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jQuery Tools integration for Plone plus overlay and AJAX form helpers.

Project description

Introduction adds and some related overlay and form-handling JavaScript libraries to Plone. was developed for Plone 4. Earlier versions could be used in Plone 3.x by adding a zcml slug and running its GS Setup extension profile. This version requires Plone 4.x.

Plone developers will wish to use to provide DOM popups, particularly if they require AJAX. There is extensive support for AJAX form posting. It’s also useful for adding dateinput and forminput widgets that are HTML5 compatible.

The AJAX and AJAX-form support is Plone-specific, and is documented in this module. Dateinput, rangeinput, accordions, and tooltips are all unchanged from jquerytools, and the jquerytools docs should be consulted. uses a jQuery 1.9+ compatible fork of jquerytools, located at:


Since version 2.0 we use a Grunt based build system. To update the package, you have to setup Grunt like descibed below (this works on Linux). You need npm and git installed.

If grunt-cli isn’t installed, do:

$ sudo npm install -g grunt-cli

Then install the rest locally:

$ npm install

For more information see:

To update the repository, simply run:

$ grunt

Available resources plugins and widgets are packed into Zope browser resources:

Default plugins and widgets used by plone. This resource is enabled by default with profile.

Included scripts: overlay.js, scrollable.js, tabs.js, toolbox.history.js, toolbox.expose.js, tooltip.js

Additional plugin and widgets which does not take much space and for this reason are packed together. This plugins are not enabled by default.

Included scripts:, scrollable.autoscroll.js, scrollable.navigator.js, tabs.slideshow.js, toolbox.flashembed.js, toolbox.mousewheel.js, tooltip.dynamic.js, tooltip.slide.js

jquerytools dateinput widget with style from first demo. Both scripts are added to portal_javascript and portal_css but disabled by default.

jquerytools rangeinput widget. Added to portal_javascript tool, but disabled by default.

jquerytools validator script, which should help you with nice validation of your forms. Added to portal_javascript tool, but disabled byt default.
Integrates the jquery form plugin to add support for AJAX form

handling. More about this below.

not yet minimized) and (Size: 1.9KB, not yet minimized)

Adds helper code for loading overlays dynamically and for handling AJAX forms based on existing pages with minimal setup. More about this in instructions below.

JS resources are minified, but uncompressed versions are available in plone/app/jquerytools/browser for reading/debugging purposes. To use them for debugging, edit plone/app/jquerytools/configure.zcml to temporarily specify files ending with .js rather than .min.js.

Overlay helpers provides a helper for handling various kinds of dynamic overlays, including overlays with forms you wish handled by AJAX.

The helper, jQuery.fn.prepOverlay, is a jQuery-style function: it should be used as a method of a jQuery selection object. The selection object is always a selection of trigger elements.

prepOverlay should be passed one parameter: a options object, which will often be constructed as a JavaScript literal object.


Let’s say, for example, that you want to make clicking on news-item photos open a lightbox-style larger version of the image. To do this, you’ll need to specify:

  • A jQuery style selector for a Plone element, e.g., “.newsImageContainer a”

  • “image” for the load method (“ajax” and “iframe” are other alternatives)

  • A regular expression search/replace to transform the href or src URL. In this example, we’re changing the URL to point to the preview-sized image. So, our search/replace pair is “/image_view_fullscreen” and “_preview”.

  • You could also specify additional overlay configuration parameters.

The code:

$('.newsImageContainer a')
         subtype: 'image',
         urlmatch: '/image_view_fullscreen$',
         urlreplace: '_preview'

What if you want the lightbox-style larger image to open upon doubleclick or hover, instead? Just add a “event” attribute to override the default:

$('.newsImageContainer a')
         subtype: 'image',
         urlmatch: '/image_view_fullscreen$',
         urlreplace: '_preview',
         event: 'dblclick'

The optional “event” attribute takes one of three values: either the default “click”, “dblclick”, or “hover”.

Another quick example, one that provides full-image popups for images placed via kupu:

$('img.image-right, img.image-left, img.image-inline')
        subtype: 'image',
        urlmatch: '/image_.+$',
        urlreplace: ''

What’s different? We’re targeting <img … /> tags, which don’t have href attributes. The helper automatically picks up the target URL from the src attribute, so that we can have a popup view of image elements that aren’t linked to that view. Note also that we’re using a real regular expression in the search/replace so that we can strip off image_preview, image_mini, etc.

And, a configuration to put the site map in an iframe popup with expose settings, picking up the target from an href:

$('#siteaction-sitemap a')
        subtype: 'iframe',
        config: {expose:{color:'#00f'}}


The complete options list:


‘image’ | ‘iframe’ | ‘ajax’


Regular expression for a portion of the target URL. Target URL is determined by checking href, src or action attributes.


Replacement expression for the matched expression.

filter (ajax only)

the jQuery selector used to find the elements of the ajax loaded resource that you wish to use in the overlay.


Width of the popup. Defaults to 60%. Overriden by image width for image overlays. Percentages are computed against window width, not parent.


A custom css class to apply to the overlay. Ignored for inline overlays.


jQuery Tools configuration options in a dictionary.

For AJAX overlay forms, add the following, form-oriented, options:


Used to specify the JQuery selector for any forms inside the loaded content that you want to be handled inside the overlay by doing an AJAX load to get the overlay content.

When a form is submitted, the overlay handler checks the response for formselector. If it’s found, the result is displayed in the overlay and form handlers are bound. If not, the ‘noform’ action is carried out.


the action to take if an ajax form is submitted and the returned content has nothing matching the formselector. Available actions include ‘close’ to simply close the overlay, ‘reload’ to reload the page, and ‘redirect’ to redirect to another page. If you choose ‘redirect’, you must specify the URL in the redirect option. Default action is to display the filtered response in the popup.

You may also supply as the ‘noform’ argument a callback function that returns one of these strings. The overlay helper will call the function with the overlay element as an argument.


use this to specify a JQuery selector that will be used to find elements within the overlay that should close the overlay if clicked. The most obvious example is a form’s cancel button.


if you specify ‘redirect’ for the noform action, use the redirect option to specify the full target URL. You may also supply a callback function that returns a URL. The overlay helper will call the function with the overlay element and the response text as arguments.


you may specify a function that will be called before the AJAX form posting. This callback will be passed the jQuery-wrapped form and the serialized form data. Return true if you wish the AJAX form handler to handle the event; return false if you wish to cancel the submit.


you may specify a function that will be called immediately after the AJAX load of the post response. The function will be passed an element containing the returned HTML as a jQuery object. Second argument is data_parent object, which contains overlay configuration and other useful data in the jQuery ‘data’ resource. This callback occurs before any other processing of the response. The callback function’s return value is ignored.


Some of the options allow use of AJAX to get content. When you’re loading content into an overlay or tab via AJAX, you’re nearly always going to want only part of the loaded content. For example, if you’re picking up a Plone page, you may only want the #content div’s contents.

To do this, just add a CSS (or JQuery) selector as a ‘filter’ option. JQuery’s load method (which pipbox uses) will only pick up the content inside the selection.

For example, let’s say that you wish to display the standard Plone site map in an overlay. You could use:

$('#siteaction-sitemap a').prepOverlay({
    subtype: 'ajax',
    filter: '#content > *'

The filter code causes the overlay handler to load only a portion of the AJAX-loaded HTML into the overlay, picking up only what’s inside the #content div. If you don’t specify a filter, you’ll get everything inside the body section of the page – not usually what you want.

Some browsers cache AJAX loads, so a random argument is automatically added to URLs.

NOTE: the “ajax_load” query string argument is automatically added to AJAX urls and may be used in templates to determine which resources are shipped for AJAX overlays. Plone 4’s main template uses this to exclude nearly all elements of the page outside the content area.

AJAX Forms

The overlay helper can automatically handle forms that are within the overlay by making an AJAX post action, then replacing the overlay content with the results.

Specify forms for this handling with the “formselector” option. The content filter specified in the original overlay is reused.

For example, if you wished to handle the standard Plone contact form in an overlay, you could specify:

$('#siteaction-contact a').prepOverlay({
    subtype: 'ajax',
    filter: '#content>*',
    formselector: 'form'

Another example: using popups for the delete confirmation and rename forms (from the action menu):

    subtype: 'ajax',
    filter: '#content>*',
    closeselector: '[name=form.button.Cancel]'

There are a couple of differences here. First, there is no form selector specified; that’s because we don’t want to install an ajax submit handler when we may be renaming or deleting the displayed object. Second, we specify a close selector so that pushing the cancel button will close the overlay without bothering to submit the form.

See Products/CMFPlone/skins/plone_ecmascript/popupforms.js for several examples of using callbacks to handle tricky cases like confirming deletion of the current content item.

The jquery form plugin is used to do the data serialization for form posts. It provides a more complete serialization, including submit name/value and file data, than jQuery alone.

The prepOverlay function can be used on a form instead of a link. When a button of this form is clicked, the form action attribute is used to retrieve the overlay. If method=”POST”, the overlay will be fetched via a POST with the form payload instead of GET. The use of a POST instead of GET may be useful to avoid the url length limit.

jQuery Tools Events

Event handlers for jQuery Tools overlay events may be set in via the optional “config” argument, which is passed as a dictionary. For example, to specify an onBeforeLoad event:

    subtype: 'image',
    config: {
        onBeforeLoad : function (e) {
            console.log('onBeforeLoad', this.getOverlay());
            return true;

Useful events are specified in the jQuery Tools overlay documentation. Also, see the events documentation. Note that you should return true in `onBeforeLoad` and onBeforeClose handlers if you want the default behavior (opening or closing). Return false to prevent opening or closing.

jQuery Tools passes the event as a parameter when it calls the event handlers. this will be the jqt API object, which has getOverlay() and getTrigger() methods.


1.9.5 (2019-01-08)

Bug fixes:

  • More quote fixes for scss [agitator]

1.9.4 (2018-01-17)

Bug fixes:

  • Please pyScss by adding quotes in the urls. Makes it compatible with Plone 5.1. [thomasdesvenain]

1.9.3 (2017-10-11)

Bug fixes:

  • Disabled overlays.css to match upgradestep. [jaroel]

1.9.2 (2017-06-28)

Bug fixes:

  • Update Gruntfile.js with master branch of collective/jquerytools. Update docs with info about our jQuery Tools fork. [thet]

1.9.1 (2017-03-23)

Bug fixes:

  • Updated jquery.form and to latest versions. [msom]

1.9.0 (2016-12-02)

New features:

  • An overlay registered by the prepOverlay function can now be optionally be triggered by a hover or doubleclick event, instead of click. [petri]

1.8.0 (2016-08-12)

New features:

  • The prepOverlay function can be used on a form instead of a link. When a button of this form is clicked, the form action attribute is used to retrieve the overlay. (This was already the case in previous versions, What’s new is the following.) If method=”POST”, the overlay will be fetched via a POST with the form payload instead of GET. The use of a POST instead of GET may be useful to avoid the url length limit. [vincentfretin]

1.7.1 (2016-06-27)

  • Proper clean setup of jquery.form [gotcha]

1.7.0 (2015-04-29)

  • Remove the development profile. Unminified resources are still provided. If you need them, include them in your own profile. [thet]

  • Move jQueryTools tooltip into separate file, so that it can be selectively disabled. [thet]

1.6.2 (2014-11-04)

  • Revert “check each tooltip for existence, fixes issue 349”. Fixes broken Tooltip. [vincentfretin, thet]

1.6.1 (2014-09-11)

  • Fix dateinput (change event was not triggered anymore). [thomasdesvenain]

1.6.0 (2014-07-10)

  • Ensure jQuery 1.7+, including 1.9 compatibility by using the dev branch of jquerytools and applying further fixes. We now use a fork of jquerytools at: [thet]

  • Fix overlayhelpers.js to work with jQuery 1.7 and 1.9. jQuery.buildFragment has a slightly changed API. While it accepts a list of context objects in jQuery 1.7, it expects an explicit context object in jQuery 1.9. See:



  • Switched to Grunt based build system. [thet]

  • Switch test infrastructure to [sdelcourt]

1.5.7 (2014-02-23)

  • Fix a test isolation issue. [davisagli]

  • Install after plone_javasscript_variables.js in new instances. [bloodbare]

1.5.6 (2013-08-13)

1.5.5 (2013-03-18)

  • Set z-index for dateinput calendar popup so that it will display in an overlay context. [smcmahon]

  • Pass the pbo object as third parameter to the redirect callback. This provides the same flexibility for redirect that was added for noform in 1.5.4. [izak]

1.5.4 (2013-03-04)

  • Now execute inline scripts in ajax overlay. [vincentfretin]

  • Give the pbo object as second parameter for noform callback. You can access everything from it, for example the overlay trigger pbo.source. [vincentfretin]

  • Give the disconnected “el” jQuery object (the div created with the html response) instead of “this” (the request object) to the noform and redirect callbacks. This fixes the noformerrorshow callback from popupforms.js in the Products.CMFPlone package. [vincentfretin]

  • Adapt to use Plone popup calendar icon and compatible styles. [smcmahon]

  • Change jqt_checkout_build to not pick up dateinput.css from jQuery. This should be Plone-specific. [smcmahon]

1.5.3 (2013-01-17)

  • Call ploneTabInit when a form is reloaded with errors. [vincentfretin]

1.5.2 (2013-01-01)

  • Dont be so strong with regexp in overlayhelpers.js [garbas]

1.5.1 (2012-10-16)

  • Revert to always adding the overlay at the bottom of the document body. [davisagli]

  • Make sure the “Close this box” link has a hiddenStructure class so it won’t show up for most users. [davisagli]

1.5 (2012-08-30)

  • Add translatable string for close box. This and the following change by giacomos fix [fulviocasali]

  • Use link instead of @import for css resources. This improves speed, since it better uses parallel downloads. See: “don’t use @import” by Steve Souders. [thet]

1.4 - 2012-05-11

  • Added a link in the close button to improve accessibility [giacomos]

  • Update to jQueryTools 1.2.7. [thet]

  • Fix sed command in jqt_checkout_build script to work on Linux and OSX. [thet]

  • Update to jQueryTools 1.2.6. [smcmahon]

  • For overlays that are not already inline, insert them inline after the triggering element rather than at the end of the body. This solves an accessibility problem for screen readers (see ticket #12123), but is going to require more css reset work for overlay styling. [smcmahon]

1.3 - 2011-06-27

  • Add events triggering so you can hook into it more. [vangheem]

  • Don’t break if a formselector was specified but the overlay has no form. [davisagli]

  • Refactor setup of AJAX-loaded content so it’s easier to call from custom code. [davisagli]

  • It’s now possible to repeatedly apply prepOverlay to the same element and have the last-applied case win. Previously, once prepOverlay had been used on an element, all subsequent uses on that element were ignored. [smcmahon]

  • Add documentation in README for using jQuery Tools event handlers. [smcmahon]

1.2 - 2011-05-13

  • 1.2 final release. [esteele]

1.2b5 - 2011-04-06

  • Added next.gif and prev.gif for the dateinput widget. [vincentfretin]

  • Add ajax_load hidden input to loaded forms. [smcmahon]

1.2b4 - 2010-12-05

  • Add / Selenium testing framework based on esteele’s example. [smcmahon]

  • noform and redirect options not passed to ajax form handlers in b1, b2, b3. Fixed. [smcmahon]

1.2b3 - 2010-12-30

  • Some options not passed to ajax form handlers in b1, b2. Fixed. [smcmahon]

1.2b2 - 2010-12-29

  • AJAX overlays broken in b1 due to plain stupidity. Will try to remember to always test after editing. [smcmahon]

1.2b1 - 2010-12-27

  • Avoid creating overlay divs until needed; remove ajax overlay divs on close. Less DOM clutter. [smcmahon]

  • Include both .min.js and .js versions of js resources to make life a little easier for folks who want to read the source. The .min.js versions will go into the browser resources. [smcmahon]

  • Updated documentation so it reflect changes. [garbas]

  • Updated jquerytools to 1.2.5. dateinput, rangeinput and validator plugins added as additional browser resources. Now all plugins from jquerytools are added with this package. [garbas]

  • Added build script which builds js files from source (from github). [garbas]

  • getContent does not exist in jqtools. It has been replaced by getOverlay. [naro]

1.1.2 - 2010-07-19

  • Avoid use of genericsetup:upgradeSteps (plural), which doesn’t work in Plone 3. [davisagli]

1.1.1 - 2010-07-19

  • Add ‘description’ parameter to upgrade step directives to fix breakage on Plone 3. [davisagli]

1.1 - 2010-07-18

  • Add overlays.css. For Plone 3 only (it is disabled on installation in Plone 4, and on upgrade from Plone 3 to Plone 4). [davisagli]

  • Update license to GPL version 2 only. [hannosch]

  • Added experimental windmill browser integration tests. [smcmahon]

1.1b5 - 2010-06-12

  • Update to jQuery Tools 1.2.3. [smcmahon]

  • Recode to one “var” per function standard. [smcmahon]

  • Don’t show empty ajax form responses, even if “noform” is not set. [smcmahon]

1.1b4 - 2010-06-06

  • The select technique used to filter ajax response in b1-b3 was not robust if the responseText was not well-formed (think ZMI forms). Fixed by emulating the technique used in jQuery’s .load method. [smcmahon]

1.1b3 - 2010-06-03

  • Switch back to “find”, undoing 1.1b2 change. ‘filter’ does not find descendents, and will thus not work in most validation error situations. Also, cleaned up identifiers and comments that suggested that we were filtering rather than selecting. [smcmahon]

1.1b2 - 2010-06-03

  • Fix regression in filtering introduced in 1.1b1. [davisagli]


  • Integrate jQuery form plugin so that we can handle file uploads. Bump version # to reflect significant change. [davisagli, smcmahon]


  • Update to tools 1.2.2. (Trivial changes) [smcmahon]

  • Set max-height on ajax overlays to 75% of the viewport’s height; switch to fixed positioning on everything but IE6. [smcmahon]

  • Updated to tools 1.2.1; removed jqt image resources (too bulky to justify as part of main distribution). [smcmahon]


  • Change query string variable for ajax loads from “rand” to “ajax_load” to clarify its purpose.

  • Added cssclass option for prepOverlay.


  • Add responseText to parameters passed in the redirect callback; this enables smarter redirects in cases where pages may have disappeared. [smcmahon]

  • Add ‘link-overlay’ class to overlay triggers. [davisagli]

  • Made the closing of an ajax overlay delete the loaded content so that it doesn’t muddy up the DOM. [smcmahon]

  • Added ‘source’ to data_parent to be able to access source element (element on original page, which raised the overlay window) eg. in afterpost handler. [naro]

  • Add message for ajax no response from server. [smcmahon]

  • Insert overlays in the DOM at the end of body rather than visual portal wrapper. Fixes #10307. [smcmahon]


  • 1.0b16 fix to click-outside-overlay cause any click to close the overlay. Fixed. [smcmahon]


  • Patched to fix close on click outside overlay. [smcmahon]

  • Improved logic for finding the submit button via a click handler. [smcmahon]

1.0b15 - 2010-02-17

  • AJAX form handling was busted in Safari by submit button marshaling fix. Found a hopefully more general solution for finding submit button name and value. [smcmahon]

  • beforepost and afterpost callback options weren’t working. fixed. [smcmahon]

  • Recover when jQuery tries to throw away error responses in ajax loads. [smcmahon]

  • Circumvent double-submit warning for AJAX forms. [smcmahon]

  • Use the $ convention for jQuery. [smcmahon]

1.0b14 - 2010-10-27

  • Add beforepost and afterpost callback options for ajax forms. [smcmahon]

  • Change reload strategy to set location to current href rather than using reload, which can cause repost queries on some browsers. [smcmahon]

1.0b13 - 2010-01-22

  • Fixed marshaling of submit buttons on AJAX submit when form has multiple buttons. [smcmahon]

1.0b12 - 2010-01-11

  • Allow noform and redirect options to be specified as callback functions. This will allow building in more smarts about what to do when ajax forms finish. [smcmahon]

  • Avoid clobbering the onLoad config option if it is passed to prepOverlay. [davisagli]

1.0b11 - 2009-12-27

  • Declared all package dependencies and avoid unused imports inside tests. [hannosch]

1.0b10 - 2009-12-18

  • Add plugins resource and graphics directory.

  • Update jqtools to use tooltips 1.1.3


  • Avoid overlay helper errors in Plone 3.x when trying to handle tabbed forms.


  • Check ‘action’ attribute for url, enabling simple forms to open overlays.


  • Initialize form tabbing on ajax form load.

  • Marshall submit button values in ajax form submit, since jQuery doesn’t include them.


  • Document use of overlay helper.


  • Integrate overlay helpers originally developed in pipbox. These provide support for AJAX loads and forms.


  • Advance to jQuery Tools 1.2.1


  • Fix packaging problem that prevented easy_install of 1.0b2.


  • Move to jQuery Tools 1.1.1.


  • Initial release

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