A dropdown allows a user to select a value from a series of options




A dropdown


A dropdown can be formatted so that its menu is pointing

Bottom pointing dropdown menus have sub-menus open upwards


A dropdown menu can appear to be floating below an element.



A simple dropdown can open without Javascript




An active dropdown has its menu open

An active state will only automatically open a ui simple dropdown. To activate a normal dropdown use $('.ui.dropdown').dropdown('show');


A disabled dropdown menu or item does not allow user interaction


Selection Dropdowns

Maximum Selections

Using maxSelections lets you force a maximum number of selections. You can also use form validation rules to specify minimum and maximum validation settings for multi-selects inside forms.

Search Selection
Without Labels
$('.max.example .ui.normal.dropdown') .dropdown({ maxSelections: 3 }) ; $('.max.example .ui.special.dropdown') .dropdown({ useLabels: false, maxSelections: 3 }) ;

Tagging and User Additions

Using allowAdditions: true gives users the ability to add their own options. This can work with either single or multiple search select dropdowns

Although all dropdowns support select initialization, custom choices will not be saved on page refresh unless you use a hidden input. This is because option created dynamically are not preserved on page refresh.
$('.tag.example .ui.dropdown') .dropdown({ allowAdditions: true }) ;

Text Labels

Sometimes multiselect include options which are long and would appear awkwardly as labels. Setting useLabels: false will display a selected count, and allow reselection directly from the menu.

You can customize any of the messages displayed by adjusting templates in settings.message
$('.no.label.example .ui.dropdown') .dropdown({ useLabels: false }) ;


A dropdown menu will automatically change which direction it opens if it cant fit on screen. If you need a dropdown to open in a specific direction you can specify it when initializing a dropdown.

$('.upward.example .dropdown') .dropdown({ direction: 'upward' }) ;

Remote Content

Match Search Query on Server

Search selection dropdowns can specify API settings for retrieving values remotely, this can use either a named API action or url.

Using API can allow users to select choices from large datasets that would be too large to include directly in page markups.

If your backend is not designed to return the correct markup you can use API's onResponse callback to adjust the format of an API response after it is received from the server.

Requests for the same API endpoints will automatically cached locally, to avoid server roundtrips. You can disable this by adjusting the cache API setting.

When a user refreshes the page, selection labels are automatically recreated by using sessionStorage to store the corresponding names for selected values. You can disable this feature by setting saveRemoteData: false
$('.remote.filter.example .ui.dropdown') .dropdown({ apiSettings: { // this url parses query server side and returns filtered results url: '//{query}' }, }) ;
// Expected server response { "success": true, "results": [ { // name displayed in dropdown "name" : "Choice 1", // selected value "value" : "value1", // name displayed after selection (optional) "text" : "Choice 1" // whether field should be displayed as disabled (optional) "disabled" : false }, { "name" : "Choice 2", "value" : "value2", "text" : "Choice 2" }, { "name" : "Choice 3", "value" : "value3", "text" : "Choice 3" }, { "name" : "Choice 4", "value" : "value4", "text" : "Choice 4" }, { "name" : "Choice 5", "value" : "value5", "text" : "Choice 5" } ] }

Return All Choices Remotely

When possible choicesets are large, ideally API results should only return values matching the passed query term to reduce transmissions over the wire. However if there are only a few hundred or less choices, you may consider returning the full set of results from an API endpoint and filtering them against the query clientside using the setting filterRemoteData: true.

$('.remote.choices.example .ui.dropdown') .dropdown({ apiSettings: { // this url just returns a list of tags (with API response expected above) url: '//' }, filterRemoteData: true }) ;


Changing Transitions

A dropdown can specify a different transition.

$('.dropdown') .dropdown({ // you can use any ui transition transition: 'drop' }) ;

Category Selection

Using a multi-level menu with allowCategorySelection: true will allow items with sub-menus to be selected.

$('.category.example .ui.dropdown') .dropdown({ allowCategorySelection: true }) ;

Adjusting Actions

Combo Dropdowns

A button can be formatted with a dropdown.

Using the combo action will change the preceding element to the selected value.

$('.combo.dropdown') .dropdown({ action: 'combo' }) ;



Initializing Existing HTML

Initializing a dropdown with pre-existing HTML allows for greater performance than initializing a dropdown directly on a select element.

Any select element initialized as dropdown will also be hidden until Javascript can create HTML, this is to avoid the flash of unstyled content, and the change in element height adjusting page flow.
$('.ui.dropdown') .dropdown() ;

Converting Form Elements

For convenience, select elements can automatically be converted to selection dropdown. A select options with blank string values will be converted to prompt text.

$('#select') .dropdown() ;

Hybrid Form Initialization

As a third option, you can include a wrapper around your select so that it will appear correctly on page load, but will then populate the hidden menu when Javascript fires. In this case, the select element does not receive the ui dropdown class.

$('#hybrid select') .dropdown({ on: 'hover' }) ;

Searching Dropdowns

Using a search selection dropdown will allow you users to search more easily through large lists. This can also be converted directly from a form select element.

$('#search-select') .dropdown() ;

Multiple Selections

You can allow multiple selections by the multiple property on a select element, or by including the class multiple on a dropdown.

When a hidden input is used values will be passed through a single value separated by a delimiter. The default is "," but this can be changed by adjusting the delimiter setting.

$('#multi-select') .dropdown() ;

Specifying Select Action

Dropdowns have multiple built-in actions that can occur on item selection. You can specify a built-in action by passing its name to settings.action or pass a custom function that performs an action.

Action Description
activate (Default) Selects current item, adjusts dropdown value and changes dropdown text
combo Same as activate, but updates previous elements text instead of self
select Selects current item from menu and stores value, but does not change dropdown text
hide Hides the dropdown menu and stores value, but does not change text
function(text, value){} Custom action
nothing Does nothing

To specify a different built in action, simply specify the name.

$('.dropdown') .dropdown({ action: 'combo' }) ;

To trigger only your custom action and no default action, specify your own function for settings.action.

$('.dropdown') .dropdown({ action: function(text, value) { // nothing built in occurs } }) ;

If you want to have both a built in action occur, and your own custom action use onChange in combination with action

$('.dropdown') .dropdown({ action: 'hide', onChange: function(value, text, $selectedItem) { // custom action } }) ;


All the following behaviors can be called using the syntax:

$('.your.element') .dropdown('behavior name', argumentOne, argumentTwo) ;
Behavior Description
setup menu Recreates dropdown menu from select option values.
refresh Refreshes all cached selectors and data
toggle Toggles current visibility of dropdown
show Shows dropdown
hide Hides dropdown
clear Clears dropdown of selection
hide others Hides all other dropdowns that is not current dropdown
restore defaults Restores dropdown text and value to its value on page load
restore default text Restores dropdown text to its value on page load
restore placeholder text Restores dropdown text to its prompt, placeholder text
restore default value Restores dropdown value to its value on page load
save defaults Saves current text and value as new defaults (for use with restore)
set selected(value) Sets value as selected
remove selected(value) Remove value from selected
set selected([value1, value2]) Adds a group of values as selected
set exactly([value1, value2]) Sets selected values to exactly specified values, removing current selection
set text(text) Sets dropdown text to a value
set value(value) Sets dropdown input to value (does not update display state)
get text Returns current dropdown text
get value Returns current dropdown input value
get item(value) Returns DOM element that matches a given input value
bind touch events Adds touch events to element
bind mouse events Adds mouse events to element
bind intent Binds a click to document to determine if you click away from a dropdown
unbind intent Unbinds document intent click
determine intent Returns whether event occurred inside dropdown
determine select action(text, value) Triggers preset item selection action based on settings passing text/value
set active Sets dropdown to active state
set visible Sets dropdown to visible state
remove active Removes dropdown active state
remove visible Removes dropdown visible state
is selection Returns whether dropdown is a selection dropdown
is animated Returns whether dropdown is animated
is visible Returns whether dropdown is visible
is hidden Returns whether dropdown is hidden
get default text Returns dropdown value as set on page load
get placeholder text Returns placeholder text


Frequently Used Settings

Setting Default Description
on click Event used to trigger dropdown (Hover, Click, Custom Event)
allowReselection false When set to true will fire onChange even when the value a user select matches the currently selected value.
allowAdditions false Whether search selection should allow users to add their own selections, works for single or multiselect.
hideAdditions true When disabled user additions will appear in the results menu using a specially formatted selection item formatted by templates.addition.
action auto

Sets a default action to occur. (See usage guide)

activate (default)
Updates dropdown text with selected value, sets element state to active, updates any hidden fields if available
activates menu and updates input fields, but does not change current text
changes text of previous sibling element
no action occurs
Dropdown menu is hidden
function(text, value, element){}
custom function is executed with values specified in callback
minCharacters 1 The minimum characters for a search to begin showing results
match both When using search selection specifies how to match values.
Matches against text and value
matches against value only
matches against text only
selectOnKeydown true Whether dropdown should select new option when using keyboard shortcuts. Setting to false will require enter or left click to confirm a choice.
forceSelection true Whether search selection will force currently selected choice when element is blurred.
allowCategorySelection false Whether menu items with sub-menus (categories) should be selectable
placeholder auto
Convert option with "" (blank string) value to placeholder text
Sets string value to placeholder text, leaves "" value
Leaves "" value as a selectable option

Remote Settings

Setting Default Description
apiSettings false Can be set to an object to specify API settings for retrieving remote selection menu content from an API endpoint
fields: { remoteValues : 'results', // grouping for api results values : 'values', // grouping for all dropdown values name : 'name', // displayed dropdown text value : 'value' // actual dropdown value }
List mapping dropdown content to JSON Property when using API
filterRemoteData false Whether results returned from API should be filtered by query before being displayed
saveRemoteData true When enabled will automatically store selected name/value pairs in sessionStorage to preserve user selection on page refresh. Disabling will clear remote dropdown values on refresh.

Multiple Select Settings

Setting Default Description
useLabels true Whether multiselect should use labels. Must be set to true when allowAdditions is true
maxSelections false When set to a number, sets the maximum number of selections
glyphWidth 1.0714 Maximum glyph width, used to calculate search size. This is usually size of a "W" in your font in em
label: { transition : 'horizontal flip', duration : 200, variation : false }
Allows customization of multi-select labels

Additional Settings

Setting Default Description
direction 'auto' When set to auto determines direction based on whether dropdown can fit on screen. Set to upward or downward to always force a direction.
keepOnScreen true Whether dropdown should try to keep itself on screen by checking whether menus display position in its context (Default context is page).
context window Element context to use when checking whether can show when keepOnScreen: true
fullTextSearch false Specifying to "true" will use a fuzzy full text search, setting to "exact" will force the exact search to be matched somewhere in the string
preserveHTML true Whether HTML included in dropdown values should be preserved. (Allows icons to show up in selected value)
sortSelect false Whether to sort values when creating a dropdown automatically from a select element.
showOnFocus true Whether to show dropdown menu automatically on element focus.
allowTab true Whether to allow the element to be navigable by keyboard, by automatically creating a tabindex
transition auto (slide down / slide up) Named transition to use when animating menu in and out. Defaults to slide down or slide up depending on dropdown direction. Fade and slide down are available without including ui transitions
duration 200 Duration of animation events
keys : { backspace : 8, delimiter : 188, // comma deleteKey : 46, enter : 13, escape : 27, pageUp : 33, pageDown : 34, leftArrow : 37, upArrow : 38, rightArrow : 39, downArrow : 40 }
The keycode used to represent keyboard shortcuts. To avoid issues with some foreign languages, you can pass false for comma delimiter's value
delay : { hide : 300, show : 200, search : 50, touch : 50 }
Time in milliseconds to debounce show or hide behavior when on: hover is used, or when touch is used.


Context Description
onChange(value, text, $choice) Dropdown Is called after a dropdown value changes. Receives the name and value of selection and the active menu element
onAdd(addedValue, addedText, $addedChoice) Dropdown Is called after a dropdown selection is added using a multiple select dropdown, only receives the added value
onRemove(removedValue, removedText, $removedChoice) Dropdown Is called after a dropdown selection is removed using a multiple select dropdown, only receives the removed value
onLabelCreate(value, text) $label (jQDOM) Allows you to modify a label before it is added. Expects the jQ DOM element for a label to be returned.
onLabelRemove(value) $label (jqDOM) Called when a label is remove, return false; will prevent the label from being removed.
onLabelSelect($selectedLabels) Dropdown Is called after a label is selected by a user
onNoResults(searchValue) Dropdown Is called after a dropdown is searched with no matching values
onShow Dropdown Is called before a dropdown is shown. If false is returned, dropdown will not be shown.
onHide Dropdown Is called before a dropdown is hidden. If false is returned, dropdown will not be hidden.

Module Settings

DOM Settings
DOM settings specify how this module should interface with the DOM

Default Description
namespace dropdown Event namespace. Makes sure module teardown does not effect other events attached to an element.

You can specify site wide messages by modifying $.fn.dropdown.settings.message that will apply on any dropdown if it appears in the page.

message: { addResult : 'Add {term}', count : '{count} selected', maxSelections : 'Max {maxCount} selections', noResults : 'No results found.' }
selector : { addition : '.addition', dropdown : '.ui.dropdown', icon : '> .dropdown.icon', input : '> input[type="hidden"], > select', item : '.item', label : '> .label', remove : '> .label > .delete.icon', siblingLabel : '.label', menu : '.menu', message : '.message', menuIcon : '.dropdown.icon', search : ', .menu > .search > input', text : '> .text:not(.icon)' }
regExp : { escape : /[-[\]{}()*+?.,\\^$|#\s]/g, }
metadata : { defaultText : 'defaultText', defaultValue : 'defaultValue', placeholderText : 'placeholderText', text : 'text', value : 'value' }
className : { active : 'active', addition : 'addition', animating : 'animating', disabled : 'disabled', dropdown : 'ui dropdown', filtered : 'filtered', hidden : 'hidden transition', item : 'item', label : 'ui label', loading : 'loading', menu : 'menu', message : 'message', multiple : 'multiple', placeholder : 'default', search : 'search', selected : 'selected', selection : 'selection', upward : 'upward', visible : 'visible' }
name Dropdown Name used in debug logs
silent False Silences all console output including error messages, regardless of other debug settings.
debug False Provides standard debug output to console
performance True Provides standard debug output to console
verbose True Provides ancillary debug output to console
error : { action : 'You called a dropdown action that was not defined', alreadySetup : 'Once a select has been initialized behaviors must be called on the created ui dropdown', labels : 'Allowing user additions currently requires the use of labels.', method : 'The method you called is not defined.', noTransition : 'This module requires ui transitions ' }

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