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Default Selected State in Boolean Custom Fields

Updated: Sunday, 07 August 2016

Is there a way to create a boolean custom field that’s selected by default?

Unfortunately there aren’t any special options in the custom field editor to determine whether the custom field will be selected by default or not (especially for the boolean custom fields). This also applies to the option fields. By default, it is the first option will be selected as how the native select box HTML works.

However, there are some workarounds to address this limitation. Let’s say you have been practicing this tutorial and now you want the check box becomes selected by default.

A boolean value basically can be expressed as anything except for values such as false, null and undefined. For example, here you have written down the value of the boolean custom field as true:


That’s good, but the check box still cannot be checked by default.

<input name="fields[allow_comments][value]" value="true">

So now, how can you check the check box field by default?

Method 1: Force the Guardian

Basically, the system will only act in a way to check whether the allow_comments key is present or not in the fields array. If it’s present, then the system will automatically add a checked attribute to the associated check box. By using a hook, you can load the Guardian::memorize() data with your desired custom fields key to the fields array. We’re talking about allow_comments, so:

// Make sure we only disturb the post editor page
$_article = $config->url_path === $config->manager->slug . '/article/ignite';
$_page = $config->url_path === $config->manager->slug . '/page/ignite';

// Make sure we are not opening the post editor via a `POST` request.
// The post editor will opens only with the `POST` request if there’s
// something error happened in the input fields value.
// Don’t do anything if something error happened in the post editor.
// Just let the backup data loaded normally by the `Guardian::wayback()`.
if(Request::method('get') && ($_article || $_page)) {
        'fields' => array(
            'allow_comments' => true // `allow_comments` is now checked!

What about select boxes?

<select name="fields[color_scheme][value]">
  <option value="red">Red Scheme</option>
  <option value="green">Green Scheme</option>
  <option value="blue">Blue Scheme</option>

You can do the same thing with select boxes. Just set the field key value with the option value you want to select, as for example you want to select the blue scheme by default:

    'fields' => array(
        'color_scheme' => 'blue' // `blue` is now selected!

Method 2: Use the Opposite Way

As stated in the tutorial, you can declare the boolean custom field in reverse. So, instead of writing allow_comments, you can write it as disable_comments. This way, you can make the comments become inactive if the check box is checked by the user.

For select boxes, just re-order the options sequence. Put the default value you want to select as the first option in the select box. This way is much simpler. Use the previous method only if you really feel that the name of the field you have created and the order of the option elements was very important and cannot be changed.

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