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Simple Mode

Ransack can be used in one of two modes, simple or advanced. For searching/filtering not requiring complex boolean logic, Ransack's simple mode should meet your needs.

In your controller

def index
@q = Person.ransack(params[:q])
@people = @q.result(distinct: true)

or without distinct: true, for sorting on an associated table's columns (in this example, with preloading each Person's Articles and pagination):

def index
@q = Person.ransack(params[:q])
@people = @q.result.includes(:articles).page(params[:page])

Default search options

Search parameter

Ransack uses a default :q param key for search params. This may be changed by setting the search_key option in a Ransack initializer file (typically config/initializers/ransack.rb):

Ransack.configure do |c|
# Change default search parameter key name.
# Default key name is :q
c.search_key = :query

After version 2.4.0 when searching a string query Ransack by default strips all whitespace around the query string. This may be disabled by setting the strip_whitespace option in a Ransack initializer file:

Ransack.configure do |c|
# Change whitespace stripping behavior.
# Default is true
c.strip_whitespace = false

In your view

The two primary Ransack view helpers are search_form_for and sort_link, which are defined in Ransack::Helpers::FormHelper.

Form helper

Ransack's search_form_for helper replaces form_for for creating the view search form

<%= search_form_for @q do |f| %>

# Search if the name field contains...
<%= f.label :name_cont %>
<%= f.search_field :name_cont %>

# Search if an associated articles.title starts with...
<%= f.label :articles_title_start %>
<%= f.search_field :articles_title_start %>

# Attributes may be chained. Search multiple attributes for one value...
<%= f.label :name_or_description_or_email_or_articles_title_cont %>
<%= f.search_field :name_or_description_or_email_or_articles_title_cont %>

<%= f.submit %>
<% end %>

The argument of f.search_field has to be in this form: attribute_name[_or_attribute_name]..._predicate

where [_or_another_attribute_name]... means any repetition of _or_ plus the name of the attribute.

cont (contains) and start (starts with) are just two of the available search predicates.

The search_form_for answer format can be set like this:

<%= search_form_for(@q, format: :pdf) do |f| %>

<%= search_form_for(@q, format: :json) do |f| %>

Ransack's sort_link helper creates table headers that are sortable links

<%= sort_link(@q, :name) %>

Additional options can be passed after the column parameter, like a different column title or a default sort order.

If the first option after the column parameter is a String, it's considered a custom label for the link:

<%= sort_link(@q, :name, 'Last Name', default_order: :desc) %>

You can use a block if the link markup is hard to fit into the label parameter:

<%= sort_link(@q, :name) do %>
<strong>Player Name</strong>
<% end %>

With a polymorphic association, you may need to specify the name of the link explicitly to avoid an uninitialized constant Model::Xxxable error (see issue #421):

<%= sort_link(@q, :xxxable_of_Ymodel_type_some_attribute, 'Attribute Name') %>

If the first option after the column parameter and/or the label parameter is an Array, it will be used for sorting on multiple fields:

<%= sort_link(@q, :last_name, [:last_name, 'first_name asc'], 'Last Name') %>

In the example above, clicking the link will sort by last_name and then first_name. Specifying the sort direction on a field in the array tells Ransack to always sort that particular field in the specified direction.

Multiple default_order fields may also be specified with a trailing options Hash:

<%= sort_link(@q, :last_name, %i(last_name first_name),
default_order: { last_name: 'asc', first_name: 'desc' }) %>

This example toggles the sort directions of both fields, by default initially sorting the last_name field by ascending order, and the first_name field by descending order.

In the case that you wish to sort by some complex value, such as the result of a SQL function, you may do so using scopes. In your model, define scopes whose names line up with the name of the virtual field you wish to sort by, as so:

class Person < ActiveRecord::Base
scope :sort_by_reverse_name_asc, lambda { order("REVERSE(name) ASC") }
scope :sort_by_reverse_name_desc, lambda { order("REVERSE(name) DESC") }

and you can then sort by this virtual field:

<%= sort_link(@q, :reverse_name) %>

The trailing options Hash can also be used for passing additional options to the generated link, like class:.

The sort link order indicator arrows may be globally customized by setting a custom_arrows option in an initializer file like config/initializers/ransack.rb.

You can also enable a default_arrow which is displayed on all sortable fields which are not currently used in the sorting. This is disabled by default so nothing will be displayed:

Ransack.configure do |c|
c.custom_arrows = {
up_arrow: '<i class="custom-up-arrow-icon"></i>',
down_arrow: 'U+02193',
default_arrow: '<i class="default-arrow-icon"></i>'

All sort links may be displayed without the order indicator arrows by setting hide_sort_order_indicators to true in the initializer file. Note that this hides the arrows even if they were customized:

Ransack.configure do |c|
c.hide_sort_order_indicators = true

Without setting it globally, individual sort links may be displayed without the order indicator arrow by passing hide_indicator: true in the sort link:

<%= sort_link(@q, :name, hide_indicator: true) %>


Ransack's sort_url helper is like a sort_link but returns only the url

sort_url has the same API as sort_link:

<%= sort_url(@q, :name, default_order: :desc) %>
<%= sort_url(@q, :last_name, [:last_name, 'first_name asc']) %>
<%= sort_url(@q, :last_name, %i(last_name first_name),
default_order: { last_name: 'asc', first_name: 'desc' }) %>

PostgreSQL's sort option

The NULLS FIRST and NULLS LAST options can be used to determine whether nulls appear before or after non-null values in the sort ordering.

You may want to configure it like this:

Ransack.configure do |c|
c.postgres_fields_sort_option = :nulls_first # or :nulls_last

To treat nulls as having the lowest or highest value respectively. To force nulls to always be first or last, use

Ransack.configure do |c|
c.postgres_fields_sort_option = :nulls_always_first # or :nulls_always_last

See this feature:

Case Insensitive Sorting in PostgreSQL

In order to request PostgreSQL to do a case insensitive sort for all string columns of a model at once, Ransack can be extended by using this approach:

module RansackObject

def self.included(base)
base.columns.each do |column|
if column.type == :string
base.ransacker, type: :string do
class UserWithManyAttributes < ActiveRecord::Base
include RansackObject

If this approach is taken, it is advisable to add a functional index.

This was originally asked in a Ransack issue and a solution was found on Stack Overflow.