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The scope of the Pagy class is keeping track of the all integers and variables involved in the pagination. It basically takes a few integers (such as the count of the collection, the page number, the items per page, …), does some simple aritmetic and creates a very small object that allocates less than 3k of memory. (source)


# set global defaults and extra variables typically in the pagy.rb initializer
# they will get merged with every new Pagy instance
Pagy::VARS[:items]    = 25
Pagy::VARS[:some_var] = 'default value'

# create a new instance (usually done automatically by the #pagy controller method)
pagy = Pagy.new(count: 1000, page: 3, instance_var: 'instance var')
#=> #<Pagy:0x000056070d954330 ... >

# fetch variables (with global default)
#=> "default value"

# fetch variables passed to the instance
#=> "instance var"

# fetch instance attributes
#=> 25

# get the page series
#=> [1, 2, "3", 4, 5, 6, 7, :gap, 40]

Global Variables

The Pagy::VARS is a globally available hash used to set defaults variables. It gets merged with (and overridden by) the variables passed with the new method every times a Pagy instance gets created.

You will typically use it in a pagy.rb initializer file to pass defaults values. For example:

Pagy::VARS[:items]     = 25
Pagy::VARS[:my_option] = 'my option'



This method returns the pathname of the pagy/lib root dir. It is useful to get the absolute path of template, locale and javascript files installed with the gem.


Notice: If you use the Pagy::Backend its pagy method will instantiate and return the Pagy object for you.

The Pagy.new method accepts a single hash of variables that will be merged with the Pagy::Vars hash and will be used to create the object.


All the variables passed to the new method will be merged with the Pagy::VARS hash and will be kept in the object, passed around with it and accessible through the pagy.vars hash.

They can be set globally by using the Pagy::VARS hash or passed to the Pagy.new method and are accessible through the vars reader.

Notice: Pagy replaces the blank values of the passed variables with their default values coming from the Pagy::VARS hash. It also applies to_i on the values expected to be integers, so you can use values from request params without problems. For example: pagy(some_scope, items: params[:items]) will work without any additional cleanup.

Instance Variables

A few variables are particularly important for the calculation of the pagination, and therefore are validated and used to initialize a few instance variables.

The only mandatory instance variable to be passed is the :count of the collection to paginate: all the other variables are optional and have sensible defaults. Of course you will also have to pass the page or you will always get the default page number 1. They are all integers:

Variable Description Default
:count the total count of the collection to paginate (mandatory argument) nil
:page the requested page number 1
:items the requested number of items for the page 20
:outset the initial offset of the collection to paginate: pass it only if the collection had an offset 0

Other Variables

Variable Description Default
:size the size of the page links to show: array of initial pages, before current page, after current page, final pages. (see also Control the page links) [1,4,4,1]
:page_param the name of the page param name used in the url. (see Customizing the page param) :page
:params the arbitrary param hash to add to the url. (see Customizing the params) {}
:fragment the arbitrary fragment string (including the “#”) to add to the url. (see Customizing the params) ""
:link_extra the extra attributes string (formatted as a valid HTML attribute/value pairs) added to the page links (see Customizing the link attributes) ""
:i18n_key the i18n key to lookup the item_name that gets interpolated in a few helper outputs (see Customizing the item name) "pagy.item_name"
:cycle enable cycling/circular/infinite pagination: true sets next to 1 when the current page is the last page false

There is no specific validation for non-instance variables.

Attribute Readers

Pagy exposes all the instance variables needed for the pagination through a few attribute readers. They all return integers (or nil), except the vars hash:

Reader Description
count the collection :count
page the current page number
items the actual number of items in the current non-empty page (can be less than the requested :items variable)
pages the number of total pages in the collection (same as last but with cardinal meaning)
last the number of the last page in the collection (same as pages but with ordinal meaning)
offset the number of items skipped from the collection in order to get the start of the current page (:outset included)
from the collection-position of the first item in the page (:outset excluded)
to the collection-position of the last item in the page (:outset excluded)
prev the previous page number or nil if there is no previous page
next the next page number or nil if there is no next page
vars the variables hash


This method is the core of the pagination. It returns an array containing the page numbers and the :gap items to be rendered with the navigation links (e.g. [1, :gap, 7, 8, "9", 10, 11, :gap, 36]). It accepts an optional size argument (only useful for extras), defaulted on the :size variable.

Notice: A :gap is added only where the series is missing at least two pages. When the series is missing only one page, the :gap is replaced with the page link of the actual missing page. That’s because the page link uses the same space of the ... gap but it is more useful.

The nav helpers and the templates basically loop through this array and render the correct item by simply checking its type:

That is self-contained, simple and efficient.

Notice: This method returns an empty array if the passed size (i.e. the :size variable by default) is set to an empty array. Useful to totally skip the generation of page links in the frontend.

Lowest limit analysys

The lowest possible limit of the pagination is reached when the collection has 0 count. In that case the Pagy object created has the following peculiar attributes:

Attribute Value
count 0
page 1
pages 1
last 1
from 0
to 0
prev nil
next nil
series ["1"]

Which means:



A subclass of ArgumentError that offers a few informations for easy exception handling when some of the variable passed to the constructor is not valid.

rescue Pagy::VariableError => e
  e.pagy     #=> the pagy object that raised the exception
  e.variable #=> the offending variable symbol (e.g. :page)
  e.value    #=> the value of the offending variable (e.g -3)

Mostly useful if you want to rescue from bad user input (e.g. illegal URL manipulation).


A subclass of Pagy::VariableError: it is raised when the :page variable exceed the maximum possible value calculated for the :count, i.e. the :page variable is in the correct range, but it’s not consistent with the current :count. That may happen when the :count has been reduced after a page link has been generated (e.g. some record has been just removed from the DB). See also the overflow extra.