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AutoComplete plugin with smart defaults and flexibility to customize
JavaScript CSS
Branch: master

Provide target element for filter query funciton

This is required if you need to get target element attribute's values.
latest commit 7e33cf5488
@nuwansh nuwansh authored committed


jQuery Smart Auto Complete plugin


jQuery 1.5 or above


In the header section of your page, add two script tags referencing to core jQuery and smart autocomplete plugin. It should look similar to code below:

<script src="jquery.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
<script src="jquery.smart_autocomplete.js" type="text/javascript"></script>

To activate the plugin call smartAutoComplete method with options on target jQuery object.

<script type="text/javascript">




minCharLimit (integer)

default: 1

Sets the minimum characters user have to type before invoking the autocomplete

maxCharLimit (integer)

default: unlimited

Sets the maximum character range auto-complete will offer suggestions. Useful in free-form fields.

maxResults (integer)

default: null (means unlimited)

Sets the maximum number of results to return.

delay (integer)

default: 0

Sets the number of miliseconds plugin should wait, before calling the filter function.

disabled (boolean)

default: false

Sets whether autocomplete is disabled on the field.

forceSelect (boolean)

default: false

If set to true, field will be always filled with best matching result, without leaving the custom input. Better to enable this option, if you want autocomplete field to behave similar to a HTML select field. (Check Example 2 in the demo)

typeAhead (boolean)

default: false

If set to true, it will offer the best matching result in grey within the field; that can be auto-completed by pressing the right arrow-key or enter. This is similar to behaviour in Google Instant Search's query field (Check Example 3 in the demo)

source (string/array)

Defines the list of items to be filtered. You can give a hardcoded array or a string containing a URL, which will return a JSON array, as the source.

Note: Your can omit this option or provide a different object, if you are defining your own filter method.

filter (function)

parameters available: term, source

Define a custom function that would return the matching items for the term (this will override the default filtering algorithm) Function should return an array or a Deferred object (ajax call)

resultFormatter (function)

parameters available: result

The function you supply here will be called to format the output of an individual result. Function should return a string

resultsContainer (selector)

Define to which element(s) the results should be appended.

resultElement (selector)

References the result elements collection. It should be a jQuery selector which could capture all result elements within the results container (e.g. li, div.result).


Following custom events will be available to the element which has smartAutoComplete activated. You can bind handlers to these events like other jQuery events and also cancel the default handler by calling event.preventDefault().

Note: Make sure you bind the handlers, only after smartAutoComplete is activated on the field. Otherwise context data could get overriden.

To learn more about the default behaviour of the events, please refer to the specs at spec/core/jquery.smart_autocomplete_spec.js.


parameters: query

Fires when user type something in the field


parameters: results

Fires when results are ready (returned from the filter function)


parameters: results

Fires after results are added to the results container


Fires if filter function returned no results


Fires when autocomplete field loses focus by user clicking outside of the field or focusing on another field. Also, this event is fired when a value is selected


paramters: item

Fires when user selects an item from the result list


paramters: item

Fires when user focuses on an item in results list with mouse or arrow keys


paramters: item

Fires when an item in results list looses focus


Following classes will be used to reference elements added by jQuery Smart Autocomplete plugin.

smart_autocomplete_container - A ul element containing the results.

smart_autocomplete_highlight - This class will be added to a result element when it's focused.

smart_autocomplete_type_ahead_field - If typeAhead option is enabled, additional field will be added behind the autocomplete enabled text field.

Learn More

Introducing jQuery Smart AutoComplete


Basic Examples

GitHub Instant Search Example

Copyright (c) 2011 Lakshan Perera (

Licensed under the MIT ( licenses.

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