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jQuery Pretty Dropdowns

Pretty Dropdowns is a simple, lightweight jQuery plugin that converts <select> drop-down menus into "pretty" menus that you can skin using CSS.


  • Two arrow styles and sizes to choose from (or add your own style)
  • Easily add icons, thumbnails, and other custom HTML to the menu items
  • Support for multiple-select lists (<select multiple>)
  • Support for option groups (<optgroup>)
  • Tooltips (title) carried over at <select>, <option>, and <optgroup> levels
  • Full keyboard navigation (you can even go directly to a menu item by typing its text)
  • Auto-linked to <label for> (menu will get focus when you click on the label)
  • Accessible (it plays nicely with screen readers)
  • Sensible (when you open the menu it does its best to keep the menu items within the viewport)

See a demo »

Getting Started

Step 1: Link the required files

<link rel="stylesheet" href="/css/prettydropdowns.css">
<script src="//"></script>
<script src="/js/jquery.prettydropdowns.js"></script>

You have complete control over the look and feel of the drop-down menu by modifying prettydropdowns.css. It is recommended to load the JavaScript files at the bottom just before the closing </body> tag if possible.

Step 2: Call the .prettyDropdown() function

Make sure this comes after the two required JavaScript files from Step 1 are loaded.

$(document).ready(function() {

You can also specify some options:

$(document).ready(function() {
    height: 30


Name Type Default Description
classic boolean false The default behavior is to move the selected item to the top. If you want the order of items to remain static, then set this to true.
customClass string arrow Class name to customize the drop-down menu style. The default arrow class displays a chevron-type arrow icon. Two additional helper classes are built in (add either or both to arrow): triangle converts the chevron into a solid triangle; small renders the arrow icon at half size.
width number or string null Drop-down menu width in pixels or percentage. Use a number for pixels or a string for percentage. By default, the width scales to fit the longest item in the drop-down menu.
height number 50 Drop-down menu height in pixels. The minimum value is 8. Note that the maximum number of items displayed when the menu is opened is determined by the size attribute of the <select> element.
hoverIntent number 200 Wait period (in milliseconds) before collapsing the drop-down menu after you hover off of it. If you hover back onto the menu within the wait period, it will remain open. To keep the menu open until you click outside of it, set this option to -1.
multiDelimiter string ; Separator character to use for the list of selected items in a multi-select menu.
multiVerbosity number 99 Maximum number of selected items to display in a multi-select menu before replacing it with a summary (e.g., "2/3 selected"). To display "0/3 selected" instead of "None selected", set this option to -1.
selectedMarker string Icon or symbol to mark that an item is selected. HTML is accepted (e.g., <i class="fa fa-check"></i>).
afterLoad function Callback function to execute after the drop-down menu widget is loaded.


Name Description
refresh() Rebuild the drop-down menu. You should do this whenever the <select> state changes (e.g., one or more <option> gets added, removed, or disabled).


$(document).ready(function() {
  $dropdown = $('select').prettyDropdown();
// When <select> state changes...

Data Attributes

The data-prefix and data-suffix attributes can be added to the <option> and <optgroup> elements to insert custom HTML before and after each menu item or menu group label, respectively. You can make use of these attributes to add icons, thumbnails, badges, etc. to the menu items. A good example can be seen in the demo.

Keyboard Navigation

Key Description
Tab Put focus on the next drop-down menu. If a menu is open, it will automatically close.
Shift+Tab Put focus on the previous drop-down menu. If a menu is open, it will automatically close.
Enter Open the drop-down menu that is in focus. If it is already open, then select the highlighted item.
Esc Close the drop-down menu.
Home Jump to the first item in the drop-down menu.
End Jump to the last item in the drop-down menu.
PgUp Go to the previous page of items. If there is no scrollbar, then this is the same as Home.
PgDn Go to the next page of items. If there is no scrollbar, then this is the same as End.
Up Highlight the previous item in the drop-down menu. If already on the first item, then highlight the last item.
Down Highlight the next item in the drop-down menu. If already on the last item, then highlight the first item.
If the drop-down menu is open, jump to the first item matching the key(s) pressed. Every time you press a key it will cycle through the matching items. Hint: if you type fast enough, it will try to find a match for everything you typed instead of just the first character. If the menu is closed and in focus, Space opens the menu (same as Enter).


The following attributes are added to improve accessibility when using alternative input methods (e.g., keyboard, screen reader):

  • role="listbox" and role="option" (to tell screen readers that it's a drop-down menu widget)
  • aria-activedescendant (points to the currently selected menu item)
  • aria-expanded (this is true when the menu is open and false when it's closed)
  • aria-label (this is equivalent to the title attribute for screen readers)
  • aria-labelledby (points to the <label> element that is linked to the <select> if it exists)
  • tabindex="0" (to allow the widget to get focus when you hit the Tab key)

Please submit an issue if there are other ways to improve accessibility.

Known Issues

  • After resizing the window, the drop-down menu near the bottom of the page sometimes doesn't open in reverse.
  • The title value will be read twice in some screen reader clients (once for title, once for aria-label).


Choose from one of the following methods:

  • git clone
  • git clone
  • bower install pretty-dropdowns
  • npm install pretty-dropdowns
  • Download ZIP