Code Quality Rank: L5
Monthly Downloads: 110,607
Programming language: Ruby
License: MIT License
Tags: Navigation    
Latest version: v3.0.1

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Breadcrumbs On Rails

BreadcrumbsOnRails is a simple Ruby on Rails plugin for creating and managing a breadcrumb navigation for a Rails project. It provides helpers for creating navigation elements with a flexible interface.

Build Status Tidelift dependencies



  • Ruby >= 2.4
  • Rails >= 5

For older versions use a previous release.


Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem "breadcrumbs_on_rails"

And then execute bundle to install the dependencies:


Use Bundler and the :git option if you want to grab the latest version from the Git repository.


Creating a breadcrumb navigation menu in your Rails app using BreadcrumbsOnRails is really straightforward.

In your controller, call add_breadcrumb to push a new element on the breadcrumb stack. add_breadcrumb requires two arguments: the name of the breadcrumb and the target path.

class MyController

  add_breadcrumb "home", :root_path
  add_breadcrumb "my", :my_path

  def index
    # ...

    add_breadcrumb "index", index_path


See the section "Breadcrumb Element" for more details about name and target class types.

The third, optional argument is a Hash of options to customize the breadcrumb link.

class MyController
  def index
    add_breadcrumb "index", index_path, title: "Back to the Index"

In your view, you can render the breadcrumb menu with the render_breadcrumbs helper.

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN"
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en">
  <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8"/>

  <%= render_breadcrumbs %>

render_breadcrumbs understands a limited set of options. For example, you can pass change the default separator with the :separator option.

  <%= render_breadcrumbs :separator => ' / ' %>

Current possible options are:

  • :separator
  • :tag

To use with Bootstrap you might use the following:

  <ol class="breadcrumb">
    <%= render_breadcrumbs :tag => :li, :separator => "" %>

More complex customizations require a custom Builder.

HTML Escaping

The text of the breadcrumb is html-escaped by default unless it is a SafeBuffer, to prevent XSS attacks.

class MyController
  add_breadcrumb "This is the <b>Main</b> page".html_safe

  def profile
    add_breadcrumb "#{@user_name} Profile", users_profile

In this case, if @user_name is <script>, it will output:

This is the <b>Main</b> page > &lt;script&gt; Profile

Breadcrumb Element

A breadcrumbs menu is composed by a number of Element objects. Each object contains two attributes: the name of the breadcrumb and the target path.

When you call add_breadcrumb, the method automatically creates a new Element object for you and append it to the breadcrumbs stack. Element name and path can be one of the following Ruby types:

  • Symbol
  • Proc
  • String


If the value is a Symbol, the library calls the corresponding method defined in the same context the and sets the Element attribute to the returned value.

class MyController

  # The Name is set to the value returned by
  # the :root_name method.
  add_breadcrumb :root_name, "/"


    def root_name
      "the name"



If the value is a Proc, the library calls the proc passing the current view context as argument and sets the Element attribute to the returned value. This is useful if you want to postpone the execution to get access to some special methods/variables created in your controller action.

class MyController

  # The Name is set to the value returned by
  # the :root_name method.
  add_breadcrumb Proc.new { |c| c.my_helper_method },



If the value is a String, the library sets the Element attribute to the string value.

class MyController

  # The Name is set to the value returned by
  # the :root_name method.
  add_breadcrumb "homepage", "/"


Restricting breadcrumb scope

The add_breadcrumb method understands all options you are used to pass to a Rails controller filter. In fact, behind the scenes this method uses a before_filter to store the tab in the @breadcrumbs variable.

Taking advantage of Rails filter options, you can restrict a tab to a selected group of actions in the same controller.

class PostsController < ApplicationController
  add_breadcrumb "admin", :admin_path
  add_breadcrumb "posts", :posts_path, only: [:index, :show]

class ApplicationController < ActionController::Base
  add_breadcrumb "admin", :admin_path, if: :admin_controller?

  def admin_controller?
    self.class.name =~ /^Admin(::|Controller)/

Internationalization and Localization

BreadcrumbsOnRails is compatible with the standard Rails internationalization framework.

For example, if you want to localize your menu, define a new breadcrumbs node in your .yml file with all the keys for your elements.

# config/locales/en.yml
    homepage: Homepage
    first: First
    second: Second
    third: Third

# config/locales/it.yml
    homepage: Homepage
    first: Primo
    second: Secondo
    third: Terzo

In your controller, use the I18n.t method.

class PostsController < ApplicationController
  add_breadcrumb I18n.t("breadcrumbs.first"),  :first_path
  add_breadcrumb I18n.t("breadcrumbs.second"), :second_path, only: [:second]
  add_breadcrumb I18n.t("breadcrumbs.third"),  :third_path,  only: [:third]

class ApplicationController < ActionController::Base
  add_breadcrumb I18n.t("breadcrumbs.homepage"), :root_path


Library documentation is auto-generated from the README and the source code, and it's available at https://rubydoc.info/gems/breadcrumbs_on_rails.

Commercial support available as part of the Tidelift Subscription - Learn more

The maintainers of breadcrumbs_on_rails and thousands of other packages are working with Tidelift to deliver commercial support and maintenance for the open source dependencies you use to build your applications. Save time, reduce risk, and improve code health, while paying the maintainers of the exact dependencies you use. Consider subscribing to Tidelift which provides Enterprise support for this project.


BreadcrumbsOnRails was created and is maintained by Simone Carletti. Many improvements and bugfixes were contributed by the open source community.

Security and Vulnerability Reporting

Full information and description of our security policy please visit [SECURITY.md](SECURITY.md)


See the [CHANGELOG.md](CHANGELOG.md) file for details.


Copyright (c) 2009-2020 Simone Carletti. This is Free Software distributed under the MIT license.

*Note that all licence references and agreements mentioned in the Breadcrumbs on Rails README section above are relevant to that project's source code only.