Is there a way to get raw/unformatted values for a field before they're passed to the field's normalizeValue function? That is, get the value close to how it's stored in the database? I haven't found a documented method for this in the documentation.


I'm building a section with a categories field, the selected categories act as filters for an entries feed that is displayed on the frontend for that entry. So I'm doing something like this:

{% set selectedCategories = entry.my_categories_field.ids() %}
{% set entriesFeed = craft.entries().relatedTo(selectedCategories).all() %}

But the additional database query is kind of pointless. As far as I know, the categories field already stores the selected categories as a list of IDs – correct me if I'm wrong. So when the field is accessed, it returns a CategoryQuery populated with a filter to match those IDs. Then I execute that query with .ids() just to get the IDs from the database that are already stored in the field in the first place.

Is there a simple way to get the stored IDs for that field directly without an additional database query? I.e., the value before its normalized to a CategoryQuery by normalizeValue?

1 Answer 1


I might be misunderstanding but if your my_categories_field is a Categories field then dump {{ dump(entry.my_categories_field) }} and you'll see that the ids aren't there.

Relations are stored in the relations table and are fetched using sourceId and fieldId.

From what I can see, you are on an entry page so what you could do if you wanted to lighten things up a little is to eager-load your categories:

{% do craft.app.elements.eagerLoadElements(
) %}

Then fetch your entries with:

{% set entriesFeed = craft.entries()
    .all() %}

I'm not sure that's the answer but hopefully it helps :)

  • Awesome answer! So my assumption about how the categories field stores its data was indeed wrong, good to know. I'll take a look at the relations table to see how it works under the hood, definitely useful to know. Thanks for explaining!
    – MoritzLost
    Commented Aug 17, 2021 at 8:04

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