ASP.NET TextBox - How to attach the jQuery AutoComplete Plugin (Webinar Video)

ASP.NET Team Blog
04 August 2011

Check out the screencast and Code Central sample below to learn how to add the jQuery AutoComplete Plugin to a DevExpress ASP.NET TextBox control.

jQuery AutoComplete Plugin - DevExpress ASP.NET TextBox


Autocomplete an input field to enable users quickly finding and selecting some value, leveraging searching and filtering.

By giving an autocompleted field focus or entering something into it, the plugin starts searching for matching entries and displays a list of values to choose from. By entering more characters, the user can filter down the list to better matches.

This can be used to enter previous selected values, eg. for tags, to complete an address, eg. enter a city name and get the zip code, or maybe enter email addresses from an addressbook.

Both local and remote data can be used: Local is good for small datasets (like an addressbook with 50 entries), remote is necessary for big datasets, like a database with hundreds or millions of entries to select from. -jQuery docs


There's 3 main steps to adding the jQuery AutoComplete to the DevExpress ASPxTextBox control:

1. Define your source of data. It can be a JavaScript string, array, or even a callback. In this sample, I've got a simple string array of different computer languages:

<script type="text/javascript">
    var availableTags = [

2. Here's the important part. Since jQuery is a client-side only technology, it works with HTML elements. So the jQuery AutoComplete plugin will require the input element that it will be attached to. In our case, we need to get the client-side reference to the ASPxTextBox.

And the DevExpress ASP.NET controls make it easy because they have great client-side support. The ASPxClientTextBox, the client-side object that represents the ASPxTextBox, exposes the GetInputElement method for us. This gives us access to the underlying INPUT element of the ASPxTextBox. Using the GetMainElement method, we'll pass it to the

For the DevExpress ASPxTextBox, define a client-side 'INIT' event handler like so:

<dx:ASPxTextBox ID="textBox" runat="server" Width="170px">
    <ClientSideEvents Init="OnTextBoxInit" />
<script type="text/javascript">
    function OnTextBoxInit(s, e) {
            source: availableTags,
                my: "left top",
                at: "left bottom",
                of: s.GetMainElement()

In the code above, the OnTextBoxInit method calls the jQuery AutoComplete plugin and passes it the 'availableTags' string array as a source of data. To properly position the plugin over the TextBox, we pass the 'position' attributes

3. Finally, theme the list of items being displayed using the jQuery AutoComplete plugin's CSS styles:

    border: solid 1px #000000;
    list-style-type: none;
    margin: 0px;
    overflow: auto;
    padding: 0px;
    width: 168px;
ul.ui-autocomplete a.ui-corner-all
    background-color: #EEEEEE;
    display: block;
    font-weight: bold;
ul.ui-autocomplete a.ui-state-hover
    background-color: #0A246A;
    color: #ffffff;
    cursor: pointer;
    display: block;

And that's it. Now when you run the sample, your end-users will get a nice list of items that matches the text entered into the TextBox.

Download Source Code

Download and play with a sample version of this now on your local machine. Click on this Code Central sample:

ASPxTextBox - How to attach the jQuery AutoComplete plugin

If you're not sure how to use CodeCentral then watch this short how-to use code central video.

Watch The Screencast

Watch part 2 of the 'Using jQuery with DevExpress ASP.NET Controls' webinar video and you'll see a video version of how to add the jQuery AutoComplete plugin:


Got Lots of Data?

DevExpress ASP.NET Ajax EditorsThe jQuery AutoComplete is a great solution for relative small amounts of data. However, if you have a large set of data, say about 20,000 records, then I recommend you consider a different approach.

Use the DevExpress ASP.NET Combo Box because it supports binding to a large set of data and filtering with ease and fast performance!

See the DevExpress ASP.NET Combo Box in action here: Combo Box - Filtering Large Data Source



Learn how to use the jQuery AutoComplete plugin with a DevExpress ASP.NET TextBox.

Download and play with a full working sample.

Watch the jQuery with DevExpress Part 2 webinar video to learn step by step and get a better explanation.

Drop me a line below with your thoughts on the slick jQuery AutoComplete plugin and DevExpress ASP.NET TextBox integration. Thanks!

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Felipe R Machado
Felipe R Machado

Are you kidding me? I can't believe you're being serious!!! I was about to integrate the auto-complete yesterday (into an ASP.NET MVC 3 application), in fact this is one of the last finishing touches in my application... But it was around 3 AM here in Brazil, so I went to sleep instead... Only to realize you did it for me :-) Thanks!!!

8 August 2011
Mehul Harry (DevExpress)
Mehul Harry (DevExpress)


Thanks. Late night coding, some of the best time to code. :)

8 August 2011
Ultima Software S.L.
Ultima Software S.L.

I have just do the same thing. It will be best reading this blog before but. In my code the source is an WCF service:


           source: function (request, response) {


                   , AsyncResultClienteAutoComplete

                   , Error); ....

17 August 2011
Mehul Harry (DevExpress)
Mehul Harry (DevExpress)

Hi Emilio,

Sorry about that, I had listed the wrong method. As you figured out, you should use the GetInputElement() as I have I the code and not the GetMainElement() which I had listed in the paragraph. :)

17 August 2011
Adam Schlager
Adam Schlager

I know this is an old thread, but...

This code works great for me!

Until I put it into a user control.

Then I get OnTextBoxInit is not defined.

Any ideas why?

25 July 2012
Mehul Harry (DevExpress)
Mehul Harry (DevExpress)


Try the approach mentioned here:

If that doesn't help then please contact our support team and they can help you:


25 July 2012
evolcoder bwin
evolcoder bwin

Is there any ideas how to fix Asp.NET Mvc GridView Column TextEdit, when user inputs some data on first row at column 0. and in next row at column 0 previous data show, but when he passes to next column cell, the data of previous cell is not shown, but in input which is invisible it presents. so strange and uncomfortable, being strugling 2 days

21 May 2014
Mehul Harry (DevExpress)
Mehul Harry (DevExpress)

Hi evolcoder,

Please contact our support team and they can help you:


21 May 2014

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