Setting all inputs as $dirty in AngularJS 1.2

By design, in Angular, all forms and inputs are $invalid by default. They are also $pristine, meaning they haven't been touched. So if you need to display an error message next to a field, you not only have to check if the field is $invalid, but also if it's $dirty.

Now imagine you load your page, containing a form. You have several fields, and none have any validation rules applied (no ng-required, nor ng-pattern). At this stage, you form is $invalid, because at least on of its fields is $invalid.

Each field will switch to $dirty when a value is typed in it. Switching to $dirty will also trigger validation rules (if any), and updating its $valid/$invalid property accordingly. When all fields will become $valid, the parent form will also automatically become $valid.

The problem with that is when you want to submit your form without entering anything in any of the fields. Your form is considered $invalid. You have to manually focus each field and enter a value to make it become $valid.

I haven't found a nice way in Angular to trigger validation rules on all fields of a form at once, to recalculate its validity. What I've found is that if I update the viewValue, then the field becomes $dirty and validation rules kicks in and can pass my field to $valid. So updating the viewValue with itself (thus, not changing anything) becomes a hackish way to trigger validation.

So I coded the following method. It takes a $scope as argument and will loop through each form in the scope, and trigger each field validation in this form through the setViewValue hack explained above. It will also handle nested forms.

function setAllInputsDirty(scope) {
  _.each(scope, function(value, key) {
    // We skip non-form and non-inputs
    if (!value || value.$dirty === undefined) {
    // Recursively applying same method on all forms included in the form
    if (value.$addControl) {
      return setAllInputsDirty(value);
    // Setting inputs to $dirty, but re-applying its content in itself
    if (value.$setViewValue) {
      return value.$setViewValue(value.$viewValue);

Note that it does some weak duck typing to check if an element is a form or an input by checking for some methods. This will easily break, so be careful.

Tags : #angular #$dirty #$valid #validation

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