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Auto generating unique slug in Django

In this post we are going to know how to generate unique slug in django automatically. So what is slug? Consider the URL of this post: . Here the bold part of the URL is called slug.

First, consider a model ‘Article’ in which we will generate the unique slug.

In our model ‘Article’ we have three fields: title, slug and content. Django provides a built-in model field for slug, SlugField. We will generate the slug based on the title field.

How the slug will be generated: If the title of our first article is ‘New article’, the slug will be ‘new-article’. If the title of our second article is also ‘New article’, the slug will be ‘new-article-1’.  And if the title of our third article is ‘New article’ again, the slug will be ‘new-article-2’. And so on.

So, to do that we have to write code like this:

Look at the line 22, we override the save() method here. If the slug doesn’t already exist in the instance of Article, we generate it by calling _get_unique_slug() method. I am not explaining the code of _get_unique_slug() method in detail because it is kind of self explanatory. But what slugify() does? Well, if we give a string like ‘The new article title’ to slugify(), it returns ‘the-new-article-title’. Simple.

Update: 13/June/2018: It could be a better idea to use pre_save signal instead of overriding the save method what I have done in this post.

Thanks for reading this post. Have a nice day!

You should consider to read this post as well: Auto generating unique slug in Django: a generic approach.

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  1. chris

    Hi –thanks for this! Quick question–how do you handle this if you are entering information via the Admin–where it is requesting the slug field? Do you just fill it in with something similar to the title? When i try it –my admin won’t let me submit unless i fill in the field.

      • J

        Hi, I am totally new to Django and am running into a bind with this line of code, do I need to add something else? I still get the error I need to fill out the slug field.

        Also my editor tells me that super() needs an additional argument:
        super() takes at least 1 argument (0 given).

        Am I missing something from what you’ve written?

        • Hey @J, In django admin site, if you want to prepopulate the slug field based on the title field, you will need to put that line of code in your ModelAdmin. More info.

          About super(): Probably you are using python 2.x. In that case, you need to write super(Article, self). In python 3.x you can write just super().

  2. monkeyman

    Thanks for the article. Really easy to follow and works for me – just one quick question. I’m pretty new to python / Django. Where do you find info on the ‘{}’. syntax?

    Thanks again

  3. Jack

    Thanks for clarifying the unique slugifying method.
    What is the reason for defining the method “_get_unique_slug(self)” beginning with an underscore “_”?

  4. Andrew

    Hello! Thank You for your post, it helped me a lot. But I am not sure about this thing: super().save(), I think that it should be something like this: super().save(*args, **kwargs), isn’t it?

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