Templates are just normal Django HTML templates, so anything you could normally do in a Django template will still work, including template tags, filters, loops, if statements, etc.


Unicorn requires there to be one root element surrounding the component template.


To reduce the verbosity of templates, u: can be used as a shorthand for any attribute that starts with unicorn:. All of the examples in the documentation use unicorn: to be explicit, but both are supported.

Model modifiers


To prevent updates from happening on every input, you can append a lazy modifier to the end of unicorn:model. That will only update the component when a blur event happens.

<!-- waits-for-blur.html -->
  <input unicorn:model.lazy="name" type="text" id="name" />
  Hello {{ name|title }}


The debounce modifier configures how long to wait to fire an event. The time is always specified in milliseconds, for example: unicorn:model.debounce-1000 would wait for 1000 milliseconds (1 second) before firing the message.

<!-- waits-1-second.html -->
  <input unicorn:model.debounce-1000="name" type="text" id="name" />
  Hello {{ name|title }}


The defer modifier will store and save model changes until the next action gets triggered. This is useful to prevent additional network requests until an action is triggered.

<!-- defer.html -->
  <input unicorn:model.defer="task" type="text" id="task" />
  <button unicorn:click="add">Add task</button>
    {% for task in tasks %}
    <li>{{ task }}</li>
    {% endfor %}

Chaining modifiers

Lazy and debounce modifiers can even be chained together.

<!-- waits-for-blur-and-then-5-seconds.html -->
  <input unicorn:model.lazy.debounce-5000="name" type="text" id="text" />
  Hello {{ name|title }}


Smooth updates

Setting a unique id on elements with unicorn:model will prevent changes to an input from being choppy when there are lots of updates in quick succession.

<!-- choppy-updates.html -->
<input type="text" unicorn:model="name"></input>
!-- smooth-updates.html -->
<input type="text" id="someFancyId" unicorn:model="name"></input>

However, setting the same id on two elements with the same unicorn:model won’t work. The unicorn:key attribute can be used to make sure that the elements can be synced as expected.

<!-- missing-updates.html -->
<input type="text" id="someFancyId" unicorn:model="name"></input>
<input type="text" id="someFancyId" unicorn:model="name"></input>
<!-- this-should-work.html -->
<input type="text" id="someFancyId" unicorn:model="name"></input>
<input type="text" id="someFancyId" unicorn:model="name" unicorn:key="someFancyKey"></input>

DOM merging

The JavaScript library used to merge changes in the DOM, morphdom, uses an element’s id to intelligently update DOM elements. If it isn’t possible to have an id attribute on the element, unicorn:key will be used if it is available.

Lifecycle events

Unicorn provides events that fire when different parts of the lifecycle occur.


The updated event is fired after the AJAX call finishes and the component is merged with the newly rendered component template. The callback gets called with one argument, component, which can be inspected if necessary.

<!-- updated-event.html -->

<script type="application/javascript">
  window.addEventListener("DOMContentLoaded", (event) => {
    Unicorn.addEventListener("updated", (component) =>
      console.log("got updated", component)

Ignore elements

Some JavaScript libraries will change the DOM (such as Select2) after the page renders. That can cause issues for Unicorn when trying to merge that DOM with what Unicorn thinks the DOM should be. unicorn:ignore can be used to prevent Unicorn from morphing that element or its children.


When the component is initially rendered, normal Django template functionality can be used.

<!-- ignored-element.html -->
  <script src="jquery.min.js"></script>
  <link href="select2.min.css" rel="stylesheet" />
  <script src="select2.min.js"></script>

  <div unicorn:ignore>
      onchange="Unicorn.call('ignored-element', 'select_state', this.value, this.selectedIndex);"
      {% for state in states %}
      <option value="{{ state }}">{{ state }}</option>
      {% endfor %}

    $(document).ready(function () {
# ignored_element.py
from django_unicorn.components import UnicornView

class JsView(UnicornView):
    states = (
    selected_state = ""

    def select_state(self, state_name, selected_idx):
        print("select_state state_name", state_name)
        print("select_state selected_idx", selected_idx)
        self.selected_state = state_name