A lightweight and flexible jQuery plugin that allows you to collapse content
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jQuery Collapse

A lightweight and flexible jQuery plugin that allows you to collapse content. A feature also known as 'progressive disclosure'.

NOTICE: As of August 2012 this plugin has been rewritten from scratch. The old version is no longer maintained or supported.

jQuery Collapse requires jQuery 1.7 or newer.



  • WAI ARIA compliant
  • Lightweight (~1.2kb minified and gzipped)
  • Cross Browser compliant (Tested in >= IE6, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Opera)
  • Accordion behaviour can be enabled.
  • Persistence to remember open sections on page reload!


A demo showcasing all the features of the plugin can be found at 'demo/demo.html' in this repository.


Load jQuery and the jQuery Collapse plugin into your document:

<script src="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.8.1/jquery.min.js"></script>
<script src="jquery.collapse.js"></script>

Here's some sample HTML markup:

<div id="demo" data-collapse>
    <p>You can use any container you like (in this case a div element)</p>

That's it! The data-collapse attribute will automatically trigger the script.

Open/Collapse section by default

The standard behaviour is to collapse all the sections on page load. If you want to show a section to the user on page load you can achieve this by adding an 'open' class to the section heading

<div id="demo" data-collapse>
  <h2 class="open">I'm open by default</h2>

JavaScript usage

If you'd rather omit the 'data-collapse' attribute in the HTML and load the plugin via jQuery, you can:

  // options...

If you don't want to use the jQuery ($) wrapper, you can also access the plugin with vanilla JavaScript:

new jQueryCollapse($("#demo"), {
  // options...

Using custom markup

By default the plugin will look for groups of two elements. In real life™ your markup may vary and you'll need to customize how the plugin interprets it. For example

<div id="demo">

In order for the plugin to understand the above markup, we can pass a 'query' option specifying where to find the header/summary element of a section:

new jQueryCollapse($("#demo"), {
  query: 'div h2'


To activate the accordion behaviour set 'accordion' as the value of the 'data-collapse' attribute:

<div id="demo" data-collapse="accordion">


By default, if the user reloads the page all the sections will be closed. If you want previously collapsed sections to stay open you can add 'persist' to the data-collapse attribute:

<div id="demo" data-collapse="persist">

And include the storage module in your document after the other scripts.

<script src="jquery.collapse_storage.js"></script>

Please note: the target element will need an ID in order for the persistence to work.

You can combine the accordion and persistence options by adding both values to the data-collapse attribute:

<div id="demo" data-collapse="accordion persist">

jQuery Collapse uses HTML5 localStorage if available, otherwise it will attempt to use cookies (read about IE support below). If that also fails, it will degrade to work but without any persistence.

Internet Explorer =< 7 Support

For IE 6-7 you'll need to include the cookie storage and JSON2 libraries for the cookie storage support to work properly:

<!--[if lt IE 8]>
  <script src="jquery.collapse_cookie_storage.js"></script>
  <script src="json2.js"></script>

API Documentation

Here are the exposed options and events that you can play around with using JavaScript. Enjoy.


You can pass the following options when initializing the plugin with JavaScript.

  • open (function) : Custom function for opening section (default: function(){ this.show() })
  • close (function) : Custom function for collapsing section (default: function(){ this.hide() })
  • accordion (bool) : Enable accordion behaviour by setting this option to 'true'
  • persist (bool) : Enable persistence between page loads by setting this option to 'true'

Example usage of options:

// Initializing collapse plugin
// with custom open/close methods,
// persistence plugin and accordion behaviour
  open: function() {
    // The context of 'this' is applied to
    // the collapsed details in a jQuery wrapper 
  close: function() {
  accordion: true,
  persist: true


Binding events

You can bind your own callbacks to the open and close events for a section.

$("#demo").collapse(); // Initializing plugin

$("#demo").bind("open", function(e, section) {
  console.log(section, " is open");

$("#demo").bind("close", function(e, section) {
  console.log(section, " is closed");

API methods

If you're using vanilla JavaScript to instantiate the plugin, you'll get access to the open and close methods.

var demo = new jQueryCollapse($("#demo")); // Initializing plugin
demo.open(); // Open all sections
demo.close(); // Close all sections
demo.open(0); // Open first section
demo.open(1); // Open second section
demo.close(0); // Close first section


Did you find a bug? Do you want to introduce a feature? Here's what to do (in the following order)

  • Find a bug, or invent a feature.
  • Write a test case (located in ./spec/*_spec.coffee)
  • Watch it fail (red light)
  • Fix bug / introduce feature
  • Watch it pass (green light)
  • Refactor / Perfectionize!
  • Do a pull request on Github
  • Wait patiently...
  • Rejoice!

Tests are written in CoffeeScript with a BDD flavour using the Buster.js test framework.

Thanks in advance