A vanilla JS customisable select box/text input plugin ⚡️
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README.md

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A vanilla, lightweight (~20kb gzipped 🎉), configurable select box/text input plugin. Similar to Select2 and Selectize but without the jQuery dependency.

Demo

TL;DR

  • Lightweight
  • No jQuery dependency
  • Configurable sorting
  • Flexible styling
  • Fast search/filtering
  • Clean API
  • Right-to-left support
  • Custom templates

Interested in writing your own ES6 JavaScript plugins? Check out ES6.io for great tutorials! 💪🏼


Installation

With NPM:

npm install choices.js

With Yarn:

yarn add choices.js

From a CDN:

Note: There is sometimes a delay before the latest version of Choices in reflected on the CDN.

<!-- Include base CSS (optional) -->
<link rel="stylesheet" href="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/npm/choices.js@4/public/assets/styles/css/base.min.css">
<!-- Include Choices CSS -->
<link rel="stylesheet" href="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/npm/choices.js@4/public/assets/styles/css/choices.min.css">
<!-- Include Choices JavaScript -->
<script src="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/npm/choices.js@4/public/assets/scripts/choices.min.js"></script>

Or include Choices directly:

<!-- Include base CSS (optional) -->
<link rel="stylesheet" href="public/assets/styles/base.min.css">
<!-- Include Choices CSS -->
<link rel="stylesheet" href="public/assets/styles/choices.min.css">
<!-- Include Choices JavaScript -->
<script src="/public/assets/scripts/choices.min.js"></script>

Setup

If you pass a selector which targets multiple elements, an array of Choices instances will be returned. If you target one element, that instance will be returned.

  // Pass multiple elements:
  const [firstInstance, secondInstance] = new Choices(elements);

  // Pass single element:
  const choices = new Choices(element);

  // Pass reference
  const choices = new Choices('[data-trigger]');
  const choices = new Choices('.js-choice');

  // Pass jQuery element
  const choices = new Choices($('.js-choice')[0]);

   // Passing options (with default options)
  const choices = new Choices(elements, {
    silent: false,
    items: [],
    choices: [],
    renderChoiceLimit: -1,
    maxItemCount: -1,
    addItems: true,
    removeItems: true,
    removeItemButton: false,
    editItems: false,
    duplicateItemsAllowed: true,
    delimiter: ',',
    paste: true,
    searchEnabled: true,
    searchChoices: true,
    searchFloor: 1,
    searchResultLimit: 4,
    searchFields: ['label', 'value'],
    position: 'auto',
    resetScrollPosition: true,
    regexFilter: null,
    shouldSort: true,
    shouldSortItems: false,
    sortFn: () => {...},
    placeholder: true,
    placeholderValue: null,
    searchPlaceholderValue: null,
    prependValue: null,
    appendValue: null,
    renderSelectedChoices: 'auto',
    loadingText: 'Loading...',
    noResultsText: 'No results found',
    noChoicesText: 'No choices to choose from',
    itemSelectText: 'Press to select',
    addItemText: (value) => {
      return `Press Enter to add <b>"${value}"</b>`;
    },
    maxItemText: (maxItemCount) => {
      return `Only ${maxItemCount} values can be added`;
    },
    itemComparer: (choice, item) => {
      return choice === item;
    },
    classNames: {
      containerOuter: 'choices',
      containerInner: 'choices__inner',
      input: 'choices__input',
      inputCloned: 'choices__input--cloned',
      list: 'choices__list',
      listItems: 'choices__list--multiple',
      listSingle: 'choices__list--single',
      listDropdown: 'choices__list--dropdown',
      item: 'choices__item',
      itemSelectable: 'choices__item--selectable',
      itemDisabled: 'choices__item--disabled',
      itemChoice: 'choices__item--choice',
      placeholder: 'choices__placeholder',
      group: 'choices__group',
      groupHeading: 'choices__heading',
      button: 'choices__button',
      activeState: 'is-active',
      focusState: 'is-focused',
      openState: 'is-open',
      disabledState: 'is-disabled',
      highlightedState: 'is-highlighted',
      hiddenState: 'is-hidden',
      flippedState: 'is-flipped',
      loadingState: 'is-loading',
      noResults: 'has-no-results',
      noChoices: 'has-no-choices'
    },
    // Choices uses the great Fuse library for searching. You
    // can find more options here: https://github.com/krisk/Fuse#options
    fuseOptions: {
      include: 'score'
    },
    callbackOnInit: null,
    callbackOnCreateTemplates: null
  });

Terminology

Word Definition
Choice A choice is a value a user can select. A choice would be equivelant to the <option></option> element within a select input.
Group A group is a collection of choices. A group should be seen as equivalent to a <optgroup></optgroup> element within a select input.
Item An item is an inputted value (text input) or a selected choice (select element). In the context of a select element, an item is equivelent to a selected option element: <option value="Hello" selected></option> whereas in the context of a text input an item is equivelant to <input type="text" value="Hello">

Configuration options

silent

Type: Boolean Default: false

Input types affected: text, select-single, select-multiple

Usage: Optionally suppress console errors and warnings.

items

Type: Array Default: []

Input types affected: text

Usage: Add pre-selected items (see terminology) to text input.

Pass an array of strings:

['value 1', 'value 2', 'value 3']

Pass an array of objects:

[{
  value: 'Value 1',
  label: 'Label 1',
  id: 1
},
{
  value: 'Value 2',
  label: 'Label 2',
  id: 2,
  customProperties: {
    random: 'I am a custom property'
  }
}]

choices

Type: Array Default: []

Input types affected: select-one, select-multiple

Usage: Add choices (see terminology) to select input.

Pass an array of objects:

[{
  value: 'Option 1',
  label: 'Option 1',
  selected: true,
  disabled: false,
},
{
  value: 'Option 2',
  label: 'Option 2',
  selected: false,
  disabled: true,
  customProperties: {
    description: 'Custom description about Option 2',
    random: 'Another random custom property'
  },
}]

renderChoiceLimit

Type: Number Default: -1

Input types affected: select-one, select-multiple

Usage: The amount of choices to be rendered within the dropdown list ("-1" indicates no limit). This is useful if you have a lot of choices where it is easier for a user to use the search area to find a choice.

maxItemCount

Type: Number Default: -1

Input types affected: text, select-multiple

Usage: The amount of items a user can input/select ("-1" indicates no limit).

addItems

Type: Boolean Default: true

Input types affected: text

Usage: Whether a user can add items.

removeItems

Type: Boolean Default: true

Input types affected: text, select-multiple

Usage: Whether a user can remove items.

removeItemButton

Type: Boolean Default: false

Input types affected: text, select-one, select-multiple

Usage: Whether each item should have a remove button.

editItems

Type: Boolean Default: false

Input types affected: text

Usage: Whether a user can edit items. An item's value can be edited by pressing the backspace.

duplicateItemsAllowed

Type: Boolean Default: true

Input types affected: text, select-multiple

Usage: Whether duplicate inputted/chosen items are allowed

delimiter

Type: String Default: ,

Input types affected: text

Usage: What divides each value. The default delimiter seperates each value with a comma: "Value 1, Value 2, Value 3".

paste

Type: Boolean Default: true

Input types affected: text, select-multiple

Usage: Whether a user can paste into the input.

searchEnabled

Type: Boolean Default: true

Input types affected: select-one

Usage: Whether a search area should be shown. Note: Multiple select boxes will always show search areas.

searchChoices

Type: Boolean Default: true

Input types affected: select-one

Usage: Whether choices should be filtered by input or not. If false, the search event will still emit, but choices will not be filtered.

searchFields

Type: Array/String Default: ['label', 'value']

Input types affected:select-one, select-multiple

Usage: Specify which fields should be used when a user is searching. If you have added custom properties to your choices, you can add these values thus: ['label', 'value', 'customProperties.example'].

searchFloor

Type: Number Default: 1

Input types affected: select-one, select-multiple

Usage: The minimum length a search value should be before choices are searched.

searchResultLimit: 4,

Type: Number Default: 4

Input types affected: select-one, select-multiple

Usage: The maximum amount of search results to show.

position

Type: String Default: auto

Input types affected: select-one, select-multiple

Usage: Whether the dropdown should appear above (top) or below (bottom) the input. By default, if there is not enough space within the window the dropdown will appear above the input, otherwise below it.

resetScrollPosition

Type: Boolean Default: true

Input types affected: select-multiple

Usage: Whether the scroll position should reset after adding an item.

regexFilter

Type: Regex Default: null

Input types affected: text

Usage: A filter that will need to pass for a user to successfully add an item.

shouldSort

Type: Boolean Default: true

Input types affected: select-one, select-multiple

Usage: Whether choices and groups should be sorted. If false, choices/groups will appear in the order they were given.

shouldSortItems

Type: Boolean Default: false

Input types affected: text, select-multiple

Usage: Whether items should be sorted. If false, items will appear in the order they were selected.

sortFn

Type: Function Default: sortByAlpha

Input types affected: select-one, select-multiple

Usage: The function that will sort choices and items before they are displayed (unless a user is searching). By default choices and items are sorted by alphabetical order.

Example:

// Sorting via length of label from largest to smallest
const example = new Choices(element, {
  sortFn: function(a, b) {
    return b.label.length - a.label.length;
  },
};

placeholder

Type: Boolean Default: true

Input types affected: text, select-multiple

Usage: Whether the input should show a placeholder. Used in conjunction with placeholderValue. If placeholder is set to true and no value is passed to placeholderValue, the passed input's placeholder attribute will be used as the placeholder value.

Note: For single select boxes, the recommended way of adding a placeholder is as follows:

<select>
  <option placeholder>This is a placeholder</option>
  <option>...</option>
  <option>...</option>
  <option>...</option>
</select>

placeholderValue

Type: String Default: null

Input types affected: text, select-multiple

Usage: The value of the inputs placeholder.

searchPlaceholderValue

Type: String Default: null

Input types affected: select-one

Usage: The value of the search inputs placeholder.

prependValue

Type: String Default: null

Input types affected: text, select-one, select-multiple

Usage: Prepend a value to each item added/selected.

appendValue

Type: String Default: null

Input types affected: text, select-one, select-multiple

Usage: Append a value to each item added/selected.

renderSelectedChoices

Type: String Default: auto

Input types affected: select-multiple

Usage: Whether selected choices should be removed from the list. By default choices are removed when they are selected in multiple select box. To always render choices pass always.

loadingText

Type: String Default: Loading...

Input types affected: select-one, select-multiple

Usage: The text that is shown whilst choices are being populated via AJAX.

noResultsText

Type: String/Function Default: No results found

Input types affected: select-one, select-multiple

Usage: The text that is shown when a user's search has returned no results. Optionally pass a function returning a string.

noChoicesText

Type: String/Function Default: No choices to choose from

Input types affected: select-multiple

Usage: The text that is shown when a user has selected all possible choices. Optionally pass a function returning a string.

itemSelectText

Type: String Default: Press to select

Input types affected: select-multiple, select-one

Usage: The text that is shown when a user hovers over a selectable choice.

addItemText

Type: String/Function Default: Press Enter to add "${value}"

Input types affected: text

Usage: The text that is shown when a user has inputted a new item but has not pressed the enter key. To access the current input value, pass a function with a value argument (see the default config for an example), otherwise pass a string.

maxItemText

Type: String/Function Default: Only ${maxItemCount} values can be added

Input types affected: text

Usage: The text that is shown when a user has focus on the input but has already reached the max item count. To access the max item count, pass a function with a maxItemCount argument (see the default config for an example), otherwise pass a string.

itemComparer

Type: Function Default: strict equality

Input types affected: select-one, select-multiple

Usage: Compare choice and value in appropriate way (e.g. deep equality for objects). To compare choice and value, pass a function with a itemComparer argument (see the default config for an example).

classNames

Type: Object Default:

classNames: {
  containerOuter: 'choices',
  containerInner: 'choices__inner',
  input: 'choices__input',
  inputCloned: 'choices__input--cloned',
  list: 'choices__list',
  listItems: 'choices__list--multiple',
  listSingle: 'choices__list--single',
  listDropdown: 'choices__list--dropdown',
  item: 'choices__item',
  itemSelectable: 'choices__item--selectable',
  itemDisabled: 'choices__item--disabled',
  itemOption: 'choices__item--choice',
  group: 'choices__group',
  groupHeading : 'choices__heading',
  button: 'choices__button',
  activeState: 'is-active',
  focusState: 'is-focused',
  openState: 'is-open',
  disabledState: 'is-disabled',
  highlightedState: 'is-highlighted',
  hiddenState: 'is-hidden',
  flippedState: 'is-flipped',
  selectedState: 'is-highlighted',
}

Input types affected: text, select-one, select-multiple

Usage: Classes added to HTML generated by Choices. By default classnames follow the BEM notation.

Callbacks

Note: For each callback, this refers to the current instance of Choices. This can be useful if you need access to methods (this.disable()) or the config object (this.config).

callbackOnInit

Type: Function Default: null

Input types affected: text, select-one, select-multiple

Usage: Function to run once Choices initialises.

callbackOnCreateTemplates

Type: Function Default: null Arguments: template

Input types affected: text, select-one, select-multiple

Usage: Function to run on template creation. Through this callback it is possible to provide custom templates for the various components of Choices (see terminology). For Choices to work with custom templates, it is important you maintain the various data attributes defined here.

Example:

const example = new Choices(element, {
  callbackOnCreateTemplates: function (template) {
    return {
      item: (classNames, data) => {
        return template(`
          <div class="${classNames.item} ${data.highlighted ? classNames.highlightedState : classNames.itemSelectable}" data-item data-id="${data.id}" data-value="${data.value}" ${data.active ? 'aria-selected="true"' : ''} ${data.disabled ? 'aria-disabled="true"' : ''}>
            <span>&bigstar;</span> ${data.label}
          </div>
        `);
      },
      choice: (classNames, data) => {
        return template(`
          <div class="${classNames.item} ${classNames.itemChoice} ${data.disabled ? classNames.itemDisabled : classNames.itemSelectable}" data-select-text="${this.config.itemSelectText}" data-choice ${data.disabled ? 'data-choice-disabled aria-disabled="true"' : 'data-choice-selectable'} data-id="${data.id}" data-value="${data.value}" ${data.groupId > 0 ? 'role="treeitem"' : 'role="option"'}>
            <span>&bigstar;</span> ${data.label}
          </div>
        `);
      },
    };
  }
});

Events

Note: Events fired by Choices behave the same as standard events. Each event is triggered on the element passed to Choices (accessible via this.passedElement. Arguments are accessible within the event.detail object.

Example:

const element = document.getElementById('example');
const example = new Choices(element);

element.addEventListener('addItem', function(event) {
  // do something creative here...
  console.log(event.detail.id);
  console.log(event.detail.value);
  console.log(event.detail.label);
  console.log(event.detail.customProperties);
  console.log(event.detail.groupValue);
}, false);

// or
const example = new Choices(document.getElementById('example'));

example.passedElement.addEventListener('addItem', function(event) {
  // do something creative here...
  console.log(event.detail.id);
  console.log(event.detail.value);
  console.log(event.detail.label);
  console.log(event.detail.customProperties);
  console.log(event.detail.groupValue);
}, false);

addItem

Arguments: id, value, label, groupValue, keyCode

Input types affected: text, select-one, select-multiple

Usage: Triggered each time an item is added (programmatically or by the user).

removeItem

Arguments: id, value, label, groupValue

Input types affected: text, select-one, select-multiple

Usage: Triggered each time an item is removed (programmatically or by the user).

highlightItem

Arguments: id, value, label, groupValue

Input types affected: text, select-multiple

Usage: Triggered each time an item is highlighted.

unhighlightItem

Arguments: id, value, label, groupValue

Input types affected: text, select-multiple

Usage: Triggered each time an item is unhighlighted.

choice

Arguments: value, keyCode

Input types affected: select-one, select-multiple

Usage: Triggered each time a choice is selected by a user, regardless if it changes the value of the input.

change

Arguments: value

Input types affected: text, select-one, select-multiple

Usage: Triggered each time an item is added/removed by a user.

search

Arguments: value, resultCount

Input types affected: select-one, select-multiple

Usage: Triggered when a user types into an input to search choices.

showDropdown

Arguments: -

Input types affected: select-one, select-multiple

Usage: Triggered when the dropdown is shown.

hideDropdown

Arguments: -

Input types affected: select-one, select-multiple

Usage: Triggered when the dropdown is hidden.

highlightChoice

Arguments: el

Input types affected: select-one, select-multiple

Usage: Triggered when a choice from the dropdown is highlighted. The el argument is the HTML element node object that was affected.

Methods

Methods can be called either directly or by chaining:

// Calling a method by chaining
const choices = new Choices(element, {
    addItems: false,
    removeItems: false,
  })
  .setValue(['Set value 1', 'Set value 2'])
  .disable();

// Calling a method directly
const choices = new Choices(element, {
  addItems: false,
  removeItems: false,
});

choices.setValue(['Set value 1', 'Set value 2'])
choices.disable();

destroy();

Input types affected: text, select-multiple, select-one

Usage: Kills the instance of Choices, removes all event listeners and returns passed input to its initial state.

init();

Input types affected: text, select-multiple, select-one

Usage: Creates a new instance of Choices, adds event listeners, creates templates and renders a Choices element to the DOM.

Note: This is called implicitly when a new instance of Choices is created. This would be used after a Choices instance had already been destroyed (using destroy()).

highlightAll();

Input types affected: text, select-multiple

Usage: Highlight each chosen item (selected items can be removed).

unhighlightAll();

Input types affected: text, select-multiple

Usage: Un-highlight each chosen item.

removeActiveItemsByValue(value);

Input types affected: text, select-multiple

Usage: Remove each item by a given value.

removeActiveItems(excludedId);

Input types affected: text, select-multiple

Usage: Remove each selectable item.

removeHighlightedItems();

Input types affected: text, select-multiple

Usage: Remove each item the user has selected.

showDropdown();

Input types affected: select-one, select-multiple

Usage: Show option list dropdown (only affects select inputs).

hideDropdown();

Input types affected: text, select-multiple

Usage: Hide option list dropdown (only affects select inputs).

toggleDropdown();

Input types affected: text, select-multiple

Usage: Toggle dropdown between showing/hidden.

setChoices(choices, value, label, replaceChoices);

Input types affected: select-one, select-multiple

Usage: Set choices of select input via an array of objects, a value name and a label name. This behaves the same as passing items via the choices option but can be called after initialising Choices. This can also be used to add groups of choices (see example 2); Optionally pass a true replaceChoices value to remove any existing choices. Optionally pass a customProperties object to add additional data to your choices (useful when searching/filtering etc).

Example 1:

const example = new Choices(element);

example.setChoices([
  {value: 'One', label: 'Label One', disabled: true},
  {value: 'Two', label: 'Label Two', selected: true},
  {value: 'Three', label: 'Label Three'},
], 'value', 'label', false);

Example 2:

const example = new Choices(element);

example.setChoices([{
  label: 'Group one',
  id: 1,
  disabled: false,
  choices: [
    {value: 'Child One', label: 'Child One', selected: true},
    {value: 'Child Two', label: 'Child Two',  disabled: true},
    {value: 'Child Three', label: 'Child Three'},
  ]
},
{
  label: 'Group two',
  id: 2,
  disabled: false,
  choices: [
    {value: 'Child Four', label: 'Child Four', disabled: true},
    {value: 'Child Five', label: 'Child Five'},
    {value: 'Child Six', label: 'Child Six', customProperties: {
      description: 'Custom description about child six',
      random: 'Another random custom property'
    }},
  ]
}], 'value', 'label', false);

getValue(valueOnly)

Input types affected: text, select-one, select-multiple

Usage: Get value(s) of input (i.e. inputted items (text) or selected choices (select)). Optionally pass an argument of true to only return values rather than value objects.

Example:

const example = new Choices(element);
const values = example.getValue(true); // returns ['value 1', 'value 2'];
const valueArray = example.getValue(); // returns [{ active: true, choiceId: 1, highlighted: false, id: 1, label: 'Label 1', value: 'Value 1'},  { active: true, choiceId: 2, highlighted: false, id: 2, label: 'Label 2', value: 'Value 2'}];

setValue(args);

Input types affected: text

Usage: Set value of input based on an array of objects or strings. This behaves exactly the same as passing items via the items option but can be called after initialising Choices.

Example:

const example = new Choices(element);

// via an array of objects
example.setValue([
  {value: 'One', label: 'Label One'},
  {value: 'Two', label: 'Label Two'},
  {value: 'Three', label: 'Label Three'},
]);

// or via an array of strings
example.setValue(['Four','Five','Six']);

setChoiceByValue(value);

Input types affected: select-one, select-multiple

Usage: Set value of input based on existing Choice. value can be either a single string or an array of strings

Example:

const example = new Choices(element, {
  choices: [
    {value: 'One', label: 'Label One'},
    {value: 'Two', label: 'Label Two', disabled: true},
    {value: 'Three', label: 'Label Three'},
  ],
});

example.setChoiceByValue('Two'); // Choice with value of 'Two' has now been selected.

clearStore();

Input types affected: text, select-one, select-multiple

Usage: Removes all items, choices and groups. Use with caution.

clearInput();

Input types affected: text

Usage: Clear input of any user inputted text.

disable();

Input types affected: text, select-one, select-multiple

Usage: Disables input from accepting new value/selecting further choices.

enable();

Input types affected: text, select-one, select-multiple

Usage: Enables input to accept new values/select further choices.

ajax(fn);

Input types affected: select-one, select-multiple

Usage: Populate choices/groups via a callback.

Example:

var example = new Choices(element);

example.ajax(function(callback) {
  fetch(url)
    .then(function(response) {
      response.json().then(function(data) {
        callback(data, 'value', 'label');
      });
    })
    .catch(function(error) {
      console.log(error);
    });
});

Example 2: If your structure differs from data.value and data.key structure you can write your own key and value into the callback function. This could be useful when you don't want to transform the given response.

const example = new Choices(element)

example.ajax(function(callback) {
  fetch(url)
    .then(function(response) {
      response.json().then(function(data) {
        callback(data, 'data.key', 'data.value');
      });
    })
    .catch(function(error) {
      console.log(error);
    });
});

Browser compatibility

Choices is compiled using Babel to enable support for ES5 browsers. If you need to support a browser that does not support one of the features listed below, I suggest including a polyfill from the very good polyfill.io:

Polyfill example used for the demo:

<script src="https://cdn.polyfill.io/v2/polyfill.js?features=es5,fetch,Element.prototype.classList,requestAnimationFrame,Node.insertBefore,Node.firstChild"></script>

Features used in Choices:

  • Array.prototype.forEach
  • Array.prototype.map
  • Array.prototype.find
  • Array.prototype.some
  • Array.prototype.reduce
  • Array.prototype.indexOf
  • Object.assign
  • Element.prototype.classList
  • window.requestAnimationFrame

Development

To setup a local environment: clone this repo, navigate into it's directory in a terminal window and run the following command:

npm install

NPM tasks

Task Usage
npm run start Fire up local server for development
npm run test:unit Run sequence of tests once
npm run test:unit:watch Fire up test server and re-test on file change
npm run test:e2e Run sequence of e2e tests (with local server)
npm run test Run both unit and e2e tests
npm run cypress:open Run Cypress e2e tests (GUI)
npm run cypress:run Run Cypress e2e tests (CLI)
npm run js:build Compile Choices to an uglified JavaScript file
npm run css:watch Watch SCSS files for changes. On a change, run build process
npm run css:build Compile, minify and prefix SCSS files to CSS

License

MIT License

Web component

Want to use Choices as a web component? You're in luck. Adidas have built one for their design system which can be found here.

Misc

Thanks to @mikefrancis for sending me on a hunt for a non-jQuery solution for select boxes that eventually led to this being built!