Admin Integration


Django-Selectables will work in the admin. To get started on integrated the fields and widgets in the admin make sure you are familiar with the Django documentation on the ModelAdmin.form and ModelForms particularly on overriding the default widgets. As you will see integrating django-selectable in the adminis the same as working with regular forms.

Including jQuery & jQuery UI

As noted in the quick start guide, the jQuery and jQuery UI libraries are not included in the distribution but must be included in your templates. For the Django admin that means overriding admin/base_site.html. You can include this media in the block name extrahead which is defined in admin/base.html.

{% block extrahead %}
    {% load selectable_tags %}
    {% include_ui_theme %}
    {% include_jquery_libs %}
{% endblock %}

See the Django documentation on overriding admin templates. See the example project for the full template example.

Using Grappelli

Grappelli is a popular customization of the Django admin interface. It includes a number of interface improvements which are also built on top of jQuery UI. When using Grappelli you do not need to make any changes to the admin/base_site.html template. django-selectable will detect jQuery and jQuery UI versions included by Grappelli and make use of them.

Basic Example

For example, we may have a Farm model with a foreign key to auth.User and a many to many relation to our Fruit model.

from __future__ import unicode_literals

from django.db import models
from django.utils.encoding import python_2_unicode_compatible

class Fruit(models.Model):
    name = models.CharField(max_length=200)

    def __str__(self):

class Farm(models.Model):
    name = models.CharField(max_length=200)
    owner = models.ForeignKey('auth.User', related_name='farms')
    fruit = models.ManyToManyField(Fruit)

    def __str__(self):
        return "%s's Farm: %s" % (self.owner.username,

In we will define the form and associate it with the FarmAdmin.

from django.contrib import admin
from django.contrib.auth.admin import UserAdmin
from django.contrib.auth.models import User
from django import forms

from selectable.forms import AutoCompleteSelectField, AutoCompleteSelectMultipleWidget

from .models import Fruit, Farm
from .lookups import FruitLookup, OwnerLookup

class FarmAdminForm(forms.ModelForm):
    owner = AutoCompleteSelectField(lookup_class=OwnerLookup, allow_new=True)

    class Meta(object):
        model = Farm
        widgets = {
            'fruit': AutoCompleteSelectMultipleWidget(lookup_class=FruitLookup),
        exclude = ('owner', )

    def __init__(self, *args, **kwargs):
        super(FarmAdminForm, self).__init__(*args, **kwargs)
        if self.instance and and self.instance.owner:
            self.initial['owner'] =

    def save(self, *args, **kwargs):
        owner = self.cleaned_data['owner']
        if owner and not
            owner = User.objects.create_user(username=owner.username, email='')
        self.instance.owner = owner
        return super(FarmAdminForm, self).save(*args, **kwargs)

class FarmAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    form = FarmAdminForm, FarmAdmin)

You’ll note this form also allows new users to be created and associated with the farm, if no user is found matching the given name. To make use of this feature we need to add owner to the exclude so that it will pass model validation. Unfortunately that means we must set the owner manual in the save and in the initial data because the ModelForm will no longer do this for you. Since fruit does not allow new items you’ll see these steps are not necessary.

The django-selectable widgets are compatitible with the add another popup in the admin. It’s that little green plus sign that appears next to ForeignKey or ManyToManyField items. This makes django-selectable a user friendly replacement for the ModelAdmin.raw_id_fields when the default select box grows too long.

Inline Example

With our Farm model we can also associate the UserAdmin with a Farm by making use of the InlineModelAdmin. We can even make use of the same FarmAdminForm.

# continued from above

class FarmInline(admin.TabularInline):
    model = Farm
    form = FarmAdminForm

class NewUserAdmin(UserAdmin):
    inlines = [
    ], NewUserAdmin)

The auto-complete functions will be bound as new forms are added dynamically.