I have a URL like track-new/15/51. arg(2) returns 51.

How can I check if the content type of the node whose ID is 51 (the value returned from arg(2)) is 'artist'?

6 Answers 6


If the value returned from arg(2) is a node ID, you can load the node with node_load(). This will return a node object, which contains its content type.

$node = node_load(arg(2));
$content_type = $node->type;
  • drush php-eval '$node = node_load(51); return $node->type;'
    – leymannx
    Nov 20, 2019 at 11:55

Although I am a big fan of node_load(), it is possible to get the type of a node from a node nid in a more resource friendly way. Here's a helper function to get a node's type given a nid:

 * Given a node id, this returns the node's type or NULL if it doesn't exist.
 * @param $nid
 * @return {String|NULL}
function example_get_node_type($nid) {
  $query = db_select('node', 'n')
    ->fields('n', array('type'))
    ->condition('n.nid', $nid)
  $result = $query->fetchObject();
  return $result->type;

Then you can use it with something like:

if (example_get_node_type(arg(2)) == 'artist') {
  // Do something...

Or if you already have the node id, something like this:

$nid = 123;
if (example_get_node_type($nid) == 'artist') {
  // Do something...

A bit of validation before calling node_load is never harmful:

if (arg(2) && is_numeric(arg(2)) {
    $node = node_load((int) $a2);
    $type = $node->type;
  • 2
    Fixed a couple small issues in the code: 1. The isset() was being done on the entire condition rather than just arg(2), and 2. you can't do an isset() on the return of a function (ie. return value in write context). Oct 29, 2013 at 18:21

Use menu_get_object() to retrieve data loaded by the current menu-router item. In your case you can get to the node like this:

$node = menu_get_object('node', 2);

You can use something like this:

$menu_item = menu_get_item();

    // Test if this is a term page.
    if (!strncmp($menu_item['path'], 'taxonomy/term/%', 15)) {
        $obj = menu_get_object('taxonomy_term', 2);
  • The OP is asking how to get a node from its node ID that is passed in the URL. It's not asking about taxonomy terms.
    – apaderno
    Nov 8, 2019 at 11:03

If the route for that path is, for example, track-new/%/%node or track-new/%user/%node, I would use the following code.

if ($node = menu_get_object('node', 2)) {
  $content_type = $node->type;

If the route for that path is, for example, track-new/%/% or track-new/%user/%, I would use the following code.

$nid = arg(2);
if (!empty($nid) && is_numeric($nid) && ($node = node_load($nid))) {
  $content_type = $node->type;

menu_get_object('node', 2) doesn't work with a route like track-new/%/% because it expects the load function for the last part of the path to be node_load(), which isn't true for a route like track-new/%/%.
In fact, the code used from menu_get_object() is the following one.

  $router_item = menu_get_item($path);
  if (isset($router_item['load_functions'][$position]) && !empty($router_item['map'][$position]) && $router_item['load_functions'][$position] == $type . '_load') {
    return $router_item['map'][$position];

I would always use node_load() when I want to load the node object associated with the current path independently from how the route has been defined.

I am using node_load() instead of querying directly the database because:

  • It's possible that I would need other node properties, even if that could happen in future versions of the module I am writing
  • The nodes loaded with node_load() are cached in memory, which means that the code I am using could not even cause any database query

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