Generic views

Wagtail provides several generic views for handling common tasks such as creating / editing model instances and chooser modals. For convenience, these views are bundled in viewsets.


The ModelViewSet class provides the views for listing, creating, editing, and deleting model instances. For example, if we have the following model:

from django.db import models

class Person(models.Model):
    first_name = models.CharField(max_length=255)
    last_name = models.CharField(max_length=255)

    def __str__(self):
        return "%s %s" % (self.first_name, self.last_name)

The following definition (to be placed in the same app’s will generate a set of views for managing Person instances:

from wagtail.admin.viewsets.model import ModelViewSet
from .models import Person

class PersonViewSet(ModelViewSet):
    model = Person
    form_fields = ["first_name", "last_name"]
    icon = "user"
    add_to_admin_menu = True
    copy_view_enabled = False
    inspect_view_enabled = True

person_viewset = PersonViewSet("person")  # defines /admin/person/ as the base URL

This viewset can then be registered with the Wagtail admin to make it available under the URL /admin/person/, by adding the following to

from wagtail import hooks

from .views import person_viewset

def register_viewset():
    return person_viewset

The viewset can be further customized by overriding other attributes and methods.


You can define an icon attribute on the ModelViewSet to specify the icon that is used across the views in the viewset. The icon needs to be registered in the Wagtail icon library.

URL prefix and namespace

The url_prefix and url_namespace properties can be overridden to use a custom URL prefix and namespace for the views. If unset, they default to the model’s model_name.

Listing view

The list_display attribute can be set to specify the columns shown on the listing view. To customize the number of items to be displayed per page, you can set the list_per_page attribute. Additionally, the ordering attribute can be used to override the default_ordering configured in the listing view.

You can add the ability to filter the listing view by defining a list_filter attribute and specifying the list of fields to filter. Wagtail uses the django-filter package under the hood, and this attribute will be passed as django-filter’s FilterSet.Meta.fields attribute. This means you can also pass a dictionary that maps the field name to a list of lookups.

If you would like to make further customizations to the filtering mechanism, you can also use a custom wagtail.admin.filters.WagtailFilterSet subclass by overriding the filterset_class attribute. The list_filter attribute is ignored if filterset_class is set. For more details, refer to django-filter’s documentation.

You can add the ability to export the listing view to a spreadsheet by setting the list_export attribute to specify the columns to be exported. The export_filename attribute can be used to customize the file name of the exported spreadsheet.

Create and edit views

You can define a panels or edit_handler attribute on the ModelViewSet or your Django model to use Wagtail’s panels mechanism. For more details, see Panels.

If neither panels nor edit_handler is defined and the get_edit_handler() method is not overridden, the form will be rendered as a plain Django form. You can customize the form by setting the form_fields attribute to specify the fields to be shown on the form. Alternatively, you can set the exclude_form_fields attribute to specify the fields to be excluded from the form. If panels are not used, you must define form_fields or exclude_form_fields, unless get_form_class() is overridden.

Copy view

New in version 6.0.

The copy view is enabled by default and will be accessible by users with the ‘add’ permission on the model. To disable it, set copy_view_enabled to False.

The view’s form will be generated in the same way as create or edit forms. To use a custom form, override the copy_view_class and modify the form_class property on that class.

Inspect view

The inspect view is disabled by default, as it’s not often useful for most models. However, if you need a view that enables users to view more detailed information about an instance without the option to edit it, you can enable the inspect view by setting inspect_view_enabled on your ModelViewSet class.

When inspect view is enabled, an ‘Inspect’ button will automatically appear for each row on the listing view, which takes you to a view that shows a list of field values for that particular instance.

By default, all ‘concrete’ fields (where the field value is stored as a column in the database table for your model) will be shown. You can customize what values are displayed by specifying the inspect_view_fields or the inspect_view_fields_exclude attributes on your ModelViewSet class.


If template_prefix is set, Wagtail will look for the views’ templates in the following directories within your project or app, before resorting to the defaults:

  1. templates/{template_prefix}/{app_label}/{model_name}/

  2. templates/{template_prefix}/{app_label}/

  3. templates/{template_prefix}/

To override the template used by the IndexView for example, you could create a new index.html template and put it in one of those locations. For example, given custom/campaign as the template_prefix and a Shirt model in a merch app, you could add your custom template as templates/custom/campaign/merch/shirt/index.html.

For some common views, Wagtail also allows you to override the template used by overriding the {view_name}_template_name property on the viewset. The following is a list of customization points for the views:

Other customizations

By default, the model registered with a ModelViewSet will also be registered to the reference index. You can turn off this behavior by setting add_to_reference_index to False.

Various additional attributes are available to customize the viewset - see the ModelViewSet documentation.


The ChooserViewSet class provides the views that make up a modal chooser interface, allowing users to select from a list of model instances to populate a ForeignKey field. Using the same Person model, the following definition (to be placed in will generate the views for a person chooser modal:

from wagtail.admin.viewsets.chooser import ChooserViewSet

class PersonChooserViewSet(ChooserViewSet):
    # The model can be specified as either the model class or an "app_label.model_name" string;
    # using a string avoids circular imports when accessing the StreamField block class (see below)
    model = "myapp.Person"

    icon = "user"
    choose_one_text = "Choose a person"
    choose_another_text = "Choose another person"
    edit_item_text = "Edit this person"
    form_fields = ["first_name", "last_name"]  # fields to show in the "Create" tab

person_chooser_viewset = PersonChooserViewSet("person_chooser")

Again this can be registered with the register_admin_viewset hook:

from wagtail import hooks

from .views import person_chooser_viewset

def register_viewset():
    return person_chooser_viewset

Registering a chooser viewset will also set up a chooser widget to be used whenever a ForeignKey field to that model appears in a WagtailAdminModelForm - see Using forms in admin views. In particular, this means that a panel definition such as FieldPanel("author"), where author is a foreign key to the Person model, will automatically use this chooser interface. The chooser widget class can also be retrieved directly (for use in ordinary Django forms, for example) as the widget_class property on the viewset. For example, placing the following code in will make the chooser widget available to be imported with from myapp.widgets import PersonChooserWidget:

from .views import person_chooser_viewset

PersonChooserWidget = person_chooser_viewset.widget_class

The viewset also makes a StreamField chooser block class available, through the method get_block_class. Placing the following code in will make a chooser block available for use in StreamField definitions by importing from myapp.blocks import PersonChooserBlock:

from .views import person_chooser_viewset

PersonChooserBlock = person_chooser_viewset.get_block_class(
    name="PersonChooserBlock", module_path="myapp.blocks"

Limiting choices via linked fields

Chooser viewsets provide a mechanism for limiting the options displayed in the chooser according to another input field on the calling page. For example, suppose the person model has a country field - we can then set up a page model with a country dropdown and a person chooser, where an editor first selects a country from the dropdown and then opens the person chooser to be presented with a list of people from that country.

To set this up, define a url_filter_parameters attribute on the ChooserViewSet. This specifies a list of URL parameters that will be recognized for filtering the results - whenever these are passed in the URL, a filter clause on the correspondingly-named field will be applied to the queryset. These parameters should also be listed in the preserve_url_parameters attribute, so that they are preserved in the URL when navigating through the chooser (such as when following pagination links). The following definition will allow the person chooser to be filtered by country:

class PersonChooserViewSet(ChooserViewSet):
    model = "myapp.Person"
    url_filter_parameters = ["country"]
    preserve_url_parameters = ["multiple", "country"]

The chooser widget now needs to be configured to pass these URL parameters when opening the modal. This is done by passing a linked_fields dictionary to the widget’s constructor, where the keys are the names of the URL parameters to be passed, and the values are CSS selectors for the corresponding input fields on the calling page. For example, suppose we have a page model with a country dropdown and a person chooser:

class BlogPage(Page):
    country = models.ForeignKey(Country, null=True, blank=True, on_delete=models.SET_NULL)
    author = models.ForeignKey(Person, null=True, blank=True, on_delete=models.SET_NULL)

    content_panels = Page.content_panels + [
        FieldPanel('person', widget=PersonChooserWidget(linked_fields={
            # pass the country selected in the id_country input to the person chooser
            # as a URL parameter `country`
            'country': '#id_country',

A number of other lookup mechanisms are available:

    'country': {'selector': '#id_country'}  # equivalent to 'country': '#id_country'

# Look up by ID
    'country': {'id': 'id_country'}

# Regexp match, for use in StreamFields and InlinePanels where IDs are dynamic:
# 1) Match the ID of the current widget's form element (the PersonChooserWidget)
#      against the regexp '^id_blog_person_relationship-\d+-'
# 2) Append 'country' to the matched substring
# 3) Retrieve the input field with that ID
    'country': {'match': r'^id_blog_person_relationship-\d+-', 'append': 'country'},

Chooser viewsets for non-model datasources

While the generic chooser views are primarily designed to use Django models as the data source, choosers based on other sources such as REST API endpoints can be implemented through the use of the queryish library, which allows any data source to be wrapped in a Django QuerySet-like interface. This can then be passed to ChooserViewSet like a normal model. For example, the Pokemon example from the queryish documentation could be made into a chooser as follows:


import re
from import APIModel
from wagtail.admin.viewsets.chooser import ChooserViewSet

class Pokemon(APIModel):
    class Meta:
        base_url = ""
        detail_url = ""
        fields = ["id", "name"]
        pagination_style = "offset-limit"
        verbose_name_plural = "pokemon"

    def from_query_data(cls, data):
        return cls(
            id=int(re.match(r'\d+)/', data['url']).group(1)),

    def from_individual_data(cls, data):
        return cls(

    def __str__(self):

class PokemonChooserViewSet(ChooserViewSet):
    model = Pokemon

    choose_one_text = "Choose a pokemon"
    choose_another_text = "Choose another pokemon"

pokemon_chooser_viewset = PokemonChooserViewSet("pokemon_chooser")


from wagtail import hooks

from .views import pokemon_chooser_viewset

def register_pokemon_chooser_viewset():
    return pokemon_chooser_viewset