With the new Drupal8 Modal API I've been able to get a pretty powerful form going.

The form essentially does a POST to an API and displays some search results, which the user can filter. I want to paginate these results.

I'm having a lot of trouble wrapping my head around how this could be done, whether it's with custom ajax requests to increment some kind of counter that is used in the buildForm() function that does the API call, or something else. I've attempted to use Drupal's built in pagination but that doesn't seem like a feasible option as it doesn't even take route parameters.

A full example of the form can be seen at https://github.com/acbramley/embridge/blob/master/src/Form/EmbridgeSearchForm.php

Pagination seems to be broken in core through modals as well, when using a modal window to display (for example) the admin/content screen, pagination doesn't work.

  • I think pager would have to have the proper css/ajax classes in order for it to work with modal.
    – user21641
    Feb 18, 2016 at 7:55
  • @IvanJaros thanks, I might give it a go with a preprocessor to add those classes in. Feb 22, 2016 at 22:22

1 Answer 1


To implement this I went down a similar route as the "Add another item" functionality on field api fields. For reference, this is done in WidgetBase.php.

Firstly, I copied over a couple of static functions to get and set values inside storage:

 * {@inheritdoc}
public static function getModalState(FormStateInterface $form_state) {
  return NestedArray::getValue($form_state->getStorage(), ['search_results']);

 * {@inheritdoc}
public static function setModalState(FormStateInterface $form_state, array $field_state) {
  NestedArray::setValue($form_state->getStorage(), ['search_results'], $field_state);

Then in buildForm() I added this to intialise the storage if it wasn't set yet.

if (!static::getModalState($form_state)) {
  $field_state = array(
    'page' => 1,
  static::setModalState($form_state, $field_state);

And then use the storage to get the page parameter for my search:

$modal_state = static::getModalState($form_state);
$page = $modal_state['page'];
$search_response = $this->getSearchResults($page);

The crucial part of the implementation was separating the increment in the page variable from the ajax handler and putting it into the submit handler. So for the "Next" button:

// Add "next page" pager.
$form['next'] = [
  '#type' => 'submit',
  '#value' => $this->t('Next'),
  '#submit' => ['::nextPageSubmit'],
  '#ajax' => array(
    'callback' => '::searchAjax',
    'wrapper' => self::AJAX_WRAPPER_ID,
    'effect' => 'fade',

And the submit handler

 * Submission handler for the "Next page" button.
 * @param array $form
 *   The form.
 * @param FormStateInterface $form_state
 *   The form state.
public function nextPageSubmit(array $form, FormStateInterface $form_state) {
  // Increment the page count.
  $modal_state = self::getModalState($form_state);
  self::setModalState($form_state, $modal_state);


My ajax callback is then the same for searching, and paginating.

I also added a submit handler to the search button to reset the page back to 1.

The full source code for the form in this state can be found at https://github.com/acbramley/embridge/blob/2a561c9c388ccf715f93727cf136e50fc02163c9/src/Form/EmbridgeSearchForm.php

These code snippets are essentially the guts of what I needed to get the pagination working.

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