Autocomplete Directive for AngularJS with some extra features.

angucomplete alt


Stars : 10

Forks : 10

Created by Hidenari Nozaki

bower install angucomplete-alt

Demo Download GitHub


This is a fork of Daryl Rowland's angucomplete ( with a bit of tweaks such as:

  • change long attribute names to hyphenated ones
  • coding style similar to angular standard
  • refactored in general
  • jshint
  • more test coverage

To see a demo go here:

Key Features

  • Show just a title, a title and a description or a title, description and image in your autocomplete list
  • Deliberately minimally styled so you can customise it to your heart's content!
  • Reads JSON data and allows you to specify which fields to use for display
  • Simple setup - e.g. to pull data from a server, just set the url parameter

Extra Features

  • Request format function: if you need to tweak data before you send to your search API, you can set your own format function. Search query goes through your function and gets sent to your API.
  • Response format function: if you need to tweak response from the server before it gets processed by the directive, you can set your own format function. Raw HTTP response goes through your function. Thanks to @nekcih for proposing this feature.
  • Clear on selection: when you select an item, input field is cleared.
  • Blur event handling, thanks to @leejsinclair
  • Override suggestions
  • You can either bind an object or callback function
    • bind an object: it works as one-way-data-binding. It gets set when a selection is made.
    • callback function: when a selection is made by user, this callback is called with the selected object. When the selection is deselected, the callback is called with undefined. Thanks to @nekcih for proposing this feature.
  • Required support: It is a bit different from ng-required which becomes valid when there is any character in input field. This required becomes valid when a selection is made. Class name is "autocomplete-required" and customizable. Thanks to @alindber for the initial idea.
  • Custom texts for "Searching..." and "No results found", thanks to @vhuerta for this idea.
  • Be able to set initial value. This becomes handy if you use this directive for updating existing model.
  • Be able to set a error callback for ajax request
  • Add a callback for tracking input changes. Thanks to @urecio for the initial idea.
  • Auto match
  • Add callbacks for tracking focus in/out.
  • Enable/disable input field
  • Show scrollbar. See example #1
  • Clear input by sending $broadcast from parent scope. Thanks to @Leocrest for #61.
  • Override template with your own. When you use this feature, test throughly as it might break other features. Thanks to @sdbondi for #74.
  • Show all items.
  • Custom remote API handler which allows you to fully control how to communicate with your remote API. Thanks to @jbuquet
  • Custom search function for handling local data

Angular 1.2

From v2.0.0, I have dropped the support for angular 1.2. Please use angucomplete-ie8 which still supports 1.2.

Getting Started

Download the package, and include the dist/angucomplete-alt.min.js file in your page.

bower install angucomplete-alt --save


npm install angucomplete-alt --save

Then add the angucomplete-alt module to your Angular App file, e.g.

var app = angular.module('app', ["angucomplete-alt"]);

Using local data

<angucomplete-alt id="ex1"
              placeholder="Search countries"
              input-class="form-control form-control-small"/>

Using local data with custom search function

<angucomplete-alt id="ex2"
              placeholder="Search people"
              input-class="form-control form-control-small"
              match-class="highlight" />

Local search function takes a string and returns an array of matched items.

// Here is a naive implementation for matching first name, last name, or full name
$scope.localSearch = function(str) {
  var matches = [];
  $scope.people.forEach(function(person) {
    var fullName = person.firstName + ' ' + person.surname;
    if ((person.firstName.toLowerCase().indexOf(str.toString().toLowerCase()) >= 0) ||
        (person.surname.toLowerCase().indexOf(str.toString().toLowerCase()) >= 0) ||
        (fullName.toLowerCase().indexOf(str.toString().toLowerCase()) >= 0)) {
  return matches;


Using remote API

<angucomplete-alt id="members"
              placeholder="Search members"
              input-class="form-control form-control-small"/>

It expects the returned results from remote API to have a root object. In the above example, 'results' is an array of search results.

Description of attributes

Attribute Description Required Binding Example
id A unique ID for the field. example Yes @ members
placeholder Placeholder text for the search field. example No @ Search members
maxlength Maxlength attribute for the search field. example No attribute 25
pause The time to wait (in milliseconds) before searching when the user enters new characters. example No @ 400
selected-object Either an object in your scope or callback function. If you set an object, it will be passed to the directive with '=' sign but it is actually one-way-bound data. So, setting it from your scope has no effect on input string. If you set a callback, it gets called when selection is made. To get attributes of the input from which the assignment was made, use this.$parent.$index within your function. example Yes = selectedObject or objectSelectedCallback
selected-object-data A second parameter which will be passed to selected-object. Only works when using selected-object. No = row
remote-url The remote URL to hit to query for results in JSON. angucomplete will automatically append the search string on the end of this, so it must be a GET request. example No @
remote-url-data-field The name of the field in the JSON object returned back that holds the Array of objects to be used for the autocomplete list. example No @ results
title-field The name of the field in the JSON objects returned back that should be used for displaying the title in the autocomplete list. Note, if you want to combine fields together, you can comma separate them here (e.g. for a first and last name combined). If you want to access nested field, use dot to connect attributes (e.g. name.first). example Yes @ firstName,lastName
description-field The name of the field in the JSON objects returned back that should be used for displaying the description in the autocomplete list. example No @ twitterUsername
image-field The name of the field in the JSON objects returned back that should be used for displaying an image in the autocomplete list. example No @ pic
minlength The minimum length of string required before searching. example. If set to 0, it shows all items. It works both local and remote but is intended to use with local data. If used with remote API, it needs to return all items when query parameter is empty string. No @ 3
input-name Name for input field. This is required when you use field-required. No @
input-class The classes to use for styling the input box. example No @ form-control
match-class If it is assigned, matching part of title is highlighted with given class style. example No @ highlight
local-data The local data variable to use from your controller. Should be an array of objects. example No = countriesList
local-search A function that search local data. It should take a input string and an array of items as arguments and returns an array of matched items. example No & localSearch
search-fields The fields from your local data to search on (comma separate them). Each field can contain dots for accessing nested attribute. example No @ title,description
remote-url-request-formatter A function that takes a query string and returns parameter(s) for GET. It should take the query string as argument and returns a key-value object. example No = Suppose if you need to send a query keyword and a timestamp to search API, you can write a function like this in the parent scope. $scope.dataFormatFn = function(str) { return {q: str, timestamp: +new Date()}; }
remote-url-request-with-credentials A boolean that accepts parameters with credentials. No @ true or false
remote-url-response-formatter A function on the scope that will modify raw response from remote API before it is rendered in the drop-down. Useful for adding data that may not be available from the API. The specified function must return the object in the format that angucomplete understands. No = addImageUrlToObject
remote-url-error-callback A callback funciton to handle error response from $http.get No = httpErrorCallbackFn
remote-api-handler This gives a way to fully delegate handling of remote search API. This function takes user input string and timeout promise, and it needs to return a promise. For example, if your search API is based on POST, you can use this function to create your own http handler. See example below No =
clear-selected To clear out input field upon selecting an item, set this attribute to true. example No @ true
override-suggestions To override suggestions and set the value in input field to selectedObject. example No true
field-required Set field to be required. Requirement for this to work is that this directive needs to be in a form and you need to provide input-name. Default class name is "autocomplete-required". example. No = a variable holding true/false
field-required-class Set custom class name for required. No @ "match"
text-searching Custom string to show when search is in progress. Set this to 'false' prevents text to show up. No @ "Searching for items..."
text-no-results Custom string to show when there is no match. Set this to 'false' prevents text to show up. No @ "Not found"
initial-value Initial value for component. If string, the internal model is set to the string value, if an object, the title-field attribute is used to parse the correct title for the view, and the internal model is set to the object. example No = myInitialValue (object/string)
input-changed A callback function that is called when input field is changed. To get attributes of the input from which the assignment was made, use this.$parent.$index within your function. example No = inputChangedFn
auto-match Allows for auto selecting an item if the search text matches a search results attributes exactly. example No @ true
focus-in A function or expression to be called when input field gets focused. example No & focusIn()
focus-out A function or expression to be called when input field lose focus. example No & focusOut()
disable-input A model to control disable/enable of input field. example page No = disableInput
template-url Customize the markup of the autocomplete template. example page No attribute "/my-custom-template.html"
focus-first Automatically select the first match from the result list. No @ true
parse-input A function or expression to parse input string before comparing into search process. No & parseInput()
field-tabindex Setting the tabindex attribute on the input field. No @ field-tabindex="25"


To show scrollbar, you need to set the following css style to angucomplete-dropdown class, and then the directive automatically picks it up.

.angucomplete-dropdown {
    overflow-y: auto;
    max-height: 200px; // your preference

See example #1

Clear Input

To clear all angucomplete-alt input fields, send this message


To clear an angucomplete-alt input field, send this message with id of the directive. For example, the id of the directive is 'autocomplete-1'.

$scope.$broadcast('angucomplete-alt:clearInput', 'autocomplete-1');

Change Input

To set an angucomplete-alt input field, send this message with id of the directive and desired value. One can pass a simple string or an object as an argument, the same rules applied as for initial-value parameter. For example, the id of the directive is 'autocomplete-1'.

$scope.$broadcast('angucomplete-alt:changeInput', 'autocomplete-1', 'Hello!');

Remote API Handler

This is an example calling search API with POST. Pass this searchAPI function to the directive as remote-api-handler.

$scope.searchAPI = function(userInputString, timeoutPromise) {
  return $'/yourownapi/', {q: userInputString}, {timeout: timeoutPromise});

When you use remote-api-handler, these attributes are ignored:


Callback behaviour

Callbacks selected-object and input-changed are called with the following method signature:

function ($item) {

  $item.title // or description, or image - from your angucomplete attribute configuration
  $item.originalObject // the actual object which was selected
  this.$parent // the control which caused the change, contains useful things like $index for use in ng-repeat.



To run examples, cd into 'examples' directory and run static http server of your choice:

cd examples
python -m SimpleHTTPServer


Here is the list of contributors. Here is how to contribute. Of course the easiest contribution is to give it a star!


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