Make Node Fields Accessible in Page.tpl.php

Last modified: 
Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

Problem Description

  • We have a vocabulary for site section, which can be used to apply a single term to each node.
  • We want to label each node's site section in the branding area of page.tpl.php.
  • The template page.tpl.php contains information about the nodes within, but they are buried deep with the $variables['page'] array.
  • In our example, the field_site_section array is stored in the Title object of each node.
  • We are only concerned with nodes displayed as pages.


  • We update MYTHEME_preprocess_page() to check is we're displaying node.
  • If so, set a new $variables item $variables['page_site_title'] using a function _MYTHEME_get_site_section().
  • _MYTHEME_get_site_section() simply filters through all the noise in the $variable['page'] to find the site section tid, looks up the string value of for the term, and returns it.

In template.php (or equivalent)

 * Implements hook_preprocess_page().
function MYTHEME_preprocess_page(&$variables) {

  // Makes the site section term easier to access in page.tpl.php
  if (arg(0) == 'node') {
    $variables['page_site_section'] = _MYTHEME_get_site_section($variables);


 * This function returns the string value of the site section from the Page scope,
 * so it can be easily accessed in page.tpl.php.
 * @param $variables
function _MYTHEME_get_site_section(&$variables) {

  $oTitle = $variables['page']['content']['system_main']['nodes'][arg(1)]['title']['#object'];
  if (property_exists($oTitle, 'field_site_section')) {
    $tid = $oTitle->field_site_section[LANGUAGE_NONE][0]['tid'];
    // Get the name associated with this tid.
    $term = taxonomy_term_load($tid);
    $page_site_section = $term->name;
  else {
    $page_site_section = "";

  // We're returning here in an effort encourage devs to alter the
  // the $variables variable in MYTHEME_preprocess_page();
  return $page_site_section;


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