I have a routine that searches for an existing customer, based on their member email address. I'm passing the email address as an embed variable:

{embed="delivery/charter_customer_form" cust_email="{email}"}

The variable returns the address correctly. If I put {embed:cust_email} in the template, it displays the correct address.

However, when I plug it into the channel entry tag, I get no results, even I though I know for a fact that there is a match there:

{exp:channel:entries channel="customers" search:customer_email="{embed:cust_email}" dynamic="no" limit="1"}

Also, if I replace the variable with the hard-coded address, it returns the entry I'm looking for.

Am I overlooking something?

  • I'd turn on the output profiler and see what the actual query being made looks like (whether the searched value is wrong, empty, or what). Commented Apr 13, 2013 at 1:26
  • Interesting. The tag renders the {email} tag as it was passed to the template: {exp:channel:entries channel="customers" search:customer_email="{email}" dynamic="no" limit="1" parse="outward"}
    – Ty Morton
    Commented Apr 13, 2013 at 3:47
  • Is there something special about that tag that it won't render its value inside of another tag? That was the whole reason I felt the need to pass the variable in an embedded template in the first place.
    – Ty Morton
    Commented Apr 13, 2013 at 3:49

2 Answers 2


This is due to ExpressionEngine parsing order in which user defined global variables are parsed at last. See here http://loweblog.com/downloads/ee-parse-order.pdf

To resolve this problem, you need to have small custom plugin which will return member's email. The plugin code would be like:

class Custom_plugin {
    public $return_data;
    function __construct(){
        $this->EE =& get_instance();    
        $this->return_data = $this->EE->session->userdata('email');

I hope, you will put other plugin code yourself.

Now you can have embed variable like:

{embed="delivery/charter_customer_form" cust_email="{emp:custom_plugin}"}
  • That's the only way to search by a person's email address, is through an external plug-in? That just floors me.
    – Ty Morton
    Commented Apr 13, 2013 at 13:58
  • You can try other solution via either Stash (github.com/croxton/Stash/tree/dev) or Low Variables (gotolow.com/addons/low-variables). These module would work for this purpose. I did preferred using the plugin for this purpose as it seemed me quick and easy :) ..... Commented Apr 13, 2013 at 14:13

You might need parse="inward" on your channel entries tag.

  • Nope. parse="inward" makes no difference on module tags - only plugin tags, and only when that plugin tag is being used as a tag pair. Commented Apr 13, 2013 at 1:23
  • You sure about that? Here's an example of Mark Croxton recommending the exact same thing when using a Stash variable as a search parameter: devot-ee.com/add-ons/support/stash/viewthread/7531#25711
    – Tyssen
    Commented Apr 13, 2013 at 2:39
  • And here's a thread on the EE forums discussing using it on weblog/channel entries too: ellislab.com/forums/viewthread/55771
    – Tyssen
    Commented Apr 13, 2013 at 2:47
  • That did not solve the problem.
    – Ty Morton
    Commented Apr 13, 2013 at 3:13
  • That's cool, just the first thing to check. Try switching cust_email="{email}" to cust_email="{logged_in_email}" in your embed variable declaration. Any difference there?
    – Ian Young
    Commented Apr 13, 2013 at 13:36

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