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Creates a link tag of the given name using a URL created by the set of options. Please see documentation for link_to, as active_link_to is basically a wrapper for it. This method accepts an optional :active parameter that dictates if the given link will have an extra css class attached that marks it as 'active'.


When installing for Rails 3 applications add this to the Gemfile: gem 'active_link_to' and run bundle install.

For older Rails apps add config.gem 'active_link_to' in config/environment.rb and run rake gems:install. Or just checkout this repo into /vendor/plugins directory.

Super Simple Example

Here's a link that will have a class attached if it happens to be rendered on page with path /users or any child of that page, like /users/123

active_link_to 'Users', '/users'
# => <a href="/users" class="active">Users</a>

This is exactly the same as:

active_link_to 'Users', '/users', :active => :inclusive
# => <a href="/users" class="active">Users</a>

Active Options

Here's a list of available options that can be used as the :active value

* Boolean                 -> true | false
* Symbol                  -> :exclusive | :inclusive | :exact
* Regex                   -> /regex/
* Controller/Action Pair  -> [[:controller], [:action_a, :action_b]]

More Examples

Most of the functionality of active_link_to depends on the current url. Specifically, request.fullpath value. We covered the basic example already, so let's try something more fun.

We want to highlight a link that matches immediate url, but not the children nodes. Most commonly used for 'home' links.

# For URL: /users will be active
active_link_to 'Users', users_path, :active => :exclusive
# => <a href="/users" class="active">Users</a>
# But for URL: /users/123 it will not be active
active_link_to 'Users', users_path, :active => :exclusive
# => <a href="/users">Users</a>

If we need to set link to be active based on some regular expression, we can do that as well. Let's try to activate links urls of which begin with 'use':

active_link_to 'Users', users_path, :active => /^\/use/

If we need to set link to be active based on an exact match, we can do that as well:

active_link_to 'Users', users_path, :active => :exact

What if we need to mark link active for all URLs that match a particular controller, or action, or both? Or any number of those at the same time? Sure, why not:

# For matching multiple controllers and actions:
active_link_to 'User Edit', edit_user_path(@user), :active => [['people', 'news'], ['show', 'edit']]

# for matching all actions under given controllers:
active_link_to 'User Edit', edit_user_path(@user), :active => [['people', 'news'], []]

# for matching all controllers for a particular action
active_link_to 'User Edit', edit_user_path(@user), :active => [[], ['edit']]

Sometimes it should be as easy as giving link true or false value:

active_link_to 'Users', users_path, :active => true

More Options

You can specify active and inactive css classes for links:

active_link_to 'Users', users_path, :class_active => 'enabled'
# => <a href="/users" class="enabled">Users</a>

active_link_to 'News', news_path, :class_inactive => 'disabled'
# => <a href="/news" class="disabled">News</a>

Sometimes you want to replace link tag with a span if it's active:

active_link_to 'Users', users_path, :active_disable => true
# => <span class="active">Users</span>

If you are constructing navigation menu it might be helpful to wrap links in another tag, like <li>:

active_link_to 'Users', users_path, :wrap_tag => :li
# => <li class="active"><a href="/users" class="active">Users</a></li>

Helper Methods

You may directly use methods that active_link_to relies on.

is_active_link? will return true or false based on the URL and value of the :active parameter:

is_active_link?(users_path, :inclusive)
# => true

active_link_to_class will return the css class:

active_link_to_class(users_path, :active => :inclusive)
# => 'active'


Copyright (c) 2009-15 Oleg Khabarov, The Working Group Inc. See LICENSE for details.