Skip to content


Switch branches/tags

Name already in use

A tag already exists with the provided branch name. Many Git commands accept both tag and branch names, so creating this branch may cause unexpected behavior. Are you sure you want to create this branch?

Latest commit


Git stats


Failed to load latest commit information.
Latest commit message
Commit time


A jQuery plugin that manages adding, deleting and moving elements from a Symfony collection


This is not really difficult to manage your collections using the data-prototype Symfony provides. But after using several times collections, it appeared useful to me to create a jQuery plugin to do this job.

This is even more true when you need your elements to be moved up and down or added at a specific position: as the form will be proceeded using field names, we should swap field contents or field names instead of moving fields themselves to get the job done. That's not really friendly in javascript, so this plugin also aims to deal with that.

Live demo

Demo of this plugin is available live at:

Demo source code is here:


This plugin is a set of 2 files:

  • the jquery plugin itself, it should be located with your assets

  • a twig form theme that will ease use of it, it should be located in your views

Installation using Composer

To automate the plugin download and installation, edit composer.json and add:

    "require": {
        "ninsuo/symfony-collection": "dev-master"
    "scripts": {
        "post-install-cmd": [
        "post-update-cmd": [

Files will be automatically installed at:

  • symfony-collection form theme will be installed in app/Resources/views

  • symfony-collection jquery plugin will be installed in web/js.


  • Replace dev-master by the current stable version.

  • Put script handlers before Symfony's installAssets if you wish to benefit from your assets optimizations.

  • Add app/Resources/views/jquery.collection.html.twig and web/js/jquery.collection.js to your .gitignore

If you prefer to install the plugin manually, you can use:

composer require ninsuo/symfony-collection

You'll have to move:

  • vendor/ninsuo/symfony-collection/jquery.collection.js in your assets (for example in web/js)

  • vendor/ninsuo/symfony-collection/jquery.collection.html.twig in your views (for example in app/Resources/views)

Installation using npm

npm install ninsuo/symfony-collection

You'll have to move:

  • node_modules/symfony-collection/jquery.collection.js in your assets (for example in web/js).
  • node_modules/symfony-collection/jquery.collection.html.twig wherever you want in your views (for example in app/Resources/views)

Installation using Bower

bower install ninsuo/symfony-collection

You'll have to move:

  • bower_components/symfony-collection/jquery.collection.js in your assets (for example in web/js)
  • bower_components/symfony-collection/jquery.collection.html.twig in your views (for example in app/Resources/views)

Basic usage

A simple collection

Your collection type should contain prototype, allow_add, allow_remove options (depending on which buttons you require of course). And a class that will be used as a selector to run the collection plugin.

->add('myCollection', 'collection',
   array (
        // ...
        'allow_add' => true,
        'allow_remove' => true,
        'prototype' => true,
        'attr' => array(
            'class' => 'my-selector',

Then, render your form after applying the given custom theme:

     {% form_theme myForm 'jquery.collection.html.twig' %}
     {{ form(myForm) }}

Finally, put the following code at the bottom of your page.

    <script src="{{ asset('js/jquery.js') }}"></script>
    <script src="{{ asset('js/jquery.collection.js') }}"></script>

    <script type="text/javascript">

Using a form theme

Most of the time, you will need to create a form theme that will help you render your collection and its children in a fancy way.

  • in your form type(s), overwrite the getBlockPrefix() method and return a good name.
// Fuz/AppBundle/Form/AddressType.php


namespace Fuz\AppBundle\Form;

use Symfony\Component\Form\AbstractType;
use Symfony\Component\Form\FormBuilderInterface;
use Symfony\Component\OptionsResolver\OptionsResolver;

class AddressType extends AbstractType
    // ...

    public function getBlockPrefix()
        return 'AddressType';
  • in your form theme, you will just need to use the same name ({% block AddressType_XXX %}). Replace XXX by widget, error or row according to what you want to do (read the Symfony doc for more details).
{# FuzAppBundle:Advanced:addresses-theme.html.twig #}

{% block AddressType_row %}
<div class="col-md-3">
  {{ form_label(form) }}
  {{ form_errors(form) }}
  {{ form_widget(form) }}
{% endblock %}

{% block AddressType_widget %}
    {{ form_widget(form) }}
    <p class="text-center">
        <a href="#" class="collection-up btn btn-default">&lt;</a>
        <a href="#" class="collection-remove btn btn-default">-</a>
        <a href="#" class="collection-add btn btn-default">+</a>
        <a href="#" class="collection-down btn btn-default">&gt;</a>
{% endblock %}

Then, use both form themes using:

        form_theme myForm

There are many examples using form themes in the Advanced menu of the demo website, don't hesitate to look at them.

Always put jquery.collection.html.twig form theme below the other you use, to avoid the settings getting overwritten.

Using Doctrine, and a position explicitly stored in a field

A collection is no more than an array of objects, so by default, this plugin move element positions in this array. For example, if you have A, B and C in your collection and move B up, it will contain B, A, C.

But when Doctrine persists your collection, it will keep existing entities, and simply update their content. For example, if you have a collection containing A, B, C with ids 1, 2 and 3, you will end up with a collection containing B, A, C, but still ids 1, 2 and 3.

In most cases, that's not a problem. But, if you have other relations attached to each of your collection elements, you should never unlink id and value. You'll use a position field on your database table, and it will manage the position.

Something like:

     * @ORM\Column(name="position", type="integer")
    private $position;

This plugin supports this case; you need to create a position field in your form (with hidden type), mapped to your entity, and give it a class that will serve as a selector:

        $builder->add('position', HiddenType::class, [
            'attr' => [
                'class' => 'my-position',

Then, use the position_field_selector option to provide it to the plugin:

        position_field_selector: '.my-position'

Several collections on the same page

If you wish to create several collections on the same page, you'll need to change the collection prefix in order for the plugin to trigger the right actions for the right collection.

For example:

        'prefix': 'first-collection'

        'prefix': 'second-collection'

Then if you want to edit those collections form theme, you'll need to replace collection-add by first-collection-add on your add buttons for example.

   <a href="#" class="first-collection-add btn btn-default">
       <span class="glyphicon glyphicon-plus-sign"></span>

See this sample for a working example.


Customize rendered links (demo)

You can customize displayed links by setting up, down, add, remove and duplicate options.

Default values are:

         up: '<a href="#">&#x25B2;</a>',
         down: '<a href="#">&#x25BC;</a>',
         add: '<a href="#">[ + ]</a>',
         remove: '<a href="#">[ - ]</a>',
         duplicate: '<a href="#">[ # ]</a>'

You can also use the following classes:

  • collection-add for an add button
  • collection-remove for a remove button
  • collection-up for a move up button
  • collection-down for a move down button
  • collection-duplicate for a duplicate button


  • collection-action for any of the above action
  • collection-action-disabled same, but when a button is disabled (no "up" at the top, etc.)

Note that collection prefix can be changed using the prefix option.

Disable links (demo)

You can disable some buttons by using allow_up, allow_down, allow_add, allow_remove and allow_duplicate options. By default, all buttons except duplicate are enabled.

For example, if you do not want your elements to be moved up and down, use:

         allow_up: false,
         allow_down: false

If you are using the given form theme, allow_add, allow_remove and allow_duplicate are automatically set following your form type configuration.

Set minimum and maximum of elements in the collection (demo)

You can set the minimum of elements allowed in the collection by using the min option. By default, it is disabled (set to 0).

         min: 0

You can set the maximum of elements allowed in the collection by using the max option. By default, it is set to 100.

         max: 100

You can initialize your collection with a minimum of elements created (even if they do not exist on the data object) (demo).

         init_with_n_elements: 3

Only one add button at the bottom (demo)

If you prefer having only one add button at the bottom of the collection instead of one add button per collection element, use the add_at_the_end option:

         add_at_the_end: true

Customise add button location (demo)

If you want to set a specific location for your add button (not close to each collection element, nor at the bottom of the collection), you can use the custom_add_location option.


            custom_add_location: true


            class="collection-action collection-add btn btn-success"
        >Add element to collection</button>

Hide useless buttons (demo)

By default, move up button is hidden on the first item, and move down button on the last one. You can make them appear anyway by setting hide_useless_buttons to false. This can be useful if you want to beautify them using CSS, for example.

         hide_useless_buttons: true

Events (demo)

There are before_* and after_* options that let you put callbacks before and after adding, deleting or moving elements in the collection.

  • before_up, before_down, before_add and before_remove are called before modifying the collection. The modification will be cancelled if the callback you gave returned false, and will proceed if it returned true or undefined.

  • after_up, after_down, after_add and after_remove are called after modifying the collection. The modification will be reverted if the callback you gave returned false.

  • before_init and after_init are called when a collection is initialized. No return value is expected.

Callback functions receive two arguments:

  • collection references the div that contains your whole collection (the symfony2 field)

  • element is the element in the collection that have been added (or moved/deleted)

         after_add: function(collection, element) {
            // automatic backup or whatever
            return true;

Using the plugin without form theme (demo)

The form theme aims to reduce the number of options required when activating the plugin. This is really useful when you are dealing with collections of form collections. But you can still do it manually if you want, using the following equivalents:

        prototype_name: '{{ }}',
        allow_add: false,
        allow_remove: false,
        name_prefix:  '{{ myForm.myCollection.vars.full_name }}'

Note that only name_prefix option is mandatory, all other ones have default values.

Fade in & Fade out support (demo)

By default, when adding or removing an element, fade animation will make element movements smoother. You can still disable this option by using fade_in and fade_out options.

        fade_in: true,
        fade_out: true

Drag & drop support (demo)

If you are using Jquery UI and have the sortable component available in your application, the drag_drop option is automatically enabled and let you change your element positions using drag & drop. You can disable this behaviour by explicitly setting drag_drop option to false.

If required, you can customize sortable by overloading options given to jQuery.ui.sortable using the drag_drop_options option.

By default, your collection is initialized with the following options:

         drag_drop: true,
         drag_drop_options: {
            placeholder: 'ui-state-highlight'

Note that you should not overload start and update callbacks as they are used by this plugin, see drag_drop_start and drag_drop_update options in advanced usage below for more details.

Change the children selector

By default, Symfony writes each element of a collection in a div below the collection itself. So this plugin considers > div as a default value to get collection elements. But, you may need to display each element of your collection in a table, so you can change this value.

        elements_selector: '> div'

You may use > tr, thead > tr or more specifically tr.item or just .item if you set class="item" at the top of your item's form theme. The goal is to reference each item in the collection whatever the markup.

Change the parent selector

To be able to add elements to the collection, this plugin should be aware of the dom object that will contain them.

By default, your collection elements will be located just below your collection, for example:

    <div id="collection">
       <div id="child_0">(...)</div>
       <div id="child_1">(...)</div>
       <div id="child_2">(...)</div>

But you may need to put elements deeper in the dom, for example when you put elements in a table:

    <table id="collection">
            <tr id="child_0">(...)</tr>
            <tr id="child_1">(...)</tr>
            <tr id="child_2">(...)</tr>

In that example, a parent selector should be table.collection tbody.

Note that you can use %id% inside elements_parent_selector, it will be automatically replaced by the collection's id. This is particularly useful when you're dealing with nested collections.


        // ...
        children: [{
            // ...
            elements_parent_selector: '%id% tbody'

Default value:

        elements_parent_selector: '%id%' // will be the collection itself

Do not change field names

Symfony uses field names to order the collection, not the position of each element on the dom. So by default, if you delete an element in the middle, all following elements will have their index decreased of 1 (field[3] will become field[2] and so on) and if you add some elements in the middle, all subsequent elements will see their index increase to leave the space for the new one.

With this implementation, you're sure to keep the right positions when clicking "move up" and "move down" for example. But in some situations, you may not want to overwrite indexes, most probably to maintain Doctrine relationships.

Set the preserve_names option to true to never touch field names. But be aware that this option will disable allow_up, allow_down, drag_drop options and will enforce add_at_the_end to true.

Default value:

        preserve_names: false

Changing the action container tag

By default, without form theme, all actions are put inside a <div>. You can overwrite this by setting the action_container_tag option, for example if you want to put actions in a <td> instead.

Default value:

        action_container_tag: 'div'

Advanced usage

Changing action's positions (demo)

By default :

  • add, move up, move down and remove are located in this order below each collection's element
  • add button can be located at the bottom of the collection using add_at_the_bottom option

You can change those button's positions by creating them manually anywhere in your form theme.

You can use any custom clickable element as soon has it has one action class:

  • collection-add for an add button
  • collection-remove for a remove button
  • collection-up for a move up button
  • collection-down for a move down button

Warning: collection is taken from the prefix option: if you change the plugin's prefix, you should change this class too.


If we have a collection of text fields and want to display actions at the right side of each value instead of below, we will use something like this:

{% block MyType_label %}{% endblock %}
{% block MyType_errors %}{% endblock %}

{% block MyType_widget %}

    <div class="row">
        <div class="col-md-8">
            {{ form_widget(form.value) }}
        <div class="col-md-2">
            <a href="#" class="collection-up btn btn-default">Move up</a>
            <a href="#" class="collection-down btn btn-default">Move Down</a>
        <div class="col-md-2">
            <a href="#" class="collection-remove btn btn-default">Remove</a>
            <a href="#" class="collection-add btn btn-default">Add</a>

{% endblock %}

Note : do not forget to set the add option when enabling the plugin, because if your collection is emptied, the plugin will generate an add button based on the plugin's configuration.

Tip: when add buttons are put inside the collection's elements, a new element is created next to the clicked element instead of at the end of the collection.

Advanced drag & drop support (demo)

If you need to listen for start and/or update events from jQuery.ui.sortable in your collection, you should not overload the start and update options in drag_drop_options, but use the built-in drag_drop_start and drag_drop_update options instead:

         drag_drop_start: function (event, ui, elements, element) {
            // ...
         drag_drop_update: function (event, ui, elements, element) {
            // ...


  • event and ui come from jQuery.ui.sortable start callback.
  • elements contains all elements from the impacted collection
  • element is the moved element in the collection
  • If your callback returns false, the position change will be cancelled/reverted.

Collection of collections (demo)

This plugin has the ability to manage a collection of form collections, but to avoid collisions, you should:

In your form type:

  • set a distinct prototype_name option and selector class for each of your collections
    ->add('collections', 'collection',
       array (
            'type' => 'collection',
            'label' => 'Add, move, remove collections',
            'options' => array (
                    'type' => 'text',
                    'label' => 'Add, move, remove values',
                    'options' => array (
                            'label' => 'Value',
                    'allow_add' => true,
                    'allow_remove' => true,
                    'prototype' => true,
                    'prototype_name' => '__children_name__',
                    'attr' => array (
                            'class' => "child-collection",
            'allow_add' => true,
            'allow_remove' => true,
            'prototype' => true,
            'prototype_name' => '__parent_name__',
            'attr' => array (
                    'class' => "parent-collection",

In the plugin options:

  • use a distinct collection prefix, so clicking add button on a collection will add an item to the right collection

  • define children's selector in the selector attribute of children option (must select the root node of your children collections)

         prefix: 'parent',
         children: [{
             selector: '.child-collection',
             prefix: 'child'
             // ...