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---
title: Retrieving selections
metadata:
    description: There are two ways to programmatically access the current selection data: using `.select2('data')`, or by using a jQuery selector.
taxonomy:
    category: docs
---

There are two ways to programmatically access the current selection data: using .select2('data'), or by using a jQuery selector.

Using the data method

Calling select2('data') will return a JavaScript array of objects representing the current selection. Each object will contain all of the properties/values that were in the source data objects passed through processResults and templateResult callbacks.

$('#mySelect2').select2('data');

Using a jQuery selector

Selected items can also be accessed via the :selected jQuery selector:

$('#mySelect2').find(':selected');

It is possible to extend the <option> elements representing the current selection(s) with HTML data-* attributes to contain arbitrary data from the source data objects:

$('#mySelect2').select2({
  // ...
  templateSelection: function (data, container) {
    // Add custom attributes to the <option> tag for the selected option
    $(data.element).attr('data-custom-attribute', data.customValue);
    return data.text;
  }
});

// Retrieve custom attribute value of the first selected element
$('#mySelect2').find(':selected').data('custom-attribute');

Do not rely on the selected attribute of <option> elements to determine the currently selected item(s). Select2 does not add the selected attribute when an element is created from a remotely-sourced option. See this issue for more information.