Tries to autocomplete when the tab key is pressed.
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Nickname Tab Complete

Version: 0.8

This plugin detects when a tab key is pressed after an @ symbol and some characters have been typed. You supply the names via a setting.

I used code from all over, so I may need to play with the license, though all borrowed code is open source under some license and attributed.

Example usage

jQuery(document).ready(function ($) {
       nicknames: ["Doug", "PixelGun", "hax0r"]


  • nickmane_match: This is the regular expression used to match the names. Be very careful when changing this as most changes will break this plugin. I recommend only changing the accepted characters between the brackets.
  • nicknames: This should be an array of acceptable nicknames. They can contain mixed case.
  • on_complete: This is an optional way to bind to the nickname-complete custom event.

Custom Events

This plugin will trigger a nickname-complete custom event whenever a matching attempt is made. It is possible to cancel the completion by calling preventDefault() on the event, or returning false from your handler. In addition to the normal values on the event object, three additional properties are added:

  • value: This is the current state of the completion. It will contain everything between the @ and the end of the know letters of the nickname. If no match is found, this will be empty. If a partial match is found, this will contain that value.
  • matches: This is an array of the availible matches for the current event. If no matches were found, this will be an empty array. If a match was completed, this will contain only one value. If an attempted match matched multiple results, they will all be listed here.
  • caret: Position of the caret at the time the match was attempted. Does not reflect the new position after match.


$("textarea").bind("nickname-complete", function (e) {
   if (e.matches.length === 1) {
       console.log("A full match was found: " + e.value);
   } else if (e.matches.length > 1) {
       console.log("Multiple matches were found, and this much is shared among the results: " + e.value);
   } else {
       console.log("No matches were found");

Example of cancelling the completion:

$("textarea").bind("nickname-complete", function (e) {
    // Don't try to autocomplete `bob`
    if (e.value === "bob") {

Special Behavior Note:

By design this plugin will cancel default tab behavior only if the entry passes a test of the nickname_match regex. This allows the rest of the user experience to be as desired. You can of course attach an additional keypress handler that cancels all tab behaviors if you desire.

License (At least for my code)

Copyright (c) 2010 by Doug Neiner

Dual licensed under the MIT or GPL Version 2 licenses, same license as jQuery:

Additional resources used: