A Symfony bundle that integrates Select2 as a drop-in replacement for a standard entity field on a Symfony form.

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v3.1.0 2020-09-28 11:42 UTC



This is a Symfony bundle which enables the popular Select2 component to be used as a drop-in replacement for a standard entity field on a Symfony form.

It works with Symfony 4 and 5. For Symfony 2 and 3, please use version or 2.x of the bundle. For Select2 4.0 and above. For older versions, use version 1.x of the bundle (not compatible with Symfony 5).

The main feature that this bundle provides compared with the standard Symfony entity field (rendered with a html select) is that the list is retrieved via a remote ajax call. This means that the list can be of almost unlimited size. The only limitation is the performance of the database query or whatever that retrieves the data in the remote web service.

It works with both single and multiple selections. If the form is editing a Symfony entity then these modes correspond with many to one and many to many relationships. In multiple mode, most people find the Select2 user interface easier to use than a standard select tag with multiple=true with involves awkward use of the ctrl key etc.

The project was inspired by lifo/typeahead-bundle which uses the Typeahead component in Bootstrap 2 to provide similar functionality. Select2Entity can be used anywhere Select2 can be installed, including Bootstrap 3.

Thanks to @ismailbaskin we now have Select2 version 4 compatibility.


This is a form with a single selection field list expanded.

Single select example

This is a form with a multiple selection field list expanded.

Multiple select example


Select2 must be installed and working first. I hope to setup a demo site but my setup is basically BraincraftedBootstrapBundle with Select2 installed for Bootstrap 3. Once the Braincrafted bundle is working, the only files I've needed to install are:

select2.js, select2.css from https://github.com/select2/select2/tree/4.0.0

select2-bootstrap.css from https://github.com/t0m/select2-bootstrap-css/tree/bootstrap3. That gets it working for Bootstrap 3.

These files live in the Resources/public/js and Resources/public/css folders of one of my bundles and then included in my main layout.html.twig file.

Alternatively, minified versions of select2.js and select2.css can be loaded from the CloudFlare CDN using the two lines of code given here: https://select2.github.io. Make sure the script tag comes after where jQuery is loaded. That might be in the page footer.

  • Add tetranz/select2entity-bundle to your projects composer.json "requires" section:
    // ...
    "require": {
        // ...
        "tetranz/select2entity-bundle": "2.*"

Note that this only works with Select2 version 4. If you are using Select2 version 3.X please use "tetranz/select2entity-bundle": "1.*" in composer.json

  • Run php composer.phar update tetranz/select2entity-bundle in your project root.
  • Update your project config/bundles.php file and add this bundle to the $bundles array:
$bundles = [
    // ...
    Tetranz\Select2EntityBundle\TetranzSelect2EntityBundle::class => ['all' => true]
  • Update your project config/packages/twig.yaml file to provide global twig form templates:
        - '@TetranzSelect2Entity/Form/fields.html.twig'

* Load the Javascript on the page. The simplest way is to add the following to your layout file. Don't forget to run console assets:install. Alternatively, do something more sophisticated with Assetic.
<script src="{{ asset('bundles/tetranzselect2entity/js/select2entity.js') }}"></script>

How to use

The following is for Symfony 4. See https://github.com/tetranz/select2entity-bundle/tree/v2.1 for Symfony 2/3 configuration and use.

Select2Entity is simple to use. In the buildForm method of a form type class, specify Select2EntityType::class as the type where you would otherwise use entity:class.

Here's an example:

   ->add('country', Select2EntityType::class, [
            'multiple' => true,
            'remote_route' => 'tetranz_test_default_countryquery',
            'remote_params' => [], // static route parameters for request->query
            'class' => '\Tetranz\TestBundle\Entity\Country',
            'primary_key' => 'id',
            'text_property' => 'name',
            'minimum_input_length' => 2,
            'page_limit' => 10,
            'allow_clear' => true,
            'delay' => 250,
            'cache' => true,
            'cache_timeout' => 60000, // if 'cache' is true
            'language' => 'en',
            'placeholder' => 'Select a country',
            'query_parameters' => [
                'start' => new \DateTime(),
                'end' => (new \DateTime())->modify('+5d'),
                // any other parameters you want your ajax route request->query to get, that you might want to modify dynamically
            // 'object_manager' => $objectManager, // inject a custom object / entity manager 

Put this at the top of the file with the form type class:

use Tetranz\Select2EntityBundle\Form\Type\Select2EntityType;


Defaults will be used for some if not set.

  • class is your entity class. Required
  • primary_key is the name of the property used to uniquely identify entities. Defaults to 'id'
  • text_property This is the entity property used to retrieve the text for existing data. If text_property is omitted then the entity is cast to a string. This requires it to have a __toString() method.
  • multiple True for multiple select (many to many). False for single (many to one) select.
  • minimum_input_length is the number of keys you need to hit before the search will happen. Defaults to 2.
  • page_limit This is passed as a query parameter to the remote call. It is intended to be used to limit size of the list returned. Defaults to 10.
  • scroll True will enable infinite scrolling. Defaults to false.
  • allow_clear True will cause Select2 to display a small x for clearing the value. Defaults to false.
  • allow_add Is an option array for the add tags settings of Select2. Only available when 'multiple' is true on form.
    • enabled Enables the allow new tags option. True or False. Default False.
    • new_tag_text The text that is displayed behind entities that don't exist if allow_add is true. Default is " (NEW)".
    • new_tag_prefix The prefix identifier for new tags, default is "__". Your real values must not contain these symbols in the beginning.
    • tag_separators A javascript array of delimiters to auto split the tags with.
  • delay The delay in milliseconds after a keystroke before trigging another AJAX request. Defaults to 250 ms.
  • placeholder Placeholder text.
  • language i18n language code. Defaults to en.
  • theme Defaults to 'default'.
  • cache Enable AJAX cache. Results will be cached for each 'term' queried.
  • cache_timeout How long to cache a query in milliseconds. Setting to 0 will cause the cache to never timeout (60000 = 60 seconds)
  • transformer The fully qualified class name of a custom transformer if you need that flexibility as described below.
  • autostart Determines whether or not the select2 jQuery code is called automatically on document ready. Defaults to true which provides normal operation.
  • width Sets a data-width attribute if not null. Defaults to null.
  • class_type Optional value that will be added to the ajax request as a query string parameter.
  • render_html This will render your results returned under ['html'].

The url of the remote query can be given by either of two ways: remote_route is the Symfony route. remote_params can be optionally specified to provide parameters. Alternatively, remote_path can be used to specify the url directly.

You may use query_parameters for when those remote_params have to be changeable dynamically. You may change them using $('#elem').data('query-parameters', { /* new params */ });

The defaults can be changed in your config/packages/tetranzselect2entity.yaml file with the following format.

    minimum_input_length: 2
    page_limit: 8
    allow_clear: true
    delay: 500
    language: 'fr'
    theme: 'default'
    cache: false
    cache_timeout: 0
    scroll: true
    object_manager: 'manager_alias'
    render_html: true

AJAX Response

The controller should return a JSON array in the following format. The properties must be id and text.

  { id: 1, text: 'Displayed Text 1' },
  { id: 2, text: 'Displayed Text 2' }

Infinite Scrolling

If your results are being paged via the Select2 "infinite scrolling" feature then you can either continue to return the same array as shown above (for Backwards Compatibility this bundle will automatically try to determine if more results are needed), or you can return an object shown below to have finer control over the paged results.

The more field should be true if there are more results to be loaded.

  results: [
     { id: 1, text: 'Displayed Text 1' },
     { id: 2, text: 'Displayed Text 2' }
  more: true

Your controller action that fetches the results will receive a parameter page indicating what page of results should be loaded. If you set scroll to true then you must handle the page parameter in the query. Weird things will happen if you don't.

Custom option text

If you need more flexibility in what you display as the text for each option, such as displaying the values of several fields from your entity or showing an image inside, you may define your own custom transformer. Your transformer must implement DataTransformerInterface. The easiest way is probably to extend EntityToPropertyTransformer or EntitiesToPropertyTransformer and redefine the transform() method. This way you can return as text anything you want, not just one entity property.

Here's an example that returns the country name and continent (two different properties in the Country entity):

    ->add('country', Select2EntityType::class, [
        'multiple' => true,
        'remote_route' => 'tetranz_test_default_countryquery',
        'class' => '\Tetranz\TestBundle\Entity\Country',
        'transformer' => '\Tetranz\TestBundle\Form\DataTransformer\CountryEntitiesToPropertyTransformer',

In transform sets data array like this:

$data[] = array(
    'id' => $country->getId(),
    'text' => $country->getName().' ('.$country->getContinent()->getName().')',

Your custom transformer and respectively your Ajax controller should return an array in the following format:

    { id: 1, text: 'United Kingdom (Europe)' },
    { id: 1, text: 'China (Asia)' }

If you are using the allow_add option and your entity requires other fields besides the text_property field to be valid, you will either need to extend the EntitiesToPropertyTransformer to add the missing field, create a doctrine prePersist listener, or add the missing data in the form view after submit before saving.

Add New Tags

If you want to be able to create new entities through Select2 tags, you can enable it using the allow_add set of options.

For example:

    ->add('tags', Select2EntityType::class, [
        'remote_route' => 'tetranz_test_tags',
        'class' => '\Tetranz\TestBundle\Entity\PostTags',
        'text_property' => 'name',
        'multiple' => true,
        'allow_add' => [
            'enabled' => true,
            'new_tag_text' => ' (NEW)',
            'new_tag_prefix' => '__',
            'tag_separators' => '[",", " "]'

A few things to keep in mind when adding tags:

  • Your data should not have any chance of matching the first characters with the new_tag_prefix. If there is a chance, change it to something else like '**' or '$$'.
  • tag_separators is the same as the Select2 option. It should be a javascript array.
  • If the entity you are wanting to allow_add has any other required fields aside from the one specified in text_property, you must either add them in the form submit or add prePersist hooks to the doctrine entity.
  • If you are using the "tags" to allow the creation of new entities through a single entry mode, keep in mind you need to remove the Space as a separator or you won't be able to input a space character in this entity.
    ->add('tags', Select2EntityType::class, [
        'allow_add' => [
            'tag_separators' => '[",", ""]' // No Space here

Including other field values in request

If you need to include other field values because the selection depends on it you can add the req_params option. The key is the name of the parameter in the query string, the value is the path in the FormView (if you don't know the path you can do something like {{ dump(form) }} in your template.)

The property option refers to your entity field which is used for the label as well as for the search term.

In the callback you get the QueryBuilder to modify the result query and the data object as parameter (data can be a simple Request object or a plain array. See AutocompleteService.php for more details).

    ->add('firstName', TextType::class)
        ->add('lastName', TextType::class)
        ->add('state', EntityType::class, array('class' => State::class))
        ->add('county', Select2EntityType::class, [
            'required' => true,
            'multiple' => false,
            'remote_route' => 'ajax_autocomplete',
            'class' => County::class,
            'minimum_input_length' => 0,
            'page_limit' => 10,
            'scroll' => true,
            'allow_clear' => false,
            'req_params' => ['state' => 'parent.children[state]'],
            'property' => 'name',
            'callback'    => function (QueryBuilder $qb, $data) {
                $qb->andWhere('e.state = :state');

                if ($data instanceof Request) {
                    $qb->setParameter('state', $data->get('state'));
                } else {
                    $qb->setParameter('state', $data['state']);

    ->add('city', Select2EntityType::class, [
        'required' => true,
        'multiple' => false,
        'remote_route' => 'ajax_autocomplete',
        'class' => City::class,
        'minimum_input_length' => 0,
        'page_limit' => 10,
        'scroll' => true,
        'allow_clear' => false,
        'req_params' => ['county' => 'parent.children[county]'],
        'property' => 'name',
        'callback'    => function (QueryBuilder $qb, $data) {
            $qb->andWhere('e.county = :county');

            if ($data instanceof Request) {
                $qb->setParameter('county', $data->get('county'));
            } else {
                $qb->setParameter('county', $data['county']);


Because the handling of requests is usually very similar you can use a service which helps you with your results. To use it just add a route in one of your controllers:

     * @param Request $request
     * @Route("/autocomplete", name="ajax_autocomplete")
     * @return Response
    public function autocompleteAction(Request $request)
        // Check security etc. if needed
        $as = $this->get('tetranz_select2entity.autocomplete_service');

        $result = $as->getAutocompleteResults($request, YourFormType::class);

        return new JsonResponse($result);


General templating has now been added to the bundle. If you need to render html code inside your selection results, set the render_html option to true and in your controller return data like this:

    { id: 1, text: 'United Kingdom (Europe)', html: '<img src="images/flags/en.png" />' },
    { id: 2, text: 'China (Asia)', html: '<img src="images/flags/ch.png">' }
If you need further templating, you'll need to override the .select2entity() method as follows. If you need [Templating](https://select2.org/dropdown#templating) in Select2, you could consider the following example that shows the country flag next to each option.

Your custom transformer should return data like this:

    { id: 1, text: 'United Kingdom (Europe)', img: 'images/flags/en.png' },
    { id: 2, text: 'China (Asia)', img: 'images/flags/ch.png' }

You need to define your own JavaScript function select2entityAjax which extends the original one select2entity and display custom template with image:

$.fn.select2entityAjax = function(action) {
    var action = action || {};
    var template = function (item) {
        var img = item.img || null;
        if (!img) {
            if (item.element && item.element.dataset.img) {
                img = item.element.dataset.img;
            } else {
                return item.text;
        return $(
            '<span><img src="' + img + '" class="img-circle img-sm"> ' + item.text + '</span>'
    this.select2entity($.extend(action, {
        templateResult: template,
        templateSelection: template
    return this;

This script will add the functionality globally for all elements with class select2entity, but if the img is not passed it will work as the original select2entity. You should add a 'autostart' => false to form to run properly JS code.

    ->add('contry', Select2EntityType::class, [
        'remote_route' => 'country_select2_query',
        'autostart' => false,

You also will need to override the following block in your template:

{% block tetranz_select2entity_widget_select_option %}
    <option value="{{ label.id }}" selected="selected"
            {% for key, data in label %}
                {% if key not in ['id', 'text'] %} data-{{ key }}="{{ data }}"{% endif %}
            {% endfor %}>
        {{ label.text }}
{% endblock %}

This block adds all additional data needed to the JavaScript function select2entityAjax, like data attribute. In this case we are passing data-img.


Select2 supports custom themes using the theme option so you can style Select2 to match the rest of your application. For Bootstrap4 theme look at https://github.com/ttskch/select2-bootstrap4-theme

Embed Collection Forms

If you use Embedded Collection Forms and data-prototype to add new elements in your form, you will need the following JavaScript that will listen for adding an element .select2entity:

$('body').on('click', '[data-prototype]', function(e) {