John Otander

Link With Icon, A Gem

Using the traditional link_to helper with Rails leaves you with two options for including icons (like Bootstrap’s glyphicons or Font Awesome) in the link text:

<!-- Using embedded html with html_safe -->
<%= link_to "<i class="icon-login"></i> Login".html_safe, login_path, class:
:some_class %>

<!-- Passing a block -->
<%= link_to login_path, class: :some_class do %>
<i class="icon-login"></i> Login <% end %>

Functional as they are, it starts to get a little messy in a long navigational list, thus making it quite difficult to read.

So, I decided why not wrap it?

module LinkWithIcon

  def link_with_icon(icon_class = nil, name = nil, options = nil, html_options = nil, &block)
    link_to("#{ icon(icon_class) }#{ name }".html_safe, options, html_options, &block)


  def icon(icon_class)
    "<i class='icon-#{ icon_class }'></i>"

The result is a nice little module that cleans up one’s view code immensely:

Using link_with_icon is as simple as pie:

<%= link_with_icon(:globe, 'A Link!', root_path) %> # =>
<a href="/"><i class="icon-globe"></i>A Link!</a>

It can handle all the normal options of the Rails link_to helper, but it also takes a parameter for the icon that you will be using in the link.

<%= link_with_icon(:arrow, 'Click Me', another_awesome_path, onclick:
'alert("things");') %> # =>
<a href="/awesome" onclick="alert('lol');"
  ><i class="icon-arrow"></i>Click Me</a

I also put it in a gem which is on Github and available on Rubygems.

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