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Set of helpers: link_to_new, link_to_index, link_to_show, link_to_edit, link_to_destroy

Bonus helper: link_to_back

Demo application sources with Twitter Bootstrap enabled: link_to_action_demo

Want to use this gem with Zurb Foundation? Make a feature request.


Rails scaffold-generated links are not DRY, and it becomes even worse, when someone tries to make them I18n-friendly (they are not by default).

If you have twitter-bootstrap installed, and want to make your links look like a buttons, there will be another addition, 'class' option. To make these buttons really pretty, you will also need icons.

So how I18n-friendly button-style link with icon looks like in a view code? Well, it can look like this:

<%= link_to raw("<i class=\"icon-edit\"></i> #{t(:edit)}"), edit_comment_path(@comment), class: 'btn' %>

And scaffolded code was:

<%= link_to 'Edit', edit_comment_path(@comment) %>

Even in simple scaffolded link words 'edit' and 'comment' was repeated twice. In the more complex example word 'edit' was written three times.

Using link_to_action gem, you can avoid those duplications completely:

<%= link_to_edit @comment %>

That's all for this link, but not all for this gem. It is configurable, it can be tuned up to suit other than twitter-bootstrap CSS frameworks (which is off by default anyway), and it even can take advantage of cancan's abilities.


This gem is especially useful when an application contains many similar-looking links. Many global and link-specific options are exists, so this gem is flexible. And you still have link_to if you want some link to look really simple!


Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'link_to_action'

And then execute:

$ bundle

Add initializer, locale file and templates. Note that CSS classes, icons and cancan are disabled by default. To leave it as it is, just run:

$ rails generate link_to_action:install

Edit config/initializers/link_to_action.rb to change some options. The list of options with defaults provided below.

To install link_to_action with Twitter Bootstrap and icons enabled, run:

$ rails generate link_to_action:install --bootstrap


In general:

link_to_{action} object, options

Per action, with commented-out link_to equivalents (no CSS or icons, just to keep it simple):

link_to_new MyModel # link_to 'New MyModel', new_my_model_path
link_to_index MyModel # link_to 'My Models', my_models_path
link_to_show @my_model # link_to, my_model_path(@my_model)
link_to_edit @my_model # link_to 'Edit MyModel', edit_my_model_path(@my_model)
link_to_destroy @my_model # link_to 'Delete MyModel', my_model_path(@my_model),
# method: :delete, data: { confirm: 'Are you sure?' }
link_to_back # link_to :back

link_to_show tries some methods (by default :name and :to_s) to get name for the link. This can be changed by specifying i18n option. Other helpers use I18n to get link names unless name option specified.


link_to_action comes with I18n preconfigured, nested in helpers.link_to section. Custom (or localized) model names can be added to activerecord.models section.

      my_model: 'My Awesome Model'
      new: 'New %{model}'
      show: 'Show %{model}'
      index: 'All %{model}'
      edit: 'Edit %{model}'
      destroy: 'Delete %{model}'
      destroy_confirm: 'Are you sure?'
      back: 'Back'

%{model} variables are not used by default for show, edit, and destroy.

Global CSS styles, icons, and other options

Default options are:

use_cancan = false # overwrite this to use cancan
use_icons = false # overwrite this to use FontAwesome icons
icons_place_left = true
icons_size = 'large'
icon_new = 'plus'
icon_index = ''
icon_edit = 'edit'
icon_destroy = 'trash'
icon_back = 'undo'
use_classes = false # overwrite this to use Twitter Bootstrap classes
classes_append = false
class_default = 'btn'
class_new = 'btn-primary'
class_index = ''
class_edit = nil
class_destroy = 'btn-danger'
class_back = nil
size_class_default = nil
size_class_large = 'btn-large'
size_class_small = 'btn-small'
size_class_mini = 'btn-mini'
show_methods = [ :name, :to_s ]
destroy_confirm = true
destroy_skip_pjax = false # overwrite this if pjax is used

Look to config/initializers/link_to_action.rb for detailed descriptions.

Per-link options

:name # overwrites default name of the link
:class # overwrites or appends class list
:size # size of the button-like link
:params # hash for to polymorphic_path, see examples
:icon # Font-Awesome icon
:icon_size # Size of icon
:icon_swap # Swap default position of icon left-right

link_to_destroy options:

:confirm # true/false or some text per-link basis

link_to_show options:

:name # overwrites default name of the link
:send # method to send to object to get name
:raw # method to send to object to get name, output raw
:i18n # if `i18n: true` is set, I18n name is displayed


# Link with parameters
link_to_new Comment, params: {user_id: 1} # /comments/new?user_id=1

# Nested link
link_to_new [ @user, Comment ] # /users/1/comments/new


  1. Better testing.
  2. Improve README, add more examples.
  3. Add templates for Zurb Foundation.
  4. Whitespace fix in templates.


This gem was heavily inspired by Platformatec's show_for and simple_form gems. Some code samples were taken from these gems.


This gem was announced in Ruby5 podcast and A Fresh Cup weblog.


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