This is a CCK (Drupal 6) / Field API (Drupal 7) field type that will count the number of nodereferences to a particular node. The count is updated both when the node that is being counted is saved, as well as when a node that is referencing the node being counted is saved, updated or deleted. It will count references from individual nodereference fields as well as aggregate counts from multiple nodereference fields to the same node.

Also see Entity reference count for a version of this module that works with entity references.

This should be an improvement over alternate solutions to the same problem, such as: Using a computed field, which would either be updated when viewed, but not available to views, or when saved, but not when a nodereference was added or removed. Or a view, which would be updated when displayed, but with a performance price and not be available within the node itself.


Two display formatters are provided. The default formatter will display all counts including zero. The 'non-zero' formatter will hide the count if it is zero, but display the count for anything greater.


Copy nodereference_count to your module directory and then enable on the admin modules page. Be sure you have at least one nodereference field configured and then add a nodereference count field to a content type that is referenced by a nodereference. Check the boxes for the nodereference fields that should be counted. You will need to re-save any existing nodes or their referencing nodes in order to update the count.

Updating counts for pre-existing nodereferences

While the nodereference count fields will be updated when the node is saved or when the referencing node is saved, that isn't much help for pre-existing nodereferences to nodes created prior to the addition of a nodereference count field. The Views Bulk Operations (VBO) module,, is the recommended solution. Using VBO you can re-save all of the nodes that have a nodereference_count field. That will update the count for each of those nodes. The specifics will vary for each site, but the general instructions for doing this with VBO are as follows:

- Install the Views and VBO modules if you do not already have them installed.
- Go to /admin/build/views/add and create a new node view.
- Create a new page display.
- Change the style from Unformatted to Bulk Operations.
- Select 'Use Batch API' under TO EXECUTE OPERATIONS.
- Check 'Save post (node_save_action)' under SELECTED OPERATIONS.
- Click 'Update default display'.
- Add a path under Page Settings.
- Add 'Node: Title' under Fields.
- Add 'Node: Type' under Filters. Be sure to select the node types that contain nodereference_count fields.
- Save the view.
- Visit the path that you set for the view.
- Select all the nodes.
- Click 'Save post'.
- Your nodereference_count fields should now be updated.
- You are unlikely to need to use the view again, so feel free to delete it if you like.

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