Transforms an HTML multiple select into a dropdown checkbox list.
Latest commit 96e2692 Nov 23, 2009 @scottwb Added support for label-less optgroups in the drop-down-checklist suc…
…h that instead of indenting the options in these groups, a special CSS style is applied, allowing, for example, grouping options separated by a thin border instead of using group labels and indentation.


Dropdown Check List is a javascript plugin for the jQuery library that transforms a regular select HTML element into a dropdown checkbox list.

This code is a fork of the dropdown-check-list plugin (v0.6) created by Adrian Tosca. All credit goes to him.

This fork builds on that work, only by adding a few small features. If someday Adrian stumbles across this and likes the idea behind these changes, maybe he'll merge them back into his master and I'll discontinue this fork. The only real reason for this fork is as an expedient way to extend this plugin for some of my own immediate needs.




To get the full demo, download all the source files and open demo.html in your browser.


To view the documentation, see the demo.html file from this project, or view the Description and Examples from the original project this was forked from.


The following features/extensions have been added above and beyond the original version.

Exclusive Options

Adding an exclusive="true" attribute to an <option> element of a <select> will make that option "exclusive". This means that checking that option will uncheck all other options. It also means that checking any option will uncheck all other options that are marked as exclusive. For example:

<select id="people" name="people" multiple="true">
  <option exclusive="true">Everybody</option>
  <option exclusive="true">Nobody</option>
  <option selected="true">Homer</option>
  <option selected="true">Marge</option>

Default Empty Text

The original dropdown-check-list would show the select field as empty when no options were checked. This extension allows you to specify an optional defaultText option to the dropdownchecklist() function. For example:


This will make it so the select shows "Choose..." instead of leaving it empty, when there are no options checked.

Custom Select Text

The original dropdown-checklist would show a concatenation of the selected options in the select field. This extension allows you to specify an optional customTextFn option to the dropdownchecklist() function. This function is called any time the set of selection changes, passing in the set of all options and their selection state, so that it can be used to implement custom logic to compute the text string to be displayed. For example, the following overrides this text with "Nobody", a person's name, "N People", or "Everybody", based on which options are selected:

  customTextFn:function(opts) {
    var count = 0;
    var first = null;
    for (var i=0, len=opts.length; i<len; ++i) {
      if (opts[i].selected) {
        if (!first) {
          first = opts[i].text;
    switch (count) {
    case 0:
      return "Nobody";
    case 1:
      return first;
    case opts.length:
      return "Everybody";
      return count + " People"

Label-less Option Groups

This extension drops the indentation of options inside <optgroup> elements that do not have label attributes, and applies an additional CSS class to these optgroups, so that they can be styled differently. This allows, for example, group options without group headers or indentation, and using a thin border between the groups instead.


The original source was copied verbatim from the dropdown-check-list plugin created by Adrian Tosca. All credit goes to him.

The few additional features that have been added in this fork were created by Scott W. Bradley.


As per Adrian's original licence, this project is licensed under the MIT License.