Shows how the administrator can select which fields in which content type to make available for better field descritions.
Shows how a user can add descriptions to the selected fields above.

Better field descriptions makes it possible to add themeable descriptions to fields in forms.

  • Would your customers like to write their own descriptions, but can't or won't, since they then need permission to manage the fields in the content type?
  • Would you like to show the description above the field or even between the title and the field?

This module allows you to select the fields you want across all content types and give those field a themeable description on a separate admin page.

Works on any field!

Better field descriptions provides two permissions. One for selecting which fields across all content types that should have a "better field description", and one for adding/editing the descriptions themselves.

The use-case

Our customers want to write their own help text - sometimes that text is huge and need to be wrapped in a fieldset. They won't, or aren't allowed to use the content type field management page. Also, not all fields should have a description (hidden fields etc.)

This module let you choose which fields to enable for a better field description, the customers can then edit the descriptions as they choose.


  • Descriptions are rendered via a template file.
  • Each descriptions can be put either
    • above the title+field
    • below the title+field
    • between the title and field.
  • Each description can have a custom label or use a default if left blank.

There are two template files provided with the module:

  • better-field-descriptions-text - provides a simple and clean text
  • better-field-descriptions-fieldset - wraps the description in a fieldset using the label as the legend of the fieldset

You can make your own template and put it in the templates folder of your theme. The new template will be picked up automatically. Note that changing the template will trigger a theme registry rebuild.

How it works

What the module does is take the description and put it in either the #prefix or #suffix of the field through a hook_form_alter. There are no permanent changes to the fields in the content type. The description/help text provided through the content type field management page is not touched by this module.

The #prefix and #suffix field options are usually unused or set in a custom module, i.e. you would know if this would be a problem for you.

Better field descriptions will currently not let you add descriptions to fields inside a field collection. You can however add a description to the field collection itself, since they are nothing but a field in a content type. Patches are welcome.

Recent changes

Better field descriptions 7.x-1.0, 2014-11-14
The module is considered stable. This release includes patch by vinmassaro, thanks!

Better field descriptions 7.x-1.x-dev, 2014-07-22
Fixed: missing collapse.js
Fixed: titles was missing from configuration

Better field descriptions 7.x-1.x-dev, 2014-07-14
Fixing issues reported by pareview.

Better field descriptions 7.x-1.x-dev, 2014-07-10
Added option to place description between the title and the field input.

Better field descriptions 7.x-1.x-dev, 2014-07-10
Initial release of better_field_descriptions module.

Related projects

Better field descriptions solves two problems, letting users add descriptions to form fields outside of the content type field management pages, and placing them at the location of your choice.
If all you want is placing the description between the title and field, consider these modules:

  • D7 sandbox module: Form element layout. Overrides the order of title, description and input elements in forms, by replacing the primitive themes that renders elements. API only module.
  • D7 module: Label help. This module adds an additional text element that are displayed before the input element. It doesn't touch or move the existing field $instance['description'].
Supporting organizations: 
Financial support
Drupal 8 Version

Project information