Helper functions

Input and output

  • get_input($name) Grabs information from a form field (or any variable passed using GET or POST). Also sanitises input, stripping Javascript etc.
  • set_input($name, $value) Forces a value to a particular variable for subsequent retrieval by get_input()

Entity methods

  • $entity->getURL() Returns the URL of any entity in the system
  • $entity->getGUID() Returns the GUID of any entity in the system
  • $entity->canEdit() Returns whether or not the current user can edit the entity
  • $entity->getOwnerEntity() Returns the ElggUser owner of a particular entity

Entity and context retrieval

  • elgg_get_logged_in_user_entity() Returns the ElggUser for the current user
  • elgg_get_logged_in_user_guid() Returns the GUID of the current user
  • elgg_is_logged_in() Is the viewer logged in
  • elgg_is_admin_logged_in() Is the view an admin and logged in
  • elgg_gatekeeper() Shorthand for checking if a user is logged in. Forwards user to front page if not
  • elgg_admin_gatekeeper() Shorthand for checking the user is logged in and is an admin. Forwards user to front page if not
  • get_user($user_guid) Given a GUID, returns a full ElggUser entity
  • elgg_get_page_owner_guid() Returns the GUID of the current page owner, if there is one
  • elgg_get_page_owner_entity() Like elgg_get_page_owner_guid() but returns the full entity
  • elgg_get_context() Returns the current page’s context - eg “blog” for the blog plugin, “thewire” for the wire, etc. Returns “main” as default
  • elgg_set_context($context) Forces the context to be a particular value
  • elgg_push_context($context) Adds a context to the stack
  • elgg_pop_context() Removes the top context from the stack
  • elgg_in_context($context) Checks if you’re in a context (this checks the complete stack, eg. ‘widget’ in ‘groups’)


  • elgg_is_active_plugin($plugin_id) Check if a plugin is installed and enabled

Interface and annotations

  • elgg_view_image_block($icon, $info) Return the result in a formatted list
  • elgg_view_comments($entity) Returns any comments associated with the given entity
  • elgg_get_friendly_time($unix_timestamp) Returns a date formatted in a friendlier way - “18 minutes ago”, “2 days ago”, etc.


  • system_message($message) Registers a success message
  • register_error($message) Registers an error message
  • elgg_view_message($type, $message) Outputs a message

E-mail address formatting

Elgg has a helper class to aid in getting formatted e-mail addresses: \Elgg\Email\Address.

// the constructor takes two variables
// first is the email address, this is REQUIRED
// second is the name, this is optional
$address = new \Elgg\Email\Address('', 'Example');

// this will result in 'Example <>'
echo $address->toString();

// to change the name use:
$address->setName('New Example');

// to change the e-mail address use:

There are some helper functions available

  • \Elgg\Email\Address::fromString($string) Will return an \Elgg\Email\Address class with e-mail and name set, provided a formatted string (eg. Example <>)
  • \Elgg\Email\Address::getFormattedEmailAddress($email, $name) Will return a formatted string provided an e-mail address and optionaly a name