A directive for AngularJS that displays a nice list of errors for a form.
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AngularJS Form Errors Directive Current Version

A set of directives to make it easier to display a list of form errors with an optional attribute to pass back form validity to your page's controller.


Because it's a lot of work to do all those inline errors and to do markup for every single error that each input can violate. And maybe it doesn't fit in your design to do inline errors, etc, etc.

Why not just do everything (list all your form's errors, with messages) with just a single element?


Install with Bower:

bower install angular-form-errors-directive

Add the formErrors.js file to your HTML. For example:

<script src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/angularjs/1.2.16/angular.js"></script>
<script src="/path/to/formErrors.js"></script>
<script src="/path/to/your/app.js"></script>

Include the FormErrors module in your module:

angular.module('app', ['FormErrors']);


For basic usage, all that's needed is to place a single element inside a form element:

<form name="form" novalidate>
  <input type="text" name="name" required ng-model="name">

NOTE: For this validation to work, you need a name attribute on your form element any form elements (i.e. input, select, etc) inside the form.


HTML markup:

<form ng-class="{ 'show-errors': showErrors }" name="loginForm" ng-submit="submit()" role="form" novalidate>
  <div class="form-group">
    <label for="inputUsername" class="control-label">Username (min 5 char)</label>
    <input type="text" name="username" class="form-control" id="inputUsername" placeholder="Username" ng-minlength="5" required ng-model="user.username">

  <div class="form-group">
    <label for="inputPassword" class="control-label">Password (min 8 char)</label>
    <input type="password" name="password" class="form-control" id="inputPassword" placeholder="Password" ng-minlength="8" required ng-model="user.password">

  <div class="form-group">
    <button type="submit" class="btn btn-primary">Sign in</button>

  <p>{{ message }}</p>
  <form-errors class="list-unstyled"></form-errors>

JavaScript (just displays if the form is valid on valid submit):

var app = angular.module('app', ['FormErrors']);

app.controller('MainCtrl', function ($scope) {
  $scope.showErrors = false;
  $scope.submit = function () {
    if ($scope.loginForm.$valid) {
      $scope.showErrors = false;
      $scope.message = 'Form is valid!';
    } else {
      $scope.showErrors = true;
      $scope.message = 'Please correct these errors:';

If the fields are empty (which are both required), then <form-errors></form-errors> would list the fields and their errors.

Demo: http://cwspear.github.io/angular-form-errors-directive

The Finer Points

Where does it get the name that's invalid and how does it know what message to display? The name comes from the input's name attribute (attached in the form controller).

It does some automagic transformations to "humanize" it. For example, firstName gets turned into First Name.

For the error message, I have a few default error messages that correspond to keys that Angular sets. Here's the said list:

defaultErrorMessages = {
  required  : 'is required.',
  minlength : 'is too short.',
  maxlength : 'is too long.',
  email     : 'is not a valid email address.',
  pattern   : 'does not match the expected pattern.',
  number    : 'is not a number.',
  url       : 'is not a valid URL.',
  form      : 'has errors.',

  fallback  : 'is invalid.'

Custom Names and Messages

Let's say you have this input:

<input type="url" name="website-url" ng-model="websiteUrl">

and let's say you want to say more than Website Url is not a valid URL. You can add a nice-name attribute to your input elements and it uses that name instead. i.e. nice-name="Website URL"

If you want a custom message, you can also add an error-messages attribute. You can either set just a string, and all errors will use that message, or you can use an object to set individual errors (and if one isn't found, it will fall back to a default error message).

So maybe this is our enhanced markup we use:

<input type="url" name="website-url" ng-model="websiteUrl"
  required nice-name="Website URL"
  error-messages="{ url: 'is not a valid URL. Don\'t forget the http:// at the start' }">

If the field is empty, it will fallback to Website URL is required. If the URL is not valid, it will display Website URL is not a valid URL. Don't forget the http:// at the start

You can also pass the error-messages attribute a string and it will use that for every error. A nice shortcut when you don't need to specify every kind of different error.

Embedded Forms

You can also use this to get the errors of an embedded ngForm. If you place an formErrors directive inside an ngForm, it will just display the errors for the ngForm. On the parent form, it won't display the specific errors of the ngForm, but will tell you that the child form has errors. You can change the child form's name similarly to the nice-name attribute on inputs, with nice-name attribute on the ngForm.

You can also set the show-child-errors attribute to a variable with a truthly value and instead of telling you if the child form has errors, it will just display all the errors from the child form. This will work recursively.

Explicit Form

If you don't want to place a formErrors directive in a specific form/ngForm (or if you want to put it in a form but show errors to a different form), you can specify a specific form via an attribute:

<form name="theForm">
  <!-- form goes here -->
<!-- still works outside of the <form> tag cuz we specify a specific form -->
<form-errors form="theForm"></form-errors>

Specifying a specific form via the form attribute overrides inheriting the form it's embedded in.

Overriding and Extending the Default Error Messages

As of v1.2.0, you can override the default error messages via a provider at config:

app.config(function (FormErrorsOptionsProvider) {
    // It only overrides what you pass it. All
    // other default messages will be left alone
    form: 'has some errors. Please fix them.'

That way you don't have to pass each input an override if you use it globally. This is also a great place to add validation messages for custom/nonstandard error messages. For example, if I had a directive that checked if two fields matched, and if they didn't the ngModelCtrl.$error.match was set, you could pass in a default message here; something like { match: 'does not match.' }.

Overriding/Extending Default Error Messages Per Directive

In v1.4.0 and on, you can also override the default messages on a per-formErrors basis. This is done similar to how you can override each input's messages, but in this case, it must be an object and not a string. The error-messages directive on a specific input will override error-messages on a formErrors which will override the default set by the options provider:

<form name="theForm">
  <!-- form goes here -->

  <!-- this will override the default error messages
       for all the errors in this <form-errors>  -->
  <form-errors error-messages="{ required: 'needs to be non-blank.' }"></form-errors>

Using a custom template for displaying the error messages

With v1.5.0 and on, you can use your template for showing the error messages. All you need to do is to add a errors-tmpl attribute with the value of the templateUrl: errors-tmpl="formErrors.html". The template will be attached with the ng-include directive. In the template you will access the errors through the errors array: ([ Error ('Username is required.'), Error ('Username is too short.'), ...]).

<form name="theForm">
  <!-- form goes here -->

  <!-- you can override your the template used via errors-tmpl -->
  <form-errors errors-tmpl="errors-tmpl.html"></form-errors>

By default the template used to display the errors looks like this:

<ul class="form-errors">
  <li class="form-error" ng-repeat="error in errors">
    {{ error.message }}


  • v1.5.4 Declare dependency on Angular ^1.2.0 in bower.json.
  • v1.5.3 Revert change in v1.5.2 because it broke if you tried to add ng-show to the directive. A better fix is forthcoming.
  • v1.5.2 Hide the entire directive if there are no errors.
  • v1.5.1 Fix an issue where it wouldn't work if you had duplicate error messages.
  • v1.5.0 Added option for user defined templates with errors-tmpl attribute.
  • v1.4.2 Remove transclude: true option from the directive. Transclude is no long needed/used. I think it MAY have been back in the pre-Angular 1.2 days, but not 100% sure. Either way, it's totally unecessary now. This should not affect anyone's code (as I think this option is ignored unless you have an ng-transclude somewhere in the template, which it's not).
  • v1.4.1 Enforce object for errorMessages used on formErrors and deprecate formNiceName in favor of niceName, which will now work on both ngModel and form/ngForm elements (just learned that you can require multiple controllers).
  • v1.4.0 Add the ability to override the default errors used in a specific formErrors directive.
  • v1.3.0 Add the ability display all the child ngForm errors by setting a flag.
  • v1.2.0 Add the ability to extend/override the default error messages!
  • v1.1.0 Fix issue with embedded forms and add new options for using an explicit form and displaying error messages about embedded forms themselves.
  • v1.0.0 Clean up some code, make compatible with Angular 1.2.x



Follow me on Twitter: @CWSpear or check out my blog.