Last updated 13 November 2014. Created on 14 June 2013.
Edited by NerOcrO, selwynpolit, capellic, texas-bronius. Log in to edit this page.

Overview of the References Dialog module

What it does

Question: I have a node/entity reference field on a node form, but I don't have the content for it yet. How can I add referenced node(s) without leaving the container node create/edit form in a single, seamless workflow?
Answer: The References Dialog module provides an elegant solution by exposing links to Edit, Search for existing, or Create in a clean modal popup dialog. The selected or created node id then populates the node reference field and dialog is dismissed. Watch a 1 minute demo of it in action.
Screenshot of References Dialog in action

Once asked questions

  • Does the module work out of the box?
    Yes. Note that as of this writing, you'll want to have picked up the -dev version. -alpha4 presented some hiccups like Drupal site chrome (header/footer) showing in modal dialog form and some PHP notices.
  • Does it work on node_reference or entityreference modules?
    entityreference for sure, out of the box. Could someone confirm node_reference? (It sorta works with node_reference - only shows the Create link (Selwyn 8-8-14)
  • Why won't it show settings Edit, Search, and Create in field edit?
    Because you're trying to use checkboxes or select instead of the autocomplete widget
  • Why is Views required?
    This module provides a new "References Create" Display that Views presents.
  • Does it work with checkboxes or lists (anything but autocomplete)?
    No. Would be really nice, however... #2019527: What would it take to make References Dialog work for checkboxes?
  • What happens on failed popup form submit validation?
    The modal dialog is totally unphased by a form validation (required fields, data validation) error and kick-back. See?

How to set up and use References Dialog


1. Create or edit a content type (admin/structure/types/manage/).
2. Create or edit a field of the type Entity Reference or Term Reference with autocomplete widget.
3. Select one or more of the following checkboxes:
* Edit dialog.
* Add dialog.
* Search dialog.
4. (Optional) Change the display preferences for the field.

Adding in Search dialog

1. Build a View and associate it with the field by elves and magic. Be sure that fields in the View are not links. For an in-depth explanation, see this case (#2290765: Search link goes to taxonomy view?)
2. Add an Exposed Filter (ie. title textfield "contains") to search against key fields
(incomplete) See #1309792: Document how to expose the "Search references" function on a reference field but read it ALL (and then transcribe concisely here ;))
3. Clear your cache


Be sure to check out these helpful screencasts:

(The above steps and videos were basically copied from existing documentation in References Dialog issue queue. Lots of thanks to these original authors!)

Why are there so many "Holy Grails" sought in Drupal?

Looking for support? Visit the forums, or join #drupal-support in IRC.