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Wicked is a Rails engine for producing easy wizard controllers



>= 3.0.7
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Step-By-Step Wizard Controllers

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Use wicked to make your Rails controllers into step-by-step wizards. To see Wicked in action check out the example Rails app or watch the screencast.


Many times I'm left wanting a RESTful way to display a step by step process that may or not be associated with a resource. Wicked gives the flexibility to do what I want while hiding all the really nasty stuff you shouldn't do in a controller to make this possible. At its core Wicked is a RESTful(ish) state machine, but you don't need to know that, just use it.


Add this to your Gemfile

gem 'wicked'

Then run bundle install and you're ready to start



We are going to build an 'after signup' wizard. If you don't have a current_user then check out how to Build a step-by-step object with Wicked.

First create a controller:

rails g controller after_signup

Add Routes into config/routes.rb:

resources :after_signup

Next include Wicked::Wizard in your controller

class AfterSignupController < ApplicationController
  include Wicked::Wizard

  steps :confirm_password, :confirm_profile, :find_friends
  # ...

You can also use the old way of inheriting from Wicked::WizardController.

class AfterSignupController < Wicked::WizardController

  steps :confirm_password, :confirm_profile, :find_friends
  # ...

The wizard is set to call steps in order in the show action, you can specify custom logic in your show using a case statement like below. To send someone to the first step in this wizard we can direct them to after_signup_path(:confirm_password).

class AfterSignupController < ApplicationController
  include Wicked::Wizard

  steps :confirm_password, :confirm_profile, :find_friends

  def show
    @user = current_user
    case step
    when :find_friends
      @friends = @user.find_friends

Note: Wicked uses the :id parameter to control the flow of steps, if you need to have an id parameter, please use nested routes. See building objects with wicked for an example. It will need to be prefixed, for example a Product's :id would be :product_id

You'll need to call render_wizard at the end of your action to get the correct views to show up.

By default the wizard will render a view with the same name as the step. So for our controller AfterSignupController with a view path of /views/after_signup/ if call the :confirm_password step, our wizard will render /views/after_signup/confirm_password.html.erb

Then in your view you can use the helpers to get to the next step.

<%= link_to 'skip', next_wizard_path %>

You can manually specify which wizard action you want to link to by using the wizard_path helper.

<%= link_to 'skip', wizard_path(:find_friends) %>

In addition to showing sequential views we can update elements in our controller.

class AfterSignupController < ApplicationController
  include Wicked::Wizard

  steps :confirm_password, :confirm_profile, :find_friends

  def update
    @user = current_user
    case step
    when :confirm_password
    sign_in(@user, bypass: true) # needed for devise
    render_wizard @user
  def user_params
          .permit(:email, :current_password) # ...

We're passing render_wizard our @user object here. If you pass an object into render_wizard it will show the next step if the object saves or re-render the previous view if it does not save.

Note that render_wizard does attempt to save the passed object. This means that in the above example, the object will be saved twice. This will cause any callbacks to run twice also. If this is undesirable for your use case, then calling assign_attributes (which does not save the object) instead of update might work better.

To get to this update action, you simply need to submit a form that PUT's to the same url

<%= form_for @user, url: wizard_path, method: :put do |f| %>
  <%=  f.password_field :password  %>
  <%=  f.password_field :password_confirmation  %>

  <%= f.submit "Change Password" %>
<% end %>

We explicitly tell the form to PUT above. If you forget this, you will get a warning about the create action not existing, or no route found for POST. Don't forget this.

In the controller if you find that you want to skip a step, you can do it simply by calling skip_step

def show
  @user = current_user
  case step
  when :find_friends
    if @user.has_facebook_access_token?
      @friends = @user.find_friends

Now you've got a fully functioning AfterSignup controller! If you have questions or if you struggled with something, let me know on twitter, and i'll try to make it better or make the docs better.

Quick Reference

View/URL Helpers:

wizard_path                  # relative url of the current step
wizard_path(:specific_step)  # relative url of a :specific_step
next_wizard_path             # relative url of the next step
previous_wizard_path         # relative url of the previous step

wizard_url                  # fully qualified url of the current step
wizard_url(:specific_step)  # fully qualified url of a :specific_step
next_wizard_url             # fully qualified url of the next step
previous_wizard_url         # fully qualified url of the previous step

# These only work while in a Wizard
# You can have multiple wizards in a project with multiple `wizard_path` calls

Controller Tidbits:

steps  :first, :second                        # Sets the order of steps
step                                          # Gets current step
next_step                                     # Gets next step
previous_step                                 # Gets previous step
skip_step                                     # Tells render_wizard to skip to the next logical step
jump_to(:specific_step)                       # Jump to :specific_step
render_wizard                                 # Renders the current step
render_wizard(@user)                          # Shows next_step if @user.save, otherwise renders
render_wizard(@user, context: :account_setup) # Shows next_step if @user.save(context: :account_setup), otherwise renders
wizard_steps                                  # Gets ordered list of steps
current_step?(step)                           # is step the same as the current request's step
past_step?(step)                              # does step come before the current request's step in wizard_steps
future_step?(step)                            # does step come after the current request's step in wizard_steps
previous_step?(step)                          # is step immediately before the current request's step
next_step?(step)                              # is step immediately after the current request's step

Redirect options

Both skip_step and jump_to will cause a redirect.

skip_step(foo: "bar")

Note that unlike you would do when making a call to Rails' redirect_to, you should not call return immediately after skip_step and jump_to, since the actual redirection is done in the render_wizard call.

If you want to pass params to the step you are skipping to you can pass it into those:

jump_to(:specific_step, foo: "bar")


Don't forget to create your named views

      # ...

Finish Wizard Path

You can specify the url that your user goes to by over-riding the finish_wizard_path in your wizard controller.

def finish_wizard_path

Testing with RSpec

# Test find_friends block of show action
get :show, params: { id: :find_friends }

# Test find_friends block of update action
patch :update, params: {'id' => 'find_friends', "user" => { "id" => @user.id.to_s }}

Internationalization of URLS (I18n)

If your site works in multiple languages, or if you just want more control over how your URLs look you can now use I18n with wicked. To do so you need to replace this:

include Wicked::Wizard

With this:

include Wicked::Wizard::Translated

This will allow you to specify translation keys instead of literal step names. Let's say you've got steps that look like this:

steps :first, :second

So the urls would be /after_signup/first and /after_signup/second. But you want them to show up differently for different locales. For example someone coming form a Spanish speaking locale should see /after_signup/uno and after_signup/dos.

To internationalize first you need to create your locales files under config/locales such as config/locales/es.yml for Spanish. You then need to add a first and second key under a wicked key like this:

  hello: "hola mundo"
    first: "uno"
    second: "dos"

It would also be a good idea to create a english version under config/locales/en.yml or your english speaking friends will get errors. If your app already uses I18n you don't need to do anything else, if not you will need to make sure that you set the I18n.locale on each request you could do this somewhere like a before filter in your application_controller.rb

before_action :set_locale


def set_locale
  I18n.locale = params[:locale] if params[:locale].present?

def default_url_options(options = {})
  {locale: I18n.locale}

For a screencast on setting up and using I18n check out Railscasts. You can also read the free I18n Rails Guide.

Now when you visit your controller with the proper locale set your URLs should be more readable like /after_signup/uno and after_signup/dos.

Wicked expects your files to be named the same as your keys, so when a user visits after_signup/dos with the es locale it will render the second.html.erb file.

Important: When you do this the value of step as well as next_step and previous_step and all the values within steps will be translated to what locale you are using. To translate them to the "canonical" values that you've have in your controller you'll need so use wizard_value method.

For example, if you had this in your controller, and you converted it to a use Wicked translations, so this will not work:

steps :confirm_password, :confirm_profile, :find_friends

def show
  case step
  when :find_friends
    @friends = current_user.find_friends

Instead you need to use wizard_value to get the "reverse translation" in your controller code like this:

steps :confirm_password, :confirm_profile, :find_friends

def show
  case wizard_value(step)
  when :find_friends
    @friends = current_user.find_friends

The important thing to remember is that step and the values in steps are always going to be in the same language if you're using the Wicked translations. If you need any values to match the values set directly in your controller, or the names of your files (i.e. views/../confirm_password.html.erb, then you need to use wizard_value method.

Custom URLs

Very similar to using I18n from above but instead of making new files for different languages, you can stick with one language. Make sure you are using the right module:

include Wicked::Wizard::Translated

Then you'll need to specify translations in your language file. For me, the language I'm using is english so I can add translations to config/locales/en.yml

  hello: "hello world"
    first: "verify_email"
    second: "if_you_are_popular_add_friends"

Now you can change the values in the URLs to whatever you want without changing your controller or your files, just modify your en.yml. If you're not using English you can set your default_locale to something other than en in your config/application.rb file.

config.i18n.default_locale = :de

Important: Don't forget to use wizard_value() method to make sure you are using the right canonical values of step, previous_step, next_step, etc. If you are comparing them to non wicked generate values.

Custom crafted wizard urls: just another way Wicked makes your app a little more saintly.

Dynamic Step Names

If you wish to set the order of your steps dynamically you can do this by manually calling and self.steps = [# <some steps> ] in a before_action method. Then call before_action :setup_wizard after so that wicked knows when it is safe to initializelike this:

include Wicked::Wizard
before_action :set_steps
before_action :setup_wizard

# ...

def set_steps
  if params[:flow] == "twitter"
    self.steps = [:ask_twitter, :ask_email]
  elsif params[:flow] == "facebook"
    self.steps = [:ask_facebook, :ask_email]

NOTE: The order of the before_action matters, when setup_wizard is called it will validate the presence of self.steps, you must call your custom step setting code before this point.

Send params to finish_wizard_path method

If you wish to send parameters to the finish_wizard_path method that can be done by adding to your controller the method with the params argument def finish_wizard_path(params) ... end.

In order to send the parameters to the method here is an example of the show method:

steps :first_step, :second_step

def show
  # ...
  render_wizard(nil, {}, { hello: 'world' })

def update
  # ...
  render_wizard(@user, {}, { hello: 'world' })

def finish_wizard_path(params)
  # here you can access params and that would be equal to { hello: 'world' }

The wizard_path and next_wizard_path methods also take parameters that can then be accessed or visible in the show and update actions of the controller. You can use the methods like so:

next_wizard_path({ hello: 'world' })
wizard_path(nil, { hello: 'world' })
# the wizard_path with the step specified would look like this
wizard_path(:wicked_finish, wizard_id: @user.id, hello: 'world')


There are a few "magical" keywords that will take you to the first step, the last step, or the "final" action (the redirect that happens after the last step). Prior to version 0.6.0 these were hardcoded strings. Now they are constants which means you can access them or change them. They are:


You can build links using these constants after_signup_path(Wicked::FIRST_STEP) which will redirect the user to the first step you've specified. This might be useful for redirecting a user to a step when you're not already in a Wicked controller. If you change the constants, they are expected to be strings (not symbols).


Most problems using this library are general problems using Ruby/Rails. If you cannot get something to work correctly please open up a question on stack overflow. If you've not posted there before, provide a description of the problem you're having and usually some example code and a copy of your rails logs helps.

If you've found a bug, please open a ticket on the issue tracker with a small example app that reproduces the behavior.


Made by @schneems.

This project rocks and uses MIT-LICENSE.


Refer to the Travis CI test matrix for test using your version of Ruby and Rails. If there is a newer Ruby or Rails you don't see on there, please add an entry to the Appraisals file, then run $ appraisals install and update the .travis.yml file and send me a pull request.

Note: Rails 3.0 support is only for Ruby 1.9.3 or JRuby, not Ruby 2.0.0 or newer.

Running Gem Tests

First, install the development gems:

$ bundle install

Now that appraisal is installed, use it to set up all the gemfiles for the test matrix:

$ appraisal install

Then to run tests against all the appraisal gemfiles, use:

$ appraisal rake test

To run tests against one specific gemfile, use

$ appraisal 4.1 rake test

Note that Rails 3.0 tests don't pass in Ruby 2.0.0 or newer, so during development it may be easier to disable this gemfile if you are using a current version of Ruby.


See the Contributing guide.