight' => -10, ); print ($account->content['user_picture']['#markup']); And I also don't understand why '#weight' => -10 is used here. I know what it means in form api.
    – Alexey
    Commented Aug 2, 2011 at 8:16
  • "#weight" is used for every form field to order them; in this case −10 would put the user image on top of the form. For the other question, I updated my answer.
    – avpaderno
    Commented Aug 2, 2011 at 14:19

A user's profile picture is available on the loaded user object. You can use image_style theme function to render an image in the size of your choosing.

  • where can i read how to use this function?
    – Alexey
    Commented Aug 1, 2011 at 19:01

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