In Rules on Drupal 7, how do I set up a rule / ruleset so when a node is saved compares a textfield from the saved node with a textfield in all nodes of a content type and if match, not the saved node but the matching node should be unpublished?

  • What exactly are you trying to do. This won't be very easy with Rules without writing custom PHP code. Does the unique field module cover your use case?
    – Thomas4019
    Nov 28, 2013 at 22:05
  • No, I don't think unique field works for my use case. My use case is: I use feeds to import two kinds of articles into two different content types. When a article is imported to content type A and there is a ID match on a field in content type B - the article in content type B should be unpublished. Dec 3, 2013 at 16:07

2 Answers 2


I am not sure this can be accomplished with rules entirely. I am interested if a solution exists. Since I am much more comfortable with "custom module" solutions, I will give you some pseudo code that might help you achieve this functionality.

Imagine you are creating a custom module called "mymodule"

function mymodule_node_update($node){
  //get content type
  //if content type="x"
     // run entity_query(because it has field condition property) to get all PUBLISHED nodes where field Y == node -> field Y. and store the node id's (shorthand: NIDS).
  //save all the NIDS into an array 
  // run db_update query to set the status to unpublished

how to use entity query Regards !



I haven't found a solution using only rules yet, maybe it would be possible with rules and views bulk operations (vbo)? A custom module is what I did to solve it (thanks Oleg for pointing me to EntityFieldQuery). Here is the code:


 * @file
 * custom_unpublish.module
 * This module compares a field in a node when updated with a field in all 
 * nodes of a content type and if match, the matching nodes is unpublished

function custom_unpublish_node_update($node) {
  // Only check nodes of a certain content type
  if ($node->type == 'article') {
    $wrapper = entity_metadata_wrapper('node', $node);

    // Get the wanted field
    $id = $wrapper->field_id->value();

    $query = new EntityFieldQuery();

    // Check only a certain content type (bundle) and make a fieldCondition
    $query->entityCondition('entity_type', 'node')
    ->entityCondition('bundle', 'accepted_article')
    ->propertyCondition('status', 1)
    ->fieldCondition('field_id', 'value', $id, '=');
    $result = $query->execute();

    if (isset($result['node'])) {
      $result_items_nids = array_keys($result['node']);
      $result_nodes = node_load_multiple($result_items_nids);
      foreach ($result_nodes as $result_node) {
        // Unpublish the node
        $result_node->status = 0;
        watchdog('custom unpublish', 'Match for ' . $id . '. ' . $result_node->title . ' was unpublished.');
  • Good solution. :) I like the line with array_keys. Have to use it. Just a hint, use a try catch construction with all kinds of queries, since sometimes the query is not properly executed and can lead even to WSOD (you never know). Dec 5, 2013 at 15:39

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