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How to set focus on input field?

Posted by: admin November 2, 2017 Leave a comment

Questions:

What is the ‘Angular way’ to set focus on input field in AngularJS?

More specific requirements:

  1. When a Modal is opened, set focus on a predefined <input> inside this Modal.
  2. Everytime <input> becomes visible (e.g. by clicking some button), set focus on it.

I tried to achieve the first requirement with autofocus, but this works only when the Modal is opened for the first time, and only in certain browsers (e.g. in Firefox it doesn’t work).

Any help will be appreciated.

Answers:
  1. When a Modal is opened, set focus on a predefined <input> inside this Modal.

Define a directive and have it $watch a property/trigger so it knows when to focus the element:

Name: <input type="text" focus-me="shouldBeOpen">

app.directive('focusMe', ['$timeout', '$parse', function ($timeout, $parse) {
    return {
        //scope: true,   // optionally create a child scope
        link: function (scope, element, attrs) {
            var model = $parse(attrs.focusMe);
            scope.$watch(model, function (value) {
                console.log('value=', value);
                if (value === true) {
                    $timeout(function () {
                        element[0].focus();
                    });
                }
            });
            // to address @blesh's comment, set attribute value to 'false'
            // on blur event:
            element.bind('blur', function () {
                console.log('blur');
                scope.$apply(model.assign(scope, false));
            });
        }
    };
}]);

Plunker

The $timeout seems to be needed to give the modal time to render.

‘2.’ Everytime <input> becomes visible (e.g. by clicking some button), set focus on it.

Create a directive essentially like the one above. Watch some scope property, and when it becomes true (set it in your ng-click handler), execute element[0].focus(). Depending on your use case, you may or may not need a $timeout for this one:

<button class="btn" ng-click="showForm=true; focusInput=true">show form and
 focus input</button>
<div ng-show="showForm">
  <input type="text" ng-model="myInput" focus-me="focusInput"> {{ myInput }}
  <button class="btn" ng-click="showForm=false">hide form</button>
</div>

app.directive('focusMe', function($timeout) {
  return {
    link: function(scope, element, attrs) {
      scope.$watch(attrs.focusMe, function(value) {
        if(value === true) { 
          console.log('value=',value);
          //$timeout(function() {
            element[0].focus();
            scope[attrs.focusMe] = false;
          //});
        }
      });
    }
  };
});

Plunker


Update 7/2013: I’ve seen a few people use my original isolate scope directives and then have problems with embedded input fields (i.e., an input field in the modal). A directive with no new scope (or possibly a new child scope) should alleviate some of the pain. So above I updated the answer to not use isolate scopes. Below is the original answer:

Original answer for 1., using an isolate scope:

Name: <input type="text" focus-me="{{shouldBeOpen}}">

app.directive('focusMe', function($timeout) {
  return {
    scope: { trigger: '@focusMe' },
    link: function(scope, element) {
      scope.$watch('trigger', function(value) {
        if(value === "true") { 
          $timeout(function() {
            element[0].focus(); 
          });
        }
      });
    }
  };
});

Plunker.

Original answer for 2., using an isolate scope:

<button class="btn" ng-click="showForm=true; focusInput=true">show form and
 focus input</button>
<div ng-show="showForm">
  <input type="text" focus-me="focusInput">
  <button class="btn" ng-click="showForm=false">hide form</button>
</div>

app.directive('focusMe', function($timeout) {
  return {
    scope: { trigger: '=focusMe' },
    link: function(scope, element) {
      scope.$watch('trigger', function(value) {
        if(value === true) { 
          //console.log('trigger',value);
          //$timeout(function() {
            element[0].focus();
            scope.trigger = false;
          //});
        }
      });
    }
  };
});

Plunker.

Since we need to reset the trigger/focusInput property in the directive, ‘=’ is used for two-way databinding. In the first directive, ‘@’ was sufficient. Also note that when using ‘@’ we compare the trigger value to “true” since @ always results in a string.

Questions:
Answers:

(EDIT: I’ve added an updated solution below this explanation)

Mark Rajcok is the man… and his answer is a valid answer, but it has had a defect (sorry Mark)…

…Try using the boolean to focus on the input, then blur the input, then try using it to focus the input again. It won’t work unless you reset the boolean to false, then $digest, then reset it back to true. Even if you use a string comparison in your expression, you’ll be forced to change the string to something else, $digest, then change it back. (This has been addressed with the blur event handler.)

So I propose this alternate solution:

Use an event, the forgotten feature of Angular.

JavaScript loves events after all. Events are inherently loosely coupled, and even better, you avoid adding another $watch to your $digest.

app.directive('focusOn', function() {
   return function(scope, elem, attr) {
      scope.$on(attr.focusOn, function(e) {
          elem[0].focus();
      });
   };
});

So now you could use it like this:

<input type="text" focus-on="newItemAdded" />

and then anywhere in your app…

$scope.addNewItem = function () {
    /* stuff here to add a new item... */

    $scope.$broadcast('newItemAdded');
};

This is awesome because you can do all sorts of things with something like this. For one, you could tie into events that already exist. For another thing you start doing something smart by having different parts of your app publish events that other parts of your app can subscribe to.

Anyhow, this type of thing screams “event driven” to me. I think as Angular developers we try really hard to hammer $scope shaped pegs into event shape holes.

Is it the best solution? I dunno. It’s a solution.


Updated Solution

After @ShimonRachlenko’s comment below, I’ve changed my method of doing this slightly. Now I use a combination of a service and a directive that handles an event “behind the scenes”:

Other than that, it’s the same principal outlined above.

Here is a quick demo Plunk

Usage

<input type="text" focus-on="focusMe"/>
app.controller('MyCtrl', function($scope, focus) {
    focus('focusMe');
});

Source

app.directive('focusOn', function() {
   return function(scope, elem, attr) {
      scope.$on('focusOn', function(e, name) {
        if(name === attr.focusOn) {
          elem[0].focus();
        }
      });
   };
});

app.factory('focus', function ($rootScope, $timeout) {
  return function(name) {
    $timeout(function (){
      $rootScope.$broadcast('focusOn', name);
    });
  }
});

Questions:
Answers:

I have found some of the other answers to be overly complicated when all you really need is this

app.directive('autoFocus', function($timeout) {
    return {
        restrict: 'AC',
        link: function(_scope, _element) {
            $timeout(function(){
                _element[0].focus();
            }, 0);
        }
    };
});

usage is

<input name="theInput" auto-focus>

We use the timeout to let things in the dom render, even though it is zero, it at least waits for that – that way this works in modals and whatnot too

Questions:
Answers:

HTML has an attribute autofocus.

<input type="text" name="fname" autofocus>

http://www.w3schools.com/tags/att_input_autofocus.asp

Questions:
Answers:

You can also use the jqlite functionality built into angular.

angular.element('.selector').trigger('focus');

Questions:
Answers:

This works well and an angular way to focus input control

angular.element('#elementId').focus()

This is although not a pure angular way of doing the task yet the syntax follows angular style. Jquery plays role indirectly and directly access DOM using Angular (jQLite => JQuery Light).

If required, this code can easily be put inside a simple angular directive where element is directly accessible.

Questions:
Answers:

I don’t think $timeout is a good way to focus the element on creation. Here is a method using built-in angular functionality, dug out from the murky depths of the angular docs. Notice how the “link” attribute can be split into “pre” and “post”, for pre-link and post-link functions.

Working Example: http://plnkr.co/edit/Fj59GB

// this is the directive you add to any element you want to highlight after creation
Guest.directive('autoFocus', function() {
    return {
        link: {
            pre: function preLink(scope, element, attr) {
                console.debug('prelink called');
                // this fails since the element hasn't rendered
                //element[0].focus();
            },
            post: function postLink(scope, element, attr) {
                console.debug('postlink called');
                // this succeeds since the element has been rendered
                element[0].focus();
            }
        }
    }
});
<input value="hello" />
<!-- this input automatically gets focus on creation -->
<input value="world" auto-focus />

Full AngularJS Directive Docs: https://docs.angularjs.org/api/ng/service/$compile

Questions:
Answers:

Here is my original solution:

plunker

var app = angular.module('plunker', []);
app.directive('autoFocus', function($timeout) {
    return {
        link: function (scope, element, attrs) {
            attrs.$observe("autoFocus", function(newValue){
                if (newValue === "true")
                    $timeout(function(){element[0].focus()});
            });
        }
    };
});

And the HTML:

<button ng-click="isVisible = !isVisible">Toggle input</button>
<input ng-show="isVisible" auto-focus="{{ isVisible }}" value="auto-focus on" />

What it does:

It focuses the input as it becomes visible with ng-show. No use of $watch or $on here.

Questions:
Answers:

I’ve written a two-way binding focus directive, just like model recently.

You use focus directive like this:

<input focus="someFocusVariable">

If you make someFocusVariable scope variable true in anywhere in your controller, input got focus. And if you “blur” your input, someFocusVariable is set to false. It’s like Mark Rajcok’s first answer but with two-way binding.

Here is the directive:

function Ctrl($scope) {
  $scope.model = "ahaha"
  $scope.someFocusVariable = true; // If you want to focus initially, set this to true. Else you don't need to define this at all.
}

angular.module('experiement', [])
  .directive('focus', function($timeout, $parse) {
    return {
      restrict: 'A',
      link: function(scope, element, attrs) {
          scope.$watch(attrs.focus, function(newValue, oldValue) {
              if (newValue) { element[0].focus(); }
          });
          element.bind("blur", function(e) {
              $timeout(function() {
                  scope.$apply(attrs.focus + "=false"); 
              }, 0);
          });
          element.bind("focus", function(e) {
              $timeout(function() {
                  scope.$apply(attrs.focus + "=true");
              }, 0);
          })
      }
    }
  });

Usage:

<div ng-app="experiement">
  <div ng-controller="Ctrl">
    An Input: <input ng-model="model" focus="someFocusVariable">
    <hr>
        <div ng-click="someFocusVariable=true">Focus!</div>  
        <pre>someFocusVariable: {{ someFocusVariable }}</pre>
        <pre>content: {{ model }}</pre>
  </div>
</div>

Here is the fiddle:

http://fiddle.jshell.net/ubenzer/9FSL4/8/

Questions:
Answers:

For those who use Angular with the Bootstrap plugin:

http://angular-ui.github.io/bootstrap/#/modal

You can hook into the opened promise of the modal instance:

modalInstance.opened.then(function() {
        $timeout(function() {
            angular.element('#title_input').trigger('focus');
        });
    });

modalInstance.result.then(function ( etc...

Questions:
Answers:

Instead of creating your own directive, it’s possible to simply use javascript functions to accomplish a focus.

Here is an example.

In the html file:

<input type="text" id="myInputId" />

In a file javascript, in a controller for example, where you want to activate the focus:

document.getElementById("myInputId").focus();

Questions:
Answers:

Not to resurrect a zombie or plug my own directive (ok that’s exactly what I’m doing):

https://github.com/hiebj/ng-focus-if

http://plnkr.co/edit/MJS3zRk079Mu72o5A9l6?p=preview

<input focus-if />

(function() {
    'use strict';
    angular
        .module('focus-if', [])
        .directive('focusIf', focusIf);

    function focusIf($timeout) {
        function link($scope, $element, $attrs) {
            var dom = $element[0];
            if ($attrs.focusIf) {
                $scope.$watch($attrs.focusIf, focus);
            } else {
                focus(true);
            }
            function focus(condition) {
                if (condition) {
                    $timeout(function() {
                        dom.focus();
                    }, $scope.$eval($attrs.focusDelay) || 0);
                }
            }
        }
        return {
            restrict: 'A',
            link: link
        };
    }
})();

Questions:
Answers:

First, an official way to do focus is on the roadmap for 1.1. Meanwhile, you can write a directive to implement setting focus.

Second, to set focus on an item after it has become visible currently requires a workaround. Just delay your call to element focus() with a $timeout.

Because the same controller-modifies-DOM problem exists for focus, blur and select, I propose having an ng-target directive:

<input type="text" x-ng-model="form.color" x-ng-target="form.colorTarget">
<button class="btn" x-ng-click="form.colorTarget.focus()">do focus</button>

Angular thread here: http://goo.gl/ipsx4 , and more details blogged here: http://goo.gl/4rdZa

The following directive will create a .focus() function inside your controller as specified by your ng-target attribute. (It creates a .blur() and a .select() too.) Demo: http://jsfiddle.net/bseib/WUcQX/

Questions:
Answers:

I found it useful to use a general expression. This way you can do stuff like automatically move focus when input text is valid

<button type="button" moo-focus-expression="form.phone.$valid">

Or automatically focus when the user completes a fixed length field

<button type="submit" moo-focus-expression="smsconfirm.length == 6">

And of course focus after load

<input type="text" moo-focus-expression="true">

The code for the directive:

.directive('mooFocusExpression', function ($timeout) {
    return {
        restrict: 'A',
        link: {
            post: function postLink(scope, element, attrs) {
                scope.$watch(attrs.mooFocusExpression, function (value) {

                    if (attrs.mooFocusExpression) {
                        if (scope.$eval(attrs.mooFocusExpression)) {
                            $timeout(function () {
                                element[0].focus();
                            }, 100); //need some delay to work with ng-disabled
                        }
                    }
                });
            }
        }
    };
});

Questions:
Answers:

If you just wanted a simple focus that was controlled by an ng-click.

Html:

<input ut-focus="focusTigger">

<button ng-click="focusTrigger=!focusTrigger" ng-init="focusTrigger=false"></button>

Directive:

'use strict'

angular.module('focus',['ng'])
.directive('utFocus',function($timeout){
    return {
        link:function(scope,elem,attr){
            var focusTarget = attr['utFocus'];
            scope.$watch(focusTarget,function(value){
                $timeout(function(){
                    elem[0].focus();
                });
            });
        }
    }
});

Questions:
Answers:

A simple one that works well with modals:

.directive('focusMeNow', ['$timeout', function ($timeout)
{
    return {
        restrict: 'A',

        link: function (scope, element, attrs)
        {


            $timeout(function ()
            {
                element[0].focus();
            });



        }
    };
}])

Example

<input ng-model="your.value" focus-me-now />

Questions:
Answers:

You could just create a directive that forces focus on the decorated element on postLinking:

angular.module('directives')
.directive('autoFocus', function() {
    return {
        restrict: 'AC',
        link: function(_scope, _element) {
            _element[0].focus();
        }
    };
});

Then in your html:

<input type="text" name="first" auto-focus/> <!-- this will get the focus -->
<input type="text" name="second"/>

This would work for modals and ng-if toggled elements, not for ng-show since postLinking happens only on HTML processing.

Questions:
Answers:

Mark and Blesh have great answers; however, Mark’s has a flaw that Blesh points out (besides being complex to implement), and I feel that Blesh’s answer has a semantic error in creating a service that’s specifically about sending focus request to the frontend when really all he needed was a way to delay the event until all the directives were listening.

So here is what I ended up doing which steals a lot from Blesh’s answer but keeps the semantics of the controller event and the “after load” service separate.

This allows the controller event to easily be hooked for things other than just focusing a specific element and also allows to incur the overhead of the “after load” functionality only if it is needed, which it may not be in many cases.

Usage

<input type="text" focus-on="controllerEvent"/>
app.controller('MyCtrl', function($scope, afterLoad) {
  function notifyControllerEvent() {
      $scope.$broadcast('controllerEvent');
  }

  afterLoad(notifyControllerEvent);
});

Source

app.directive('focusOn', function() {
   return function(scope, elem, attr) {
      scope.$on(attr.focusOn, function(e, name) {
        elem[0].focus();
      });
   };
});

app.factory('afterLoad', function ($rootScope, $timeout) {
  return function(func) {
    $timeout(func);
  }
});

Questions:
Answers:

Just a newbie here, but I was abble to make it work in a ui.bootstrap.modal with this directive:

directives.directive('focus', function($timeout) {
    return {
        link : function(scope, element) {
            scope.$watch('idToFocus', function(value) {
                if (value === element[0].id) {
                    $timeout(function() {
                        element[0].focus();
                    });
                }
            });
        }
    };
});

and in the $modal.open method I used the folowing to indicate the element where the focus should be putted:

var d = $modal.open({
        controller : function($scope, $modalInstance) {
            ...
            $scope.idToFocus = "cancelaAteste";
    }
        ...
    });

on the template I have this:

<input id="myInputId" focus />

Questions:
Answers:

I edit ‘Mark Rajcok’ focusMe directive to work for multiple focus in one element.

HTML:

<input  focus-me="myInputFocus"  type="text">

in AngularJs Controller:

$scope.myInputFocus= true;

AngulaJS Directive:

app.directive('focusMe', function ($timeout, $parse) {
    return {
        link: function (scope, element, attrs) {
            var model = $parse(attrs.focusMe);
            scope.$watch(model, function (value) {
                if (value === true) {
                    $timeout(function () {
                        scope.$apply(model.assign(scope, false));
                        element[0].focus();
                    }, 30);
                }
            });
        }
    };
});

Questions:
Answers:

The following directive did the trick for me. Use the same autofocus html attribute for input.

.directive('autofocus', [function () {
    return {
        require : 'ngModel',
        restrict: 'A',
        link: function (scope, element, attrs) {
            element.focus();
        }
    };
}])

Questions:
Answers:

If you are using modalInstance and have the object you can use “then” to do actions after opening the modal. If you are not using the modalInstance, and hard coded to open the modal you can use the event. The $timeout is not a good solution.

You can do (Bootstrap3):

$("#" + modalId).on("shown.bs.modal", function() {
    angular.element("[name='name']").focus();
});

At modalInstance you can look at library to how execute the code after open modal.

Don’t use $timeout like this, the $timeout can be 0, 1, 10, 30, 50, 200 or more this will depend on client computer, and the process to open modal.

Don’t use $timeout let the method tell you when you can focus 😉

I hope that this help! 🙂

Questions:
Answers:

All of the previous answer doesn’t work if the desired focus element is injected in a directive template.
The following directive fit to both simple element or directive injected element (I wrote it in typescript). it accept selector for inner focusable element. if you just need to focus the self element – don’t send any selector parameter to the directive :

module APP.Directives {

export class FocusOnLoadDirective implements ng.IDirective {
    priority = 0;
    restrict = 'A';

    constructor(private $interval:any, private $timeout:any) {

    }

    link = (scope:ng.IScope, element:JQuery, attrs:any) => {
        var _self = this;
        var intervalId:number = 0;


        var clearInterval = function () {
            if (intervalId != 0) {
                _self.$interval.cancel(intervalId);
                intervalId = 0;
            }
        };

        _self.$timeout(function(){

                intervalId = _self.$interval(function () {
                    let focusableElement = null;
                    if (attrs.focusOnLoad != '') {
                        focusableElement = element.find(attrs.focusOnLoad);
                    }
                    else {
                        focusableElement = element;
                    }
                    console.debug('focusOnLoad directive: trying to focus');
                    focusableElement.focus();
                    if (document.activeElement === focusableElement[0]) {
                        clearInterval();
                    }
                }, 100);

                scope.$on('$destroy', function () {
                    // Make sure that the interval is destroyed too
                    clearInterval();
                });

        });
    };

    public static factory = ():ng.IDirectiveFactory => {
        let directive = ($interval:any, $timeout:any) => new FocusOnLoadDirective($interval, $timeout);
        directive.$inject = ['$interval', '$timeout'];
        return directive;
    };
}

angular.module('common').directive('focusOnLoad', FocusOnLoadDirective.factory());

}

usage example for simple element:

<button tabindex="0" focus-on-load />

usage example for inner element (usually for dynamic injected element like directive with template):

<my-directive focus-on-load="input" />

you can use any jQuery selector instead of “input”

Questions:
Answers:

This is also possible to use ngModelController. Working with 1.6+ (don’t know with older versions).

HTML

<form name="myForm">
    <input type="text" name="myText" ng-model="myText">
</form>

JS

$scope.myForm.myText.$$element.focus();

N.B.: Depending of the context, you maybe have to wrap in a timeout function.

N.B.²: When using controllerAs, this is almost the same. Just replace name="myForm" with name="vm.myForm" and in JS, vm.myForm.myText.$$element.focus();.

Questions:
Answers:

I want to contribute to this discussion after searching for at better solution and not finding it, having to create it instead.

Criteria:
1. Solution should be independent of parent controller scope to increase re-usability.
2. Avoid the use of $watch to monitor some condition, this is both slow, increases the size of the digest loop and makes testing harder.
3. Avoid $timeout or $scope.$apply() to trigger a digest loop.
4. An input element is present within the element where the Directive is used open.

This is the solution I liked the most:

Directive:

.directive('focusInput', [ function () {
    return {
        scope: {},
        restrict: 'A',
        compile: function(elem, attr) {
            elem.bind('click', function() {
                elem.find('input').focus();                
            });
        }        
    };
}]);

Html:

 <div focus-input>
     <input/>
 </div>

I hope this will help someone out there!

Questions:
Answers:

Probably, the simplest solution on the ES6 age.

Adding following one liner directive makes HTML ‘autofocus’ attribute effective on Angular.js.

.directive('autofocus', ($timeout) => ({link: (_, e) => $timeout(() => e[0].focus())}))

Now, you can just use HTML5 autofocus syntax like:

<input type="text" autofocus>

Questions:
Answers:

It’s easy.. try this

html

<select id="ddl00">  
 <option>"test 01"</option>  
</select>

javascript

document.getElementById("ddl00").focus();

Questions:
Answers:

I think the directive is unnecessary. Use HTML id and class attributes to select the required element and have the service use document.getElementById or document.querySelector to apply focus (or jQuery equivalents).

Markup is standard HTML/angular directives with added id/classes for selection

<input id="myInput" type="text" ng-model="myInputModel" />

Controller broadcasts event

$scope.$emit('ui:focus', '#myInput');

In UI service uses querySelector – if there are multiple matches (say due to class) it will only return the first

$rootScope.$on('ui:focus', function($event, selector){
  var elem = document.querySelector(selector);
  if (elem) {
    elem.focus();
  }
});

You may want to use $timeout() to force a digest cycle

Questions:
Answers:

Just throwing in some coffee.

app.directive 'ngAltFocus', ->
    restrict: 'A'
    scope: ngAltFocus: '='
    link: (scope, el, attrs) ->
        scope.$watch 'ngAltFocus', (nv) -> el[0].focus() if nv

Questions:
Answers:

Not sure if relying on the timeout is a good idea, but this works for ng-repeat because this code runs AFTER angularjs updates the DOM, so you make sure all objects are there:

myApp.directive('onLastRepeat', [function () {
        return function (scope, element, attrs) {
            if (scope.$last) setTimeout(function () {
                scope.$emit('onRepeatLast', element, attrs);
            }, 1);
        };
    }]);
    //controller for grid
    myApp.controller('SimpleController', ['$scope', '$timeout', '$http', function ($scope, $timeout, $http)
    {
        var newItemRemoved = false;
        var requiredAlert = false;
        //this event fires up when angular updates the dom for the last item
        //it's observed, so here, we stop the progress bar
        $scope.$on('onRepeatLast', function (scope, element, attrs) {
            //$scope.complete();
            console.log('done done!');
            $("#txtFirstName").focus();
        });
    }]);