david fox - web developer

home mail


Chosen is a JavaScript plugin for Prototype and jQuery that makes long, unwieldy select boxes much more user-friendly. For more information (including usage, explanation and faqs), check out the online documentation.

Standard Select

Multiple Select

<optgroup> Support

Single Select with Groups
Multiple Select with Groups

Selected and Disabled Support

Chosen automatically highlights selected options and removes disabled options.

Single Select
Multiple Select

It is also possible to prevent selected options being deselected by also making them disabled.

Default Text Support

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 Some 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..." style="width:350px;" multiple class="chzn-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.

No Results Text Support

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

$(".chzn-select").chosen({no_results_text: "No results matched"});

Limit Selected Options in Multiselect

You can easily limit how many options can user select:

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

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

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

Allow Deselect on Single Selects

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.

Change / Update Events

  • Form Field Change

    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 let's you do something like this:

    $("#form_field").chosen().change( … );

    Note: Prototype doesn't offer support for triggering standard browser events. Event.simulate is required to trigger the change event when using the Prototype version.

  • 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 "liszt:updated" event on the field. Chosen will re-build itself based on the updated content.

    • jQuery Version: $("#form_field").trigger("liszt:updated");
    • Prototype Version: Event.fire($("form_field"), "liszt:updated");

Setup (for jQuery)

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: $(".chzn-select").chosen()