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A Django app for adding object tools for models in the admin
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Branch: master


Django Object Actions

If you've ever tried making your own admin object tools and you were like me, you immediately gave up. Why can't they be as easy as making Django Admin Actions? Well now they can be.

Quick-Start Guide

Install Django Object Actions:

pip install django-object-actions

Add django_object_actions to your INSTALLED_APPS.

In your

from django_object_actions import DjangoObjectActions

class ArticleAdmin(DjangoObjectActions, admin.ModelAdmin):
    def publish_this(self, request, obj):
    publish_this.label = "Publish"  # optional
    publish_this.short_description = "Submit this article to The Texas Tribune"  # optional

    objectactions = ('publish_this', )


Tools are defined just like defining actions as modeladmin methods, see: admin actions for examples and detailed syntax. You can return nothing or an http response. The major difference being the functions you write will take an object instance instead of a queryset (see Re-using Admin Actions below).

Tools are exposed by putting them in an objectactions attribute in your modeladmin like:

from django_object_actions import DjangoObjectActions

class MyModelAdmin(DjangoObjectActions, admin.ModelAdmin):
    def toolfunc(self, request, obj):
    toolfunc.label = "This will be the label of the button"  # optional
    toolfunc.short_description = "This will be the tooltip of the button"  # optional

    objectactions = ('toolfunc', )

Just like actions, you can send a message with self.message_user. Normally, you would do something to the object and go back to the same place, but if you return a HttpResponse, it will follow it (hey, just like actions!).

If your admin modifies get_urls, render_change_form, or change_form_template, you'll need to take extra care.

Re-using Admin Actions

If you would like an admin action to also be an object tool, add the takes_instance_or_queryset decorator like:

from django_object_actions import (DjangoObjectActions,

class RobotAdmin(DjangoObjectActions, admin.ModelAdmin):
    # ... snip ...

    def tighten_lug_nuts(self, request, queryset):
        queryset.update(lugnuts=F('lugnuts') - 1)

    objectactions = ['tighten_lug_nuts']
    actions = ['tighten_lug_nuts']

Customizing Admin Actions

To give the action some a helpful title tooltip, add a short_description attribute, similar to how admin actions work:

def increment_vote(self, request, obj):
    obj.votes = obj.votes + 1
increment_vote.short_description = "Increment the vote count by one"

By default, Django Object Actions will guess what to label the button based on the name of the function. You can override this with a label attribute:

def increment_vote(self, request, obj):
    obj.votes = obj.votes + 1
increment_vote.label = "Vote++"

If you need even more control, you can add arbitrary attributes to the buttons by adding a Django widget style attrs attribute:

def increment_vote(self, request, obj):
    obj.votes = obj.votes + 1
increment_vote.attrs = {
    'class': 'addlink',

Programmatically Enabling Object Admin Actions

You can programatically enable and disable registered object actions by defining your own custom get_object_actions() method. In this example, certain actions only apply to certain object states (i.e. You should not be able to close an company account if the account is already closed):

def get_object_actions(self, request, context, **kwargs):
     objectactions = []

     # Actions cannot be applied to new objects (i.e. Using "add" new obj)
     if 'original' in context:
         # The obj to perform checks against to determine object actions you want to support
         obj = context['original']

         if not obj.verified:
             objectactions.extend(['verify_company_account_action', ])

         status_code = obj.status_code

         if status_code == 'Active':
             objectactions.extend(['suspend_company_account_action', 'close_company_account_action', ])
         elif status_code == 'Suspended':
             objectactions.extend(['close_company_account_action', 'reactivate_company_account_action', ])
         elif status_code == 'Closed':
             objectactions.extend(['reactivate_company_account_action', ])

     return objectactions

Alternate Installation

You don't have to add this to INSTALLED_APPS, all you need to to do is copy the template django_object_actions/change_form.html some place Django's template loader will find it.

If you don't intend to use the template customizations at all, don't add django_object_actions to your INSTALLED_APPS at all and use BaseDjangoObjectActions instead of DjangoObjectActions.


  1. django-object-actions expects functions to be methods of the model admin. While Django gives you a lot more options for their admin actions.
  2. If you provide your own custom change_form.html, you'll also need to manually copy in the relevant bits of our change form. You can also use from django_object_actions import BaseDjangoObjectActions instead.


Getting started (with virtualenvwrapper):

# get a copy of the code
git clone
cd django-object-actions
# set up your virtualenv
mkvirtualenv django-object-actions
pip install -r requirements.txt
# hack your path so that we can reference packages starting from the root
add2virtualenv .
make test  # run test suite
make quickstart  # runs 'make resetdb' and some extra steps

Various helpers are available as make commands. View Makefile to see what other utilities you can do.

Similar Packages

If you want more UI, check out Django Admin Row Actions.

Django Object Actions is very similar to django-object-tools, but does not require messing with your, does not do anything special with permissions, and uses the same patterns as making admin actions in Django.

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