Dynamically populated post fields ( Gravity Forms )

There are two ways you might want to populate a drop down field. The first way is pre-selecting a drop down option when the form is displayed. The second way is dynamically populating the options that are available in a select (aka drop down) field. This walkthrough will teach you how to configure the latter.

The premise for this walkthrough is that we want to populate the options in a Gravity Form select field with all of the posts currently published on the site. There are a variety of reasons for wanting to do this, but in this example, we just want to know what the user’s favorite post is.

While the following tutorial is based on populating the choices in a drop down field, the same approach can be used for a radio button field as well.

The Code

add_filter( 'gform_pre_render_51', 'populate_posts' );
add_filter( 'gform_pre_validation_51', 'populate_posts' );
add_filter( 'gform_pre_submission_filter_51', 'populate_posts' );
add_filter( 'gform_admin_pre_render_51', 'populate_posts' );
function populate_posts( $form ) {

    foreach ( $form['fields'] as &$field ) {

        if ( $field->type != 'select' || strpos( $field->cssClass, 'populate-posts' ) === false ) {

        // you can add additional parameters here to alter the posts that are retrieved
        // more info: [http://codex.wordpress.org/Template_Tags/get_posts](http://codex.wordpress.org/Template_Tags/get_posts)
        $posts = get_posts( 'numberposts=-1&post_status=publish' );

        $choices = array();

        foreach ( $posts as $post ) {
            $choices[] = array( 'text' => $post->post_title, 'value' => $post->post_title );

        // update 'Select a Post' to whatever you'd like the instructive option to be
        $field->placeholder = 'Select a Post';
        $field->choices = $choices;


    return $form;

This code should be pasted in your theme’s functions.php file.

The hooks

Using the gform_pre_render filter allows us to modify the form right before it is displayed. This is really useful, especially when you are looking to display content that will be constantly changing. In our case, this saves us the time and hassle of having to update our drop down of posts every time we add a new post. In addition you should use the gform_pre_validation, gform_pre_submission_filter and gform_admin_pre_render filters as well.

add_filter( 'gform_pre_render_51', 'populate_posts' );
add_filter( 'gform_pre_validation_51', 'populate_posts' );
add_filter( 'gform_pre_submission_filter_51', 'populate_posts' );
add_filter( 'gform_admin_pre_render_51', 'populate_posts' );

This line tells Gravity Forms to filter the $form object through the populate_posts function every time the form with ID of 51 is displayed. You should update the 51 here to the ID of your form.

Please note: a form-specific version of the gform_pre_validation filter was added in Gravity Forms version 1.9.


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