I added a dozen or so new fields (in Drupal 7) to the user profiles using:

Configuration -> People -> Account Settings -> Manage Fields (admin/config/people/accounts/fields)

How can I access these values? They do not seem to be part of $user

Tried, without success:

global $user;

5 Answers 5


I think I found it. There is one additional step it seems.

global $user;
$user_full = user_load($user->uid); // user_load(uid) returns the complete array

I now have access to my custom profile fields through $user_full


Panels can also do this quite painlessly with relationships.


I'm reposting my answer from https://stackoverflow.com/questions/8124089/get-value-of-custom-user-field-in-drupal-7-template here since I think this is an alternative solution. This example shows how to use something like field_real_name instead of the default username.

If you are using a preprocess function, there is no need to pull in the global $user object. You can change the field in the $variables array that is $variables['name'] to what you have in your custom field that I've called field_real_name. You have access to the $variables array, so you can get the user information with this - it will load the information associated with the uid (see template_preprocess_username):

function mythemename_preprocess_username(&$variables) {
    $account = user_load($variables['account']->uid);
    ...more code will go here in a moment

If you dpm($account) (or kpr($account) if you aren't using devel) you will see that you have access to all of the user information, without using the global $user object.

Then you can change the output of $variables['name'] to be your field_real_name as follows:

function mythemename_preprocess_username(&$variables) {

  // Load user information with user fields
  $account = user_load($variables['account']->uid);

  // See if user has real_name set, if so use that as the name instead
  $real_name = $account->field_real_name[LANGUAGE_NONE][0]['safe_value'];
  if (isset($real_name)) {
    $variables['name'] = $real_name;

For some weird reason, the profile fields in Drupal 7 are not what they used to be. However, the user profile object makes the additional profile fields accessible as array elements. For example:


is not available but it will work when rewritten like this:


So I simply did the following in my code:

 * Create simplified variables as shortcuts for all fields.
 * Use these variables for read access lateron.
$firstname = $user_profile['field_first_name']['#object']

$middlename = $user_profile['field_middle_name']['#object']

$surname = $user_profile['field_surname']['#object']

$image = $user_profile['field_user_picture']['#object']

Just another way of getting things working, instead of calling the $user object yet again.


You can load user data (custom fields included) with Drupal 7 core

$user = entity_load($entity_type = "user", $ids = Array($user->uid), $conditions = array(), $reset = FALSE);

More details at Drupal 7 > API > Entity load

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