Is it possible to make a Tree View with Angular?

The question:

I’m looking to display data in a tree structure in a web app. I was hoping to use Angular for this task.

Looks like ng-repeat will allow me to iterate through a list of nodes, but how can I then do nesting when a given node’s depth increases?

I tried the following code, but the auto-escaping of the HTML is preventing this from working. Plus, the end ul tag is in the wrong place.

I’m pretty sure that I’m going about this problem entirely the wrong way.

Any ideas?

The Solutions:

Below are the methods you can try. The first solution is probably the best. Try others if the first one doesn’t work. Senior developers aren’t just copying/pasting – they read the methods carefully & apply them wisely to each case.

Method 1

Have a look at this fiddle

Original: http://jsfiddle.net/brendanowen/uXbn6/8/

Updated: http://jsfiddle.net/animaxf/uXbn6/4779/

This should give you a good idea of how to display a tree like structure using angular. It is kind of using recursion in html!

Method 2

If you are using Bootstrap CSS…

I have created a simple re-usable tree control (directive) for AngularJS based on a Bootstrap “nav” list. I added extra indentation, icons, and animation. HTML attributes are used for configuration.

It does not use recursion.

I called it angular-bootstrap-nav-tree ( catchy name, don’t you think? )

There is an example here, and the source is here.

Method 3

When making something like this the best solution is an recursive directive. However, when you make such an directive you find out that AngularJS gets into an endless loop.

The solution for this is to let the directive remove the element during the compile event, and manually compile and add them in the link events.

I found out about this in this thread, and abstracted this functionality into a service.

module.factory('RecursionHelper', ['$compile', function($compile){
    return {
        /**
         * Manually compiles the element, fixing the recursion loop.
         * @param element
         * @param [link] A post-link function, or an object with function(s) registered via pre and post properties.
         * @returns An object containing the linking functions.
         */
        compile: function(element, link){
            // Normalize the link parameter
            if(angular.isFunction(link)){
                link = { post: link };
            }

            // Break the recursion loop by removing the contents
            var contents = element.contents().remove();
            var compiledContents;
            return {
                pre: (link && link.pre) ? link.pre : null,
                /**
                 * Compiles and re-adds the contents
                 */
                post: function(scope, element){
                    // Compile the contents
                    if(!compiledContents){
                        compiledContents = $compile(contents);
                    }
                    // Re-add the compiled contents to the element
                    compiledContents(scope, function(clone){
                        element.append(clone);
                    });

                    // Call the post-linking function, if any
                    if(link && link.post){
                        link.post.apply(null, arguments);
                    }
                }
            };
        }
    };
}]);

With this service you can easily make a tree directive (or other recursive directives). Here is an example of an tree directive:

module.directive("tree", function(RecursionHelper) {
    return {
        restrict: "E",
        scope: {family: '='},
        template: 
            '<p>{{ family.name }}</p>'+
            '<ul>' + 
                '<li ng-repeat="child in family.children">' + 
                    '<tree family="child"></tree>' +
                '</li>' +
            '</ul>',
        compile: function(element) {
            return RecursionHelper.compile(element);
        }
    };
});

See this Plunker for a demo.
I like this solution best because:

  1. You don’t need an special directive which makes your html less clean.
  2. The recursion logic is abstracted away into the RecursionHelper service, so you keep your directives clean.

Update: Added support for a custom linking functions.

Method 4

angular-ui-tree seems to do a good job for me

Method 5

Here is an example using a recursive directive: http://jsfiddle.net/n8dPm/
Taken from https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/angular/vswXTes_FtM

module.directive("tree", function($compile) {
return {
    restrict: "E",
    scope: {family: '='},
    template: 
        '<p>{{ family.name }}</p>'+
        '<ul>' + 
            '<li ng-repeat="child in family.children">' + 
                '<tree family="child"></tree>' +
            '</li>' +
        '</ul>',
    compile: function(tElement, tAttr) {
        var contents = tElement.contents().remove();
        var compiledContents;
        return function(scope, iElement, iAttr) {
            if(!compiledContents) {
                compiledContents = $compile(contents);
            }
            compiledContents(scope, function(clone, scope) {
                     iElement.append(clone); 
            });
        };
    }
};
});

Method 6

This one seems a bit more complete: https://github.com/dump247/angular.tree

Method 7

Another example based off the original source, with a sample tree structure already in place (easier to see how it works IMO) and a filter to search the tree:

JSFiddle

Method 8

So many great solutions, but I feel they all in one way or another over-complicate things a bit.

I wanted to create something that recreated the simplicity of @Mark Lagendijk’s awnser, but without it defining a template in the directive, but rather would let the “user” create the template in HTML…

With ideas taken from https://github.com/stackfull/angular-tree-repeat etc… I ended up with creating the project: https://github.com/dotJEM/angular-tree

Which allows you to build your tree like:

<ul dx-start-with="rootNode">
  <li ng-repeat="node in $dxPrior.nodes">
    {{ node.name }}
    <ul dx-connect="node"/>
  </li>
</ul>

Which to me is cleaner than having to create multiple directives for differently structured trees…. In essence calling the above a tree is a bit false, it picks much more off from @ganaraj’s awnser of “recursive templates”, but allows us to define the template where we need the tree.

(you could do that with a script tag based template, but it still has to sit right outside the actual tree node, and it still just feels a bit yuk…)

Left here for just another choice…

Method 9

You can try with Angular-Tree-DnD sample with Angular-Ui-Tree, but i edited, compatibility with table, grid, list.

  • Able Drag & Drop
  • Extended function directive for list (next, prev, getChildren,…)
  • Filter data.
  • OrderBy (ver)

Method 10

Based on @ganaraj ‘s answer, and @dnc253 ‘s answer, I just made a simple “directive” for the tree structure having selecting, adding, deleting, and editing feature.

Jsfiddle: http://jsfiddle.net/yoshiokatsuneo/9dzsms7y/

HTML:

<script type="text/ng-template" id="tree_item_renderer.html">
    <div class="node"  ng-class="{selected: data.selected}" ng-click="select(data)">
        <span ng-click="data.hide=!data.hide" style="display:inline-block; width:10px;">
            <span ng-show="data.hide && data.nodes.length > 0" class="fa fa-caret-right">+</span>
            <span ng-show="!data.hide && data.nodes.length > 0" class="fa fa-caret-down">-</span>
        </span>
        <span ng-show="!data.editting" ng-dblclick="edit($event)" >{{data.name}}</span>
        <span ng-show="data.editting"><input ng-model="data.name" ng-blur="unedit()" ng-focus="f()"></input></span>
        <button ng-click="add(data)">Add node</button>
        <button ng-click="delete(data)" ng-show="data.parent">Delete node</button>
    </div>
    <ul ng-show="!data.hide" style="list-style-type: none; padding-left: 15px">
        <li ng-repeat="data in data.nodes">
            <recursive><sub-tree data="data"></sub-tree></recursive>
        </li>
    </ul>
</script>
<ul ng-app="Application" style="list-style-type: none; padding-left: 0">
    <tree data='{name: "Node", nodes: [],show:true}'></tree>
</ul>

JavaScript:

angular.module("myApp",[]);

/* https://stackoverflow.com/a/14657310/1309218 */
angular.module("myApp").
directive("recursive", function($compile) {
    return {
        restrict: "EACM",
        require: '^tree',
        priority: 100000,

        compile: function(tElement, tAttr) {
            var contents = tElement.contents().remove();
            var compiledContents;
            return function(scope, iElement, iAttr) {
                if(!compiledContents) {
                    compiledContents = $compile(contents);
                }
                compiledContents(scope, 
                                     function(clone) {
                         iElement.append(clone);
                                         });
            };
        }
    };
});

angular.module("myApp").
directive("subTree", function($timeout) {
    return {
        restrict: 'EA',
        require: '^tree',
        templateUrl: 'tree_item_renderer.html',
        scope: {
            data: '=',
        },
        link: function(scope, element, attrs, treeCtrl) {
            scope.select = function(){
                treeCtrl.select(scope.data);
            };
            scope.delete = function() {
                scope.data.parent.nodes.splice(scope.data.parent.nodes.indexOf(scope.data), 1);
            };
            scope.add = function() {
                var post = scope.data.nodes.length + 1;
                var newName = scope.data.name + '-' + post;
                scope.data.nodes.push({name: newName,nodes: [],show:true, parent: scope.data});
            };
            scope.edit = function(event){
                scope.data.editting = true;
                $timeout(function(){event.target.parentNode.querySelector('input').focus();});
            };
            scope.unedit = function(){
                scope.data.editting = false;
            };

        }
    };
});


angular.module("myApp").
directive("tree", function(){
    return {
        restrict: 'EA',
        template: '<sub-tree data="data" root="data"></sub-tree>',
        controller: function($scope){
            this.select = function(data){
                if($scope.selected){
                    $scope.selected.selected = false;
                }
                data.selected = true;
                $scope.selected = data;
            };
        },
        scope: {
            data: '=',
        }
    }
});

Method 11

Yes it definitely possible. The question here probably assumes Angular 1.x, but for future reference I am including an Angular 2 example:

Conceptually all you have to do is create a recursive template:

<ul>
    <li *for="#dir of directories">

        <span><input type="checkbox" [checked]="dir.checked" (click)="dir.check()"    /></span> 
        <span (click)="dir.toggle()">{{ dir.name }}</span>

        <div *if="dir.expanded">
            <ul *for="#file of dir.files">
                {{file}}
            </ul>
            <tree-view [directories]="dir.directories"></tree-view>
        </div>
    </li>
</ul>

You then bind a tree object to the template and let Angular work its magic. This concept is obviously applicable to Angular 1.x as well.

Here is a complete example: http://www.syntaxsuccess.com/viewarticle/recursive-treeview-in-angular-2.0

Method 12

You can use angular-recursion-injector for that: https://github.com/knyga/angular-recursion-injector

Allows you to do unlimited depth nesting with conditioning. Does recompilation only if needed and compiles only right elements. No magic in code.

<div class="node">
  <span>{{name}}</span>

  <node--recursion recursion-if="subNode" ng-model="subNode"></node--recursion>
</div>

One of the things that allows it to work faster and simpler then the other solutions is “–recursion” suffix.

Method 13

When the tree structure is large, Angular (up to 1.4.x) becomes very slow at rendering a recursive template. After trying a number of these suggestions, I ended up creating a simple HTML string and using ng-bind-html to display it. Of course, this is not the way to use Angular features

A bare-bones recursive function is shown here (with minimal HTML):

function menu_tree(menu, prefix) {
    var html = '<div>' + prefix + menu.menu_name + ' - ' + menu.menu_desc + '</div>n';
    if (!menu.items) return html;
    prefix += menu.menu_name + '/';
    for (var i=0; i<menu.items.length; ++i) {
        var item = menu.items[i];
        html += menu_tree(item, prefix);
    }
    return html;
}
// Generate the tree view and tell Angular to trust this HTML
$scope.html_menu = $sce.trustAsHtml(menu_tree(menu, ''));

In the template, it only needs this one line:

<div ng-bind-html="html_menu"></div>

This bypasses all of Angular’s data binding and simply displays the HTML in a fraction of the time of the recursive template methods.

With a menu structure like this (a partial file tree of a Linux file system):

menu = {menu_name: '', menu_desc: 'root', items: [
            {menu_name: 'bin', menu_desc: 'Essential command binaries', items: [
                {menu_name: 'arch', menu_desc: 'print machine architecture'},
                {menu_name: 'bash', menu_desc: 'GNU Bourne-Again SHell'},
                {menu_name: 'cat', menu_desc: 'concatenate and print files'},
                {menu_name: 'date', menu_desc: 'display or set date and time'},
                {menu_name: '...', menu_desc: 'other files'}
            ]},
            {menu_name: 'boot', menu_desc: 'Static files of the boot loader'},
            {menu_name: 'dev', menu_desc: 'Device files'},
            {menu_name: 'etc', menu_desc: 'Host-specific system configuration'},
            {menu_name: 'lib', menu_desc: 'Essential shared libraries and kernel modules'},
            {menu_name: 'media', menu_desc: 'Mount point for removable media'},
            {menu_name: 'mnt', menu_desc: 'Mount point for mounting a filesystem temporarily'},
            {menu_name: 'opt', menu_desc: 'Add-on application software packages'},
            {menu_name: 'sbin', menu_desc: 'Essential system binaries'},
            {menu_name: 'srv', menu_desc: 'Data for services provided by this system'},
            {menu_name: 'tmp', menu_desc: 'Temporary files'},
            {menu_name: 'usr', menu_desc: 'Secondary hierarchy', items: [
                {menu_name: 'bin', menu_desc: 'user utilities and applications'},
                {menu_name: 'include', menu_desc: ''},
                {menu_name: 'local', menu_desc: '', items: [
                    {menu_name: 'bin', menu_desc: 'local user binaries'},
                    {menu_name: 'games', menu_desc: 'local user games'}
                ]},
                {menu_name: 'sbin', menu_desc: ''},
                {menu_name: 'share', menu_desc: ''},
                {menu_name: '...', menu_desc: 'other files'}
            ]},
            {menu_name: 'var', menu_desc: 'Variable data'}
        ]
       }

The output becomes:

- root
/bin - Essential command binaries
/bin/arch - print machine architecture
/bin/bash - GNU Bourne-Again SHell
/bin/cat - concatenate and print files
/bin/date - display or set date and time
/bin/... - other files
/boot - Static files of the boot loader
/dev - Device files
/etc - Host-specific system configuration
/lib - Essential shared libraries and kernel modules
/media - Mount point for removable media
/mnt - Mount point for mounting a filesystem temporarily
/opt - Add-on application software packages
/sbin - Essential system binaries
/srv - Data for services provided by this system
/tmp - Temporary files
/usr - Secondary hierarchy
/usr/bin - user utilities and applications
/usr/include -
/usr/local -
/usr/local/bin - local user binaries
/usr/local/games - local user games
/usr/sbin -
/usr/share -
/usr/... - other files
/var - Variable data

Method 14

Not complicated.

<div ng-app="Application" ng-controller="TreeController">
    <table>
        <thead>
            <tr>
                <th>col 1</th>
                <th>col 2</th>
                <th>col 3</th>
            </tr>
        </thead>
        <tbody ng-repeat="item in tree">
            <tr>
                <td>{{item.id}}</td>
                <td>{{item.fname}}</td>
                <td>{{item.lname}}</td>
            </tr>
            <tr ng-repeat="children in item.child">
                <td style="padding-left:15px;">{{children.id}}</td>
                <td>{{children.fname}}</td>
            </tr>
        </tbody>
     </table>
</div>

controller code:

angular.module("myApp", []).
controller("TreeController", ['$scope', function ($scope) {
    $scope.tree = [{
        id: 1,
        fname: "tree",
        child: [{
            id: 1,
            fname: "example"
        }],
        lname: "grid"
    }];


}]);


All methods was sourced from stackoverflow.com or stackexchange.com, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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