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jQuery selectBox: A styleable replacement for SELECT elements

Licensed under the MIT license:


  • Supports OPTGROUPS
  • Supports standard dropdown controls
  • Supports multi-select controls (i.e. multiple="multiple")
  • Supports inline controls (i.e. size="5")
  • Fully accessible via keyboard
  • Shift + click (or shift + enter) to select a range of options in multi-select controls
  • Type to search when the control has focus
  • Auto-height based on the size attribute (to use, omit the height property in your CSS!)
  • Tested in IE7-IE9, Firefox 3-4, recent WebKit browsers, and Opera


Download the latest version:

Link to the JS file:

<script src="jquery.selectbox.js" type="text/javascript"></script>

Add the CSS file (or append contents to your own stylesheet):

<link href="jquery.selectbox.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" />

To initialize:

// default

// or with custom settings
    mobile: true,
    menuSpeed: 'fast'


Key Default Values Description
mobile false Boolean Disables the widget for mobile devices
menuTransition default default, slide, fade The show/hide transition for dropdown menus
menuSpeed normal slow, normal, fast The show/hide transition speed
loopOptions false Boolean Flag to allow arrow keys to loop through options
topPositionCorrelation 0 Integer Will be plused to top position if droplist will be show at the top
bottomPositionCorrelation 0 Integer Will be substracted from top position if droplist will be shown at the bottom
hideOnWindowScroll true Boolean If false then showed droplist will not hide itself on window scroll event
keepInViewport true Boolean If set to false, the droplist will be always open towards the bottom

To specify settings after the init, use this syntax:

$('select').selectBox('settings', {settingName: value, ... });


To call a method use this syntax:

$('select').selectBox('methodName', [option]);

Available methods

Key Description
create Creates the control (default)
destroy Destroys the selectBox control and reverts back to the original form control
disable Disables the control (i.e. disabled="disabled")
enable Enables the control
value If passed with a value, sets the control to that value; otherwise returns the current value
options If passed either a string of HTML or a JSON object, replaces the existing options; otherwise Returns the options container element as a jQuery object
control Returns the selectBox control element (an anchor tag) for working with directly
refresh Updates the selectBox control's options based on the original controls options
instance Returns the SelectBox instance, where you have more methods available (only in v1.2.0-dev
             | available) as in the `SelectBox` class below.                                                 |

API SelectBox

You can instantiate the selectBox also through a classic OOP way:

var selectBox = new SelectBox($('#mySelectBox'), settings = {});

The public methods are:


getOptions(String type = 'inline'|'dropdown')


setOptions(Object options)
setValue(String value)

removeHover(HTMLElement li)
addHover(HTMLElement li)

disableSelection(HTMLElement selector)
generateOptions(jQuery self, jQuery options)
keepOptionInView(jQuery li, Boolean center)
removeHover(HTMLElement li)
selectOption(HTMLElement li, event)


Events are fired on the original select element. You can bind events like this:

$('select').selectBox().change(function () {

Available events

Key Description
focus Fired when the control gains focus
blur Fired when the control loses focus
change Fired when the value of a control changes
beforeopen Fired before a dropdown menu opens (cancelable)
open Fired after a dropdown menu opens (not cancelable)
beforeclose Fired before a dropdown menu closes (cancelable)
close Fired after a dropdown menu closes (not cancelable)

Known Issues

  • The blur and focus callbacks are not very reliable in IE7. The change callback works fine.


Original plugin by Cory LaViska of A Beautiful Site, LLC. (

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