Chosen: A jQuery Plugin by Harvest to Tame Unwieldy Select Boxes

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Chosen is a jQuery plugin that makes long, unwieldy select boxes much more user-friendly.

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Turns This

Into This

Turns This

Into This

Single Select with Groups

Multiple Select with Groups

Chosen automatically highlights selected options and removes disabled options.

Single Select

Multiple Select

The disable_search_threshold option can be specified to hide the search input on single selects if there are n or fewer options.

$(".chosen-select").chosen({disable_search_threshold: 10});

Chosen automatically sets the default field text ("Choose a country...") by reading the select element's data-placeholder value. If no data-placeholder value is present, it will default to "Select an Option" or "Select Some Options" depending on whether the select is single or multiple. You can change these elements in the plugin js file as you see fit.

<select data-placeholder="Choose a country..." multiple class="chosen-select">

Note: on single selects, the first element is assumed to be selected by the browser. To take advantage of the default text support, you will need to include a blank option as the first element of your select list.

Setting the "No results" search text is as easy as passing an option when you create Chosen:

 $(".chosen-select").chosen({no_results_text: "Oops, nothing found!"}); 

Single Select

Multiple Select

You can easily limit how many options the user can select:

$(".chosen-select").chosen({max_selected_options: 5});

If you try to select another option with limit reached chosen:maxselected event is triggered:

 $(".chosen-select").bind("chosen:maxselected", function () { ... }); 

When a single select box isn't a required field, you can set allow_single_deselect: true and Chosen will add a UI element for option deselection. This will only work if the first option has blank text.

You can set right-to-left text by setting rtl: true

 $(".chosen-select").chosen({rtl: true}); 

Single Right-to-Left Select

Multiple Right-to-Left Select

  • Observing Form Field Changes

    When working with form fields, you often want to perform some behavior after a value has been selected or deselected. Whenever a user selects a field in Chosen, it triggers a "change" event on the original form field. That lets you do something like this:

    $("#form_field").chosen().change( … );
  • Updating Chosen Dynamically

    If you need to update the options in your select field and want Chosen to pick up the changes, you'll need to trigger the "chosen:updated" event on the field. Chosen will re-build itself based on the updated content.

    $("#form_field").trigger("chosen:updated");
  • Destroying Chosen

    To destroy Chosen and revert back to the native select:

    $("#form_field").chosen("destroy");

Using a custom width with Chosen is as easy as passing an option when you create Chosen:

 $(".chosen-select").chosen({width: "95%"}); 

Single Select

Multiple Select

Use labels just like you would a standard select

Using Chosen is easy as can be.

  1. Download the plugin and copy the chosen files to your app.
  2. Activate the plugin on the select boxes of your choice: $(".chosen-select").chosen()
  3. Disco.
  • Do you have all the available options documented somewhere?

    Yes! You can find them on the options page.

  • Something doesn't work. Can you fix it?

    Yes! Please report all issues using the GitHub issue tracking tool. Please include the plugin version (jQuery or Prototype), browser and OS. The more information provided, the easier it is to fix a problem.

  • What browsers are supported?

    All modern desktop browsers are supported (Firefox, Chrome, Safari and IE9). Legacy support for IE8 is also enabled. Chosen is disabled on iPhone, iPod Touch, and Android mobile devices (more information).

  • Didn't there used to be a Prototype version of Chosen?

    There still is!