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z3c form keyword widget using select2
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Remove unittest2 dependency.
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ftw Fix tests after ftw.testing release. Nov 12, 2019
README.rst Update History and Readme with the hack for select2 Apr 9, 2019 Init implementation of the Keywordwidget Sep 21, 2016



ftw.keywordwidget provides three features:

  1. A widget, which loads select2 for better usability on single and multiselect fields.
  2. A ChoicePlus field, which allows new terms. This is prevents us from making a specific, complicated source, which allow new items.
  3. Render a additional New Entry textarea for new terms.
  4. Uses tags feature of select 2 to add new keywords.
  5. A async option to get the selectable options with the select2 ajax options.
  6. Custom templates for results and selected items

The widget supports schema.Choice, schema.Tuple and schema.List fields.

Unicode or utf-8??

The ICategorization behavior provided by this package depends on the plone default index "Subject". In DX "Subject" is a accessor for "subject", which returns utf-8. "subject" itself has a property getter for "subjects", where the values are actually stored.

The Plone KeywordsVocabulary builds it's terms using the catalog value, which is utf-8 in case of the Subject index. By convention indexed values should be always utf-8 and DX values should always be unicode.

This actually means in the case of the KeywordsVocabulary the value needs to be stored as utf-8, because the vocabulary values are encoded as utf-8. The SequenceWidget fieldToWidget converter has a sanity check included, which makes sure only field values, which are also in vocabulary are computed. And this means if you store new terms as unicode values, the whole thing falls apart. Currently the widget makes sure to work perfectly with the "Subject" index, which relays on utf-8 values, which is not common with DX types.

Beside of the primary Use-Case, the widget also supports vocabularies, with unicode values, but this needs to be configured separately on the widget. New terms are than added as unicode instead of utf-8.

directives.widget('unicode_keywords', KeywordFieldWidget, new_terms_as_unicode=True)
unicode_keywords = schema.Tuple(

Async option

The async option can only be used if the source is a IQuerySource from z3c.formwidget.query.interfaces. This interface extends the ISource specification by a search method, which is essential for the async option.

Basically if async=True the select2 Widget asks a search endpoint for possible options by a given search term. Further the search endpoint queries the IContentSourceBinder defined on the field.

directives.widget('async', KeywordFieldWidget, async=True)
async = schema.Tuple(
    title=u'Some async values',

Primary Use-Case

The widget provides the same functionality as the AT Keywordwidget with some benefits.

Features from the AT Widget:

  • Protect adding new terms by a permission/role
  • Display all possible values
  • Add new terms


  • Configurable select2 widget
  • Sane defaults for the Widget
  • z3c.form Widget
  • Based on the SelectWidget (No new converter, etc. needed)
  • Configurable "add new terms permission" per field/widget possible


There are several other z3c form widgets for plone 4.x, which provides a similar feature set, Like collective.z3cform.keywordwidget, or the AutocompleteWidget.

  • They do not fit the primary Use-Case.

Further you can configure the select2 plugin as you wish.


Plone 4.3.x and 5.1.x

In Plone 5.1.x we included the select2 javascript resources in the keywordwidget ones and patched things to prevent conflicts with an older version of select2 included by plone itself. This is a point of failure as the surrounding is changing in future!


  • Add the package to your buildout configuration:
eggs +=

Usage / Integration

This Widget is not automatically applied to all possible select fields. The idea is that you integrate it where needed by your self.

But for the primary Use-Case mentioned above, there is a behavior:

  1. Install the default profile and the select2js profile if needed.
  2. Enable the ftw.keywordwidget.behavior.IKeywordCategorization behavior on your content type.

For some other Use-Cases you can also enable the ftw.keywordwidget.behavior.IKeywordUseCases behavior. This enables a single and multi select field.

Check for examples:

from ftw.keywordwidget.widget import KeywordFieldWidget

class IKeywordUseCases(model.Schema):

    directives.widget('types', KeywordFieldWidget)
    types = schema.List(

    directives.widget('types2', KeywordFieldWidget)
    types2 = schema.Choice(
        title=u'Single type',

alsoProvides(IKeywordUseCases, IFormFieldProvider)

You can configure select2 as you wish by giving a js_config to widget factory.

                  js_config={'placeholder': 'Select something...'})

The select2 4.0.3 JS Plugin is shipped with this package. But you it's not installed with the default profile, because you may already have a select2 JS installed for other purpose. If you need select2 you can install the ftw.keywordwidget Install select2 jquery plugin profile.


You can define your own templates for each plone-widget or you replace the default widget for all your used keywordwidgets.

First of all, you need to create a new templates (take a look at the select2-documentation to see what a template is in the select2-context). Wrap it into a constructor-function to get access to the widget itself (context-aware).

function myPurpleTemplate(widget) {
    return function(data) {
        return $('<span style="background-color:purple" />').text(data.text);
function myBlueTemplate(widget) {
    return function(data) {
        return $('<span style="background-color:blue" />').text(data.text);

then you need to register it

$(document).on('ftwKeywordWidgetInit', function(e) {
  window.ftwKeywordWidget.registerTemplate('purple', myPurpleTemplate);
  window.ftwKeywordWidget.registerTemplate('blue', myBlueTemplate);

and use it in your desired widgets

directives.widget('colours', KeywordFieldWidget,
colours = schema.Tuple(
    title=u'Some colours',

If you wish to override the default-template, just register a template for

defaultResultTemplate or defaultSelectionTemplate depending on which defaulttemplate you want to override.

function myBlackTemplate(data) {
    return $('<span style="background-color:black" />').text(data.text);

$(document).on('ftwKeywordWidgetInit', function(e) {
  window.ftwKeywordWidget.registerTemplate('defaultResultTemplate', myBlackTemplate);



  1. Fork this repo
  2. Clone your fork
  3. Shell: ln -s development.cfg buidlout.cfg
  4. Shell: python
  5. Shell: bin/buildout

Run bin/test to test your changes.

Or start an instance by running bin/instance fg.



This package is copyright by 4teamwork.

ftw.keywordwidget is licensed under GNU General Public License, version 2.

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