Django form fields using the Select2 jQuery plugin
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django-select2-forms is a project that makes available Django form fields that use the Select2 javascript plugin. It was created by developers at The Atlantic.


The recommended way to install is with pip:

pip install django-select2-forms

or, to install with pip from source:

    pip install -e git+git://

If the source is already checked out, use setuptools:

    python develop


django-select2-forms serves static assets using django.contrib.staticfiles, and so requires that "select2" be added to your settings' INSTALLED_APPS:

    # ...

(django-staticfiles should also work for Django <= 1.2).

To use django-select2-forms' ajax support, 'select2.urls' must be included in your urlpatterns:

urlpatterns = patterns('',
    # ...
    url(r'^select2/', include('select2.urls')),


The simplest way to use django-select2-forms is to use select2.fields.ForeignKey and select2.fields.ManyToManyField in place of django.db.models.ForeignKey and django.db.models.ManyToManyField, respectively. These fields extend their django equivalents and take the same arguments, along with extra optional keyword arguments.

select2.fields.ForeignKey examples

In the following two examples, an "entry" is associated with only one author. The example below does not use ajax, but instead performs autocomplete filtering on the client-side using the <option> elements (the labels of which are drawn from Author.__unicode__()) in an html <select>.

class Author(models.Model):
    name = models.CharField(max_length=100)

    def __unicode__(self):

class Entry(models.Model):
    author = select2.fields.ForeignKey(Author,
        overlay="Choose an author...")

This more advanced example autocompletes via ajax using the field and limits the autocomplete search to Author.objects.filter(active=True)

class Author(models.Model):
    name = models.CharField(max_length=100)
    active = models.BooleanField()

class Entry(models.Model):
    author = select2.fields.ForeignKey(Author,
        overlay="Choose an author...",
            'quiet_millis': 200,

select2.fields.ManyToManyField examples

In the following basic example, entries can have more than one author. This example does not do author name lookup via ajax, but populates <option> elements in a <select> with Author.__unicode__() for labels.

class Author(models.Model):
    name = models.CharField(max_length=100)

    def __unicode__(self):

class Entry(models.Model):
    authors = select2.fields.ManyToManyField(Author)

The following "kitchen sink" example allows authors to be ordered, and uses ajax to autocomplete on two variants of an author's name.

from django.db import models
from django.db.models import Q
import select2.fields
import select2.models

class Author(models.Model):
    name = models.CharField(max_length=100)
    alt_name = models.CharField(max_length=100, blank=True, null=True)

class EntryAuthors(select2.models.SortableThroughModel):
    A custom m2m through table, with a `position` field for sorting.

    This allows us to store and retrieve an ordered list of authors for an entry.
    entry = models.ForeignKey('Entry')
    author = models.ForeignKey(Author)
    position = models.PositiveSmallIntegerField()

class Entry(models.Model):
    categories = select2.fields.ManyToManyField(Author,
        search_field=lambda q: Q(name__icontains=q) | Q(alt_name__icontains=q),
        js_options={'quiet_millis': 200})

form field example

If you don't need to use the ajax features of django-select2-forms it is possible to use select2 on django forms without modifying your models. The select2 formfields exist in the select2.fields module and have the same class names as their standard django counterparts (ChoiceField, MultipleChoiceField, ModelChoiceField, ModelMultipleChoiceField). Here is the first ForeignKey example above, done with django formfields.

class AuthorManager(models.Manager):
    def as_choices(self):
        for author in self.all():
            yield (, unicode(author))

class Author(models.Model):
    name = models.CharField(max_length=100)
    objects = AuthorManager()

    def __unicode__(self):

class Entry(models.Model):
    author = models.ForeignKey(Author)

class EntryForm(forms.ModelForm):
    author = select2.fields.ChoiceField(
            overlay="Choose an author...")

    class Meta:
        model = Entry

API Documentation

class select2.fields.ForeignKey(to, **kwargs)

select2.fields.ForeignKey takes the following keywords arguments:


The placeholder text that will be displayed on an empty select2 field.

ajax = False

Calling select2.fields.ForeignKey with ajax = True causes select2 to populate the autocomplete results using ajax. This argument defaults to False. The ajax loading mechanism uses urls predefined for model retrieval. Simply include the supplied select2.urls into your URL mappings to enable the loading URLs.


search_field is the field name on the related model that should be searched for the ajax autocomplete. This field is required if ajax = True. search_field can also be a callable which takes the search string as an argument and returns a django.db.models.Q object.

case_sensitive = False

If ajax=True and search_field is a string, determines whether the autocomplete lookup uses %(search_field)s__icontains or %(search_field)s__contains when filtering the results. The default is to perform case insensitive lookups.

js_options = {}

A dict that is passed as options to jQuery.fn.select2() in javascript.

class select2.fields.ManyToManyField(to, **kwargs)

select2.fields.ManyToManyField takes all the same arguments as select2.fields.ForeignKey. It takes the following keyword arguments in addition.


The field name on the select2.models.SortableThroughModel class to use when storing sort position on save. See the "kitchen sink" example above to see how this is used.


The django code is licensed under the Simplified BSD License and is copyright The Atlantic Media Company. View the LICENSE file under the root directory for complete license and copyright information.

The Select2 javascript library included is licensed under the Apache Software Foundation License Version 2.0. View the file select2/static/select2/select2/LICENSE for complete license and copyright information about the Select2 javascript library.