Using expressions in ngModel in Angular.js

All we need is an easy explanation of the problem, so here it is.

Giving the code inside of my controller:

$scope.entity = {
  firstName: 'Jack',
  lastName: 'Bauer',
  location: {
    city: 'New York'
$scope.path = '';

How do I dynamically bind ngModel to the property of the entity specified by path?

I’ve tried something like this, but to no avail:

<input ng-model="'entity.' + path">

How to solve :

I know you bored from this bug, So we are here to help you! Take a deep breath and look at the explanation of your problem. We have many solutions to this problem, But we recommend you to use the first method because it is tested & true method that will 100% work for you.

Method 1

Slava, I’m not too sure if this is a good idea to begin with. But anyhow,
You need to make your model getterSetter aware by adding this property to your input ng-model-options="{ getterSetter: true }.
Then you need a function in your controller that builds a getterSetter out of a sting.

<input type="text" ng-model="propertify('entity.' + path)" ng-model-options="{ getterSetter: true }">

That’s how the resulting template would look.

Luckily angular has an $parse service that makes this a lot easier. so something like this would need to be in your controller, or even better in a injected service.

  $scope.propertify = function (string) {
      var p = $parse(string);
      var s = p.assign;
      return function(newVal) {
          if (newVal) {
          return p($scope);
      } ;

That will return a getter-setter function that handles this for you.
see it in action in this plunk

Method 2


It’s not working as expected, the value is displayed correctly, but can not be changed. The correct solution is provided by Sander here.

Incorrect solution

Wow, solved it accidentally:

<input type="text" ng-model="$eval('entity.' + path)">

And here’s the Plunk.

I hope it will help someone.

Method 3

You could use the bracket notation with a little modification, as you want to bind to a nested property. You have to split the path to the property:

<input ng-model="entity[locationKey][cityKey]"/>


$scope.locationKey = 'location';
$scope.cityKey = 'city';

See js fiddle

Method 4

After reading and using Sander Elias’ answer, I was using this, but ran into another problem.

When combining his result with ng-required="true" in the <input> you could not empty the field, because when the field would be empty, the newVal is passed as undefined.

After some more research, I found an isssue on GitHub that addresses and solves this problem.

Here is what Sander’s and the GitHub answer combined look like:

$scope.propertify = function (string) {
    var property = $parse(string);
    var propAssign = property.assign;
    return function (newVal) {
        if (arguments.length) {
            newVal = angular.isDefined(newVal)?  newVal : '';
            propAssign($scope, newVal);
        return property($scope);

The argument.length reflects the number of values that are passed to the getter/setter and will be 0 on a get and 1 on a set.

Besided that, I added the angular.isDefined() as Sumit suggested in a comment to also save false and empty ("") values.

Here is an updated Plunker

Note: Use and implement method 1 because this method fully tested our system.
Thank you 🙂

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

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