Searchify provides a quick way to search your collections. Type, choose, enjoy!
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Searchify provides a quick way to search your collections. Type, choose, enjoy!


  • Rails 3.1
  • jQuery
  • jQuery UI (for the autocomplete widget)


First, install the gem

gem install searchify

Mount the engine to the desired route in config/routes.rb

mount Searchify::Engine => "/searchify", :as => "searchify"

Add both jquery-ui and searchify to your app/assets/javascripts/application.js file

//= require jquery-ui
//= require searchify/searchify

Finally, call the searchify() method on all .searchify fields.



Autocomplete search

Searchify is intended to be used on a per model basis. You type, you choose, you are redirected to the chosen resource show page. Calling it on an index page, it infers the model to be searched with the controller name, or the resource_class helper, if it exists. For example, consider the following line of code on your /posts page:

<%= searchify %>

This will triggers an AJAX call to /searchify/search/posts.json page and jQuery will handle the response with its autocomplete widget.

If you want to specify the collection, i.e. searching for users on the posts page, just write this:

<%= searchify :users %>

When a selection is made, you are redirected to the chosen resource show page. If you want to land on any other member action, the action option is for you.

<%= searchify :action => :edit %>

If your redirect is more complex, you can always redefine the select_url option. The (id) keyword will be replaced by the id of the selected resource.

<%= searchify :select_url => "/more/complex/path/(id)/with/custom/action" %>

In place autocomplete

Searchify can also be used in a form. For example, let's say that a post belongs to a user of your choice:

<%= form_for(@post) do |f| %>
    <div class="field">
        <%= f.label :user %><br />
        <%= f.searchify :user %>
<% end %>

Searchify will include a user_id field in your form, which will be automatically populated with your search. Searchify uses the label_method option to display the object.


Searchify is by default scopes aware. Let's say you are here:


Assuming your Post model responds to the created_by method, it will be included in the search.

You may also force your own scopes into a searchify field by adding the scopes options, as follow:

<%= searchify :scopes => {:created_by => 3} %>


You can always override the defaults with an initializer. Options are as follow:

Searchify::Config.configure do |config|

    # Extract those keys from the params hash
    config.scope_exclusion  = %w( controller action format collection term page )

    # Default column names on which you want to do your search
    config.column_names     = %w( name title abbreviation )

    # If true, searchify will apply url scopes to your search
    config.scope_awareness  = true

    # Limit the number of results in one search
    config.limit            = 30

    # Database search key. Default is 'ILIKE' for Postgres, 'LIKE' for others.
    config.search_key       = nil

    # Method to be called on each resource
    config.label_method     = :name

    # Default action on which you want to land after a selection. Could be :show, :edit or any custom member action
    config.default_action   = :show

Search stategies

By default, Searchify does a case insensitive search on name, title and abbreviation fields of your models, if they exist. To override the default search strategy, just define a class method named search_strategy in your model. It should accepts two arguments and returns an array of hashes.

class User < ActiveRecord::Base
    def self.search_strategy(term, scopes)
        columns = %w( username, first_name, last_name )

        scoped = where({ |c| "(#{c} ILIKE :term)" }.join(' OR '), :term => "%#{term}%")

        scopes.each do |key, value|
          scoped = scoped.send(key, value) if respond_to?(key)
        end do |user|
          {:label => user.username, :id =>}

You may also want to use a per-search search strategy, without affecting the default one. The search_strategy option is for you.

<%= searchify :users, :search_strategy => :my_custom_method %>

Searchify will then try to call your User.my_custom_method. It must accepts two arguments, and still return an array of hashes.