In Django you will normally work with forms and models. A form instance holds a reference (form_instance.fields) to his corresponding fields as a dict. On model instances this dict does not exist. This post describes a solution.

Every model instance has a Meta class instance

When you define your models you can create an optional inner class Meta which holds some settings like field excludes or the table name in DB. Every model instance holds an instance of its Meta class. The examples below make use of a model called DomainRequest.

>>> inst = DomainRequest()

>>> inst._meta
<Options for DomainRequest>

>>> inst._meta.__class__

>>> inst._meta.fields
[<django.db.models.fields.AutoField: id>,
 <django.db.models.fields.DateField: start_date>,
 <django.db.models.fields.DateField: end_date>,
 <django.db.models.fields.related.ForeignKey: owner>,
 <django.db.models.fields.TextField: description>,
 <django.db.models.fields.CharField: status>,
 <json_field.fields.JSONField: internal_state>,
 <django.db.models.fields.CharField: name>,
 <django.db.models.fields.CharField: provider>,
 <django.db.models.fields.CharField: dns_server>,
 <django.db.models.fields.CharField: cancellation>,
 <django.db.models.fields.CharField: place>,
 <django.db.models.fields.BooleanField: as_mail_domain>]

>>> inst._meta.many_to_many
[<django.contrib.contenttypes.generic.GenericRelation: changelog>]

inst._meta.fields is a list of field instances where each field has a name attribute. This list only contains normal fields but no Many2Many-, ForeignKey or One2One-Relations which are stored separately in inst._meta.many_to_many.

Extracting field names

The following method extracts all field-names as a list. This is is injected into every model instance.

def fields(self):
    return [ for f in self._meta.fields + self._meta.many_to_many ]

>>> from django.db.models import Model
>>> Model.fields = fields

>>> inst.fields

The verbose_name for every field is also included in _meta. The follwoing method extracts the field name as keys and verbose_name as values as a dict.

def fields_verbose(self):
    return dict([ (, f.verbose_name) for f in self._meta.fields + self._meta.many_to_many ])

>>> Model.fields_verbose = fields_verbose
>>> inst.fields_verbose
{'as_mail_domain': u'Freigabe als Maildomain',
 'cancellation': u'K\xfcndigungsfrist',
 'changelog': 'changelog',
 'description': 'Bemerkungen',
 'dns_server': u'DNS-Server',
 'end_date': 'Ablaufdatum',
 'id': 'ID',
 'internal_state': 'internal state',
 'name': 'name',
 'owner': 'Verantwortlicher',
 'place': u'Ort im Domainordner',
 'provider': u'Provider',
 'start_date': 'start date',
 'status': 'status'}