Validating Field Submissions with the GFAPI


The GFAPI::validate_field() method, added in Gravity Forms 2.7, is used to validate the input values of a specific field. This method can trigger the following filters:

If you need to validate all or most fields of a form see Validating Form Submissions with the GFAPI.

Source Code

public static function validate_field( $form_id, $field_id, $input_values = array() ) {}

This method is located in /includes/api.php.


$form_idintegerThe ID of the form this submission belongs to.
$field_idintegerThe ID of the field to be validated.
$input_valuesarrayAn associative array containing the values to be validated using the field input names as the keys.
Will be merged into the $_POST.
The expected input names are identical to the input names found in the form markup. If you have any doubts about the name of an input, use your browsers developer tools to inspect the inputs via the form preview page.


An associative array containing the result properties or a WP_Error instance if the form can’t be found, isn’t active, is trashed, doesn’t have any fields, the field can’t be found, or the field doesn’t support validation.

is_validboolThe field validation result.
messagestringThe field validation message, if invalid.

Usage Examples

This is a basic usage example showing how to pass the parameters and how to handle the returned result.

$result = GFAPI::validate_field( $form_id, $field_id, $input_values );
if ( is_wp_error( $result ) ) {
	$error_message = $result->get_error_message();
	// Do something with the error message.
} elseif ( ! rgar( $result, 'is_valid' ) ) {
	$error_message = rgar( $result, 'message' );
	// Do something with the error message.
} else {
	// Do something with the valid values.

Validate multi-input field type

This example shows how you would define the parameters when needing to validate a multi-input field type. In this case a name field with the id 2 belonging to form id 1.

$form_id                   = 1;
$field_id                  = 2;
$input_values              = array();
$input_values['input_2_3'] = 'First name';
$input_values['input_2_6'] = 'Last name';

$result = GFAPI::validate_field( $form_id, $field_id, $input_values );

Compare value against another field

Submitting the values from multiple fields is supported but out of the box only the values of the field matching the specified $field_id will be validated. This can be used to allow the gform_field_validation filter (e.g. example 5) to compare the values of multiple fields.

$form_id                   = 10;
$field_id                  = 2;
$input_values              = array();
$input_values['input_1'] = 'field 1 value';
$input_values['input_2'] = 'field 2 value';

$result = GFAPI::validate_field( $form_id, $field_id, $input_values );


This method was added in Gravity Forms 2.7.