Ion list options buttons are nice feature taken from the iOS environment. It’s an ingenious solution if you want to show additional list buttons without taking additional space.

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When working with Ionic lists you can easily trigger this feature using a simple swipe left gesture. Unfortunately, there isn’t any other way of achieving this effect, at lease not officially.
Some time ago, Ionic forum user jdnichollsc made this nice directive:
app.directive('holdList', ['$ionicGesture', function($ionicGesture) {
  return {
    restrict: 'A',
    link: function(scope, element, attrs) {
      $ionicGesture.on('hold', function(e) {

        var content = element[0].querySelector('.item-content');

        var buttons = element[0].querySelector('.item-options');
        var buttonsWidth = buttons.offsetWidth;

        ionic.requestAnimationFrame(function() {
[ionic.CSS.TRANSITION] = 'all ease-out .25s';

          if (!buttons.classList.contains('invisible')) {
  [ionic.CSS.TRANSFORM] = '';
            setTimeout(function() {
            }, 250);
          } else {
  [ionic.CSS.TRANSFORM] = 'translate3d(-' + buttonsWidth + 'px, 0, 0)';

      }, element);
If you add it to an ion item element like this:
<ion-item item="group" collection-repeat="movie in movies" collection-item-width="'100%'" collection-item-height="100" href="#/movie/{{}}" class="item-thumbnail-left" hold-list>
You will be able to show options buttons on touch hold event.
Hold event can be easily replaced in this custom directive line:
$ionicGesture.on('hold', function(e) {
Just replace it with, let’s say touch:
$ionicGesture.on('touch', function(e) {
Working example can be found here:
Working Example

Who Am I?

Between working as a senior Java developer in one of the largest insurance companies in the world and traveling, in my free time, I work as a professional mobile development adviser. I'm also a major jQuery Mobile supporter back at StackOverflow and a forum moderator at the official Ionic Framework forum.

  • Thanks for the credits! 🙂
    See my new directive:

  • Eyy man, add the following line 🙂
    ionic.Gestures.gestures.Hold.defaults.hold_threshold = 20;

  • Liew Zhi Ying

    Hi, I’m currently using your directive now but I encounter some problems. I would like to use your on-hold only for the list item instead of swiping. I already set the can-swipe =”false”, it works fine until I implement ion-delete-button with show-delete and reorder button. When the button event is trigger, the swiping is auto enable again and I cannot disable it after that.
    Do you have any solution?

    • As I already wrote, this is not my directive. It was written by Ionic forum user jdnichollsc. Please contact him if you require more information.

      • Liew Zhi Ying

        ok, thanks 🙂

  • nuruddin

    thanks for this article is really good job, but i have small question, how i can change direction swapping i need to swap left to right and options appear in left side , how? and thanks a lot.

    • To achieve that you will need to change Ionic CSS, I don’t know if it’s worth your time.

  • Ladna Meke

    Nice job, here and the ionic forum. I copied this directive and added a controller that calls $ionicListDelegate.closeOptionButtons() to close any swiped list before opening another. However, multiple lists remain swiped open at a time