Django 1.11 or 1.8 Admin App/Model Reordering

Django apps are registered via installed_apps in settings and models are registered via And once registered they show up alphabetically on the admin panel. To reorder them we have to either tinker with the admin html files or add template tags. Here is a middleware that avoids all of that and helps you label admin apps, models and also order them the way you want.

Steps to follow:

Let us assume the following django directory structure:



1- Create a file within any of you apps (say myapp1)

2- Add the following content to the file

from copy import deepcopy
from django.conf import settings
from django.contrib import admin
from django.core.exceptions import ImproperlyConfigured
from django.core.urlresolvers import resolve
For Django 1.11 use this init function and class instead
from django.utils.deprecation import MiddlewareMixin
class AdminReorder(MiddlewareMixin):
    def __init__(self, get_response):
        self.get_response = get_response
class AdminReorder(object):

    def init_config(self, request, app_list):
        self.request = request
        self.app_list = app_list

        self.config = getattr(settings, 'ADMIN_REORDER', None)
        if not self.config:
            # ADMIN_REORDER settings is not defined.
            raise ImproperlyConfigured('ADMIN_REORDER config is not defined.')

        if not isinstance(self.config, (tuple, list)):
            raise ImproperlyConfigured(
                'ADMIN_REORDER config parameter must be tuple or list. '
                'Got {config}'.format(config=self.config))

        admin_index =
            # try to get all installed models
            app_list = admin_index.context_data['app_list']
        except KeyError:
            # use app_list from context if this fails

        # Flatten all models from apps
        self.models_list = []
        for app in app_list:
            for model in app['models']:
                model['model_name'] = self.get_model_name(
                    app['app_label'], model['object_name'])

    def get_app_list(self):
        ordered_app_list = []
        for app_config in self.config:
            app = self.make_app(app_config)
            if app:
        return ordered_app_list

    def make_app(self, app_config):
        if not isinstance(app_config, (dict, str)):
            raise TypeError('ADMIN_REORDER list item must be '
                            'dict or string. Got %s' % repr(app_config))

        if isinstance(app_config, str):
            # Keep original label and models
            return self.find_app(app_config)
            return self.process_app(app_config)

    def find_app(self, app_label):
        for app in self.app_list:
            if app['app_label'] == app_label:
                return app

    def get_model_name(self, app_name, model_name):
        if '.' not in model_name:
            model_name = '%s.%s' % (app_name, model_name)
        return model_name

    def process_app(self, app_config):
        if 'app' not in app_config:
            raise NameError('ADMIN_REORDER list item must define '
                            'a "app" name. Got %s' % repr(app_config))

        app = self.find_app(app_config['app'])
        if app:
            app = deepcopy(app)
            # Rename app
            if 'label' in app_config:
                app['name'] = app_config['label']

            # Process app models
            if 'models' in app_config:
                models_config = app_config.get('models')
                models = self.process_models(models_config)
                if models:
                    app['models'] = models
            return app

    def process_models(self, models_config):
        if not isinstance(models_config, (dict, list, tuple)):
            raise TypeError("models" config for ADMIN_REORDER list '
                            'item must be dict or list/tuple. '
                            'Got %s' % repr(models_config))

        ordered_models_list = []
        for model_config in models_config:
            model = None
            if isinstance(model_config, dict):
                model = self.process_model(model_config)
                model = self.find_model(model_config)

            if model:

        return ordered_models_list

    def find_model(self, model_name):
        for model in self.models_list:
            if model['model_name'] == model_name:
                return model

    def process_model(self, model_config):
        # Process model defined as { model: 'model', 'label': 'label' }
        for key in ('model', 'label', ):
            if key not in model_config:
        model = self.find_model(model_config['model'])
        if model:
            model['name'] = model_config['label']
            return model

    def process_template_response(self, request, response):
        url = resolve(request.path)
        if not url.app_name == 'admin' and \
                url.url_name not in ['index', 'app_list']:
            # current view is not a django admin index
            # or app_list view, bail out!
            return response

            app_list = response.context_data['app_list']
        except KeyError:
            # there is no app_list! nothing to reorder
            return response

        self.init_config(request, app_list)
        ordered_app_list = self.get_app_list()
        response.context_data['app_list'] = ordered_app_list
        return response

3- Next add the following to the myproject/settings/


3- Now lets reorder and rename your models and apps.

Let say within myapp1 we have 3 models myapp1model1, myapp1model2, myapp1model3 and within myapp2 we have 2 models myapp2model1, myapp2model2

So within again lets add this:

{'app': 'myapp1', 'label': 'My Application 1',
'models': ({'model':"myapp1.myapp1model3",'label':'My App1 Model3'},
{'model':"myapp1.myapp1model2",'label': 'MyModel2'},
{'app': 'myapp2', 'label': 'My Application 2',
'models': ("myapp2.myapp2model2", "myapp2.myapp2model1")

So that will reorder you apps. Hope that helps!


ManytoMany fields in Django Model with specific order

Django Models has limited option when it comes to ManyToMany fields. Say you have a Image model with a records: image1, image2 .. upto image7. And you want to create a Gallery model as a list of images that has a specific order image4, image7, image2. Then we need to have image4, 7 and 2 inserted into Image model in the same order. Else the multi selection widget will not allow us to select in random order and hence the gallery will always have objects in the same order as has been inserted into Image model.

To solve this issue Django provides a through argument that allows to create another model to govern the many-to-many relationship between your Gallery and Image model.  Say we call Order Model and then our model class will look like this:

class Gallery(models.Model):
    name = models.CharField(max_length=200, null=False, blank=False, unique=True)
    image = models.ForeignKey('Image',through='Order')
class Image(models.Model):
    name = models.CharField(max_length=200, null=False, blank=False, unique=True)
    image = models.ImageField(upload_to='folder-path/static/img')
class Order(models.Model):
    image = models.ForeignKey('Image')
    gallery = models.ForeignKey('Gallery')

The problem with this method is, it is quite crude way to implement such a thing as everytime you create a gallery with 10 Image records you have to enter 10 records to Order model to say in what order they should be pushed into Gallery. A much cleaner way of doing this is by using a external javascript which will fake a list of Image dropdowns in a ordered pattern and allow the user to enter the images in the order needed and then saving it to json object and sending it to backend to save as a field. Following is a simple implementation of this:

Django models would look like this:

class Gallery(models.Model):
    name = models.CharField(max_length=200, null=False, blank=False, unique=True)
    size = models.IntegerField(null=False, blank=False, default=1,
                               help_text='Enter the number of images in the gallery. Default Min=1')
    #this field will be duplicated to create a fake ordering for user
    image = models.ForeignKey('Image')
    #this will be a hidden field to maintain our ordering
    image_order = JSONField()

class Image(models.Model):
    name = models.CharField(max_length=200, null=False, blank=False, unique=True)
    image = models.ImageField(upload_to='folder-path/static/img')
    url = models.CharField(max_length=3000, null=True, blank=True,
                           help_text='Path that will render this image')

The for this model would define the js file and save method as follows:

class GalleryAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    class Media:
        js = ('admin/js/admin_custom_gallery.js',)
    def save_model(request, obj, form, change):
        if type(obj.image_order) is not str:
            obj.image_order = json.dumps(obj.image_order)
class ImageAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    def save_model(request, obj, form, change):
        obj.url = "img/" + str(obj.image)

And the javascript file would look like this:

var $ = django.jQuery;
    //Set the image order json field in admin to display none
    var size = $('#id_size').val();

    /*Count maintains the count of dropdowns and index
    is the position. The json object is the input to the field
    that maintains the list of images and their order when
    saving gallery object
    var count = 1;
    var index = 0;
    var jsonobject = {}

    We use the on function to check if there is a change in
    the size of gallery item. If the user changes it to a new
    value greater than current value, we add dropdowns else
    we delete them. Also we account for the case where the user
    deletes the size to blank before entering a new value and
    we ignore any changes for this case
    $('#id_size').on('input', function() {
        if ($('#id_size').val()!=''){
            size = $('#id_size').val();
            //when element deleted remove dropdown and delete from jsonobject list
            if ($('#id_size').val() < count ) {                 while (count > $('#id_size').val()){
                    if ($('#id_size').val() == 0){
                        alert("Gallery size cannot be zero.");
                    delete jsonobject[index];

            //when element added add a new dropdown with blank value
                while (count < $('#id_size').val()){                     if (index == 0){                         $('#id_image').clone().attr('id', 'id_image_'+count).insertAfter('#id_image');                         $("#id_image_"+count).val("");                     }                     else{                         $('#id_image_'+index).clone().attr('id', 'id_image_'+count).insertAfter('#id_image_'+index);                         $("#id_image_"+count).val("");                     }                     index++;                     count++;                 }             }             //when blank dropdown value changes update jsonobject list             $('[id^="id_image"]').change(function() {                 var id = $(this).attr('id').substring($(this).attr('id').lastIndexOf("_") + 1, $(this).attr('id').length);                 if (id=="image"){                     jsonobject[0] = $(this).val();                 }                 else {                     jsonobject[id] = $(this).val();                 }                 $('#id_image_order').text(JSON.stringify(jsonobject));             });         }     });     //if gallery object already exist we loop through images and create pre-populated dropdowns     if ($('#id_image_order').length > 0) {
        var imageorder = JSON.parse($('#id_image_order').val().
            replace(/\\/g, '').replace(/"{/g, '{').replace(/}"/g, '}'));
        //first create dropdowns
        while (count < $('#id_size').val()){
            if (index == 0){
                $('#id_image').clone().attr('id', 'id_image_'+count).insertAfter('#id_image');
                $('#id_image_'+index).clone().attr('id', 'id_image_'+count).insertAfter('#id_image_'+index);
        //populate dropdowns with selected values
        $.each(imageorder, function(k, v) {
            if (k==0){
                $('#id_image option[value='+v+']').attr("selected","selected");
                $('#id_image_'+k+' option[value='+v+']').attr("selected","selected");
        jsonobject = imageorder;
    //when existing dropdown value changes update jsonobject list
    $('[id^="id_image"]').change(function() {
        var id = $(this).attr('id').substring($(this).attr('id').lastIndexOf("_") + 1, $(this).attr('id').length);
        if (id=="image"){
            jsonobject[0] = $(this).val();
        else {
            jsonobject[id] = $(this).val();

Last but not the least when retrieving values in views, this can be done using:

for gal in Gallery.objects.all():
    image_order = json.loads(gal.image_order)
    imagelist = []
    for key in range(0, len(image_order)):
    gallery[] = imagelist

This gives a simple example of how to use javascript/jquery to implement admin functionality in Django.