entity Field Type

A special choice field that’s designed to load options from a Doctrine entity. For example, if you have a Category entity, you could use this field to display a select field of all, or some, of the Category objects from the database.

Rendered as can be various tags (see Select tag, Checkboxes or Radio Buttons)
Inherited options
Parent type choice
Class Symfony\Bridge\Doctrine\Form\Type\EntityType

Basic Usage

The entity type has just one required option: the entity which should be listed inside the choice field:

$builder->add('users', 'entity', array(
    'class' => 'Acme\\HelloBundle\\Entity\\User',

In this case, all User objects will be loaded from the database and rendered as either a select tag, a set or radio buttons or a series of checkboxes (this depends on the multiple and expanded values).

Using a Custom Query for the Entities

If you need to specify a custom query to use when fetching the entities (e.g. you only want to return some entities, or need to order them), use the query_builder option. The easiest way to use the option is as follows:

use Doctrine\ORM\EntityRepository;
// ...

$builder->add('users', 'entity', array(
    'class' => 'Acme\\HelloBundle\\Entity\\User',
    'query_builder' => function(EntityRepository $er) {
        return $er->createQueryBuilder('u')
            ->orderBy('u.username', 'ASC');

Select tag, Checkboxes or Radio Buttons

This field may be rendered as one of several different HTML fields, depending on the expanded and multiple options:

element type expanded multiple
select tag false false
select tag (with multiple attribute) false true
radio buttons true false
checkboxes true true

Field Options


type: string required

The class of your entity (e.g. Acme\StoreBundle\Entity\Category).


type: string

This is the property that should be used for displaying the entities as text in the HTML element. If left blank, the entity object will be cast into a string and so must have a __toString() method.


type: Doctrine\ORM\QueryBuilder or a Closure

If specified, this is used to query the subset of options (and their order) that should be used for the field. The value of this option can either be a QueryBuilder object or a Closure. If using a Closure, it should take a single argument, which is the EntityRepository of the entity.


type: string default: the default entity manager

If specified, the specified entity manager will be used to load the choices instead of the default entity manager.

Inherited options

These options inherit from the choice type:


type: Boolean default: false

If true, the user will be able to select multiple options (as opposed to choosing just one option). Depending on the value of the expanded option, this will render either a select tag or checkboxes if true and a select tag or radio buttons if false. The returned value will be an array.


type: Boolean default: false

If set to true, radio buttons or checkboxes will be rendered (depending on the multiple value). If false, a select element will be rendered.


type: array default: array()

If this option is specified, then a sub-set of all of the options will be moved to the top of the select menu. The following would move the “Baz” option to the top, with a visual separator between it and the rest of the options:

$builder->add('foo_choices', 'choice', array(
    'choices' => array('foo' => 'Foo', 'bar' => 'Bar', 'baz' => 'Baz'),
    'preferred_choices' => array('baz'),

Note that preferred choices are only meaningful when rendering as a select element (i.e. expanded is false). The preferred choices and normal choices are separated visually by a set of dotted lines (i.e. -------------------). This can be customized when rendering the field:

  • Twig
    {{ form_widget(form.foo_choices, { 'separator': '=====' }) }}
  • PHP
    <?php echo $view['form']->widget($form['foo_choices'], array('separator' => '=====')) ?>


type: string or Boolean

This option determines whether or not a special “empty” option (e.g. “Choose an option”) will appear at the top of a select widget. This option only applies if both the expanded and multiple options are set to false.

  • Add an empty value with “Choose an option” as the text:

    $builder->add('states', 'choice', array(
        'empty_value' => 'Choose an option',
  • Guarantee that no “empty” value option is displayed:

    $builder->add('states', 'choice', array(
        'empty_value' => false,

If you leave the empty_value option unset, then a blank (with no text) option will automatically be added if and only if the required option is false:

// a blank (with no text) option will be added
$builder->add('states', 'choice', array(
    'required' => false,

These options inherit from the field type:


type: Boolean default: true

If true, an HTML5 required attribute will be rendered. The corresponding label will also render with a required class.

This is superficial and independent from validation. At best, if you let Symfony guess your field type, then the value of this option will be guessed from your validation information.


type: string default: The label is “guessed” from the field name

Sets the label that will be used when rendering the field. The label can also be directly set inside the template:

{{ render_label(form.name, 'Your name') }}


type: Boolean default: false

If this option is true, the field will be rendered with the disabled attribute so that the field is not editable.


type: Boolean default: false

If true, any errors for this field will be passed to the parent field or form. For example, if set to true on a normal field, any errors for that field will be attached to the main form, not to the specific field.



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