I'm a user-friendlier drop-in replacement for the standard <select> with multiple attribute activated.

  • Free (under WTFPL license)
  • Works in an unobtrusive fashion
  • Fully open sourced
  • Keyboard support
  • Provides some callbacks
  • Fully customizable via CSS
  • Depends on jQuery 1.8+
  • Tiny code ~8kb minified

HTML

<html>
  <head>
    <link href="path/to/multiselect.css" media="screen" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css">
  </head>
  <body>
    <select multiple="multiple" id="my-select" name="my-select[]">
      <option value='elem_1'>elem 1</option>
      <option value='elem_2'>elem 2</option>
      <option value='elem_3'>elem 3</option>
      <option value='elem_4'>elem 4</option>
      ...
      <option value='elem_100'>elem 100</option>
    </select>
    <script src="path/to/jquery.multi-select.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
  </body>
</html>

JavaScript

$('#my-select').multiSelect()

Options

Name type default description
afterInit function function(container){} Function to call after the multiSelect initilization.
afterSelect function function(values){} Function to call after one item is selected.
afterDeselect function function(values){} Function to call after one item is deselected.
selectableHeader HTML/Text null Text or HTML to display in the selectable header.
selectionHeader HTML/Text null Text or HTML to display in the selection header.
selectableFooter HTML/Text null Text or HTML to display in the selectable footer.
selectionFooter HTML/Text null Text or HTML to display in the selection footer.
disabledClass String 'disabled' CSS class for disabled items.
selectableOptgroup Boolean false Click on optgroup will select all nested options when set to true.
keepOrder Boolean false The selected items will be displayed in the same order than they are selected.
dblClick Boolean false Replace the defautl click event to select items by the dblclick one.
cssClass String "" Add a custom CSS class to the multiselect container.

Methods


.multiSelect(options)

Activates your content as a multiselect. Accepts an optional options object

$('#your-select').multiSelect({});

Note: You must init the multiple select with $('#your-select').multiSelect() before calling one of the following methods.

.multiSelect('select', String|Array)

Select the item with the value given in parameter. The value can be either a string ('elem_1') matching the value of the option oran Array of values (['elem_1', 'elem_42']).

$('#your-select').multiSelect('select', String|Array);

.multiSelect('deselect', String|Array)

Deselect the item with the value given in parameter. The value can be either a string ('elem_1') matching the value of the option oran Array of values (['elem_1', 'elem_42']).

$('#your-select').multiSelect('deselect', String|Array);

.multiSelect('select_all')

Select all elements.

$('#your-select').multiSelect('deselect_all');

.multiSelect('deselect_all')

Deselect all items previously selected.

$('#your-select').multiSelect('select_all');

.multiSelect('refresh')

Refresh current multiselect.

$('#your-select').multiSelect('refresh');

.multiSelect('addOption', Hash)

Dynamically add option to the multiselect.
The options hash is described bellow:

key type required desription
value String true The value of the option to create
text String true The text of the option to create
index Number false The index where to insert the option. If none given, it will be inserted as last option.
nested String false If there are optgroups you can choose under which optgroup you want to insert the option.

$('#your-select').multiSelect('addOption', { value: 'test', text: 'test', index: 0, nested: 'optgroup_label' });

Keyboard

key function
[  ↓  ]  Down arrow Select next item in the focused list
[  ↑  ]  Up arrow Select previous item in the focused list
[ — ]  Space Add/remove item depending on which list is currently focused
[ ← ]  Left arrow Focus the previous list
[ → ]  Right arrow Focus the next list

Pre-selected options

<select id='pre-selected-options' multiple='multiple'>
  <option value='elem_1' selected>elem 1</option>
  <option value='elem_2'>elem 2</option>
  <option value='elem_3'>elem 3</option>
  <option value='elem_4' selected>elem 4</option>
  ...
  <option value='elem_100'>elem 100</option>
</select>
$('#pre-selected-options').multiSelect();

Callbacks

<select id='callbacks' multiple='multiple'>
  <option value='elem_1'>elem 1</option>
  <option value='elem_2'>elem 2</option>
  <option value='elem_3'>elem 3</option>
  <option value='elem_4'>elem 4</option>
  ...
  <option value='elem_100'>elem 100</option>
</select>
$('#callbacks').multiSelect({
  afterSelect: function(values){
    alert("Select value: "+values);
  },
  afterDeselect: function(values){
    alert("Deselect value: "+values);
  }
});

Keep Order

Note: This feature won't work if there are optgroups in the original select.
<select id='keep-order' multiple='multiple'>
  <option value='elem_1'>elem 1</option>
  <option value='elem_2'>elem 2</option>
  <option value='elem_3'>elem 3</option>
  <option value='elem_4'>elem 4</option>
  ...
  <option value='elem_100'>elem 100</option>
</select>
$('#keep-order').multiSelect({ keepOrder: true });

Public methods

<a href='#' id='select-all'>select all</a>
<a href='#' id='deselect-all'>deselect all</a>
<a href='#' id='select-100'>select 100 elems</a>
<a href='#' id='deselect-100'>deselect 100 elems</a>
<select id='public-methods' multiple='multiple'>
  <option value='elem_1'>elem 1</option>
  <option value='elem_2' disabled>elem 2</option>
  <option value='elem_3'>elem 3</option>
  <option value='elem_4'>elem 4</option>
  ...
  <option value='elem_1000'>elem 100</option>
</select>
$('#public-methods').multiSelect();
$('#select-all').click(function(){
  $('#public-methods').multiSelect('select_all');
  return false;
});
$('#deselect-all').click(function(){
  $('#public-methods').multiSelect('deselect_all');
  return false;
});
$('#select-100').click(function(){
  $('#public-methods').multiSelect('select', ['elem_0', 'elem_1' ..., 'elem_99']);
  return false;
});
$('#deselect-100').click(function(){
  $('#public-methods').multiSelect('deselect', ['elem_0', 'elem_1' ..., 'elem_99']);
  return false;
});
$('#refresh').on('click', function(){
  $('#public-methods').multiSelect('refresh');
  return false;
});
$('#add-option').on('click', function(){
  $('#public-methods').multiSelect('addOption', { value: 42, text: 'test 42', index: 0 });
  return false;
});
          
select all / deselect all
select 100 elems / deselect 100 elems
Add option
refresh


In this example there are 1000 elements


Optgroup

<select id='optgroup' multiple='multiple'>
  <optgroup label='Friends'>
    <option value='1'>Yoda</option>
    <option value='2' selected>Obiwan</option>
  </optgroup>
  <optgroup label='Enemies'>
    <option value='3'>Palpatine</option>
    <option value='4' disabled>Darth Vader</option>
  </optgroup>
</select>
$('#optgroup').multiSelect({ selectableOptgroup: true });

Disabled attribute

<select id='disabled-attribute' disabled='disabled' multiple='multiple'>
  <option value='elem_1'>elem 1</option>
  <option value='elem_2'>elem 2</option>
  <option value='elem_3'>elem 3</option>
  <option value='elem_4'>elem 4</option>
  ...
  <option value='elem_100'>elem 100</option>
</select>
$('#disabled-attribute').multiSelect();
Note: You can also deactivate option one by one by adding disabled attribute to each option you want to disable
<option value='fuu' disabled='disabled'>bar</option>

Custom headers and footers

<select id='custom-headers' multiple='multiple'>
  <option value='elem_1'>elem 1</option>
  <option value='elem_2'>elem 2</option>
  <option value='elem_3'>elem 3</option>
  <option value='elem_4'>elem 4</option>
  ...
  <option value='elem_100'>elem 100</option>
</select>
$('#custom-headers').multiSelect({
  selectableHeader: "<div class='custom-header'>Selectable items</div>",
  selectionHeader: "<div class='custom-header'>Selection items</div>",
  selectableFooter: "<div class='custom-header'>Selectable footer</div>",
  selectionFooter: "<div class='custom-header'>Selection footer</div>"
});

Searchable

Note: This feature is not built-in but depends on an other plugin. I personnally use the excellent quicksearch library, but you can use whatever library you like.

<select id='custom-headers' multiple='multiple'>
  <option value='elem_1' selected>elem 1</option>
  <option value='elem_2'>elem 2</option>
  <option value='elem_3'>elem 3</option>
  <option value='elem_4' selected>elem 4</option>
  ...
  <option value='elem_100'>elem 100</option>
</select>
$('.searchable').multiSelect({
  selectableHeader: "<input type='text' class='search-input' autocomplete='off' placeholder='try \"12\"'>",
  selectionHeader: "<input type='text' class='search-input' autocomplete='off' placeholder='try \"4\"'>",
  afterInit: function(ms){
    var that = this,
        $selectableSearch = that.$selectableUl.prev(),
        $selectionSearch = that.$selectionUl.prev(),
        selectableSearchString = '#'+that.$container.attr('id')+' .ms-elem-selectable:not(.ms-selected)',
        selectionSearchString = '#'+that.$container.attr('id')+' .ms-elem-selection.ms-selected';

    that.qs1 = $selectableSearch.quicksearch(selectableSearchString)
    .on('keydown', function(e){
      if (e.which === 40){
        that.$selectableUl.focus();
        return false;
      }
    });

    that.qs2 = $selectionSearch.quicksearch(selectionSearchString)
    .on('keydown', function(e){
      if (e.which == 40){
        that.$selectionUl.focus();
        return false;
      }
    });
  },
  afterSelect: function(){
    this.qs1.cache();
    this.qs2.cache();
  },
  afterDeselect: function(){
    this.qs1.cache();
    this.qs2.cache();
  }
});

How to contribute?