I am looking for some information about how to create a custom field type for Joomla 3.7 core custom fields.

Can anyone point me in the direction of a tutorial, an example of anything that may help with the process? I couldn't find official documentation on that.

Please note I am not talking about adding the field to an article, I am talking about creating a new type of field that can be selected from the custom fields component.

I figured it is just a plugin, so I went to copy a core existing one to then expand on that.

However I copied the imagelist, renamed it all to newimagelist, installed all without problem. Created a new field, went into an article, but the newly created field which is just a copy doesn't behave same way. The list dropdown doesn't work. Any ideas?


3 Answers 3


It seems that fields are simply plugins of type fields. Copy the text folder from /plugins/fields, to a new folder, text2 and change the names of the files inside the text-folder to text2.php and text.xml, and /tmpl/text2.php. In text2.xml there is a reference to the plugin name, update this as well, like:

    <filename plugin="text2">text2.php</filename>

Now you are ready to use the discover - tool in the joomla administrator, to discover the new plugin. Go to yoursite/administrator/ and find the menu extensions/manage/discover. Click discover, the new plugin should be listed. Install the new plugin. Afterwards, find the new plugin in extensions/manage, and enable it.

Now you should be able to add a new custom field for eg. an article, using your brand new, custom, self made field...

There is a lot of info about writing your own plugin, eg:



You can copy one of the fields in:




and rename the copied field. Then change data of your new custom filed.

  • What if we want a new field to be available within com_content. If I duplicate a .php file from \libraries\joomla\form\fields and rename it and the contents it does nothing.
    – Eoin
    Commented Aug 8, 2020 at 16:27
  • Ah I see we need to create a plugin
    – Eoin
    Commented Aug 8, 2020 at 16:28

From what I understand, the custom field type references a system field type of the same name. So when you copied the custom field plugin and renamed it, it now referenced a system field type that didn't exist.

I'm looking at doing the same thing, but it's a lot more work than just creating a plugin.

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