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a better multiple select widget

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selectMany is a jQuery plugin for creating a more user-friendly multiple select widget than the browser default. It takes a regular multiple select and turns it into a single select that allows you to select multiple options which are then displayed directly above the select element. Options can easily be de-selected by clicking them.


Simply apply the plugin to any multiple select element.

<select id="colors" multiple="multiple">
  <option value="1">Red</option>
  <option value="2">Yellow</option>
  <option value="3">Blue</option>
  <option value="4">Green</option>



selectMany currently does not take any configuration parameters.


selectMany injects a ul element directly above the select element it is applied to that contains the selected options. This ul element is given a class name of select-many-selected. A basic stylesheet is included with the plugin.

Serializing an empty select

Our usage of this plugin requires it to submit an empty value when no values are selected. The default behavior of a multiple select form element is to not include it's name at all in the serialized form paramters. To work around this, the plugin inserts an emtpy option element into the select if it doesn't already exist and ensures that it is selected if no other options are.


Copyright (c) 2009 Centro, released under the MIT license.

Authored by:

Corey Burrows

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