Creating an edit-in-place in AngularJS

August 11, 2015

Today we are going to create an edit in place directive for angularjs. Here you got a demo so you can see what it’s about or if you already have some knowledge about angular and just only want to read the code here its the repository

So, lets start building things. First, we need a simple structure for our project, and angular attributes so we can bootstrap it.

<!doctype html>
<html lang="en" ng-app="App">
	<meta charset="UTF-8">
	<script src=""></script>
<body ng-controller="main">

Now, we have to create our controller so we can bootstrap our app, and add an scope var to store our model.

var App = angular.module('App', [] );
	App.controller('main', function( $scope ){
		$ = 'Federico';

Then, we need to create a new file called edit-in-place.js where we are going to make our directive (im going to explain it after)

var App = angular.module('EditInPlace', []);
App.directive("clickToEdit", function() {
	var editorTemplate = '<div class="click-to-edit">' +
							'<div ng-hide="view.editorEnabled" ng-click="enableEditor()" class="click-to-edit-value">' +
								'{{value}} ' +
							'</div>' +
							'<div ng-show="view.editorEnabled">' +
								'<input class="click-to-edit-input" ng-model="view.editableValue">' +
								'<a ng-click="save()" class="click-to-edit-btn save">Save</a>' +
								'<a ng-click="disableEditor()" class="click-to-edit-btn close">Cancel</a>.' +
							'</div>' +

	return {
		restrict: "A",
		replace: true,
		template: editorTemplate,
		scope: {
			value: "=clickToEdit",
		controller: function($scope, $element) {
			$scope.view = {
				editableValue: $scope.value,
				editorEnabled: false

			$scope.enableEditor = function() {
				$scope.view.editorEnabled = true;
				$scope.view.editableValue = $scope.value;

			$scope.disableEditor = function() {
				$scope.view.editorEnabled = false;

			$ = function() {
				$scope.value = $scope.view.editableValue;

Now im going to explain whats happening here.

In the first line, we are creating a module name EditInPlace to store our directive, and in the following one, we are declarating our directive called clickToEdit. After that, we declare a var with our template, which works the following way.

  • When the editor is disabled, we hide our first div which yous our value, and when clicked, we enable the editor.
  • When the editor is enabled, we show the second div which is our editor. It has an input binded to the model editableValue. And then the two inputs for Save and cancel.

In our directive declaration we have to return an object with some properties ( You can read the docs for more info ), here we are returning the following ones:

  • restrict: Here we define if our directive is restricted to an Attribute (A) , Element (E) or Class (C). In our case we are going to use attributes
  • replace: Here we’re telling angular to replace our element with our defined template
  • template: I think its self explained, but in case not, it defines our directive template
  • scope: This is one of the most imporant things in our template, here we are retrieving the attribute called click-to-edit and two-ways binding it to our scope, so whatever change made to it, will be reflected everywhere.
  • controller: Here we define our controller functions. First, we set the editor as disabled, and store our attributed passed. Then we define our 3 main functions.
    • enableEditor: Here we set the editor as enabled, and retrieve the current value to our internal model.
    • disableEditor: We disable our editor (Really?)
    • save: Here we set our value to the current internal value and disable the editor.

Now, we have to append our script and inject it, so after our angular injection we are going to add our current file

<script src=""></script>
<script src="edit-in-place.js"></script>

And in our app declaration we have to insert it as a dependency

var App = angular.module('Ingresos', ['EditInPlace'] );

Now we only need to add an element, add our new attribute and pass it our model of our scope

<span click-to-edit="name"></span>

Leave your comment on the github issue, sending me an email or DMing me on twitter