jQuery Tag-it -Integration with Ruby on Rails

Sometimes we come across situations where we need to add tags to some items e.g. there is an online shopping website which sells various items such as clothes, electronics, books, mobile accessories .etc. Now if there are items such as earphones, power banks, data cables etc. these all can be commonly tagged as mobile accessories. Tagging makes it easy to group the items and also facilitates searching. So when any user searches for the mobile accessories we can show all the items related to this tag.

jQuery tag-it is an excellent jQuery UI plugin with auto-complete support. Also it is very easy to integrate with rails app.


First of all you will need to download jQuery UI plugin files from here and tag-it plugin files from here.

Then copy jquery-ui.css, jquery-ui.structure.css and jquery-ui.theme.css from the jQuery UI folder and jquery.tagit.css from the Tag it folder to your rails app and require them in you manifest css file in following order.

After that copy all the images stored in the images folder in the jQuery UI folder. Create directory app/assets/images/images and paste all images files.

If you are working with rails 4, you need to rename the file from jquery-ui.css to jquery-ui.scss and jquery-ui.theme.css to jquery-ui.theme.scss then change all the image url path to asset-url in these files as follows

background-image: asset-url(“images/ui-icons_444444_256x240.png”);

After this, copy jquery-ui.js and tag-it.js and require them in following order in your manifest js file.


Now create a view file, add the tags in the ul, give it an id and initialize the tag-it with this specific id only.

That’s it! Isn’t it really simple!

Now all the tags written in the <li></li> tags will come pre-loaded and you can add new tags as you want. Also when you try add any tag which you have already added it will highlight the tag and now allow to add you second time. This is cool!

You can easily remove the tags by using backspace or by clicking at the cross icon beside the added tags. You can find the working demo of it on this link. Also you can add various themes and do as many customization as you want.

Various parameters can also be passed during the tag-it initialization. I have found some really interesting ones which I have incorporated in my project.


Tags which are added in the array of availableTags will be given as suggestions in auto-complete.

Suggestions for auto complete

tagLimit (integer)

This will limit the number of tags added by the user.

This doesn’t allow the user to add tags more than specific limit, but wait it also doesn’t show any appropriate message as well, this is where the callbacks come into the picture.

We can use onTagLimitExceeded callback for this.

Here the t

Now when you try to add more than specified tags it will show alert messages.

Alert for the tag limit exceeded

If you want to do something special before/after the tag is added/removed you can easily do it with beforeTagAdded/afterTagAdded and beforeTagRemoved/afterTagRemoved callbacks.

You can find all the options at https://github.com/aehlke/tag-it#options , events at https://github.com/aehlke/tag-it#events and methods at https://github.com/aehlke/tag-it#methods.

This helps us adding the tags in a simple, elegant and efficient way.

You can find the full source code at https://github.com/AnkurVyas-BTC/tag-it-example .

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