Last updated November 13, 2014. Created on June 14, 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!)

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