The gem that swaps out text with a fully-compliant Rails form in one click.
Ruby JavaScript HTML CSS
Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Failed to load latest commit information.

Gem Version


The gem that swaps out text with a fully-compliant Rails form in one click.

Much of the concepts and html mark-up were taken from the awesome x-editable plugin and the Rails version of this, x-editable-rails. However, this was written from the ground up and uses fully Rails-compliant forms without hacking into x-editable's core files or overriding them.


Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'abracadabra'

And then execute:

$ bundle

Or install it yourself as:

$ gem install abracadabra


  • Requires jQuery and jQuery-UJS (rails.js).
  • Bootstrap and Font-Awesome are the default, but are not required. You can override the CSS and/or customize the icon classes (see Configuration).

In your application.css, AFTER Bootstrap, include the css file:

 *= require abracadabra

OR if you're using SASS/SCSS:

 @import "abracadabra-scss";

In your application.js, AFTER jQuery and jQuery-UJS (required), include the javascript file:

 //= require abracadabra


The bread and butter of abracadabra is its helper, click_to_edit. It's pretty much as readable as it gets:

<%= click_to_edit @user, path: user_path(@user), attribute: :name %>

When a user clicks the link generated by this helper, a form with a text field input will replace the link. It's fully Rails compliant, and the form markup that is generated is identical to a form_for with remote: true. Here's what it looks like:

Abracadabra Demo

The first parameter of click_to_edit is the object to be edited, and the only other required parameters are path and attribute. path specifies where the form will be submitted, and attribute specifies the column being updated.

It accepts the following parameters:


  • path: user_path(@user) - Specifies where the form will be submitted.

  • attribute: :name - Specifies what attribute your text field will be updating.


  • class: "my-class" - Class(es) to be added to the abracadabra link. The class "abracadabra" is added either way. [Default: "abracadabra"]

  • id: "my-id" - ID to be added to the abracadabra link. [Default: nil]

  • value: "blah" - An alternate value, other than what object.attribute would return. [Default: object.attribute]

  • method: "patch" - HTTP REST method to use. Use anything but "get". [Default: "patch"]

  • buttonless: true - Removes submit and cancel buttons. Submission and cancellation is then done through the Enter/Tab and Escape keys, respectively. [Default: false]

  • remote: true - Same as link_to's remote: true, form submits via AJAX. [Default: true]

  • type: :js - Content type -- responds to any content type (:js and :script are interchangeable). [Default: :script] *IMPORTANT: type will be ignored if remote = false is used. HTML is the default in Rails for standard form submissions.*

  • deletable: true OR deletable: "Are you sure?" - Puts a link to DELETE the object (obviously, it always uses DELETE as the HTTP verb). If a boolean is used, it is submitted upon clicking. If a string is used, a confirmation dialog will prompt them using the string before submitting. [Default: false] *IMPORTANT: On ajax:success, this will remove the specific abracadabra instance from the DOM entirely. ALSO, this will be remote if the main form is remote.*

  • deletable_path: user_path(@user) - Specifies where the form will be submitted. [Default: path (uses the same path as the main form)]

  • deletable_type: :js - Deletable content type -- responds to any content type (:js and :script can both be used to respond with Javascript). [Default: :script]

  • tab_to_next: true OR tab_to_next: ".my-class" - Opens the next abracadabra instance after successful form submission (main form, not the DELETE link's submission). If a boolean is used, .abracadabra is the selector used to find the next instance to open. If a string is used, that will be the selector, so be sure to use standard jQuery selector syntax (i.e. .class and #id). [Default: false] *IMPORTANT: If you use a string, and it's a class, this abracadabra instance MUST have the same class as well.*

  • submit_on_blur: true - Submit form when focus leaves the input, rather than simply closing it out. [Default: false]


click_to_edit @friend, path: friend_path(@friend), attribute: :name, deletable: true
click_to_edit @friend, 
    path: friend_path(@friend),
    attribute: :name,
    class: "my-abracadabra",
    id: "my-abracadabra-#{index}",
    method: :put,
    buttonless: true,
    type: :json,
    deletable: "Are you sure?",
    deletable_path: user_friend_path(@friend),
    deletable_type: :json,
    tab_to_next: "#my-abracadabra-#{index+1}",
    submit_on_blur: true


If you add abracadabra elements to the page dynamically, you will need to rebind.

Simply call abracadabra's jQuery function:



Abracadabra allows some customization. If you would like to change what icon classes are used for the submit, cancel, and delete icons, you can change them globally.

In any Javascript file that loads BEFORE abracadabra's Javascript file that you required above, change any/all of the following variables to suit your project's needs:

abracadabraSubmitIcon = "fa fa-check"; // default

abracadabraCancelIcon = "fa fa-times"; // default

abracadabraDeleteIcon = "fa fa-times-circle-o"; // default

Integration Testing

The most reliable way I've found to test abracadabra is by using the following helper (works with Rspec+Capybara using Capybara Webkit, Selenium Webdriver, or Poltergeist/PhantomJS):

def execute_abracadabra value, selector = ".abracadabra"

You can place that in a helper file, include it in your integration spec, and call it like so:

execute_abracadabra "new value", "#editable-name"

This will click the abracadabra instance that has an ID of #editable-name, input new value, and submit it. Obviously, you can use any valid jQuery selector, not just IDs.

If no selector is passed, .abracadabra is used. It's highly recommended to pass a specific selector, because as soon as more than one abracadabra instance makes its way on to your page, the default selector (not suprisingly) won't play well.

Future & Contributing

  1. I would love anyone to add date pickers and other alternate field types to this.

  2. I would love the different Bootstrap classes to be overridable with an initializer (config/initializers/abracadabra.rb), rather than Javascript (not sure if this is even possible), so that any framework could be used. Same with the Font-Awesome button classes.

Any other ideas, feel free to contribute!

  1. Fork it ( )
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Add some feature')
  4. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  5. Create new Pull Request