Jeremy Bell Jeremy Bell - 1 month ago 9x
AngularJS Question

How to do two-way filtering in angular.js?

One of the interesting things Angular.js can do is apply a filter to a particular databinding expression, which is a convenient way to apply, for example, culture-specific currency or date formatting of a model's properties. It is also nice to have computed properties on the scope. The problem is that neither of these features work with two-way databinding scenarios - only one-way databinding from the scope to the view. This seems to be a glaring omission in an otherwise excellent library - or am I missing something?

In KnockoutJS, I could create a read/write computed property, which allowed me to specify a pair of functions, one which is called to get the value of the property, and one which is called when the property is set. This allowed me to implement, for example, culture-aware input - letting the user type "$1.24" and parsing that into a float in the ViewModel, and have changes in the ViewModel reflected in the input.

The closest thing I could find similar to this is the use of

$scope.$watch(propertyName, functionOrNGExpression);
This allows me to have a function invoked when a property in the
changes. But this doesn't solve, for example, the culture-aware input problem. Notice the problems when I try to modify the
property within the
method itself:

$scope.$watch("property", function (newValue, oldValue) {
$scope.outputMessage = "oldValue: " + oldValue + " newValue: " + newValue;
$ = Globalize.parseFloat(newValue);


The input element gets very confused when the user starts typing. I improved it by splitting the property into two properties, one for the unparsed value and one for the parsed value:

$scope.visibleProperty= 0.0;
$scope.hiddenProperty = 0.0;
$scope.$watch("visibleProperty", function (newValue, oldValue) {
$scope.outputMessage = "oldValue: " + oldValue + " newValue: " + newValue;
$scope.hiddenProperty = Globalize.parseFloat(newValue);


This was an improvement over the first version, but is a bit more verbose, and notice that there is still an issue of the
property of the scope changes (type something in the second input, which changes the
directly. notice the top input does not update). This might happen from a controller action or from loading data from a data service.

Is there some easier way to implement this scenario using Angular.js? Am I missing some functionality in the documentation?


It turns out that there's a very elegant solution to this, but it's not well documented.

Formatting model values for display can be handled by the | operator and an angular formatter. It turns out that the ngModel that has not only a list of formatters but also a list of parsers.

1. Use ng-model to create the two-way data binding

<input type="text" ng-model=""></input>

2. Create a directive in your angular module that will be applied to the same element and that depends on the ngModel controller

module.directive('lowercase', function() {
    return {
        restrict: 'A',
        require: 'ngModel',
        link: function(scope, element, attr, ngModel) {

3. Within the link method, add your custom converters to the ngModel controller

function fromUser(text) {
    return (text || '').toUpperCase();

function toUser(text) {
    return (text || '').toLowerCase();

4. Add your new directive to the same element that already has the ngModel

<input type="text" lowercase ng-model=""></input>

Here's a working example that transforms text to lowercase in the input and back to uppercase in the model

The API Documentation for the Model Controller also has a brief explanation and an overview of the other available methods.